Tuesday
Mar272018

What Did I Do Wrong? Understanding Relationship Betrayal

By Dr. Dylan Selterman - University of Maryland

Photo Credit: www.coffeehousewriters.com

Think back to a time when you felt betrayed. What did the person do? Did they confess? How did you feel? Why do you think you felt that way?

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Thursday
Mar222018

External Stress and Relationship Satisfaction Does Everyone React the Same?: Relationship Matters Podcast 60

Relationship Matters Podcast Number 60 “Who suffers from stress? Action-state orientation moderates the effect of external stress on relationship satisfaction: Dr Sabine Backes from the University of Zurich discusses her recent article which explores how stress plays out in relationships; comparing the different impacts of external stress on relationships of action-orientated and state-oriented people. Read the associated article here

Interested in learning more about relationships? Click here for other topics on Science of Relationships. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get our articles delivered directly to your NewsFeed. Learn more about our book and download it here.

Thursday
Mar152018

Anticipating Change and Relationship Quality: Relationship Matters Podcast 59

Relationship Matters Podcast Number 59 “People they are a changin’: the links between anticipating change and romantic relationship quality”: Anika Cloutier from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada discusses how people’s relationships change over time; and how anticipating a future where themselves and their partner either both change in a similar way, or both stay the same can enable a higher relationship quality between them. Read the associated article here.

Interested in learning more about relationships? Click here for other topics on Science of Relationships. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get our articles delivered directly to your NewsFeed. Learn more about our book and download it here.

 

Tuesday
Mar132018

Feeling like a Family: Turning Points in Step-Families

By Jennifer Harman Ph.D. - Colorado State University

Adventures in Blending: Memoirs of Mixing Families

Photo Credit: News.com.au

After the Consultant and I moved our families in together, his youngest daughter (who I will refer to as #3 due to her birth order in our blended brood) started to attend the same elementary school as my two boys. I picked up my sons from school one day during a week when the Consultant’s kids were with their mother. While walking past us and after saying hello, a friend of #3’s asked, “who were they?” Her response was “they are my step-brothers.” My mouth dropped. Over the next several months, we then heard all of the children refer to each other as stepsiblings, without prompting or being instructed to do so. The Consultant and I were touched to say the least.

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Thursday
Mar082018

The Couple Who Diets Together: How Your Partner Influences Your Weight Loss

 

Photo Credit: TVline.com“What should we do for dinner tonight, honey?”

Chances are you regularly factor your partner into many of your typical daily activities. The two of you have likely fallen into some lifestyle patterns together, for better or worse. One pattern likely focuses on choices around food consumption, mealtimes, snacking, physical activity level, and other lifestyle behaviors impacting weight. What happens when one partner in a relationship wants to change something in him or herself that could potentially disrupt established relationship patterns? For example, let’s say one partner decides to make changes in an effort to lose weight. How might one partner’s dietary changes affect related lifestyle behaviors in the other partner?

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Tuesday
Feb272018

Proximity Alert

By Richard A. Dowlat, M.A. - Claremont Graduate University

In January 2018, fellow contributing author to ScienceofRelationships.com Dr. Sadie Leder-Elder wrote about the power of proximity – a predominant and very influential factor in building interpersonal attraction. Dr. Leder-Elder’s article talked about how simply being near people can build liking for them, and not just romantic liking but platonic camaraderie as well (think of roommates as an example). Expanding even further, this phenomenon is not just limited to people; simply being around something for repeated periods of time can build an attachment to that thing, an occurrence termed the “mere exposure effect”.1

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Thursday
Feb222018

Cyberbullying: Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones, but Tweets are What Really Hurt Me

In September of 2017, Melania Trump gave a speech to the United Nations in which she spoke out against the harms caused by individuals who engage in cyberbullying, or  “intentional aggressive behavior that is carried out repeatedly, occurs between a perpetrator and victim who are unequal in power, and occurs through electronic technologies”.1 Few could argue with her urging of the world’s leaders to focus on this issue; the media is ripe with gut-wrenching stories of young (and old) people whose lives have been devastated by digital bullies. 

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Tuesday
Feb202018

Blending Homes: Making the Complex Decision with Kids

By Jennifer Harman Ph.D. - Colorado State University

Adventures in Blending: Memoirs of Mixing Families


Before launching back into a blog about being a (step)parent in a blended family, it is important to first describe how and why we became that way. I will start with our decision to move in together, something I wrote a little about a few years ago. I neglected to share, however, just how we came to the decision, which was not an easy one to make.

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Monday
Feb192018

All Mixed Up: Life in a Blended Family

By Jennifer Harman Ph.D. - Colorado State University

Adventures in Blending: Memoirs of Mixing Families

A few years ago, I shared my ups and downs of the dating scene in my blog Adventures in Dating: Memoirs of a Single Mom. Although dating is not necessarily a novel blog topic, I wrote about it from the perspective of a single mom. I also wrote about dating from the perspective of a researcher who studies and thinks about relationships all the time. For those who know me well, they know that I am constantly quoting empirical studies and psychological theories to explain why different things happen in relationships. Trust me, it’s endearing.

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Friday
Feb092018

15 Questions to Determine if Your Relationship is Hall of Fame Material or a Strikeout

By Gary W. Lewandowski Jr. Ph.D. - Monmouth University

File 20180209 51700 1v9wr7l.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Relationship science can weigh in on whether you’re with a winner. Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., Monmouth University

Decisions are a part of life. At various times you may need to choose the best vacation spot, job candidate, babysitter, or place to live. Your most important decision may be figuring out your best romantic partner. Relationships matter – a lot. They have implications for your health, your reactions to stress and even how you look at the world.

But how can you determine if your current romantic partner is the best of the best for you? It’s hard to know what factors truly matter, what you should not overvalue, or what is best to ignore entirely.

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Wednesday
Feb072018

Too Many Fish in the Sea

By Richard A. Dowlat, M.A. - Claremont Graduate University

Photo Credit: englishwithasmile.orgImagine the following scenario: you are standing in the supermarket looking at a box of cereal in your left hand, and then another box in your right. Your gaze pans up to the shelves in front of you with a seemingly unsurmountable number of other cereal choices. One has the flakes you like, but another one is healthier for you. Another is on sale. And another choice, and another, and another. Frustrated, overwhelmed, and inundated, you stop thinking about it, throw any random one in your cart, and move on. Or maybe you don’t choose any at all.

This occurrence is not uncommon, nor is it limited to food.

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Wednesday
Jan312018

To Rekindle, or Not to Rekindle - That Appears to be Selena and Justin’s Question

By Sadie Leder-Elder Ph.D. - High Point University



It appears that Selena Gomez and Justin Beiber may be back together, and this time it may be even more serious than before.  Although their previous relationship volatility makes me suspect, I have to say, who hasn’t rekindled (or gotten back together with an ex)?  In case you, like these lovebirds, find yourself in an on-again/off-again relationship there are a few things you should know.

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Wednesday
Jan242018

Why Do Co-Stars Fall in Love?

By Sadie Leder-Elder Ph.D. - High Point University

 

Have you ever dated someone you worked with?  How about someone you lived near?  If so, you are already aware of the power of proximity.  For more than fifty years relationship researchers have consistently found that one of the most powerful predictors of attraction is proximity (being physically close ).1  Sure, love is a mystical and mysterious thing, but it just so happens to occur more often between people who are closer together (in actual inches, feet, and miles)!

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Monday
Jan152018

Explaining Royal Love: Prince Harry and the Allure of Implicit Egotism

By Sadie Leder-Elder Ph.D. - High Point University

A few years back I wrote a post about one of my favorite laws of attraction, implicit egotism (see here for more).  Although you may never have heard it by name, the chances are you or someone you know have demonstrated this phenomenon. 

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Friday
Dec292017

Five Relationship Resolutions for the New Year

It’s that time of year again. Everyone I know is joining a gym, beginning a diet, and trying to start anew for the New Year. This year I’ve decided to do things a little differently. Instead of my typical New Year’s resolutions, which focus on work and personal goals, I’m writing relationship resolutions. Here are a few relationship enhancing behaviors that I’m going to work on in the coming weeks and months. Feel free to join me if you’d like to make your romantic relationship a happier, healthier union.

1. Be more positive

There are a host of reasons why positivity beats out negativity. Not only is positivity more attractive than pessimism or cynicism,1 it’s also a winning strategy for navigating relationship conflict. Interestingly, relationship researchers found that people are particularly sensitive to negative feedback and that couples who engage in a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments are more likely to stay together.2 I take this to mean that a little negativity goes a long way, and sometimes even an unintentional slight or criticism can have a powerful impact. I vow to try to be more positive, generally, but particularly when things get heated. 

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Wednesday
Dec132017

Infographic: Facebook and Relationships

Friday
Dec082017

The Downside of Having a Dominant Relationship Partner


The issue: People have a need to feel autonomous (i.e., they need to feel like they are doing something because they want to and not because someone forced them to).1 When people are dominant, they try to take control of the situation, which may make others feel less autonomous.2 Feeling controlled can be disheartening and is linked to poor well-being.3 And people who have dominant partners tend to be unhappy in the relationship (i.e., have lower relationship satisfaction).4 In an article published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers wanted to understand why having a dominant partner is linked to lower relationship satisfaction.2 (Click here for the full article)

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Tuesday
Nov282017

Do Romantic Partners Help or Hurt Goal Pursuit?

It’s the end of a long day, you’ve had a goal to exercise a few times a week, and you’re trying to decide if you’re going to go for a run tonight. You’re in a romantic relationship and you think about how your romantic partner made you a healthy dinner last night. Do you a) decide not to go for the run or b) go for the run? It may seem that ‘a’ is the obvious choice, but the research is actually mixed.

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Friday
Nov172017

Can a Plane Crash Make You Fall in Love? 

If you have seen an action movie in the last two decades (SpeedMission: ImpossibleJurassic World, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, any James Bond film) then you know that if two conventionally attractive strangers live through a life-or-death experience together, they are incredibly likely to develop a romance. That’s also the premise of the new Idris Elba and Kate Winslet film, The Mountain Between Us, in which the two Hollywood stars are stranded in a remote wilderness following a plane crash. It’s also the premise of the film’s promotional campaign, which has included commissioning articles quoting psychologists on the various reasons this kind of action movie romance is totally plausible. These films are occasionally echoed by real-life examples of post-disaster romance, as with the “Miracle on the Hudson” Flight 1549 survivors who met after the crash and soon married.

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Friday
Nov102017

Some Things You Know You Have Before They’re Gone

A wise man (with amazing hair) once crooned “don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. The statement’s intended interpretation is that we often take for granted the positive characteristics of our romantic partners up until the moment the relationship is lost.

But is it possible that there are some things we do know we have before we’ve lost them, and that we go out of our way to hang on tight? In a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Joshua Oltmanns, Patrick Markey, and Juliana French hypothesized just that. Specifically, they argued that people in relationships are especially in tune how their own physical attractiveness stacks up relative to their partner.1 And when an individual perceives their partner is the relatively more attractive one, they will do things, subtly and not so subtly, to keep their hotter partner all to themselves.

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