Should I be worried about getting married? (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I have recently started work at a university, and I have noticed something strange. Quite a few of my fellow lecturers are divorced. Many more than I had expected.

And they are not showing any sign of remarrying any time soon! Some of my girlfriends have remarked the same is true where they work.

One is in the music business, another is a journalist, and another is a lawyer. So what is going on? Is there some new trend I should know about? I am especially worried because there is a lecturer I have a crush on. Is he too much of a risk?

Too Many Divorcees

Chris says,

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Hi, Too Many Divorcees!

What you have spotted is well known, and as you guessed, it is not just about universities. It is an issue that affects everyone who spends a lot of their time with young and beautiful people, such as in film studios and the music industry.

Just like them, university lecturers tend to have a higher than average divorce rate. Because they are constantly surrounded by young and attractive students.

That sort of environment makes people feel that their own partners are less attractive, no matter what they really look like. Beautiful people themselves also tend to split up more often than the rest of us. Actors, models, singers and so on.

That has got nothing to do with being famous because for example, presidents are better than average at staying together. Think of Bill Clinton!

The reason is that beautiful people are exposed to more temptation because people admire them, and so they tend to flirt more. And because they get a lot of amorous attention, they are less likely to develop the relationship skills the rest of us use to keep a partnership going.

After all, confident of their attractiveness, what is to stop them from simply trying the field again?

Meanwhile, the rest of us work harder to keep our partners happy because we do not think we will ever find anyone better. But for the beautiful, this is not an issue, in fact, until they develop a more rounded view of what is really important in a relationship.

So what does that mean for your crush? Well, for sure he works in a risky profession. But then there are a lot of those! For example, people in high-stress professions like journalism and the law are more likely to have affairs. And military wives suffer more marital abuse.

So your focus should be on your crush’s relationship skills. Because that is what counts most when choosing a partner.

Successful relationships need a whole raft of skills, such as honesty, openness, good communication and commitment. And these are not related in any way to the places where people work. Or their appearance!

All the best,

Chris