Here is a question you might never want to ask the person you love (but that maybe you should): If we were no longer together, do you think you would be happier? My guess is that you think you already know the answer to this question. But if new economic research is anything to go by, you probably don’t, and not knowing could put your relationship at risk.
When we choose to become parents we know that we will have to sacrifice sleep, that we will have to give up our independence, and that we will have to put the needs of others before our own; we know that there are some costs to having children that cannot be measured in dollars. But, when the calculating costs of having children should we also include the cost of losing the love of our spouse?
2011 is the summer of the “hand heart” as everyone from sports figures to politicians to rock star wannabes press thumbs and fingers together to communicate “I love you!” to crowds of random strangers. Evolving technology has changed what we mean when we say “I love you” and what was once a largely North American phrase (when used publically and in a non-romantic context) has spread to other, traditionally less expressive, societies.
As a very young girl I was so smitten with the fantasy that was the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer that I wrote to the Queen to ask if Price Edward could be my pen pal. After all, I had been named after a princess (Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent) and I saw no reason not to believe that one day Edward would fall in love with me and make me a princess too. I took this fantasy so seriously that I even sealed my letter with wax, imagining that that was the appropriate behavior for a future British princess.
How romantic are you? Here is a test used by academic psychologists to measure the tendency individuals have toward love. Once you determine your score, you can compare your level of romance to the national average for 48 different countries to see where in the world you would best fit in romantically.