my journey through the pursuit of love & happiness

Posts Tagged ‘economic love models

Can you find love in a coffee shop?

Ad Kahlua, stir. Find love.

I know some people enjoy coffee dates because they feel there is less pressure, but um, really, I am not 45.

I recently had a guy ask me out for coffee after I specifically said I don’t really drink coffee. Admittingly, I may have to adjust this self-proclaimed ‘I don’t drink coffee’ after I’ve discovered numerous flavored lattes at Starbucks. BUT I said I don’t really drink coffee. The last time I said that to a guy, the-jerk-he-turned-out-to-be-lying-and saying-he-slept-with-me-when-he-never-got-more-than-a-kiss, at least then suggested we get smoothies.

What does a girl think of when she thinks of a date? I will tell you right now she is NOT picturing a coffee shop. My time is valuable. I want to go out to new restaurants and try new things and if I am scheduling someone I am not even sure I’m into for a date into my hectic schedule, you can bet your allowance it is not going to be for coffee. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I believe alcoholic beverages are an important part of a date.

Coffee just has so much more of an interview feeling for me. Also, it’s hard to get dressed up cute for a coffee shop, almost in a sad way, like why are you dressing up for the library? Coffee shops mostly remind me of doing work and studying, not a place where I flirt and am making a conscious effort to look cute. (Okay, maybe I should change my preconceived notion of coffee expectations, sure meeting the love of my life in a coffee shop probably has the same statistical probabilities as meeting them in a bar, and I’ve definitely met a love in a bar.)

Also, what kind of listener are you when I tell you I don’t really drink coffee and still ask me out for a coffee date?! Over the years I’ve learned to see signs of men who are horrible at being on my side and listening. So if you can’t even listen to me for a first date suggestion, what makes me think you are going to listen to me about the really important things?

So there, you are not a really good listener and maybe you should be more creative than coffee (um like pomegranate martinis) for a first date.

Bottom line: It’s not rocket science. Guys if you want to stand out, do something creative for a first date. Even if you are doing the same creative thing for ten first dates. And if a girl tells you she’s not into something, LISTEN.

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My sex life is rarely as active as people believe. I have standards! Also, no biggie, I’m a sex camel. But more importantly, I don’t see the point in wasting my time having sex when the sex isn’t worth it. If I think about all the things I could have done with my time, even filing my nails, than the sex was not worth it.

And guess what. Most. Sex. Is. Not. Worth. It.

Surprise of the century. I’m still the only person to give myself a multiple orgasm. But sometimes you just want to feel someone on top of you. Yes, for all you Sex and the City fans, once upon a time Carrie wrote about this, too. It’s true. We all need human contact. Warmth. Someone to hold us. Someone to have us feel needed, wanted.

My question is: when do you lower your standards compromise what you want?

Of course we must consider the cost and benefits of lowering compromising your standards.

Costs: time, birth control, adding another one to your list, grooming time

Potential Costs/Risks: sex might not be good, even if you use condoms (and I always do) you can still get something!, him telling lies, him being an ass, if you don’t you may forget how to have sex

Benefits: getting what you want? someone besides myself seeing me naked.

Other considerations: You might regret it.

If I were really serious about this cost-benefit analysis I would only have sex with myself. In reality I’m only going to enjoy sex with someone if there is a connection. Connections take time. Only once in my life have I had a love-at-first-moment-connection. The rest is being comfortable enough with someone for them to see your vinegar strokes and that takes time. But no one wants to take time anymore. This nation of fast-delivery everyone wants everything now.  I learned a long time ago the only way I’m ever only going to get want I want now is to do it myself (no pun intended).

When do you think it’s okay to lower your standards compromise what you want?

This week in Quant I learned about duration-dependence/hazard models.

Duration-dependence models are when behavior change depends on how long a person has been exposed to a treatment variable.

For example, one might want to look at how long a person being on welfare affects them staying on welfare. Or, one may want to look at incarceration.

Of course the first thing that came to my mind was: sunk costs. Does duration-dependence affect people’s decisions to stay in a relationship?

So I emailed my professor who said, “I don’t know….I haven’t seen one, but I don’t know this literature that well. We do know that cohabiting couples in the US have very high rates of breakup relative to those in Europe…”

Having my curiosity left unfulfilled I used my fancy research assistant skills to look up studies on relations and the duration-dependence model.

There aren’t many.

The Dissolution of Intimate Relationships: A Hazard Model” by Diane Felmlee, et al seemed the best candidate to satisfy by curiosity.

To summarize the article’s findings:

Satisfying intimate relationships are crucial determinants of people’s happiness and general well-being (cited from a different study). But what they fail to do is define ‘intimate relationships.’ Are non-romantic relationships defined in this study as intimate relationships? This is something I will have to explore another time, however, if there is a study out there telling me that my happiness and well-being is all dependent on a fulfilling relationship with a man, than shoot me now.

Theories of relationship committment and stability suggest that the quality of a relationship affects whether or not a relationships continues. Beg and McQuinn (1986) found that love and maintenance behavior were significant predictors of relationship stability.

Additionally, the more an individual loves his or her partner AND engages in behavior to maintain the relationship the more likely it is that the relationship will remain intact.

The amount of time the couple spends together, the more closely their lives become intertwined and the more reasons they will have to remain together.

All in all, the  amount of time spent together, when other variables are controlled (like love), is a good predictor of relationship stability.

Table 3 displays the multivariate estimates of the rate of break up following the first survey for current relationships. Prior duration in relationship is significant at p<.10. Sexual intimacy is not significant at any level. (I wonder if this means people are more likely to compromise on levels of sex satisfaction?)

The finding for relationship length implies that the longer a couple have been dating (before the first survey) the lower their rate of breaking up.

Additionally, the finding for the investment variable means that when other variables are controlled, the more an individuals believes that he/she has invested in a relationship the lower the rate at which the relationship is likely to end.

Other interesting findings about this study regard past relationships and how people look back on their fulfillment and reasons for break-up. This study, and other research suggests, that people look back on previous relationships in a way that maintains their self-esteem.

Interesssssting.

In addition to a few other factors a relationship is less likely to break up at any point in time the longer a couple has been dating before the first survey.

At the second survey prior duration in said relationship was no longer significant, however, the only variable that was was hours per week with partner at p<.05 level.

What does this really tell us about relationships and does it say anything about sunk costs in relationships?

I still believe that length of relationship should not be a deciding factor to stay in a relationship. If you are rationalizing staying with someone because you have been together for “so long” or “X months”, where X is considered long, than you should probably not be in that relationship.

I find it interesting that one of the significant variables is hours spent with your mate. I would like to see this study, with similar individuals, who are in long-distance relationships.

As I mentioned before, this study looks at social networks and their contribution to the dissolution of premarital relationships. It’s very interesting to see a study capture peer influences on the outcome of relationships. Not so surprising. Your mate either fits in with your social network or you build a new social network (your mate’s friends) in order to aid in the success of the relationship.

This makes me wonder how aware we are all of the reasons behind the dissolution of our romantic relationships.

If we are all aware of the determinants of breakups then we may be able to better understand ourselves, our wants and our needs in all of our relationships.

Or, at the very least, it makes for good food for thought.


"IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE ME AT MY WORST, THAN YOU DON'T DESERVE ME AT MY BEST" -marilyn monroe

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