W.A.L. Weekly October 19, 2017

Co-working and co-living spaces are a new trend. As more people do not choose a traditional path for their life and work, new opportunities for working and living with others have been created. Check out Roam Coliving to learn more about how they are connecting people around the world. I know nothing about this company other than finding them on the internet and being fascinated by their concept. I think this could provide some creative ideas for people of faith looking to create community in different ways or for those of you who want to live out your calling in this world literally moving around the world.

Not so long ago, nobody met a partner online. Then, in the 1990s, came the first dating websites.

Match.com went live in 1995. A new wave of dating websites, such as OKCupid, emerged in the early 2000s. And the 2012 arrival of Tinder changed dating even further. Today, more than one-third of marriages start online.

Clearly, these sites have had a huge impact on dating behavior. But now the first evidence is emerging that their effect is much more profound.

A surprisingly poetic description of social-anxiety disorder can be found in the DSM — that is, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, sometimes referred to as psychiatry’s “bible”: It’s an “illness of lost opportunities.” Much has been said about the trendiness of boasting online about your reclusive tendencies — about your relief over canceled plans, or your belief that “staying in is the new going out.” Everyone needs to retreat from the world from time to time, but for some, a tendency to avoid social situations can become debilitating.

Shortly before our wedding, someone gave me and my husband this advice: “Marriage is good. It’s hard—and sometimes you’ll want out, but it’s worth it.” I remember thinking that was an odd thing to say to a couple about to get married. It seemed like such a bleak view of marriage.

Since then, I’ve heard plenty of other people say similar things to engaged and newlywed couples. I’ve heard pastors say it during weddings. I’ve heard parents say it at receptions. I’ve heard couples say it within a year of their own weddings. I’ve seen marriage books, blog posts, magazine articles and anniversary posts on social media say it: Marriage is hard.

Introversion, thanks largely to Susan Cain’s 2012 best seller Quiet, is having something of a cultural moment. Once a mostly misunderstood personality trait — and often considered a behavioral defect when it was considered at all — it’s now the subject of countless other books and online listicles (and, more recently, parodies of listicles). And as more regular, non-scientist types started to talk about introversion, psychologist Jonathan Cheek began to notice something: The way many introverts defined the trait was different from the way he and most of his academic colleagues did.

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