Does Instant “Love” Last?: Podcast #77

Stories about life to which we want to attach stick in our memory.  If you’d like to fall in love once and live happily with that person forever, you’ll find and remember examples of just that, thereby providing yourself with proof of what you want.

This has a name: confirmation bias. We tend to see what we are looking for, and it keeps us from being more rational than we otherwise might. But that’s all psycho-babble, which does not begin to describe this podcast.


In agriculture and forestry, we seem to think that the most efficient way to harvest goodies from the earth is with intensive cropping. You know the kind of thing, hectares of corn, square miles of wheat, mountain ranges of conifers. These are the monocultures so beloved of the accountants in agribusiness and despised by more earthy types.

The sensible way is to combine a little of the free-range with the mono-. Without enormous fields of grain we wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves as cheaply as we do. But some interruption of an orange grove with avocados or blueberries might prevent the greening disease that’s wiping out citrus businesses all over Florida.

Dating someone is kind of the same. Success in making a relationship with someone does not depend on them being with you or you thinking of them 24/7. Anyone who obsesses over their love life all the time should be avoided.

Right? We don’t want our entire life consumed by a monolithic thing called “us”.

Interesting, balanced, calm people with perspective know that life’s full of delights and fascinations that also include someone with whom they want to couple. We’re human. Our attention naturally skips. The trick is prioritizing our focus to stay in synch with our partners.

Finding the balanced person who knows (mostly) when to focus on the “us” seems a way smarter goal than falling in love or discovering a soulmate. YMMV.

Character: Podcast #15

This week Kregg and I examine the necessity for examining character. Is there such a thing as partial good character? Why does character matter? How can we discern good character from the not so good?

Check out the podcast and let us know what you think.

10,000 Hours

If I ran a relationship training program, I fear most would not pass.


Although never married, my qualifications for offering such a service include sucking at being with women, knowing I do so and having spent a lot of time figuring out why. In theory, I know some useful stuff.

End sidebar.

People, men and women, wouldn’t pass because they would fail to complete the work. I would require them to spend time reading and writing, in group sessions and with mentors. Success requires effort, time, commitment and desire, and in our fast-food buy-it-now instant gratification world, few have the stamina.

For some reason the collective “us” think we are born with the right instincts to find and keep the right mate. My contention is that dating, interacting with the opposite sex and choosing the right person are all learned skills. Sadly, in my opinion, the most powerful influence on us is the modeling provided by our parents. Some of these people will be excellent role models…but many are not.

So in the absence of good examples in our early lives, the next alternative is to learn how to be a good relationshipper. Yes, I believe that we can study to love and be loved.

First, I’d start with some required reading…

…but what am I thinking? No-one reads books any more. I’m crazy.