The Game

So just for kicks, let’s imagine…you are King or Queen of a new civilization. Like in the popular video game, you now have endless money and total power over a population of humans who live there – giving you complete control to make your society whatever you want it to be.
globe concept of idyllic green world

Unlike those boring, benevolent rulers, however, you also have a secret, sinister agenda. And what would that be? Why to create a world that effectively messes with romantic love as much as possible – ensuring in whatever way you can that long-term love, intimacy and connection between people fizzles big time.

Are you up to the challenge?

If so, then here are your instructions:  Come up with a list of strategies, techniques and ideas that would make sure people in your society have relationships always falling apart.  Think about this like your own little Petri dish, where you get to incubate romantic chaos in as concentrated dilution as possible.  Any good ideas?

How will your citizens spend their time? What kind of pace of life do they follow? What will they eat and drink? When do they sleep? What’s their entertainment like?  What kind of community and social connections do they have?

Food Stalls and some buildings

Please share! I will post your answers below.

Here is what I’ve heard so far:

o “If you feel cruddy, it’s hard to care about someone else.  So for starters, I would work to make sure people didn’t feel well physically – e.g., laws against exercise, forcing people to eat something that’s not real food, etc.  Maybe even making drinking water illegal?”
o “Make sure people always have something to do (besides being with other people)…always!”
o “I would get my folks in a pattern of always getting everything they want – quick!”

Other effective strategies will be added here.  Of course, the point of this game – is that this is no game!

All around us is growing evidence of cultural forces that are fundamentally altering romance and mating patterns. Respected scholar Barbara Whitehead writes of a “historical upheaval in the long-established mating system” wherein “social forces have changed the timetable and course of love.”  Wendy Walsh describes a cultural “shake-up of love’s playing board that no one could have foreseen.” And historian Stephanie Coontz states:

The current rearrangement of both married and single life is in fact without historical precedent…Everywhere relations between men and women are undergoing rapid and at times traumatic transformation. In fact…the relations between men and women have changed more in the past thirty years than they did in the previous three thousand.

What would happen if we started paying closer attention to these cultural changes – and talked more about how exactly to navigate them? Could that make a difference for the health and longevity of our romantic relationships?

Let’s find out!