While we grow up thinking about love in black and white, they grow up inscrutably grey.
As post 50s swell the ranks of the online dating market looking for love, this French flower metaphor takes on new luster that merits reflection.
In other words, there's a very French willingness to accept that a relationship might not necessarily go anywhere in particular -- no closure, no marriage -- but that it still might be an essential and necessary experience of love and being human.
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So, apparently, do two professors of social psychology who explored the algorithms of online dating web sites and laid out the following conclusions in a New York Times Op-Ed piece: First, the information that these algorithms collect, which might seem concrete and black-and-white (your taste in film or music, your religious or ethnic persuasion, whether you fly-fish or bungee-jump), in fact "accounts for only a tiny slice of what makes two people suited for a long-term relationship." Furthermore, the forms of similarity advertised by dating sites "provide a meager foundation for an enduring relationship." Finally, according to two extensive studies reviewed, similarity on personality traits and attitudes "accounted for a mere 0.5 percent of how satisfied spouses were with their marriages, leaving the other 99.5 percent to other factors." So what's going on with that other 99.5%?
It's the grey zone -- the intangible, emotional, irrational -- and for the French, everything is in these grey zones.
I feel, seeing as I too am currently in a similar situation that it is my responsibility to add on a couple of crucial factors that Leo may have overlooked.
Whether you just got off the Eurostar in search of Erasmus romance or you are knees deep and a few (blissful) years into…well, an Erasmus romance, here are a few more pointers.