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Masters of Love (theatlantic.com)
236 points by ca98am79 on June 26, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 66 comments

We buried my grandfather last weekend. He and grandma had been happily married for 65 years.

"Generosity" was one of the most used words at the funeral. It wasn't just empty talk; it was descriptive of how they related to each other and to everyone else. Even after grandpa went blind, he'd "look" toward grandma any time she spoke. Even when she struggled to walk, she'd get up to get him a drink if she was thirsty. What this article calls "bids" for affection, they were not only responsive to but proactive about.

And it reflects in the lives and relationships of their 7 children, 27 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren (+2 on the way), and 2 great-great-grandchildren. My parents' relationship now looks like what I remember from my grandparents 25 years ago. My relationship with my wife looks a little like my parents' relationship when I was a kid. That's one of the reasons this sort of research is so important -- because the quality of your relationship now can affect relationships for generations to come.

The treasure you have, and that I wish I could have, is that you know what love looks like on a day-to-day level. You have been habituated to it, even. There are many people, I think, who want to achieve what your grandparents did but don't actually know how, not because they don't know that they should be kind and generous, but because they simply don't know what kindness and generosity look like in the mundane details that fill up most of life.

The article included a quote that said that even in bad times, usually one or both partners are trying to do the right thing but failing. You have the blessing of knowing what the right thing looks like. I envy you that experience.

> "You have the blessing of knowing what the right thing looks like. I envy you that experience."

Thank you.

I try to pass it on, just like I was taught. We had a young couple live in our spare room some time ago. Right now we have a divorced mom in one room and teen parents in another. I think one of the most important things I can do for the future is mentor those who either haven't had the experience or have struggled to follow it.

If there's anything I can do to help you figure out the details, e-mail me (it's slightly obfuscated in my profile.)

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

This is from Confucius. This is so right on so many levels. It all starts at home.

This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. And I'm sorry for your loss.

This is truly magnificent. If you haven't already, I would recommend reading the Harvard Grant Study. A longitudinal study of young Harvard grads over the course of several decades. Most of what they said is falls in line what the generational component. Without trying to sound too much like a flower child, it is hard work in the form of a qualitative relationship like your grand parents that makes this world a slightly better place to live in.

> Kindness, on the other hand, glues couples together... Being mean is the death knell of relationships.

I think at a certain level we all know this, but in the same way we know "you lose weight by eating fewer calories." Easy understand, hard to live by.

In a way, it's amazing that 30% of marriages end up happy. It's hard to be kind to someone you don't respect, someone you think makes bad decisions, someone who isn't kind back, someone who is emotionally selfish or self-centered, etc. Take the large percentage of the population that fits into one of those categories, then square that, and you're well on your way to understanding the statistics.

Criticism is, in particular, a minefield. On one hand, once you're married, especially with a child, you have a shared future. What your spouse does or doesn't do affects you. On the other hand, it's impossible to deliver criticism in a way that doesn't tear at the relationship at least a little, and easy to deliver it in a way that tears at the relationship a lot. It can be hard to let go of the thought that: "if he/she just did X, Y would be better." But in many cases, fixing whatever our partner is doing wrong doesn't justify the stress of the criticism. As my wife says: "being right isn't a defense to the charge of being an asshole."

> It's hard to be kind to someone you don't respect, someone you think makes bad decisions, someone who isn't kind back, someone who is emotionally selfish or self-centered, etc.

I think one of the point of the article is that expressing kindness means that you should hesitate to apply negative labels like the above (i.e., fundamental attribution error). Although to be fair it's easy to be polly-anna-ish after reading the article. There are going to be terrible people around, and some/many of them would make equally terrible partners.

Sure, once you're already in a relationship, it's not good to apply that label. But how many people do you know that are: {vacuous, boring, self-centered, naive, capricious, overly sensitive, insensitive, uptight, etc}? These are characteristics we gloss over when we first start dating in favor of characteristics we like (attractive but vacuous, exciting but self-centered, funny but overly sensitive). But over time those flaws become more apparent. That makes it harder to be kind to someone you've been with for five years than to someone you just started dating.

I know relatively few people that are {vacuous, boring, self-centered, capricious, overly sensitive, insensitive, uptight, etc}, but that could be because I don't hang out with people like that. And similarly, people that think that I exhibit those qualities - and I'm sure there are some - tend not to hang out with me.

I think that the point where you're ready for a stable adult relationship is the point where you're willing to compromise on {attractive, exciting, funny, etc.} in favor of avoiding people on the first list you described. And that's perhaps why dating is such a pain in the ass - not only do you have to meet a lot of random people to find the one that's compatible with you, but you also realize that nobody (including yourself) is perfect, and that to find the person you love you will often have to give up qualities that you like.

And yet at the same time, more positive, yet subtle characteristics become more noticeable because of the time you spend together. Which you (decide to) focus on is entirely up to you.

I think one of the problems engineers/analytical types have in relationships is that we are so accustomed to actively looking for the downside of everything, we forget to seek out the positive aspects or even notice that they are present.

I think this is a subtle but excellent point and answers the gut question I first had when reading your top post, which was to think: why would you (not YOU specifically, just the general 'you') marry someone who:

"....you don't respect, someone you think makes bad decisions, someone who isn't kind back, someone who is emotionally selfish or self-centered, etc. "

The answer being that you don't know these things going into it or they don't bother you that much; it's only when they accumulate over time that they start really bothering you. An analogy would be taking a new job at a company with lots of higher-up political BS - it doesn't bother you so much to begin with, but the more you learn the more it can do so.

EDIT: Realized I read your list of qualities as if you were talking about the same person with ALL those qualities in tandem; my "why would you marry?" obviously makes less sense if it's only one or two of those qualities in isolation.

The point is that you also are far from perfect, so it's better for both of you to find ways to be kind to each other despite one another's flaws. Kind doesn't mean pretending to like everything - it just means not creating a new problem by thinking that meanness is justified.

then square that

1-(1-x)^2 to be pedantic :) (i.e. if 10% of the population is mean, 19% (=100%-(100%-10%)^2) of random pairings have at least one mean person, not 1% (=10% squared))

I don't know of a simple term to describe that relation though; is there one?

"Double that then subtract the square" just doesn’t have the same ring, huh?

Squaring alone would work if you looked at the odds of both people being nice. If 90% of the population is nice, squaring it would give you 81% of pairings being nice, which matches the above example. Just have to take the glass half full perspective.

IDK, but it reads quite eloquently: "probability of not((x1 is mean) and (x2 is mean))"

upvoted simply for your wife's saying. It's a good thing to bear in mind during any conflict.

Well said.

"being right isn't a defense to the charge of being an asshole."

So she gets to be wrong and not called on it, just because she can claim you're an a-hole?

You will regret the unwarranted power you're giving her.

That is a funny way to look at it.

Say she is making a point about cheese, and says something about the population of France. She might be wrong, but who cares? Or you can shout her down and criticize here, making her uncomfortable. Showing how smart you are, and how much of an asshole you are as well.

Reminds me of this article here: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2011/Feb-17.html

She should not feel uncomfortable just because she is wrong on some minor fact. If both people accept the idea that they are often wrong it will be much easier for them to fix problems with the relationship later on.

I think rayiner will appreciate the power that he's receiving. Who cares about being right when you can be intimate?

Hard for Caucasians to live by! Talk to a hindu about it and see if they're at all conflicted. Hahahaha.

Lol. Computer brains can't handle truth. Get some black and native american friends if you want to remember what being a human is.

Kindness and generosity are easy (easier) if it's to a complete stranger or at least someone you don't know intimately. It's easy to donate money to a charitable organization or volunteer somewhere. It's easy to offer kind words to a co-worker or to help a friend move or with their rent even if the fact that they need your help is due to poor planning or bad decisions on their part.

With someone who you don't share every moment and intricacy of your life with it's easy to see their problems as external - They have a bad landlord, they are poor, they had a bad childhood, they aren't as fortunate as me.

When you know someone well, you're more likely to see their problems in light of what you know about them. Everyone has long-standing endemic issues. Maybe their bad with money. Maybe they are impatient or easily angered. Perhaps they are insecure and cover it up with many little white lies.

And when you've dealt with the other persons issues and failings for long enough you realize that the person is not going to change. You're the same way of course but you still see your problems as external or at least not as big.

Love is something that comes from an individual. It is generated and has it's source in you. The world outside of you does not affect your love. Not your circumstances, not another person.

When you create a piece of software or a building or drawing or a delicious meal you reshape the resources around you into something new. You turn the clay into a pot or the machine into a system that does work. When you love you use no external material and therefore, love is an act of creation. It is the highest form of creativity

"One way to practice kindness is by being generous about your partner’s intentions."

This stands out to me as being profoundly true about all relationships. Communication is hard. We humans are powerful storytellers so we tend to be able to tell most any story to fit the facts on hand. In most cases I find what I am looking for. This is what DFW talked about in his terrific commencement address[1]: we all ultimately choose which story to tell ourselves. When you choose to assume/believe/hope your partner is a good capable person who is trying hard, you find yourself a part of a much better story than otherwise.

And this principle extends beyond our most intimate personal relationships and can even be applied here, where most often the only thing we know about the person we are responding to is the brief couple paragraphs they hurriedly wrote in-between trying to get things done. How easy it is to tell a story that they are foolish or mean, if you choose to.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI

Great article. Another type of analysis I found really helpful was done by Marshall Rosenberg called "non-violent communication", which dissects the "turning toward" and "turning away" phenomena in marital (and other) communication. I cannot recommend his course highly enough, and it's free online (the workshop he did in San Francisco): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwXH4hNfgPg

At first I was a little skeptical because it seemed goofy, but I had never heard so incisive an analysis of how and why communication breaks down (or succeeds).

careful with this link, you might get 3 hour nerd-sniped.

thanks for the video, very cool!

Here's a critique of Gottman's math: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2010/03/can_y...

Found this via Andrew Gelman's blog, where he adds his own thoughts.


According to that critique it isn't his math that's wrong, but his whole understanding of machine learning. He has apparently written a book on statistics and has a degree in math somewhere along the line, but I've seen people who are quite mathematically and statistically adept still draw unsupported conclusions of the kind Gottman is making.

What he has done apparently is shown that "there exists a set of characteristics that can be used to separate these entities into two classes", and then claimed "this set of characteristics is generalizable to all entities of the same kind (marriages)".

The problem with this is that if you look at any collection of entities (up vs down days in the stock market) and any reasonably large set of attributes of those data (daily rainfall, previous day's trading volume, etc) you'll find a way to separate the entities into two classes without much difficulty, particularly if you allow combinations of factors into your classifier (N attributes gives N*[N-1] pairs and so on, creating a combinatoric explosion of possibilities, one of which is nearly certain to be "accurate" by chance alone.

So he basically has nothing. No conclusion can be drawn from what he's done, if the Slate article is correct.

Love is the territory of poets. To quote one who I think best described it's paradoxical briefness:

        Above all, to my love I'll be attentive
	first, and with such zeal, and always, and so much
	that even when confronted by great enchantment
	my thoughts ascend to more delight.

        I want to live it through in each vain moment
	and in its honor I must spread my song
	and laugh my laughter and shed my tears
	to it's sadness or to it's enjoyment.

        And thus, when afterward comes looking for me
	maybe the Death (anxiety of the living)
	maybe the Loneliness (fate of the loving)

        I could say to myself about the love (I had):
	let it not be immortal, since it is flame
	but let it be infinite while it lasts.

        - Vinicius de Moraes ("Soneto Da Fidelidade", adapted to English by me)

Certainly noone better than poets can express or describe poetry, but by no means is it their exclusive domain

I've always thought that kindness and generosity, while very important should be coupled with being reasonable. I had a female roommate (I'm a guy) and I don't recall us ever having any nasty fights or disagreements.

We lived together for almost a year, and our first time meeting was that summer. Whenever one of us needed to discuss an issue, it was always in a lighthearted way. "You know you did this, but it would be nice if we could compromise on how [thing] is done." I don't think either of us ever dreaded going home. In contrast to other people I've lived with, I hope that if/when I marry it looks like that.

My point is that disagreements/conflict will happen, the important thing is to remember that words and actions are powerful, so for any friendship/relationship to last, its essential for both parties to be reasonable about such things.

I know, easier said than done. But there are such people out there as I learned.

It's certainly the case that conflicts will be difficult to resolve if one or both parties are not reasonable!

Your comment also touches on something else, however, in terms of how you and your roommate discussed issues, and relates back to an earlier point about internal/external issues.

It's easy not to care when, well, you don't care---when you haven't invested yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically in a relationship and hence do not really expect or require reciprocity to indicate that your investment was not in vain and that your relationship will endure. In other words, it's hard not to care when you really do care---about the other person, about how the other person treats you, about the relationship.

As a side point, there's a big difference between not dreading coming home and looking forward to coming home. The latter is an uncommon way to describe just a rooming situation, but should be the case with people in a relationship.

Your point stands, of course, about words and particularly actions being powerful!

That is because she had little power over you.

Marry her and find out what a nightmare it becomes.

Doubt it. She's since met someone and they're really happy together. While I don't know about the inner workings of their relationship, I do know that both of them, individually tend not to sweat the small stuff.

I think you're projecting here (and on that other post). Not everyone tries to lord power over you.

There is some beautiful advice in this article, but a lot of it seems to be correlation mistaken for causation, e.g. happy couples being kind to another - do you expect unhappy couples to be kind to one another? Does being kind assure you will stay together, or are happy couples (who would stay together anyway) just more likely to be kind?

That said, the openness expressed in this article reminds me strongly of "making dialogue safe" in Crucial Conversations by Patterson et al. I highly recommend that book and recently wrote a glowing review of it (it's on my blog).

Agreed regarding the correlation being mistaken for causation in the article. Although the correlations are still worth noticing.

Where it really impacts the articles credibility is when the author claims the ability to predict relationships:

> By observing these types of interactions, Gottman can > predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether > couples—straight or gay, rich or poor, childless or not— > will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and > happy several years later. Much of it comes down to the > spirit couples bring to the relationship. Do they bring > kindness and generosity; or contempt, criticism, and > hostility?

Really? 94 percent certainty? I'm willing to say that if you can do that, people will pay you to tell them whether they're going to make it. I suspect the "certainty" is only found when predicting the future of couples who have been together for a few years and have developed these responsive behaviors toward their partners. It's much less useful to be able to "predict" an outcome after you're already committed to a course of action.

The value of being able to "predict" that a car is going to be a lemon diminishes greatly if you can't make the prediction until the car has been bought and driven 10,000 miles.

I try to look at this logically.

It's known that in any communication you should have and remember an objective—what you want to achieve as the result.

Sometimes this objective is immediate, which is the easiest case. Other times it's more strategic, with long-term benefits—this one can be harder to keep in mind. At minimum an objective can be as basic as “keeping good relationship with”.

This objective almost never involves pissing off another person. Having good relationships, apart from everything else, helps you practically. It's irrational to aim to piss off or let down another person. When that happens it seems to be due to lost objective and uncontrolled thought process. (I'm talking about personal relationships—things could be different, say, in business situations.)

Keeping in mind your objective helps staying polite, positive and kind, but requires certain mental resources. This could be easy for some people, while from others more resources is required due to psychological issues (inner fears, lack of self-confidence).

An especially difficult case, I find, is when another person initiates a communication. Then I don't have an immediate objective in mind ready. I need to spend some time recalling a long-term one. During that time I can be accidentally rude and unkind (I guess I have my issues…), even to people close to me. Sometimes I recall my objective only after the communication is complete, to my regret.

I guess one part of the solution involves training myself to defer any communication until I can recall my objective.

On a related note, the book 'The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages' (author Shanti Feldhahn) independently found many of the same things mentioned in the feature article.

Feldhahn takes a social statistics approach in developing her books. If I recall correctly her work on this book is derivative of interviews and surveys of ~1000 couples and dug deeper into the ones that both spouses rated their marital happiness at the top of the scale.

It is true that we should answer spousal bids for attention -- but on the other hand, we shouldn't base our emotional sanity solely on the response of our spouses either. To expect that our spouses can respond to everything inevitably leads to disappointment. For example, I may get terribly excited about a piece of code I wrote, but I wouldn't fault my girlfriend for not responding to my excitement. I guess the trick is to find the common things we both get excited about while also maintaining hobbies and relationships besides our own.

I think the idea is that she should be excited that you're excited, and happy that you're happy, not necessarily that she should be excited by the very code you wrote. (That said, you would probably not mind if she "returned your bid" or "opened a bid" by asking you what it did, how you came to it, and made an effort to appreciate it with you. It would probably be less pleasant if every time you got excited about some code you wrote, she just responded with an indifferent "cool"---if at all---while continuing to text her friends.)

Also, what exactly do you mean by your last sentence, specifically, "besides our own"? If, as indicated above, the idea is that both partners are happy in the other's happiness, and want to do the things that make their partners happy, and are unhappy doing the things that make their partners unhappy, what does it mean to "[maintain] hobbies and relationships besides [their] own"? Many people maintain hobbies and relationships aside from those with their partners such that they end up maintaining separation. Why is that necessarily desireable?

Halfway though, "assume good faith" seems like a key mantra here.

That's a good mantra for life in general. Consider the subject expert, asked by a layperson a question which betrays a lack of domain vocabulary. Many such "experts" would assert the question to be a consequence of an inconsistent mental model, and question the petitioner's right to challenge the "expert" in the first place. These so-called "experts" who assume stupidity of the uninformed are rude, caustic, unconstructive, and contribute little to the human experience.

The true expert assumes an intelligent, albeit subject-ignorant, layperson. By placing themselves in the mind of the layperson and attempting to form a reasonable (if incorrect) mental model to fit the question asked, the expert can then explain both proper terminology, and either answer the question, or explain why it is ill-posed. These people help spread knowledge and are a boon to society.

As an example, consider a student who challenges a teacher of Newtonian physics to reconcile the Newtownian assertion that an object dropped while moving will continue to move forward, with the folk-physics belief that the object will fall where it is dropped. The caustic "expert" will simply assert the student is misguided and should pay more attention when he or she drops something. Perhaps perform some experiments and then get back to them.

The true expert will expend the small effort to understand that the student's mental model is likely formed from examples of lightweight objects being dropped at high velocities (e.g. a paper cup from a car), as any other common scenario results in the object reaching the ground quickly enough that the dropper has barely proceeded from his or her location. The true expert can then explain that indeed the student's model is correct in such scenarios, due to air resistance, and how these scenarios differ from the textbook's frictionless spheres in a vacuum.

A very nice illustration. I often played the part of the "bad expert" when I was growing up, but I was able to get over it by asking myself the simple question: What do I actually have to prove? I love learning things myself; why should I deny someone else that joy of having a concept explained with empathy and respect?

Similarly, I've found it useful to understand the fundamental attribution error: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_Attribution_Error

It's interesting to note how much of what passes for discussion on the 'Net goes away when you blip past articles and comments that are nothing but fundamental attribution error.

Believing you have insight into another person's primary motivations when you don't know them well and haven't had the opportunity to observe them over time is enormously limiting and damaging, yet almost everyone does it almost all the time.

In a communicative relationship it is silly: you can simply ask the other person, "What's up with that?" In an uncommunicative relationship it is almost useless, because we are demonstrably so very bad at it. That doesn't leave a lot of room over where it is valuable.

This was a good article.

But, I might point out, relationships are one thing, marriage is another. The article started with one topic and then wandered off into the other. I highly doubt people stayed together 70 years ago because they paid more attention to each other. I think it was just socially and economically harder to divorce.

In addition, the recommendations are good, however it takes two people to follow them. Having had a number of short term and long term girlfriends (the current one for over 8 years, she may be the last, who knows....), I have found there is such a thing as an attention vampire. People who have no respect for your space or focus. People who think your entire existence is to pay attention to them. And, I have found that there is no satisfying these people and they will move right on to someone else as you inevitabley become exhausted. So, I would speculate, in addition to the excellent points in the article, that successful couples have reasonable, respectful, and most importantly, compatible attention requirements.

Also, paradoxically, I found that paying too much attention to __some__ people causes them to place less value on your attention. When they no longer value your attention, they lose respect, and this causes a downhill slide in the relationship as well. The article is, I believe, written from a female point of view (can I say that? does it make me a bad sexist person?). It is a valuable and beautiful point of view. But like most things in life, balance and measure comes into play, and failing to recognize this leads to disaster as surely as ignoring your partners needs does.

Just my thoughts. I didn't do a study.

I wonder if these 'bids' mentioned in the article extend in our times of the internet to sending and opening of links sent to the significant other. :)

I think it definitely does. I feel a little let down when my content-free g-chats of "hi!" go unanswered, and my wife admitted to me the other day that she was upset I never opened the Youtube links she sends.

I agree. I tried a long-range relationship once, and this was absolutely crucial to maintain it....until we stopped sharing and caring.

Shit. Hadn't thought about that.

The article made a lot of leaps of logic. For instance the first example of the husband saying "look at that beautiful bird outside". The conclusion in the article was "be kind and interested". My conclusion was "be with someone with similar interests so you'll most often than not naturally be interested in what they have to say"

That's not to say you shouldn't always show interest in whatever. Just that it seems like it would be easier with common interests. I'd love to know how common interest correlates with successful long term relationships

A really interesting study that someone posted on HN in the past, that was not sponsored by an ideological organization and controlled for a host of variables: http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/sexual-partner-d...

It basically says that if you have a sexual partner besides your spouse before you get married (at any point in your life) your chance of divorce more than doubles. There are subsequent jumps with every additional pre-marital sexual partner.

Please keep in mind that a descriptive study like that only shows correlations of variables. That work wasn't a longitudinal study, therefore one cannot convey a causal relationship of the variables <number of partners> and <divorce rate> from it - even if the errors pointed out by jarvist would not be present. It's also quite possible that <number of partners> is only a confounding variable for something different that has not been measured, e.g. certain mood problems, bad parental examples on how to properly/ fairly argue in a relationship etc. That would explain both the number of failed relationships before and after marriage.

No it doesn't. It's a crazy bigoted rant with an undercurrent of misogyny. Just the fact that the original 'scientific' study only looked at women implies that something is a bit dodge.

>No it doesn't. It's a crazy bigoted rant with an undercurrent of misogyny.

That blog article wasn't written by the study authors. Also what did you find crazy and bigoted about it? I haven't read anything else on that site and the author may be prone to "cray bigoted rants" (I have no idea), but that the article in question seemed to be a fairly level headed reporting of findings in a journal article that pretty closely matches the study's abstract. Maybe I missed something?


I don't know anything about the journal that published this study, but from a quick google search it appeared to be an actual academic peer reviewed journal, and the author is a professor of sociology at Western Washington University who was the chair of the department at the time the study was written. The data used in the study also seems to be readily available from the CDC.

Why the scare quotes? Do you have any evidence that this study is invalid?

>study only looked at women implies that something is a bit dodge.

Many studies are limited in scope in a similar manner. How you can make that claim that a study looking only at women implies that it's dodgy?

Both the blog post and the grandfather comment refer to gender non-speciic 'people' whereas the paper abstract is clear that the only data collected is on woman.

The figure in the blog post is completely spurious: the study does not analyse the number of sexual partners of the women. Having now skimmed the paper, I know that it splits women into 'sex only with husband' and 'sex with other', and similar for cohabiting before marriage with 'husband' 'and or other'.

The black lines in the blog figure are a complete misuse of statistics. The confidence interval from the Student's t-test is somehow (probably not mathematically correct) extrapolated out to the simplistic decay exponential and then integrated out to 10 years [why? who knows]. Yet the errors for the 1 partner only women are not similarly extrapolated. These confidence intervals are mistakenly labelled as 'minimum' and 'maximum', as if they are limits, rather than an approximation to quality of fit.

The green bars for the background of the plot are from an entirely different, non peer-reviewed, study by a conservative thinktank.

Presenting data like this is scientifically misleading.

The blog post refers to the study author's choice of model as 'genius', when it appears to me that it is nothing more than the regurgitation of age old 'truisms'.

The undercurrent of misogyny is in framing the hypothesis in terms of some purity of idealised women hood, failing to attempt a similar analysis on the men, and consistently using language that suggests that divorce is somehow the 'bad event' ('risks' of divorce rather than 'likelihoods', etc.) So my sense after spending a few minutes reading both the comment + the blogpost was that both of these were being written from a strange, almost certainly male and politically conservative perspective, and were distorting the facts of a (possibly dubious / flawed) paper to suit a women-hating, virgin-bride celebrating, perspective.

>Many studies are limited in scope in a similar manner.

How can you suggest your study has predictive power when you don't compare it against 50% of the population? Why was this study limited? Surely the dataset would have been symmetric, or a similar dataset could have been found for men?

>Why the scare quotes?

Because I generally don't consider such 'social sciences' science. This is post-facto reduction of an extremely small self-reported dataset, with no attempt to form experiments or apply the models predictively to other datasets. It's an ideal place for agenda-driven research. I expect single-author papers, in this day and age, to be relatively unsafe. Doubly so when they're written by departmental chairs.

they also kill their partner's ability [http://pni.osumc.edu/KG%20Publications%20(pdf)/109.pdf] to fight off viruses and cancers

Woah. This is as interesting as the article itself.

Are the comments here active constructive? Will it predict the life of the relationship (HN)?

Can you criticize active-constructively - or will it be too indirect to make the point?

this thing is a mobile app waiting to happen. everyone has trouble with the four: passive destructive, active destructive, passive constructive, and active constructive

well slow and steady wins the race is the formula to apply

Come on. Why are reporters employed again? Oh, right. Because most of us are descended from rapers and pillagers, and so are the reporters. It's a great big circle jerk of people disconnected from their own humanity. Like a biiiig round prison for derelicts.

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