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Want More Than a Facebook Friend?

by Dorie U. Sugay


n 1858, British epidemiologist William Farr launched a study he called “the conjugal condition” where he studied

“the married,” “the celibate” and “the widowed.” His work, a ground-breaking study, helped establish the field of medical statistics and showed that the unmar- ried died from disease in huge proportions compared to their married counter- parts. It is no longer rele- vant – we now have “the liv- ing together,” “the same-sex couple” and “the divorced” but scientists have contin- ued to document the “mar- riage advantage” and its flip- side, that couples in trou- bled marriages appear to be more susceptible to illness, that negativity, even in small “drips” inconspicuously erode not only a relationship but of one’s physical health and in certain cases, a per- son’s “being.” A committed relationship

is not for everyone. But some people are happiest when they have someone in their lives who love and care for them, some- one to talk to, to laugh with, to pamper, someone to just cuddle with on a cold lazy Saturday.

BEFORE YOU JUMP IN No matter the reason you are alone,

make sure you seek balance before “jump- ing in.” Who have you become? Who

a chance to reinvent yourself, to start a new life. Make sure you include plans to tighten your relationship with your sib- lings even more. It was a pleasant sur- prise to hear young people exhibit a strong understanding of the importance of being grounded (as opposed to being vul- nerable) before getting involved again!


would you like to be? Nurture yourself; give yourself time to heal. If you have set goals, review and update them. You have

Talking to adult kids about dating or a

new love can be more uncomfortable than when we talked to them about the birds and the bees. When asked how an adult feels about their parent(s) dating or having a love interest, many will say, “I want Mom (or Dad) to be happy.” Sounds good – but don’t celebrate too soon. Siblings are pro- tective of their parents no matter their (or your) age. To some, no one is good enough or compatible. And when the concept of a sexual relationship enters the equa- tion, be prepared for a sur- prising reaction. It’s hard for siblings (no matter what age) to think about their parents together in bed, much less think of you with someone else. Be sensitive.

IF YOU’VE FOUND SOMEONE… How do you tell the kids you have “a friend?” A

young lady I interviewed whose mom is seeing someone sums it up in a few words, “Not a fan of it,” All siblings (of any age) do want their parents to be happy but they prefer that parents find that happiness, living alone. But they are realistic – young people I interviewed made it clear – the way you handle how you tell them, when you tell them, how you introduce your friend, can help or make things worse.

Out & About • January 2012 17

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