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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 05:57 AM

Love in the Time of Layoffs: Can We Get Together Without Falling Apart?


What does love feel like when you donít know what tomorrow will bring? When life as you imagined it seems further and further out of reach? How do you know when itís time to hold on to what youíve got, or let go in the face of mounting anxiety? What if youíre so stressed out you canít even think?

For people around the globe, trends like restructuring, privatization, mergers, downsizing, and relentlessly high unemployment are transforming intimate relationships. Chronic job insecurity is shifting the way we approach the idea of hooking up, having sex, staying together, and starting families. And it might just be changing the very nature of romance.

One minute youíre happily planning a life together and talking about having kids. Then, suddenly, everything changes.

Joel B., a 30-year-old Australian environmental planner, felt that the world was his oyster. In his mid-20s he was designing transport systems for the city of Melbourne. He met Amy, a fellow Aussie, while traveling, and the two instantly connected. When she landed a job in London at a museum, the couple took it in stride and continued a long-distance relationship.

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