Wednesday
Jun192013

When Three (or More) is NOT a Crowd

What do you know about polyamory? Can polyamory or open relationships really work?

This is a timely question, as there has been a surge of interest lately on this topic. In fact, according to a recent study, between 4-5% of Americans report being in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship—this is when both partners agree that they and/or their intimate partner(s) can have other sexual or romantic partners as well.1 Consensual non-monogamy describes many types of relationships, such as swinging (recreational sex with others) and polyamorous relationships, where the partners consent to each other having intimate, loving relationships with others (more intimate than just an “open” relationship). Researchers (including me) are starting to explore how theories we have about intimate relationships extend to our understanding of relationships that include more than two people. There is not a lot of work yet on non-monogamy, but we can look to a paper that Dr. Terri Conley and colleagues recently wrote challenging assumptions about the benefits of monogamy.2

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Monday
Jun172013

Do People Get Better Looking When the Bar is About to Close?

What happens when something is only available for a short period of time or exists in limited quantities? We want it. Badly. That’s why advertisements and infomercials are always telling you to “act now, before time runs out” if you want to get your hands on the latest, overpriced, completely unnecessary product they’re selling. However, the illusion of scarcity and its effects are not unique to the world of business—scarcity may also affect how we perceive potential sexual and romantic partners. As some evidence of this, consider a classic study on the so-called “closing time effect,” or the idea that everyone gets better looking when the bar is about to close because the window of opportunity for finding someone to take home dwindles.

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Sunday
Jun162013

You Need More Than the Force to Avoid Fatherhood

Click the links to see our posts on paternity confidence and fatherhood.

Saturday
Jun152013

Dating: You Have to Play the Odds

"Can you calculate your odds of finding that special someone? Or maybe many special someones?"

 

In this big wide world, is your chance of finding that special someone really "one in a million?" Skip to 2:10 of this clip to see how math informs your relationship odds..."

Friday
Jun142013

Have We Been Dating Too Long?

I've been in a relationship for over 5 years. We are both still young and plan to get married eventually in the future. I was wondering if there are any down sides in having long-term relationships. I feel very secure and confident in our relationship, but just as I've heard that short relationships (or courtships) can be a bad thing, I'm wondering if it works the same for long lasting relationships? -- V.N.

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Wednesday
Jun122013

The Science Behind 3 Popular Dating Apps 

You have an app on your smartphone for the weather, the news, where to eat, and one just for crushing candy. So why not an app for dating? Finding people on your own at a bar probably hasn’t been terribly successful, so it may be time to let your phone help you find a little love (or perhaps lust). Let’s see how they stack up compared to the scientific literature…

1) Snapchat (iTunes)

What the App Does: Allows users to take a picture and send it to someone else. The interesting aspect of Snapchat, however, is that it allows you to set how long others are able to see your photo. Only want the other person to see the picture for 3 seconds? 10 seconds? Then you can set the timer accordingly. So why is this a dating app? Well, it has become the social media sexting app of choice because the pictures “self destruct,” leaving behind no evidence (that is, unless someone is quick enough to take a screen shot!).

What Science Says: A few seconds to view a picture (innocent or otherwise) may not seem like enough time to form an accurate judgment.

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Tuesday
Jun112013

Who Is the Best Judge of Your Relationship?

Your relationship has been going well for the past few weeks, but you probably catch yourself wondering, “Where is this relationship going? Will we still be together in a year?” Until someone invents a relationship crystal ball (Apple should really get on that), you either have to figure it out for yourself or ask your friends and family for their opinion. Of these options, who will have the best insight?

Click here to find out the answer to that question over on DatingAdvice.com.

Monday
Jun102013

Juggling Under Pressure

I am one sandwiched woman. Between living with a retired mother with health concerns, trying to manage two preschool-aged boys, and balancing a full-time career, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the demands of life (hence the absence of my column the last few months!). Mix in my mother’s recent knee replacement surgery (bad) and an upcoming promotion at work (good), I have struggled the last few months to carve out quality time with The Consultant. Although an intimate relationship is very important to me (and everyone), my career and family take priority; I can juggle only so many proverbial balls at a time!

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Sunday
Jun092013

What's In a Name?

Sometimes a hyphenated last name may not be a wise choice. We've written previously about the reasons women getting married choose to change versus keep their last names. Oddly, "how it sounds" was not one of the key factors that affect the deliberation process. Maybe it should be... 

image source: this is all over the web

Saturday
Jun082013

Looking for Summer Employment?

Read our Summer-inspired posts on predicting breakup here and on getting "pool ready" here.  

image source: http://seriouslyforreal.com/

Friday
Jun072013

Shave It Off! Baldness Boosts Your Manly Image

Bald may or may not be beautiful, but it definitely is manly according to recent research.1 Participants were asked to rate photographs of men who either had a full head of hair or a shaven head (the hair was digitally edited away). The bald versions of men were consistently rated as more dominant than the men with full locks.  The men with shaved scalps were also perceived as taller, older, and stronger, but less attractive, than their full-haired counterparts. Consistent with prior findings, participants rated men with thinning hair least favorably on all attributes.

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Bring Out the Gimp: Personality & BDSM

Let’s play a quick word association game – read each word or phrase below and say the first thing that comes to mind. Here we go….

Doctor: ?

Tree: ?

Pulp: ?

The Glass is Half: ?

Bondage-Discipline, Dominance-Submission, Sadism-Masochism: ?

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Tuesday
Jun042013

Do "Moves Like Jagger" Make a Man Hotter?

Research from Finland examined characteristics of male dance moves (e.g., hip-wiggle, hip-knee phase angle). The only factor related to females' ratings of male sensuality was "downforce," (which may or may not relate to "dropping it like it is hot") or the 'bounciness' of his dance moves. So unless Mick dances with incredible downforce, he's probably not that appealing...

Monday
Jun032013

Following Other Women on Instagram: Innocent or Instant Trouble?

I am confused and find it hard to accept social media. I wanted to know [if it] is ok for my boyfriend to like photos of other girls and follow other women on Instagram. Is that pushing the limits in a relationship?

Thank you for your question. Research on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is relatively new. There are, however, some recent studies that can directly answer your question.

Our own Dr. Amy Muise published a study finding that social network use (e.g., Facebook) can promote jealousy in relationships, because you are exposed to ambiguous information about your partner’s behaviors.1 In your case, you don’t have a clear picture of your partner’s motives for following other women on Instagram. Therefore, this ambiguity leads to perceptions that his behaviors are a threat to the stability of your relationship.

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Sunday
Jun022013

Timing Is Everything

Saturday
Jun012013

No, This Isn't a Sketch Comedy...They Really Believe This Stuff

As relationship scientists, we hear a lot of ideas and opinions about the inner-workings of relationships and the people that comprise them. Perhaps some of the more interesting "ideas" (if you can call them that) come from folks whose antiquted notions about the roles of men and women continue to astonish even the likes of Fred Flintstone. Here's the Fox News team making it clear that the continued strides women have made in the realm of economic opportunities spells certain doom for humanity.... 

 

Yes, they really said that.

Read our posts on female breadwinners here and here.

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Saturday
Jun012013

The Most Interesting Infidelity in the World

Thanks to VP, one of our loyal readers, for submitting this awesome meme she made. Read more about self-expansion and infidelity here.

Friday
May312013

What Does It Mean to “Make Sex Normal”?

While writing last week’s article about the importance of sex in relationships, I started thinking about the taboo nature of sex in North American culture. In the article I mentioned that “North America is arguably a highly sexualized culture, but at the same time, sexuality is rarely talked about in an open, honest way.” Around the time I posted my article, I came across a TED talk that presents a simple way to alter the stigma associated with talking about sex and sexuality.  

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Wednesday
May292013

Likes Attract, But Do They Last? The Role of Self-Control

Partners’ level of similarity in their values, backgrounds, and life goals promotes attraction and relationship success. Although “birds of a feather” may flock together, do those similarly-feathered birds always have the best relationships over the long flight ahead? Recent research on self-control suggests that the answer is both yes and no.

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Tuesday
May282013

Increasing Your Ability to Get a Date: Dude, It’s Your Car 

image source: autoevolution.comLadies, would a guy’s car influence whether you give him your number? In a recent study, male confederates (guys in cahoots with the researchers) approached over 500 young women who were walking in a city. To test whether a males’ car affected women’s likelihood of sharing their digits, the male confederates waited in one of three cars (high, medium, or low value) before getting out and approaching the women. Men with a high status car were more likely to get a number (23.3%) than men with middle (12.8%) or low status cars (7.8%). Apparently women use the car that a guy drives as a clue to his income, his status, and to whether he is worth dating.

Guéguen, N., & Lamy, L. (2012). Men’s social status and attractiveness: Women’s receptivity to men’s date requests. Swiss Journal of Psychology/Schweizerische Zeitschrift Für Psychologie/Revue Suisse De Psychologie, 71(3), 157-160. doi:10.1024/1421-0185/a000083