18 April 2010


ENTERING. One of the prime territories for meeting and mating is, for better or worse, the workplace. I've ventured into that territory a few times over the years, against my own better judgment. One can never regret a learning experience, but one can also hope to caution others so that we don't keep re-inventing the wheel. When you're first taken by someone, it is hard to remind yourself that oops, if we do this and then break up, it could be very sticky having to continue to work together. A NYTimes advice column addresses several very interesting questions posed by readers who feel that pull to engage with a coworker.

FIXING. In 1985 psychiatrist Herriet Lerner first published The Dance of Anger (revised in 2005). Though the book is aimed primarily at women in relationships, it is a wonderful resource for anyone. Lerner is clear and informative in discussing how each of us contributes not only to our partnerships, but also our relationships with siblings, parents, children, friends, coworkers. Her perspective on owning one's behavior and discovering how one's family history may affect life choices is illuminating.

SURVIVING. For well over a century, the prevailing wisdom has been that people who are married have a longer life expectancy and are generally healthier than people who are single. This perception was based on an 1858 study by William Farr, a British epidemiologist who divided adults in France into three groups -- those who were married, those who had never married, and those whose spouses had died. His analysis was ground-breaking, and helped to establish the field of medical statistics. As Tara Parker Pope points out, however, Farr's study was incomplete. It did not include unmarried couples living together, gay couples, or those who were divorced. Nor did it distinguish between happy and unhappy marriages. Contemporary studies suggest that one's quality of life, whether married or single, has a more compelling effect on health and well-being than does marriage itself.

Many thanks to my friend YS, who recommended The Dance of Anger to me.

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