Relationship Expert Kelly Haer Comments on Ambiguous Loss

December 12, 2017  | 2 min read

Kelly Haer, Relationship IQ program director at the Boone Center for the Family, shared her expertise on the topic of ambiguous loss, defined as "a particular type of loss that lacks a definition and lacks closure," as it relates to interpersonal relationships in three publications this month. 

"'Ring by Spring': How Christian Colleges Fuel Students’ Rush to Get Engaged"
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Excerpt: Ambiguous loss can cause students to feel anxious or depressed, said Ms. Haer. "The person is always living with hope and in that hope, it’s really painful," because that desired partner might not appear, she said. "The person will never get an email from God saying, I don’t have a partner for you," Ms. Haer said.

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"The New Midlife Crisis: Why (and How) It's Hitting Gen X Women"
O, The Oprah Magazine

Excerpt: According to Gallup, 16 percent of Gen Xers are single or never married, compared to 10 percent of boomers and 4 percent of our grandparents' generation. Most of these people say they still want to get married but just haven't found the right person. Many are experiencing what psychologists call ambiguous loss.

"Ambiguous losses are a particular type of loss that lack a definition and lack closure," says Kelly Maxwell Haer, PhD, of the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University, in California. "The ambiguous loss of singleness is particularly challenging to navigate. The person could be found in five minutes. Or never. You're not going to get an email from God that says you're never going to have a partner. That hope lingers on, and it's really hard to live in hope that is not met, but there's no end. Humans don't do uncertainty well."

 

"2017’s Best & Worst Cities for Singles"
WalletHub

Excerpt: Choosing a city based on your own interests can be a smart move. Living where you can readily do the activities you love affords you the natural opportunity to meet someone special who also shares your interests. It's no secret that people are attracted to others who are passionate about common interests...go ahead and prioritize places where you can easily indulge in your hobbies. Even if you don't meet your plus one on the slopes or in your cycling group ride, you'll still be glad for where you live. 

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