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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/health/10gene.html?_r=1&pagewanted=… - Elena's Journal

Third is a mechanism for long-term attachment that induces people to stay together long enough to complete their parental duties.

Romantic love, which in its intense early stage “can last 12-18 months,” is a universal human phenomenon, Dr. Fisher wrote last year in The Proceedings of the Royal Society, and is likely to be a built-in feature of the brain. Brain imaging studies show that a particular area of the brain, one associated with the reward system, is activated when subjects contemplate a photo of their lover.


While these are all contributing factors, I think a more rational mechanism is also to blame. When people enter a relationship, they go through what Oliver Williamson termed the Fundamental Transformation. They invest in relationship-specific assets such as knowledge of each other’s tastes and quirks, routines that allow them to coordinate their schedules, and memories of special moments in their history. If they eventually move in together, the joint living space is yet another relationship-specific asset that requires a substantial investment in packing, decorating, and so on.

The value of all these assets would depreciate substantially upon the relationship’s demise. Knowledge of tastes and quirks goes unused, routines become obsolete, memories go sour. And for those who have moved in together, breaking up with each other often means breaking up with the home as well.

The existence of relationship-specific assets raises a current partner’s value relative to potential mates on the singles market. That means two things. First, we shouldn’t be surprised to see people stay with their current partners even when they could probably “do better,” because doing so means abandoning all those assets and (eventually) investing in new ones.

A part of the reason why I do not want to venture into romantic relationships with anyone anymore is how painfully, painfully obvious the cyclical nature of 90% of them are. I can't play the game and again wait for my emotions or their emotions to ebb and all the little important things that make a relationship jive fall into disuse and eventually be lost.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
roastbeefguy From: roastbeefguy Date: July 5th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I understand all too well as to what you're saying, but you can't go looking at it so cynically. People break up all the time, that's true, but they also stay together all the time, get married all the time, and raise a family living relatively happily ever after all the time. There's someone out there who is right for you, but you won't find them if you don't try. To expand on a traditional saying: there's plenty of fish in the sea, but you won't catch any unless you go fishing.
elena From: elena Date: July 5th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Never was a fan of the sport. No thnx
roastbeefguy From: roastbeefguy Date: July 5th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, there ya go. Elena: Crazy Cat Lady by age 23. :D
elena From: elena Date: July 5th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Life: Accomplished!

Must find new game.
roastbeefguy From: roastbeefguy Date: July 5th, 2009 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
There's always Warhammer Online :D
raidingparty From: raidingparty Date: July 7th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
"You won't find them if you don't try."


Or at least, highly contrary to all those people who say you find someone when you stop looking.
Who's to say that bass won't jump into your boat?
noneuklid From: noneuklid Date: July 6th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

My cynicism beats your cynicism! I win! I win!

Let me know how that goes.
7 comments or Leave a comment