Old You vs. New You

I’ve been thinking lately about this concept of status quo bias, our tendency to strongly prefer the here and now and to dread change–so much so that we’ll avoid making difficult decisions altogether. Any change from the status quo can make us feel like we’re losing something, even if we’re actually gaining something new and great in the process. That goes for a relationship’s honeymoon period, when the world is covered in pixie dust and the other person can do no wrong.

Then things change. You get married, have kids, take on a mortgage, and one day you wake up, all David Byrne-like, wondering what happened to the old you.

Old You New You
Talking trash Discussing 401(k)
Naps Nap time
Dates Date nights
Dancing DVR’ing
Cabanas on the beach Disney Cruises
Spending day in clogs Getting dressed
Marijuana Ambien
Multiple orgasms One real orgasm, two fake

It takes some getting used to, I know. I’m not here to tell you how to recapture the Old You, just to point out that the New You, if you stop to think about it, has some advantages. Ambien? Awesome. Disney Cruises? Some people have never even seen the ocean. And 401(k)s? That’s just good investing.

Posted in loss aversion

3 Responses to Old You vs. New You

  1. Ryan says:

    I used to think this way. Now I wonder whether status quo bias is becoming a thing of the past. Today, the onus is on people to explain why reforms won’t work, and even then, they face overwhelming opposition that they are just afraid of the future. For example, if someone proposes a new diet about eating only green beans — and say, Oprah endorses it — those that resist eating only green beans in the name of a balanced and nutritious diet are considered hopelessly biased in favor of the status quo.

  2. ManWifeDog says:

    Love this post ladies! You know as a newlywed I’m not always certain I’m settled into the “New Me” just yet, but I do miss so many things about the old me. I don’t yearn for them, but I do miss them at times. Interestingly enough most of the things the Old Me did that New Me doesn’t do anymore have nothing to do with my marriage. I miss being able to stay up past 2am without feeling it in the morning. I miss skinny jeans that made me look skinny (okay that may have something to do with marriage weight gain) but you get my point. Love this! As always, I’m inspired. May have to do a little Old Me vs. New Me chart myself!

    We did post awhile back about how far we’ve come and how much we’ve changed since we first started dating. Here’s the post if you want to see:

    http://manwifeanddog.com/2011/01/04/the-importance-of-growing-together/

  3. I wanted to first say that I am buying your book and I do love most of what you post, if nothing else, as a point of departure for interesting conversations/thought streams.

    I must say though, that I would hope that we might look at your version of “new you” and consider some improvements. I’m ok with accepting that life changes and not all of it is roses and fabulousness, but I have to admit…you pretty much lost me there on the fake orgasms.

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