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Is This What’s Really Out There? Opening Engagements
by Joan Markessini
More than anything else, this is a social commentary on the state of romantic love in today’s America. Whatever happened to it? Perhaps we should ask. Has there been a diminution of love and comity overweighed in a rights - and responsibilities - based, highly materialistic society, most of all in marital relations? If so, a rights and responsibilities approach is a cold way to engage in an institution that should be at least founded upon an ardent desire to build bridges toward a greater good for each party so that the union itself becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Most of Dr. Markessini’s perceptions and insights on this subject derive from her professional schooling and work as both research scientist and developmental psychologist. But some have been gained from her own life experiences and personal relationships successful and not so successful. Even more come from growing bodies of evidence, especially two critical pieces. Piece Number One: Violence by an intimate partner of either gender has indisputably become a significant social problem across all social and economic classes. Dr. Markessini considers both sides of the gender equation. Piece Number Two: Whatever the “Whys” and “Wherefores,” almost as many women 18 years of age or older in America today are unmarried as are married.
Should we - can we - accept the proposition of life without love as the new normal - with genuine profound love the exception that proves the rule? In the final analysis, Dr. Markessini has written an essay in need of more voices than her own.
(2017, Paperback, 32 pages)