Love and friendship


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Saturday night in Borgarfjörður eystri, Iceland, 2007. In 2018, 70 per cent of births in the country were outside of marriage. Photo by Jonas Bendicksen/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
Is marriage over?

Marriage is practised in every society yet is in steep decline globally. Is this it for longterm intimate relationships?

Manvir Singh

William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody (third from left) alongside the author’s great-great uncle Sheriff Plunkett (right) at Deadwood in 1906. From Deadwood: 1876-1976 (2005) by Beverly Pechan and Bill Groethe/Arcadia Publishing

Idea/
Love and friendship
Friendship is about loyalty, not laws. Should it be policed?

Leah Plunkett

Photo by Getty Images

Essay/
Sports and games
Love is a hold’em game

While some keep their cards close to their chest, others try raising the stakes. What can poker teach us about dating?

Suki Finn

Dee, JoJo, Frankie and Lisa after school on Prince Street, Little Italy, New York City, in 1976. Photo from Susan Meiselas’s series Prince Street Girls/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
The biology of love

Humans teeter on a knife’s edge. The same deep chemistry that fosters bonding can, in a heartbeat, pivot to fear and hate

Ruth Feldman

Five O’Clock. Plate VII from the series Intimacies (1898), by Félix Edouard Vallotton. Courtesy the Art Institute of Chicago

Essay/
Love and friendship
The joy of intimacy

A polyamorous friend challenges me: are you really happily monogamous or are you just hung up about your philandering dad?

Lily Dunn

Couple in the kitchen, USA, 1952. From the series ‘Love Story’. Photo by Dennis Stock/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
Love is a joint project

For Simone de Beauvoir, authentic love is an ethical undertaking: it can be spoilt by devotion as much as by selfishness

Kate Kirkpatrick

Photo by Jean-François Monnot/EyeEm/Getty

Essay/
Love and friendship
Real love stories

Romantic expectations are often ridiculous and unhelpful, but attachment science can guide us to real and lasting love

Sue Johnson

Photo by Ante Badzim/Getty

Essay/
Sex and sexuality
Being asexual

What is it like to feel love and share physical intimacy yet feel no sexual attraction to the person you are with?

Natasha McKeever & Luke Brunning

Photo by Patrick Zachman/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
My friend, my self

Female friendship is central to much recent fiction and film. What can it say about the role of relationships in identity?

Susan Bright

Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty

Essay/
Love and friendship
How to find The One

Hold out for the perfect partner or settle for good enough? In the calculus of love, flourishing means getting it right

Aaron Ben-Ze’ev

Anna and Elsa from Frozen (2013). Image courtesy of Disney Inc. All rights reserved

Essay/
Film and visual culture
Love isn’t what it was

In a strangely unremarked-upon twist, Disney films have taken to subverting romance and rethinking the happy-ever-afters

Sophus Helle

Austin, Texas. 1963. Photo by Thomas Hoepker/Magnum

Essay/
Social psychology
Rejection kills

The brain makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart. That’s why social exclusion needs a health warning

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

US Marines recover the body of a fallen comrade while under fire during the conflict in Vietnam in 1966. Photo by Larry Burrows/Time Life/Getty

Essay/
Death
The need for an ending

When a person goes missing, in war or in ordinary life, their story is cut off mid-sentence. A death can be easier to bear

Andy Owen

Photo by Martin Parr/Magnum

Essay/
Ethics
Imagine there’s no jealousy

Why we should understand jealousy as nothing more than a vice that ought to be replaced by the new virtue of compersion

Luke Brunning

Photo by Cultura/REX/Shutterstock

Essay/
Gender and identity
Seduction, Inc

The pickup industry mates market logic with the arts of seduction – turning human intimacy into hard labour

Rachel O’Neill