From The Vault: We’re In This Together

The trials and tribulations of being in a relationship.

It’s been a week of relationship inspiration at EcoSalon, from these famous quotes to these enticing-looking wedding suggestions, and naturally our thoughts have turned to our complicated life’s work of finding a mate. From the influence of Facebook to the growing popularity of mail-order brides, here are 7 aspects of modern human relationships that continue to fascinate (and baffle) us…

How Facebook Affects You and Your Relationships: We’re probably all familiar with Facebook’s meddling effect on relationships, but this infographic breaks down exactly how.

10 Infographics Exploring Love, Sex & Relationships

You should never find yourself believing that you’re not good enough due to your partner’s words or actions. Even if it’s said in a joking way, a jibe about your looks, your job, your intelligence or any matter that relates to self-esteem can really hurt. Don’t just sit back and take it when the “jokes” keep adding up, or your partner doesn’t even bother to cloak his or her constant criticism. There’s a difference between constructive feedback or advice and comments that are meant to tear you down.

10 Signs It’s Time To Leave Your Relationship

We humans aren’t all that special, sharing between 95-99% functional DNA with our close cousin the Bonobo. If you think people can be merciless when it comes to harnessing sex as a tool for manipulation, why don’t you go visit your evolutionary kin for the day? For Bonobos, sexual contact is used for everything from same-sex conflict-resolution to calming infants. They have sex to release tension, sex to leaven antagonism, and sex to have fun and socialize. A promiscuous bunch, Bonobos have multiple partners, and because the women are sleeping around, the males aren’t sure which children belong to them. Obscure paternity goes a long way toward the prevention of infanticide. Doesn’t it all smack of a Shakespearean tragedy?

Sex By Numbers: Modern Day Romance And Breeding

Clinging to the old picture is what typically keeps us in a dysfunctional dying marriage. The romantic courtship, the impressive wedding pageantry, the happy family holiday greeting mailed out on December 20th each year. While validating, they keep you living in the past. Visualize a new picture, one in which you are loving your body and treating it right with good, fresh organic food, exercise and massage, thriving at work and in your relationships and giving unselfishly of yourself to your community. You’ve learned the hard way you can’t control your partners or your outcomes, but you can work on being the best you.

The Green Divorce: 10 Tips For An Eco-Friendlier Finale

Is there a darker, anti-feminist side to mail order bride operations? As FOX News reports, “Men who seek wives abroad often explicitly state those women here are not worth marrying because they are too independent, ruined by feminism or fill in the pejorative blank.” Feminism is the alleged boogeyman behind these marriages. American women are too empowered, so men must go to countries where women are willing to trade a bit of their power for their own idea of a better life.

Of course, some would argue that men and women who enter into these arrangements are equal opportunity seekers. And as long as no one is harmed, then what’s the problem? If a lonely man who wants a young, pretty wife from another country, and a young, pretty wife wants an American husband, then who are we to judge? They would have a valid point…

Mail-Order Brides Are More Popular Than Ever – But Are They Anti-Feminist?

The study reports that if you’re shacked up and sharing a bed, you experience 50% more sleep troubles than singletons. Sleeping together is downright unhealthy. So weird – I’m not married for this exact reason! Strategic brilliance from Ost, yet again.

My properly chilled Scandinavian grandparents may have been onto something with their separate sleeping arrangements. As a child, I remember thinking it was sort of weird that Grandpa and Grandma had a bedroom like Lucy and Ricky’s since we weren’t living in black and white anymore, but then being glad for it because it made jumping on the bed(s) twice as fun!

Just ponder the upside of hitting the hay in different stables. You’re fast asleep when a handsome stranger steals into your bed and has his way with you (so it’s actually your hubs and he has a spare tire, but work with me here). Absence makes the heart grow hornier, as it were. Sleeping apart makes sleeping together an extra special thing. Also, you get the eternal thrill of doing it in someone else’s room. Aside from making sex just like college all over again, there’s the benefit of never again having to argue over how many pillows ought to be embellishing the duvet. Oh, and the health thing.

From The Marriage Sucks File: Scientists Say Sleeping Together Ruins Your Health

A surname is about identity, and what’s more personal than that? While some might see the act of keeping a maiden name as an indication of a woman’s independence or a play for personal power, the choice is an issue that can cause unwanted criticism for wanting to retain a lifelong identity whether from family, co-workers or the society at large. Plenty of contemporary influential women have changed their name without anyone questioning their feminism. Lady Margaret Thatcher (nee Roberts) is a name changer, as is First Lady Michelle Obama. Hillary Rodham reversed her decision after her husband’s gubernatorial loss in 1980, becoming Hillary Rodham Clinton.

While this decision is personalized on many different levels, there can be some common ground. In the end, what are some of the reasons married women keep their maiden name?

7 Reasons Married Women Keep Their Last Names

Images: illusive photography, bobosh_t,  rbowenj9Peacemaker Voices and Meredith_Farmer.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.