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Sunday
Jul282013

Thanks, Reebok, for the Advice. Ann Landers You Are Not.

Saturday
Jul272013

Annoying Things People Do When They are In Love

Friday
Jul262013

ScienceOfRelationships.com on Google+

Joining a new social networking platform is a lot like starting a new relationship. It takes energy to build and a commitment to keep it going, but ultimately it can be very rewarding. We are happy to announce that we've embraced Google+ (in addition to Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Tumblr), giving you lots of ways to get your daily dose of relationship science.

If Google+ is your social networking platform of choice, connect with us here.

Friday
Jul262013

Where Is This Going? Maybe Your Phone Knows

The key to decoding your relationship’s future could be sitting in your pocket right now. It’s not your wallet, or those breath mints, or that crumpled lottery ticket. It’s your cell phone.    

Similar to how a runny nose and sore throat can quickly let us know we have a cold, the right kind of information about our romantic relationships can tell us a lot about their future potential. For example, researchers know that a couple’s level of love, commitment, and “positive illusions” are powerful predictors of future relationship success (see my last article here), whereas the number of fights couples have and their respective personality traits are surprisingly less important (see more here.). I call these “predictive elements” -- i.e., the punchy details that psychologists use to predict the quality or future outcome of relationships (basically, whether or not a couple will live happily ever after). Although we cannot rely on these elements to foresee the precise outcome of any particular relationship, it is safe to think of them as useful clues. Predictive elements are like the weather report from a station you trust. If they say there’s a 90% chance of rain, then you should probably pack an umbrella. 

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Wednesday
Jul242013

Too Close for Comfort? The Potential Pitfalls of “You + Me = We”

There’s something to be said about the “we-ness” of high-quality romantic relationships. When you think of your relationships in a plural sense (e.g., “We've been together for 6 years,” rather than "I've been with him/her for 6 years"), you sometimes start to define who you are (what psychologists call your self-concept) in terms of those relationships. By defining yourself in this way, you include aspects of your romantic partner in your self-concept. For example, you might take on some of your partner's characteristics, or see your partner's interests as your own (think about it – did you actually get into that eccentric rock band because you think they make great music...or was it because your partner liked them first?). In many studies, partners who define themselves in this pluralistic way tend to enjoy greater closeness, more commitment, and greater relationship satisfaction.1,2 In other words, the more you include your partner in your self-concept, the better your relationship is likely to be.

But is it always good when we include our partners in our selves? 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul242013

Weiner Redux: What's Your Sexting Name?

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, juicy new details about the events of 2011 have arisen: Apparently Mr. Weiner used the pseudonym "Carlos Danger" when sending pictures of Mr. Weiner.

What's your sexting pseudonym? A handy tool from Slate.com can help...

In case you need a reminder of what happened in 2011, here's our coverage, with articles authored by contributors "Alberto Stealth" and "Alfonso Distress," respectively:

Read more about sexting here:

Tuesday
Jul232013

Infographic: Facebook and Relationships

Monday
Jul222013

Beyond Boyfriend/Girlfriend: The Search for Another Label of Love

I have been dating The Consultant for over a year now, and we have been discussing moving in together. Although over half of Americans cohabit before marriage for financial and convenience reasons,1 our consideration of “shacking up” without getting married is driven by our mutual negative past experiences with marriage. Because we never anticipate our living together to result in marriage, “husband and wife” labels will never accurately describe our relationship roles. As a result, we have been struggling with what to call each other. When we introduce each other to friends and colleagues, we use the “boyfriend/girlfriend” label, but these do not seem quite sufficient. In the past, “boyfriend” always ended up meaning someone who was transient, temporary, or not serious for me, and that is not how The Consultant and I are to each other at all.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul212013

A Fruity Metaphor for Love

Saturday
Jul202013

How To Decipher Break-Up Lines

Friday
Jul192013

The Rules of Deception in Romance

In the acclaimed TV drama Breaking Bad, high school chemistry teacher Walter White has a big secret—he doesn’t tell his wife Skyler that he and his former student Jesse Pinkman have begun “cooking” and selling meth. Lots and lots of meth.   

As is the case with many couples, Walt and Skyler may differ on what they consider to be deception. Walt isn’t hiding his criminal activity to hurt Skyler or damage their marriage; in fact, he started his meth lab as a way to ensure his family’s financial security, in the event that he dies from lung cancer. However, Skyler actually considers Walt’s deception quite problematic (his life of crime places him in great legal and mortal danger, after all!) and later pursues a divorce when he reveals the truth. Walt and Skyler’s different perspectives on Walt’s deception beg the question: how might beliefs about deceit differ between men and women in real life?

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Wednesday
Jul172013

"You Make Time Stand Still": 80 Milliseconds of Hotness

We attempt to estimate “time” on a routine basis. How long will it take to get to work in today’s traffic? How long will I need to complete this project? How much time should I give to reading this article? But just because we regularly estimate time doesn’t mean we are very accurate at our predictions. Certainly there are factors like stress and fatigue that make us better or worse at making predictions about time, but it is also possible that our relationships with others influence us as well. For example, you may have heard the expression “getting lost in someone’s eyes,” but can that mean losing track of time too?

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Tuesday
Jul162013

Jane Austen, Game Theory, and Relationship Science

What happens when you cross classic literature, economics, and psychology? You get an interesting analysis, like the one offered by UCLA professor Michael Chwe in his book Jane Austen, Game Theorist.

Check out the write-up of his work on PBS.com here.

Sunday
Jul142013

Baby, Are You Jealous?

Saturday
Jul132013

How Do You Give a Girl...

Friday
Jul122013

Who’s (Gonna Be) Your Daddy?: Picking the Perfect Sperm Donor

What do women look for when selecting a sperm donor, and how does it differ from what they desire in a relationship partner? In two studies of women, aged 18-25 and 30-40, respectively, researchers assessed the characteristics women value when selecting males as long-term relationship partners versus selecting males as sperm donors.

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Thursday
Jul112013

Does Your Relationship Have a Future?

Click on the infographic to super-size it.

Read more about this research here.

Wednesday
Jul102013

Are Cohabiting Men Less Committed?

Wednesday
Jul102013

How Sleep Influences Your Relationship

How did you sleep last night? Did you wake up this morning feeling refreshed and energized, or were you fatigued and sluggish? Your answers to these questions may provide insight into how you will interact with your romantic partner today.

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Monday
Jul082013

The Best Trait to Look for in a Mate (and Three Ways to Spot it)

As a relationships researcher, a question that I get a lot from my single friends is, “What should I look for in a partner?” Of course, a complete answer to this question can take a while and is largely dependent on who is asking the question. Are you the kind of person who loves to party? Your relationship will go more smoothly if you find someone who is similarly outgoing. Are you an animal rights activist? You should probably find a partner who doesn’t wear a fur coat. But regardless of who is asking me this question, there is one particular trait that always comes to mind – something that I think absolutely everyone should look for in a partner: responsiveness.

Click to read more ...