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A foursome of marriage scholars documented a pattern of less intensive coupling over that time. They think it is a troublesome trend, and even report data suggesting that couples who have fewer friends in common and who belong to fewer of the same organizations rate the quality of their marriage as lower.
Married couples in 2000, compared to those in 1980, are less likely to have their main meal together, go out for fun together, visit friends together, or work around the home together. I wonder whether they are evaluating marriage by the "you are my everything standard," and declaring their own as deficient if it doesn't conform.
When I've finally arrived at a hotel, weary and hungry, after a cross-country flight, a delay at the baggage claim, and a van to the hotel, I really do not want my check-in extended to five minutes.
(Now if you want to offer me a cookie, as some hotels now do, that's a different story.)There is a brief section on loneliness and marital status in This is a better take on the link between marital status and loneliness than the typical singlistic claim that unless you get married, you are doomed to a life of loneliness and misery. I emailed Cacioppo to ask him for his evidence for the link between marriage and loneliness.
She's the one who combed through stacks of journals that supposedly published relationships studies and found that the relationships they reported on were overwhelmingly romantic or marital ones.
That, I think, is wholly inappropriate at a time when Americans spend more years of their adult life unmarried than married and when relationships such as friendships are so important to so many. In her book with Blau, she is suggesting that it is not just friendships that deserve more attention and appreciation.
They also have fewer shared friends than they used to, and somewhat fewer groups to which they both belong. The growing recognition of the important place of friends in many of our lives, along with Blau and Fingerman's articulation of the ways in which even acquaintances can be far more significant to us than we typically realize, are indications of the flexibility of contemporary American lives.
You can order that in paperback here or here, or the Kindle version here.][You can find the academic version of consequential strangers in this article: Fingerman, K. For the most part I prefer acquaintances to remain acquaintances.
Personally, I do not want so many of the people on the periphery of my life acting as if they are not actually strangers.
Blau and Fingerman described approvingly the "5-10 rule" of check-ins at Westin hotels: "Spend at least five minutes and walk ten steps with each guest." I read that and made a mental note to avoid Westin hotels.
If intensive coupling still had a stranglehold on our cultural imaginations, there would not be much room for the case that friends, and even consequential strangers, can be truly important in our lives.
Blau and Fingerman are proposing that consequential strangers can take the place of the people who are closest to us.