Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
Look. I don’t mean to take a dump on love, but it’s really not what makes the world go around. Don’t mistake this pragmatic statement to mean I don’t believe in love. I absolutely believe in love as the glue that holds relationships and the social contract together. But it’s the unrealistic expectations that we assign to love—in art, in marketing, through media—that causes long-term relationships to fail. People think love shouldn’t evolve, that it’s its first “blush” that’s supposed to be eternal, and when it’s not—because nothing that’s green stays green—people go looking for the verdant stuff on the other side of the fence.
I was talking to a naked man in the sauna at the gym this morning. He said he was going to Alaska to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary in August.
“What’s your secret?” I asked, not really thinking he had a secret and knowing, through various therapies I’ve been involved in, that the biggest secret to a long-lasting relationship is communication.
“It’s cooperation,” he said, “you really have—”
And then the other naked guy in the sauna interrupts. “Oh yeah, you really have to cooperate … blah, blah, blah.”
The first naked guy starts talking about how his brother and, like, three of his friends are all celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. “I think we’re the last generation [that’ll have lifelong marriages],” he said.
Judging from the second naked guy’s response, he’s probably right. He was so quick to jump in that the first guy, who actually had some information to impart, never got to tell me his secret to a 50-year marriage.
This is the 21st century, right? Every piece of information, every bit of knowledge, every shred of belief that humanity has been able to glean since time began is available to us. We’re constantly in contact, in communication, through the Internet, cell phones, TV, letters, whatever. So why does it seem the skills used to communicate between face-to-face people have fallen into disuse?