Relationships

Life Lessons in your 40s

Curated by CLAI

I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller

Mt. Rainier, Washington

Mt. Rainier (Photo: Christine Lai, 2014)

LIFE LESSONS IN YOURS 40S: By your 40s, you don’t want to be with the cool people; you want to be with your people.

  • There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.
  • There are no soul mates. In fact, “soul mate” isn’t a pre-existing condition. It’s an earned title. They’re made over time. In my 20s someone told me that each person has not one but 30 soul mates walking the earth. (“Yes,” said a colleague, when I informed him of this, “and I’m trying to sleep with all of them.”)

How to Fall in Love + Sideburns and Mustaches

Curated by CLAI

HOW TO FALL IN LOVE IN AN EXPERIMENT: Given a few commonalities, you could fall in love with anyone by creating interpersonal closeness. Saying things like, “I like your voice, your taste in beer, the way all your friends seem to admire you,” makes certain positive qualities belonging to one person explicitly valuable to the other.

Love is an action. It assumes that what matters to my partner matters to me because we have at least three things in common, because we have close relationships with our mothers, and because he let me look at him. Love doesn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each make the choice to be.

Chart: The decline of sideburns and the spectacular rise of clean-shave men

The decline of sideburns and the spectacular rise of clean-shave men (American Journal of Sociology)

DECLINE OF SIDEBURNS, BEARDS, & MUSTACHES: To analyze changing modes in men’s facial barbering” from 1842 to 1972, the pictorial news magazine “The Illustrated London News” that featured mostly prominent British gentlemen was used. The men in the photos featured beards, moustaches, sideburns, any combination of those, or were clean-shaven.

Guns & Marriage

Curated by CLAI

POLICE OFFICER WITH NO GUNS? In Britain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand, officers are unarmed when they are on patrol. Police are only equipped with firearms in special circumstances. Police officers there have saved lives — exactly because they were unable to shoot.

Most of Ireland’s officers are not even trained in using firearms. Ireland’s police officers would not even know how to use a gun if they were threatened. Only 20% to 25% of Irish police officers are qualified to use firearms.

A member of the St. Louis County Police Department points his weapon in the direction of a group of protesters in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 13, 2014. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

A member of the St. Louis County Police Department points his weapon in the direction of a group of protesters in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 13, 2014. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

MORE REASONS TO GET MARRIED: Those who consider their spouse or partner to be their best friend get about twice as much life satisfaction from marriage as others.

  • Women benefit more from being married to their best friend than men do, though women are less likely to regard their spouse as their best friend.
  • The benefits of marital friendship are most vivid during middle age, when people tend to experience a dip in life satisfaction, largely because career and family demands apply the most stress then.
  • Those who are married have much shallower dips – even in regions where marriage does not have an overall positive effect.

Older Bond Girl. Divorce Rates Down

Curated by CLAI

BOND GIRLS – AND JAMES BOND: Over the course of the Bond films, only 3 times has a female co-star been older than the actor playing James Bond. That includes Monica Bellucci (50) and Daniel Craig (46).

As a woman ages, she finds attractive the photos of men in her age range, or perhaps a few years younger. But it’s much different for men, who prefer women in their early 20’s even if the man is 30, 40 or 50.

Read more: James Bond Finally Falls for a Woman His Own Age (Washington Post)

James Bond and Bond Girls: Italian actress Monica Bellucci (R), French actress Lea Seydoux (L) and British actor Daniel Graig (C) unveil the next James Bond Film, 'Spectre' at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Britain.

James Bond and Bond Girls: Italian actress Monica Bellucci (R), French actress Lea Seydoux (L) and British actor Daniel Graig (C) unveil the next James Bond Film, ‘Spectre’ at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Britain. The movie will be released in Britain theaters October 2015. (EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA)

DIVORCES FALL: It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce.

  • 70% of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Of college-educated people who married in the early 2000s, only about 11% divorced by their 7th anniversary. Those without college degrees, 17% were divorced,
  • If current trends continue, nearly ⅔ of marriages will never involve a divorce.
  • The median age for marriage in 1890 was 26 for men and 22 for women. By the 1950s, it had dropped to 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2004, it climbed to 27 for men and 26 for women.
  • There are many reasons for the drop in divorce, including later marriages, birth control and the rise of so-called love marriages.

 

Read more: The Divorce Surge is Over, But the Myth Lives On (New York Times).

Are You a Trailing Spouse? Flexible High Performer?

Curated by CLAI

TRAILING SPOUSE: The tendency for men to move more often than women is completely explained by the types of jobs they enter, not that they are men or women. Is occupational segregation self-fulfilling? If you look at women who are not married, they relocate for a job less often than men do.

  • Men who enter female-dominated jobs don’t tend to move as much for work. If you look at women who enter male-dominated jobs, they tend to move a lot.
  • If everyone generally assumes families will put the husband’s career first, then maybe this compels women to choose certain types of jobs, which is disturbing.
  • Women who choose to enter into the geographically-clustered jobs dominated by men have a higher divorce rate than women in dispersed jobs.

HIGH PERFORMERS: Employees value competitive compensation and bonuses, followed by retirement, training, flexible location, and vacation time. 42% of high performers are willing to move to a different state or region, 37% to a different country, 28% to a different continent.

Left untended, your high performers will seek alternative opportunities that provide more challenges, growth, and rewards. Your competitors would love to have them. Keep your best workers by meeting their wants and needs.

Likelihood of high performers to leave their current companies (HBR)

Likelihood of high performers to leave their current companies (HBR)

Likelihood for high performance to relocate for a better job (HBR)

Likelihood for high performance to relocate for a better job (HBR)