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Coupling Wasn’t Always So Intensive: Notes from a Social Historian

Over at my Living Single blog at Psychology Today, I asked this question: The rise of the couple and demise of all the rest: How did this happen? In the comments section, readers engaged in a wonderfully thoughtful and substantive discussion.  Several people described or asked about specific references (thanks!), so I thought I would share some highlights from my favorite one.

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What Would Happen If Government Got Out of the Marriage Business? Guest Post by Christian Miller

Bella’s Introduction:

Responding to a post I wrote on Aug 7, Get government out of the marriage business?, Christian Miller sent me some detailed and thoughtful documents describing his own perspective on the issue. When I inquired further, I was impressed to learn that Christian has engaged others in correspondence about the matter, including the ACLU and people from the religious community and the GLBT community. I then asked if he would write something I could share with readers of this blog. Happily, he agreed. Here’s what he wrote:

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Should We Blame Erik Erikson for the Myth of the Isolated Single Person?

Even though I’ve been a research psychologist for my entire adult life, I have to admit that I had forgotten something significant about Erik Erikson and his stage theory. I was reminded of it while reading Robin Marantz Henig’s story in the New York Times Magazine titled, “What is it about 20-somethings?” Here’s the relevant excerpt:

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Do Most Singles Want to Become Unsingle?

In the comments section of this post over at Living Single, one of the people commenting voiced the myth that I spent an entire chapter of Singled Out debunking.  I call it “Single-minded” – the myth that “you are interested in just one thing – getting coupled.” (It’s in quotes because it is the subtitle of Chapter 4.)

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