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”) or offering ways to connect erotically (“when you return home tonight, greet each other with a kiss that lasts at least six seconds”).
A manual provided us with a vocabulary to demystify and contain some of the scary things that go on in love: fights are "regrettable incidents," the things that make us feel good together are our “rituals of connection,” the dark inner chasms that regrettable incidents seem to reveal are our "enduring vulnerabilities." One of the Gottmans’ employees, Kendra Han, estimated that a quarter of the couples in attendance were the kind of ickily self-aware duos who try this kind of thing for "fun and enrichment" while the majority were in some state of "relational distress." The prevailing mood was a mix of hope and fragility.
Love resisted these kinds of reasoned considerations. The rise of wage labor freed young people from their families and gave them more autonomy to decide whom to marry.
The Enlightenment put freedom of choice into vogue.
Philosophers have argued over it for millennia without arriving at a satisfactory definition.
Romantic love, in older human cultures, was often something dark.
Once upon a time, in the Pony Expresso cafe in Seattle, a man and a woman began to experience the long-mysterious but increasingly scientifically investigated thing we call love.
The first stage is called "limerence." This is the spine-tingling, heart-twisting, can't-stop-staring feeling, when it seems as though the world stops whirling and time itself bows down and pauses before the force of your longing.
"All happy relationships are similar and all unhappy relationships are also similar. He has won awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Council of Family Relations and has become the subject of increasing public fascination. A book he co-authored that summarizes his findings, , is a New York Times best-seller.
His work took off because the consistency of his predictions is astonishing.