Daily Life


The new age of love

There's already sick leave, maternity leave and compassionate leave. Is I-just-met-someone-who-could-be-the-one leave next?

Successful relationships require more attention than an unkempt bikini line and gnarly toenails in Bali, which is why more women that I know (and know of) have resolved to stack the odds in love's favour this year.

But where's the fine line between a little hiatus and full-blown hysteria? Isn't this just a classic case of ''boy crazy'' with a side of Botox? Dedicating the majority of your time thinking about a significant other is cute at 15, but as the clock strikes 30 or 40, it's just creepy.

''I think about you all the time. 'What's he doing? What's he thinking?' I think about us all the time!'' Carrie screamed down the phone to Mr Big during one particularly hard-to-watch episode of Sex and The City almost a decade ago.

Fast-forward a few years and feminism has had so many waves we are practically wading knee-deep in empowerment.

If your Facebook newsfeed exploded with photos of diamonds recently, as mine did, it's pretty clear ladies of my vintage are now intent on adding the letters ''M'', ''R'' and ''S'' in front of their names and are working as hard as they did all those years ago when they were earning letters from tertiary institutions to tack onto the end of their titles.


Some have locked in regular getaways into their diaries with their dearly beloved while others are taking a more pragmatic approach by introducing ''communication black outs'' during business hours.

''We don't talk/text/Facebook/tweet/like each others Instagram pics between the hours of 9am and 5.30pm and then during dates or our time together we turn our phones off,'' my organised friend told me recently.

Another friend has recently embarked on a new romantic adventure but is mere days away from being diagnosed with sleep deprivation and exhaustion due to her suitor working in a different time zone. Lately if they aren't talking on the phone they're DMing on Twitter or texting into the wee hours of the morning.

How much time should you allocate to finding a partner, getting to know said partner and then working on that relationship to ensure it'll stand the test of time?

This issue was one thing I took away from Katy Perry's 2012 movie Part of Me. The part-music video/part-documentary delved into her marriage breakdown with Russell Brand.

''Where are my relationship days?'' she asked her assistants during a scene where she was (once again) flying around the world to spend mere hours with her husband before having to jet back to join her California Dreams world tour.

The marriage didn't last.

Recent studies suggest sexy time togetherness is not the best foundation for a love that you want to last the long haul. It's all about getting enough sleep and non-sexual touching. The fact that I can do both of these things without having to shave my legs or wash my hair daily gives me more hope than Obama gave the US - the first time around.

Scientists at the University of California who spent the holidays studying 60 couples found individuals who suffer from a lack of sleep will also feel like their partner does not appreciate them. Poor collaboration and sub-par problem solving skills are also hallmarks of not getting enough time between the sheets - snoring not shagging.

In her book The Myths of Happiness, psychologist and glee expert Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky suggests asking yourself every morning ''what can I do for five minutes today to make my partner's life better? The simplest acts, like sharing an amusing event, smiling or being playful can enhance marital happiness.''

This formula for successful relationships is great for us mere mortals who need to hold down careers and ''a life''. Bring on the new age of love, I prefer my drama in the form of reality TV anyway.


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