What Constitutes A Significant Romantic Relationship?

Taking up one of civilization's most confounding questions, judges on a New York federal appeals court today threw up their hands like all the rest of us, ruling that even smart people can't agree on what makes a romantic relationship significant. The case involved a man who was required to notify his probation office when he entered a "significant romantic relationship." The court said the requirement was preposterous, since when, really, could anyone ever agree on that?

The ruling keeps alive for at least another generation the lucrative genre of romantic comedies that are premised, as the court put it, on "blurred lines and misunderstandings." ("When Harry Met Sally" is as just one example the judges helpfully provided.) And it ensures continued booming business for psychologists nationwide who get urgent calls from people shell-shocked to learn "He's Just Not That Into You."

From the opinion: "What makes a relationship "romantic," let alone "significant" in its romantic depth, can be the subject of endless debate that varies across generations, regions, and genders. For some, it would involve the exchange of gifts such as flowers or chocolates; for others, it would depend on acts of physical intimacy; and for still others, all of these elements could be present yet the relationship, without a promise of exclusivity, would not be "significant." The history of romance is replete with precisely these blurred lines and misunderstandings."

The ever-thorough and always clever Howard Bashman at How Appealing has the details and link here.

And now, back to our focus on What Really Matters: T Minus 6 hours and counting until kickoff in Pasadena. Roll Tide Roll!
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  • Jan Crawford On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Jan Crawford is CBS News Chief Political and Legal Correspondent. She is from "Crossroads," Alabama.

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