Economics of serial dating
George began by telling me that "She was standing off by herself during a conference break, leaning against a wall, sipping coffee.
"As I walked by, our eyes met and I felt a sudden jolt -- a rush of energy, real connection.
Postscript: One of their spouses eventually discovered the incriminating e-mails, and the family affair quickly turned into a family nightmare. We humans are experts at creating illusions for ourselves.
In this affair one party is available but the other isn't.
Based on my work over the decades, I find six kinds of affairs that people have today. It can feel really intense, but it's also the quickest to flame out. An example is the person who's able to feel sexually alive and free only in a secret rela-tionship, hidden from the imagined hovering, inhibiting eye of one's parent -- which the person may experience unconsciously with his or her spouse.
People make their choices, but I think a non-judgmental description of these six kinds of affairs (but with a tinge of humor) can help people deal with them with greater awareness and responsibility. John and Kim met through work, and felt a strong physical attraction. The lust affair is often short-lived, and passion can slide downhill pretty fast as the excitement declines or un-derground emotional issues surface again.
She knew that "getting back" at her husband wasn't going to produce empowerment or healing, but nevertheless began a disastrous affair.
She subsequently discovered that the man was only interested in a narcissistic conquest, and he quickly dumped her.
She told me that her affair was a "marriage stabilizer..and discreet, a perfect solution for me." She decided it was a rational alternative to the disruption of divorce.They thought they could keep it secret; that neither would make any demands on the other and it would be perfectly safe. Most "family" affairs are interwoven with family dysfunctions and buried resentments.Neither Bill nor Tina, his sister-in-law, looked seriously at the issues in their respective marriages or inter-locked families; or even how dangerous it was.It can also fade if the lovers discover that there wasn't much connecting them beyond sex.As John later told me, "As great as the sex was, we didn't really have much to say to each other. Rachel began realizing the depth of her anger and resentment towards her husband after years of an unhappy marriage.