Hello world…My name is Diane. Some people reading this will know me intimately, some not quite so well and others reading this, at some point, I hope may be people I have never met and are just interested in the subject matter and are stirred one way or another by what I have to say. I love writing, I love discussing, I love expression and I am very excited by the prospect of having a platform to wax lyrical on a subject that has been chewing away at the edges of my inner world for quite sometime now…. I have been intrigued with the idea of writing a blog for a few years but have shied away due to…not having a meaty enough subject matter…lack of confidence…not being very computer/technology minded…. A little from column a, b and c I think. Well, in this last few months, my interest has been tweaked  and some meat I appear to have found. As the title more than amply suggests, my area of interest and purpose of this blog is to look at the way in which relationships – romantic, sexual, long-term commitment relationships work and perhaps in some ways don’t work in the context of modern-day life and all the pressures and constraints and expectations that go with it. I am British and an atheist in outlook in many ways so I suppose what I am exploring is the relationships that people like myself engage in…perhaps a lot of what I say will ring true for people from many different cultures and backgrounds but we shall have to see how this all pans out. I am new to this so bear with me and my tangentals … there are many more to come…

I am interested in this from an anthropology perspective (is that the correct ology – not sure but I’m hoping my meaning translates) but also from a very personal one…from my own personal realm of experience.  I am 37 years old. Not married, never have been, quite possibly never will be.  Have 2 beautiful daughters, very sluttishly from 2 different men, the father of my youngest daughter I am in a long-term relationship with and him and I live together with my 2 daugheters, even more sluttishly those 2 men are not the only 2 relationships I have been involved in and just to tip it all over the edge of decency I’ve probably had more sexual partners outside the realm of a ‘proper relationship’ than I have within… Am I tarring everyone with my own filthy little brush when I say that nowadays, in Western, Global North societies, this is probably not that uncommon. If we hark back to life, social life 50 years ago – the stigma attached to a woman, in her late 30’s, unmarried with 2 children from different fathers who has lived a somewhat promiscuous lifestyle is not quite so prevalent today. Perhaps because the occurrence is higher, making it less shocking. I’m not saying that how I have lived my life and my current situation are examples of excellence or correctness by any stretch of the mark but I feel that its lack of unordinariness says something.

The rise in step families or blended families or the French term which I particularly like – famille recompasse has seemingly risen in this last 50 years or so…at present I have no statistics but as the tag line to my blog suggests, this is going to be a work in progress and a research project if nothing else. It seems to me that people are less likely to stay with their first partner, let alone their first sexual partner nowadays (in the British, Global North atheist glut) than they were 50 years ago and much as there is seemingly a lot of evidence out there to suggest that children from these famille recomposse are more prone to a range of physical and emotional dysfunctions throughout their life than children from traditional family set ups are – the whole ‘staying together for the sake of the kids’ does not seem to have as much gravitas than it did 50 years ago. Divorce/separation is on the rise, single parent families are on the rise….many people choosing not to add children to their relationship is seemingly on the rise too or more succinctly more people are allowing themselves the right not to have their lives dictated to them by a set of social norms that hold no significance for them is on the rise. Romantic/sexual/long-term commitment relationships are very different beasts to what they were 50 odd years ago, 100 years ago, 300 hundred years ago, yet many of the concepts and ideals we have in regards relationships nowadays are seemingly based upon a time when life was very different.

This is a topic which is as wide as it is deep as it is relevant. I am not coming at this from the perspective of thinking I am some kind of authority or expert but merely as a curious onlooker and participant….


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