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Monday
Jun232014

What Does Your “Relfie” Say About Your Relationship?

You’re probably wondering what a “relfie” is, so let’s start there. A relfie (you heard it here first!) is a “relationship selfie,” or when you take a selfie that includes a relationship partner or someone else you are close to (like a parent and child). Relfies are those pictures that people take when they turn their cameras on themselves to show off their relationships that are then posted on social networking sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

On Facebook, there are lots of ways to let your social network know that you are in a relationship, including posting relfies, changing your relationship status to say that you “are in a relationship with…”, and mentioning your partner in status updates. Facebook lets people control what others see about their relationships, thus allowing “friends” the ability to gather information and form impressions about others’ relationships.

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Sunday
Jun222014

Must Be a PC User

Click here to read our articles on paternity confidence.

image source: @distractify

Saturday
Jun212014

Watching a Movie with My Girlfriend

Click here to read more about relationships and technology.

 

Thursday
Jun192014

Is There Hope for the Insecurely Attached?

I can recall the specific day that sparked my endless pursuit to understand attachment and relationships. I was sitting in an undergraduate class lecture when my professor introduced the concept of attachment styles (read more about attachment styles here). I was so intrigued. The professor explained that roughly 50-60% of the population is securely attached. I began to do the math. If roughly 50-60% of the population is deemed secure, where does that leave the other 40–50%? 

Does that mean that nearly half of the population is doomed to a lifetime of insecure relationships?

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Monday
Jun162014

Should You Break-Up with Your Partner? Think Like a Freak

In their latest book, Think Like a Freak, economist Steven Levitt and his Freakonomics friend and co-author, Stephen Dubner, urge readers to think about the world differently by training readers’ brains to approach problems in unique ways. For example, they suggest readers avoid focusing on the big picture and instead focus on the smaller, more manageable (and more changeable) elements of a problem. They also encourage adopting a greater willingness to simply say, “I don’t know,” and share their thoughts about how to persuade those who don’t want to be persuaded (hint: don’t be a jerk, and you should tell stories). 

In the final chapter, “The Upside of Quitting,” Levitt and Dubner suggest that, contrary to what many people have told you in life, you should quit. That is, when things get tough, you shouldn’t always tough them out and stick with it. Instead, you should quit and do so sooner rather than later.

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Sunday
Jun152014

Serving a Khaleesi is Complicated

Friday
Jun132014

Does How Couples Meet Matter? Relationship Matters Podcast #34

In the 34th installment of SAGE’s Relationship Matters podcast, hosted by Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Champlain College, Dr. Sharon Sassler (Cornell University) discusses her recent research on how couples meet.

Sassler, and co-author Amanda Jayne Miller (University of Indianapolis) interviewed 62 cohabitating couples about how the couple members met and how much they think others support their relationships. The researchers were particularly interested in whether social class played a role in any link between how couples meet and their perceived relationship support.

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Thursday
Jun122014

Fake, Fake, Fake, Fake: The Four Factors of Female’s Fake Orgasms

Although the discussion of fake orgasms dates back at least 100 years,1 the diner scene in the 1989 classic movie When Harry Met Sally and a 1993 episode of Seinfeld, brought the discussion of fake orgasms into the mainstream, where it has generally remained for the last three decades. Following this discussion, research on fake orgasms has suggested that upwards of one-half to two-thirds of women have faked it.2 But, despite how common faking orgasms may be, very little empirical research has attempted to understand why heterosexual women choose to (or choose not) fake orgasm. Until now.

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Monday
Jun092014

Relationship Advice: Take the Rose-Colored Glasses Quiz!

Have you ever gotten really bad relationship advice? I certainly have. I remember reading one book that suggested I ignore fourth-fifths of a man’s text messages and emails to make him crazy about me. Apparently, the authors thought dating only desperate guys would be a good idea. 

I’ve also seen friends worry over personality differences between themselves and a partner. “Does it mean we aren’t compatible?” they wonder. Even though a large-scale study conducted in several countries found that having “compatible personalities” has hardly any impact on relationship satisfaction,1 the concept remains popular. The idea that certain couples have “compatible personalities” just sounds true—look at astrology and E-Harmony’s matching system—so it continues to masquerade as “good advice.”

If questionable advice is easy to find, where can you turn for good advice about dating and relationships? Relationships always involve uncertainty and trial-and-error, but knowing where to focus your attention can help. Decades of relationship research points to a set of “predictive factors,” or special traits and experiences that best predict relationship success. If you know your predictive factors and pay close attention to those areas as your relationships unfold, you’ll be prepared to make better decisions about your love life.

I’ve been on the trail of these “predictive factors” for a while now, and have written about four of them already—commitment, love, satisfaction, and closeness. Today I’m going to unveil the fifth. This one is interesting folks. It hasn’t been studied a lot, but in one huge analysis of 37,761 dating couples, it surprised everyone by emerging as the top predictor of long-term relationship success.2 I love unexpected results like this—it’s a good thing when scientists are surprised, right?

Before I pull back the curtain, why don’t you take today’s relationship quiz. It’s short, just 15 multiple-choice questions, and the personal feedback at the end will give you some insight into where your own relationship stands in this critical area. I recommend taking it now, before reading further, so you can give your natural responses.

TAKE THE QUIZ!

Editors' note: This quiz is part of a project on great relationships conducted by contributor 
Melissa Schneider, LMSW, and is not supervised or conducted by ScienceOfRelationships.com,
other contributors, or the academic institutions affliliated with other contributors.

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Saturday
Jun072014

#Dumped: An Instagram Break Up 

Bad form? Perhaps. But it seems like a missed opportunity for lots of other hashtags.

#exfilter #cropshot #singlelife #sorrynotsorry #instasingle #lessismore

To read more about break up, click here.

Thursday
Jun052014

Unplugging to Reconnect this Summer 

When I was young, family vacations involved long road trips, my Walkman, 3 cassette tapes (usually Michael Jackson, Eddie Grant, and early U2 in heavy rotation), and the alphabet game. In many ways, these trips resembled the classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, which may explain why the movie has always been a favorite of mine. Fortunately, my family never had to drive across the country with a dead grandmother on the car roof, but I always empathized with Rusty and Audrey’s unrelenting boredom on their ride from Chicago to Wally World in LA.  

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Monday
Jun022014

Relationship Science and Pop Psychology: Can't We All Just Get Along?

We recently ran an article by Dr. Dylan Selterman, titled How to Deciper Your Date...with Science. In his article, Dr. Selterman critically examines a post on Psychology Today by Dr. Seth Meyers. Over the past week Drs. Meyers and Selterman had a lively exchange that we'd like to share with you, because their respective sentiments highlight the various approaches that are taken in understanding close relationships. More specifically, their exchange underscores how the mission of SofR differs from "pop psychology." (by the way, if you haven't read our Mission Statement, please do take a moment to do so!)

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Saturday
May312014

Michelle Obama on the Science of Relationships

Eat Your Vegetables and Nurture Your Relationships!!

Friday
May302014

Can a Romantic Partner Help Improve Attitudes Toward Members of a Different Race? Relationship Matters Podcast 33

In the 33rd installment of SAGE’s Relationship Matters podcast, hosted by Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Champlain College, Keith Welker (Wayne State University) discusses how romantic partners can help increase feelings of compassion and understanding toward those with different racial backgrounds.

The research extends on other studies using a fast friends procedure, a technique that leads people to disclose a lot of personal (but appropriate) information in a short period of time.  The procedure is quite effective at increasing understanding between people and increasing opportunity for friendship after the brief encounter.

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Wednesday
May282014

3 Million Strong, and Growing

 

We recently passed the 3 million page views mark-- thanks for reading, following, and supporting us. We hope that science has made your relationships better!

Tuesday
May272014

Women are More Socially Anxious than Men – But Only Just

Many social situations can provoke anxiety. Be it a networking event for work or having unannounced guests, these kind of interactions can cause even the most outgoing among us to feel unsettled. But do these feelings differ between the sexes?

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Saturday
May242014

The Science of Attraction

Friday
May232014

Getting the Sex You Want is Good for Your Relationship

Researchers asked more than 1000 U.S. married couples about their desired and actual sexual frequency. Spouses who weren’t getting as much sex as they desired were less satisfied and thought about ending their marriages more often, had less positive communication with their partners, and reported more conflict. Similarly, the spouses of sexually unfulfilled individuals reported these same negative outcomes (i.e., if you aren’t getting the sex you desire, your partner is less satisfied etc.). While these effects are likely reciprocal, getting the sex you want is associated with better relationship quality for both you and your partner.

 

Willoughby, B. J., Farero, A. M., & Busby, D. M. (2014). Exploring the effects of sexual desire discrepancy among married couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 551-562.

Tuesday
May202014

Are Millennials Really the “Hook-Up Generation”?

Do you believe these statements?

  • College students today care more about hooking up than forming meaningful relationships.
  • Hooking up on college campuses is rampant.
  • Millennials are part of a “hook-up culture” that did not exist in the past.  

I mean, they sound perfectly reasonable, especially based on what you’ve likely seen in the media about Millennials (i.e., those born in the 80s and 90s). However, just because it feels true doesn’t mean it is actually true. Let’s see if these statements are correct by examining what the most recent science has to say. (For a primer on “hooking up,” click here.)

Do College Students Care More about Hooking Up than Forming Meaningful Relationships?

To answer this question, researchers surveyed over 200 college students and asked them which of the following they preferred for themselves:

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Sunday
May182014

Monkey Love: Tails of the Titi Monkey

These are Titi monkeys. Why did we decide to post their picture?

a) They are cute and cute animal pictures is what the Internet is all about

b) Their name appeals to our juvenile sense of humor.

c) Titi monkeys sit side-by-side with their tails entwined and mate for life.

d) All of the above.

Clearly the answer is D. If you'd like to learn more about the science of animal relationship behavior, click here.