ReGenMatch and CHOICE for family life
I'm starting with this because it is one point that seems to be of common interest throughout the history of humanity.
In days when there were universally accepted roles for men and women in child-bearing and child-nurturing relationships, this aspect of life was relatively straightforward. However, particularly over the course of the last hundred years or so, previous certainties have progressively dissolved. Even though the background stereotypes still show through occasionally, there is much less clarity about who ‘should’ be doing what, when, how, and for how long.
My claim of the relevance of ReGenMatch is based on the assumption that it is possible for people to match themselves with each other better, and that this will result in better, more stable, more co-creative relationships. If you believe, in contrast, that this is impossible, and that is all up to fate, then we part company. But if you go along with me, the question is then, how do we achieve this better matching, resulting in better relationships? One approach, envisaged decades ago by my ReGenMatch collaborator Robert, is to see how good the fit is between people's self-rankings of the importance of different areas of life. And to me this is certainly plausible. A wholly different approach, adopted by many dating sites, is to ask people questions (the number varies) and to use some theory of compatibility to predict this. But I have my doubts, so I would like to hear of any scientific research that provides evidence to support this or otherwise.
The approach of ReGenMatch (and the underlying CHOICE system) extends Robert's idea, to allowing people to ask whatever questions seem important to them, not just a list of preselected questions or areas of life. What makes this usable is that people will not have to answer any long list of all questions, but rather just the questions that matter to people who answer their questions appropriately. One characteristic of this approach is that, instead of deferring to some expert system that diagnoses your couple compatibility, you are led through a process that is more like self-discovery of your own needs and preferences.
So what if this works? Or, more likely, imagine this is a good start, which we refine along the way. Then what emerges? What I see is people finding long-term, stable relationships earlier on in life, in good time to have any children that they want, and to bring them up in a healthy, low-trauma environment that gives the children a better start to develop in their own way, with fewer negative patterns holding them back. This, I imagine, will result in a new generation of people who are less liable to be hijacked by the pressures of the current world, and more able to co-create the better world that they need, along with the rest of the planet.
For sure, there will be many other societal developments needed, and this is just one piece of the jigsaw.
I've been careful here to avoid the normative idea that family life is based exclusively between one heterosexual couple, even though that is historically the most common pattern. But also historically, as we can see in less Westernised and less fragmented societies, there is a recognition that a couple by themselves is often unstable. Just as the saying goes, that it takes a village to raise a child, so, I believe similarly, it takes a village, or community, or collective, to support any intimate relationship.1)
Thus, to me, healthy family life is closely related to healthy co-living.