Why is there so much drama in relationships these days? Ask yourself, how many relationships do you know of that are based on a solid, loving, positively passionate foundation? Having studied relationships for the better part of two decades, I would also guess that honestly, you could count these types of solid relationships on one hand.The lack of relationships that are solidly based in passion says something about our society and the way we go about establishing and maintaining them. What are we doing wrong? Are we doing anything right? Why is there so much drama in relationships these days? One of our first downfalls is the fact that we have placed too much emphasis on our potential partner’s style and perhaps not enough emphasis on their content. That is, we think that if someone is physically attractive enough to warrant our attention and therefore our affection, we will attach our emotions to them and pray everything works out in our favor. Then what do we do when our relationships “go south”?We start over, trying even harder to become more physically attractive. It’s as though as a society we are stuck in junior high school.Why did we like anyone during junior high school? Answer: “Oh, he is soooo cute.” The divorce rate in this country hovers around the fifty-percent mark. There is even a term for a society experiencing such a high rate of relationship failure: divorce culture. What if every other time you went for a drive you were involved in an accident?Would you still want to drive? I would guess that you wouldn’t. Under these adverse conditions, perhaps walking would seem like a more attractive option. So why is it that we treat relationships in this manner?Why do we still try to establish them despite the overwhelming odds that they will fail? Perhaps it’s all about denial, hopeless romanticism, or that we like to pretend we will be the ones that overcome such odds. In order to address these questions, perhaps we should first further deconstruct the failed logic that has come to define how our relationships develop and evolve over time. Let’s see how our relationships start out and why they tend to veer off into divorce culture. After many years of studying relationships, I have noticed that most of them go through three distinct stages before they fall apart.The first stage I call positive passion. In this stage, we are alive with pleasure! Birds sing a little louder. The sun shines a little brighter. We often feel so good that we feel like nothing troubles us. We tend to enjoy this stage with all its fun, excitement, affection and attention! With all this positive energy surrounding us, we feel alive; and others can sense our often unbridled sense of happiness. While in this stage, others can sense our joy and “offers often come out of the woodwork.” What can we do to perpetuate the passion we feel during that initial stage? Is it possible to keep this stage alive forever? I haven’t seen much evidence of this happening over a lifetime. So how do we keep the passion alive in our relationships? After all, it is good for our love lives. If a couple looses their passion for love, they become mere friends. This is what happens to many people who stay together for so many years.They no doubt love one another, but are no longer “in love.” They are good friends, but are usually lonely for love. So to avoid such a scenario, couples manage to keep the passion alive alright, but it inevitably transforms itself. The second stage of a relationship unfolds as follows. I call this second stage the tipping point. The relationship slowly “tips” from one of positive passion to one of negative passion. As we get to really know our partners, we begin to go through power-struggles with them.To make matters worse, in most relationships routine begins to settle in as we tend to our careers and other social demands. I’m not the first to say this, but routine is not passionate. Plus, power-struggles tend to cause resentment. Thus, routine plus power-struggle equals double trouble. But as couples experience problems, they also tend to engage in make-up sex. Make-up sex is romantic and you guessed it, passionate! The ability to feel again is passionate and gives us the often futile idea that the passion we felt in stage one can be resurrected. Make-up sex is powerful and often intoxicatingly passionate. It takes us out on the precipice and makes us keenly aware of our feelings. But in order for make-up sex to keep having the same effect, the drama we mistake for positive passion (and hope) has to keep increasing in its intensity. It’s sort of like a drug addict having to increase his dose in order to achieve the same level of “high.” Sometimes a partner will start a fight on purpose just to get their “fix.” This is where the trouble begins to get us into real trouble. Once a relationship reaches this third stage, one defined by negative passion, it’s very difficult to regain the positive passion felt during the beginning stage. Because the negative passion is associated with negative drama, the relationship begins a downhill spiral in which the centrifugal force keeps it in such a negative state. These days, how many women are attracted to nice guys? Like the flames of hell that create a piercing burn, the negative passion in these types of relationships make us “feel” again; we experience our emotions in an acute fashion and thus we become intensely aware of our “feelings.” There is no argument, this type of negative passion keeps our attention and is definitely not boring.The drama factor keeps the routine factor at bay and can create some of the most exciting times of our lives. But what happens when the negative drama reaches a point where the drama becomes the norm: routine? Trouble times two. Once the drama and the negative passion associated with it become routine, such a state of affairs then become normal and even expected. This type of passion can be so normal that it begins to define any subsequent relationship potential in the future.That is, persons accustomed to this negative passion will begin to find its manifestations attractive and will actually seek out signs of such negative passion. This is why “bad boys” are so attractive; and they are hardly boring. To be sure, they will keep their partner on their toes. The danger of these relationships is that they are not very healthy. Another serious concern is that individuals who experience these types of negative passionate relationships vicariously (such as children who grow up around them) begin to feel that this is what constitutes a “normal” relationship. Thus, they will see nothing wrong with these types of relationships and will likely seek out partners who will engage in such negatively passionate relationships. After all, they already have the training to deal with them. Thus, these types of unhealthy relationships are perpetuated. Perhaps Sex and the City’s Carrie character was correct in her assumption that women who are in relationships without drama actually feel as though something is wrong with them. Perhaps this explains why the divorce rate is so high and climbing. If this is so, who is going to turn this phenomenon around so that a “normal” relationship is once again perceived to be based on positive passion? As a society have we traveled too far down this path of negative passion? Is there any hope for the future generations? Until something is done to remedy this turn of events, many more hearts will ache and many more tears will be shed. But who is to blame? If you pursue this type of dramatic relationships, or tolerate them, then in some way you yourself are to blame. But we are also guilty as a collective for condoning these types of relationships in our media. We are also guilty in our hedonistic quests to please ourselves. But consider this; the clock is ticking and many people are alone and lonely as they reach their twilight years. Unless you do something about this turn of events, you will be a statistic of the lonely, bitter divorce culture.