Single Living

How have adult single-living patterns changed in the United States?

In what ways do levels of sexual activity differ between single people and married couples?

Cohabitation

What explains the significant increase in the number of cohabiting couples in America?

Marriage

What are the essential differences between marriage in collectivist and individualist cultures?

How are various governments around the globe attempting to influence marriage?

What is unique about adult sexual relationships in Mosuo society?

What are the crucial components of successfully predicting marital satisfaction?

Nonmonogamy

What are some of the different forms of nonmonogamy that people engage in?

What are the unique variables of polyamory?

What are the possible consequences of extramarital relationships for the marriage and for the individual?

Divorce

How have divorce rates changed since the late 1970s?

What are some of the causes of the increase in rates of divorce since the 1950s?

Sexuality and Aging

What does research find about sexuality and older adults?

What are some psychological and lifestyle changes that occur in older individuals that can enhance their sexual lives?

How is the postmarital adjustment of widowhood different from

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John Lund/Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Jupiterimages

After 44 years of marriage, with our kids in homes of their own, we can really enjoy ourselves. We often go out to dinner, come back home, talk, kiss, mas­sage each other, and then maybe even have sexual intercourse. Our lovemak­ing can take several hours, and we’re both completely satisfied. (Authors’ files)

Intimate relationships of several forms occupy a position of considerable significance in many adults’ lives. One’s adult relationship status—single, married, or living with someone—is an important element of one’s identity, both to oneself and to others. In this chapter, we examine several forms of adult relationships and the influences of aging on intimate relationships.