Serious Relationships

I was watching season three of the TV show “24” and I was struck by how often Kim Bauer and her boyfriend kept saying they were in a “serious” relationship.

Something goes off in my head when I hear people emphasizing things that should be taken for granted in a healthy situation.

People who trust each other don’t say to each other, “You have to trust me.”

People with credibility don’t say to you, “I’m not lying to you.”

I’m struck by how often people who are lying to me say, “I am not lying to you.”

When people try too hard, I get suspicious.

In a healthy situation, if you’re dating someone, it is serious. Healthy people don’t treat others trivially.

If a couple have to keep saying to themselves and to the world that they are in a serious relationship, it’s probably a sign of trying too hard. They are trying to reassure themselves that they are in a serious relationship, or they are trying to make a pronouncement about how this time round, this relationship is different from their previous ones.

In all likelihood, it is not.

I’ve noticed that Orthodox Jews who are seeing someone for marriage never say they are in a serious relationship. It is taken for granted.

The central prayer of Judaism, the Amidah, repeatedly states that God will resurrect the dead. Why? Why does it have to keep repeating that? I suspect because the writers of that prayer were either highly insecure about this belief, or they assumed that most Jews who would say this prayer who be highly skeptical of its truth.

The Torah command us to love God. Why? Because it knows that loving God does not come naturally.

When I am interviewing people, I try to listen closely. I am struck by how often people repeat themselves and emphasize matters on which they are highly insecure.

Why did blacks and Africans become so excited about Barack Obama becoming president of the United States? It would not change their lot in life. Their lives would not be materially changed by this. So why the euphoria?

I think Africans and black got so excited about Obama’s electoral victory because deep inside they doubted that a black man could succeed so dramatically. Their euphoria was the result of a calming of insecurity.

Dennis Prager writes:

My hypothesis is that this goes far deeper than ethnic or national pride. It goes to the depths of the psyche of the great majority of Africans/blacks in the world. Centuries of African slavery and the white racism that enabled it have taken their toll on the psyche of most black people both inside and outside of Africa.

The election of a man of black African heritage as president of a predominantly white nation, and one that also happens to be the most powerful nation in the world, is taken by blacks the world over to mean that their centuries of suffering under the racist yoke of implied inferiority are coming to an end.

This is especially felt in Africa itself because Africa is largely benighted. Though many African countries have now been independent for nearly half a century, Africa remains particularly poor, particularly corrupt, and particularly violent. Africans, of course, know this, and while Barack Obama

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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