by Stephen Kwabena Effah

October 2, 2017

Why modern relationships fail revealed; people want partners to be everything!

We’ve been told to never settle when searching for ‘the One’. But a new book suggests we ask for too much of potential partners, which has made sticking with someone much harder than before.

Professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, Eli Finkel, says it’s no longer enough to marry a nice-enough man or woman – people are expecting their partners to be everything to them.

Dr Finkel argues many people are looking for partners that make them feel sexy, competent, ambitious and aspirations.

In his new book, The All-or-Nothing Marriage, Dr Finkey says in order to have a happy relationship we need to ask less from this person and think of ways in which our friendships could give us more.

But for many couples, the pursuit of these goals is unrealistic and rather than look for them all in a partner, people could benefit from outsourcing some of them to other members of their social network.

Dr Finkel says as well as re-calibrating and decreasing the amount we ask out of our partner in a marriage we need to try and spend more quality time with them.

This means scheduling in time to do things together – and stop tying to do relationships ‘on the cheap’, he said.

In his new book, The All-or-Nothing Marriage, Dr Finkel says in order to have a happy relationship we need to ask less from this person and think of ways in which our friendships could give us more.

Professor Finkel toldThe Atlantic the main change in the last 100 years is that on top of the expectation we’ll love our partner we now also expect them to help us grow and become better versions of ourselves.

Around 53 per cent of marriages in the US currently end in divorce while in the UK the number is slightly lower at 42 per cent.

In the 1960s this was significantly lower – just 7 per cent in the US and around 14 per cent in the UK.

‘The idea of the book is that the changing nature of our expectations of marriage have made more marriages fall short of expectations, and therefore disappoint us’, Dr Finkel said.

‘But they have put within reach the fulfilment of a new set of goals that people weren’t even trying to achieve before.’

These days Dr Finkel argues many people are looking for partners that make them feel sexy, competent, ambitious and aspirations.

But for many couples, the pursuit of these goals is unrealistic and rather than look for them all in one partner, people could benefit from outsourcing some of them to other members of their social network.

‘It turns out that people who have more diversified social portfolios, that is, a larger number of people that they go to for different sorts of emotions, those people tend to have overall higher-quality life’, said Dr Finkel.

‘This is one of the arguments in favour of thinking seriously about looking to other people to help us, or asking less of this one partner.

‘There’s no shame at all in thinking of ways that you can ask less. That’s not settling, and that’s not making the marriage worse’, he said.

He says this shift is primarily cultural. In the 1960s people starting rebelling against strict social rules, such as the idea women were primarily there for nurturing and men were supposed to be assertive.

‘There were relatively well-defined expectations for how people should behave, and in the 1960s, our society said, “To hell with that.”’, he said.

These ideas were about human potential and the ways in which we could live a more ‘authentic’ life.

Before this we did not look to our spouses to help us achieve goals in the same way and used to rely more on different people to help us with emotional and psychological needs.

Research has found people with college degrees generally enjoy more satisfying marriages.

‘(Lower-income people] have more stress in their lives, and so the things that they likely have to deal with, when they’re together, are stressful things and the extent to which the time they get together is free to focus on the relationship, to focus on interesting conversation, to focus on high-level goals is limited’, Dr Finkel said.

‘It’s tainted by a sense of fatigue, by a sense of limited bandwidth because of dealing with everyday life.’

Dr Finkel says as well as re-calibrating and decreasing the amount we ask out of our partner in a marriage we need to try and spend more quality time with them.

This means scheduling in time to do things together – and stop tying to do relationships ‘on the cheap’, he said.

 Source MailOnline

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