On Abovethelaw, Kathryn Rubino presents the reality that it wasn't until 1993 that marital rape was illegal in all 50 states.
Two years later, Henry Cloud and John Townsend published the book "Safe People." It's a detailed guide how to be prevent the kinds of social relationships which can destroy lives, careers, and health.
In 2011, 79% of the murders reported to the FBI, documents Mother Jones, happened between people who knew each other.
And rape remains a problem in dating on college campuses. That's a time of experimentation with romance.
Yet, pop culture memes glorify relationships. Barbra Streisand's song about people who love people is iconic. And, the assumption prevails that those without relationships such as alleged Newtown, Connecticut killer, Adam Lanza, are responsible for massacres. Multiple intimate relationships have been the gold standard of a supposed happy life.
It might be time for socialization to include severe warnings about the perils of relationships. Since Daniel Goleman hit the scene with his concept of emotional intelligence, most of instruction has been about being skillful in relationships. If we are, we are promised, we will be more successful in our professional lives. The dangers of social relationships are mostly configured in terms of broken hearts, ranging from teenage love to divorce.
But the odds are that in social relationships we could wind up in a nervous breakdown, raped or dead. Immigrants to America knew that.
The Puritans walled themselves off socially to survive. In the tenements of downtown Jersey City, New Jersey, my relatives were tribal, huddling together only with family members. Had they been more open, they might have fared better in earning power. But they did make it. There were no major traumas. The next generation got bashed when we left the tribe - all-too-open.
We might pivot back to being closed systems emotionally. The process of maturation will be to select, so cautiously, that one or two friends to confide in. Only for professional reasons we network widely - and often wildly. And when we do so we are totally aware it's all-business. Posting on Facebook, of course, has increasingly become capitalism bundled with cute. The web of professional contacts established in the Ivy League usually has nothing to do with intimacy. It was the Puritans who established the fundamentals of American capitalism.
In high school we probably recited that Robert Frost poem with the line that good fences make good neighbors. But we might not have paid attention. The pressure was to chase relationships.