第一篇 Trying to Find a Partner
One of the most striking findings of a recent poll in the UK is that of the people interviewed, one in two believes that it is becoming more difficult to meet someone to start a family with.
Why are many finding it increasingly difficult to start and sustain intimate relationships? Does modern life really make it harder to fall in love? or are we making it harder for ourselves?
It is certainly the case today that contemporary couples benefit in different ways from relationships. Women no longer rely upon partners for economic security or status. A man doesn’t expect his spouse to be in sole charge of running his household and raising his children.
But perhaps the knowledge that we can live perfectly well without a partnership means that it takes much more to persuade people to abandon their independence.
In theory, finding a partner should be much simpler these days. Only a few generations ago, your choice of soulmate (心上人) was constrained by geography, social convention and family tradition. Although it was never explicit, many marriages were essentially arranged.
Now those barriers have been broken down. You can approach a builder or a brain surgeon in any bar in any city on any given evening. When the world is your oyster (牡蛎),you surely have a better chance of finding a pearl.
But it seems that the old conventions have been replaced by an even tighter constraint: the tyranny of choice.
The expectations of partners are inflated to an unmanageable degree: good looks, impressive salary, kind to grandmother, and right socks. There is no room for error in the first impression.
We think that a relationship can be perfect. If it isn’t, it is disposable. We work to protect ourselves against future heartache and don’t put in the hard emotional labor needed to build a strong relationship. Of course, this is complicated by realities. The cost of housing and child-rearing creates pressure to have a stable income and career before a life partnership.
31. What does the recent poll show?
A. It is getting more difficult for a woman to find her husband.
B. It is getting increasingly difficult to start a family.
C. It is getting more difficult for a man to find his wife.
D. It is getting increasingly difficult to develop an intimate relationship with your spouse.
32. Which of the following is NOT true about a contemporary married couple?
A. The wife doesn’t have to raise the children all by herself.
B. The husband doesn’t have to support the family all by himself.
C. The wife is no longer the only person to manage the household.
D. They will receive a large sum of money from the government.
33. Which of the following was NOT a constraint on one’s choice of soulmate in the old days?
A. The health condition of his or her grandmother.
B. The geographical environment.
C. The social convention.
D. The family tradition.
34. Which of the following is NOT expected of a partner according to this passage?
A. Good looks.
B. An impressive career.
C. A high salary.
D. A fine sense of humor.
35. The word “sustain”(paragraph 2)could be best replaced by
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