Knowing this, Jenkins says, “is essential for understanding what kinds of control we have over the nature of love and what love could become in the future.”
“I first read about the study when I was in the midst of a breakup,” Catron wrote. “Each time I thought of leaving, my heart overruled my brain. I felt stuck. So, like a good academic, I turned to science, hoping there was a way to love smarter.” It would seem that there is.
“Illusions are unstable things that can crumble for all sorts of reasons and without warning, even if you studiously avoid looking at them.”
(From that night on, they were a couple.) “With us, because the level of vulnerability increased gradually, I didn’t notice we had entered intimate territory until we were already there, a process that can typically take weeks or months.”
“We no longer expect (or need) those arrangements to last forever. So we’re deprioritizing love, relegating men to utilitarian side dish and investing in our friends instead.” While it’s worth noting friends, too, can break your heart, Ratchford and Jenkins both push for a wholesale remodelling of what a heart is for.
(“It’s astounding, really, to hear what someone admires in you. I don’t know why we don’t go around thoughtfully complimenting one another all the time,” Catron wrote in the Times. But this is what friends do, if you stack your team correctly.)
One in three students surveyed by Wade cite an experience of trauma in their intimate relationships. In some cases, the resistance of intimacy is predicated on understandable fear, sexual-assault statistics being as high as they are. Simply put: dating, especially within heterosexuality, is dangerous. That said, 28 per cent of women sourced by Wade also said that “romantic love brainwashes women.”
Wade writes. “…When women of colour are sexual, it’s seen as a racial trait; when poor and working-class women are sexual, it’s read as ‘trashy’; and when middle-class white women are sexual, it’s interpreted, all too often, as just a proxy for relational yearning. And, since hookup culture demands that students seem uninterested in romance lest they seem desperate, this stereotype ensures that women usually lose the competition of who can care less, if only by default.” (My mother was onto something.)