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Saturday
Jun022012

Week in Review: 27 May - 2 June 2012

Saturday
Jun022012

Fill in the Blanks: The Declaration of Romantic Intent

Friday
Jun012012

Thou Doth Protest Too Much: Are Homophobes Homosexual?

Last month, President Obama came out in support of gay marriage. Stephen Colbert was quick to quip that he was astonished that Obama admitted he was gay and Newsweek coined him “the first gay president.”

Of course, supporting civil rights for LGBT individuals is not synonymous with being gay. But, the vehemence with which some people deny that they are gay and go out of their way to prevent gay people from enjoying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has always been confusing to us. Recent research may help clarify why some individuals appear to be anti-gay.

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Thursday
May312012

Now or Later? The Ideal Age to Say “I Do”

When to get married is one of the most debated topics among my group of friends. It is becoming more apparent that most do not intend to tie the knot until they are in their late twenties or thirties, if at all. Indeed, the desire to postpone marriage is on par with the rising trend in the age of first marriage in the United States. In 2011, the average age of marriage for men and women is 28.7 and 26.5 respectively compared to 24.7 (men) and 22 (women) in 1980 (read more about age differences here). However, regardless of the reasons behind the delay in marriage, research suggests this may not be a wise move.

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Wednesday
May302012

Cooperation During Divorce Negotiations: Guilt and Shame Matter

Let’s face it: Many marriages end. Divorce occurs for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the cause, ex-partners often need to negotiate with one another during the divorce process. For example, if there are kids in the picture, how is custody resolved? How does the couple divide up their friends? Who gets to keep the reality TV show that helped pay the bills?

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Tuesday
May292012

Breaking It Off: Sex-Positive Shops and the Women’s Sex Toy Revolution  

Many consider the adult entertainment industry risqué, sleazy, and taboo. No more….the sexual marketplace now has a niche where women can feel sexually empowered and pampered rather than objectified and commoditized when pursuing sexual pleasure. Although the male consumer still drives much of the $14 billion “adult” industry, there are also female consumers who are willing to spend over $100 on a luxury vibrator (remember the Sex and the City episodes about The Rabbit and the Sharper Image luxury vibrators?). And women-owned and –operated sex stores are on the rise.1 These “sex-positive” stores are not the shady, dark stores that guys in trenchcoats sneak into. They are brighter, staffed by females (and males), and maintain a softer image with the hopes of projecting an image of “class” rather than “crass”. These shops stock well-designed, often eco-friendly “acsexsories” so women can feel good, rather than ashamed, about wanting sexual pleasure.

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Monday
May282012

Feel the Warmth: Attachment Anxiety and Temperature

Relationships with others are often described in terms of temperature. We can have “hot” romances, “warm” friendships, and encounters with strangers that feel “cold”, and give others the cold shoulder. To the extent that interpersonal feelings coincide with a sense of temperature, an individual with greater sensitivity to relationship dynamics may also have greater sensitivity to physical temperatures. In other words, those who pay more attention to how others express warmth may be attentive to warmth in general, including actual physical warmth.

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Sunday
May272012

The Alternative to ScienceOfRelationships.com

(click to embiggen)

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Saturday
May262012

"Personality and Marriage": Relationship Matters Podcast #11

A new Relationship Matters (the official podcast of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships) has just been released. Dr. Norm O'Rourke (of Simon Fraser University) discusses personality and marriage in heterosexual couples. Check it out here.

Saturday
May262012

If Relationship Scientists Were Funny, We'd Be Like This Guy

Saturday
May262012

Week in Review: 20-26 May 2012

Friday
May252012

Stress. It Does a Marriage Good.

Couples who report larger amounts of stress outside their marriages also tend to report less satisfaction within their marriages. You have probably heard the classic “joke” about a person being mad at the boss, but she can’t yell at her boss, so she goes home and yells at her husband, who, in turn, yells at their son, who then kicks the dog, who wonders what it did wrong. Perhaps not a very funny joke (or not funny at all), but it does illustrate a phenomenon that researchers call stress spillover: when stress from outside the marriage causes problems inside the marriage.

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Thursday
May242012

Does Misery Love Company?

Emotions prompt people to engage in adaptive behaviors that help them act appropriately in their current situations. When you feel fear you run away from the source of the threat; guilt motivates us to mend things following a transgression (e.g., “I’m sorry”); jealousy causes you to be on guard because your relationship partner might be poached away by a rival.

Does sadness have a social function, too? We’ve all heard that misery loves company; it’s possible that sadness prompts us to seek out social bonds. When you’re sad you might need social and emotional support. Maybe the purpose of sadness is to motivate social connections -- that “misery seeks company.”

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Wednesday
May232012

Are We Meant to be Monogamous?

Editor's note: A reader recently asked for our thoughts about the history of marriage across time. This is a topic that Dr. Lorne Campbell tackled in our book, The Science of Relationships: Answers to Your Questions about Dating, Marriage, and Family, so we've included an excerpt below. 

The answer to this question is not straightforward. Research does suggest that although a lot of people are not monogamous, the majority of people do remain faithful to their partners. Any answer to the question, therefore, must address the conditions that make it more likely for some people to cheat on their partners but others to keep their zippers securely fastened.

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Tuesday
May222012

So Many Fish in the (Online) Sea: Is All This Choice a Good Thing?

Online dating sites, all clamoring to give you access to thousands, or even millions, of potential new dates, clearly believe more fish make a better sea. But, is all this choice really a good thing?

A recent critical review of online dating research suggests maybe not. While dating sites deserve credit for increasing romantic opportunities, some of their new-fangled methods could actually be undermining your love life. Before your next foray into the cyber-scene, consider these four online dating tips.

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Monday
May212012

Check Your Baggage at the Gate

I’ve got some baggage. I don’t know anyone at my age and “experience” who doesn’t. Multiple marriages, children, a few crazy exes…I have done the inventory and know what I bring on board as I get back on the dating train. So how can I manage a good dating impression and lug around an oversized Samsonite full of my past experiences?

Some people have an easy time hiding their baggage in an overhead compartment or under their seat during the first few dates, however my baggage is not so easy to conceal.

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Sunday
May202012

Karney & Bradbury - Fundamental Needs

Relationship researchers Drs. Benjamin Karney and Thomas Bradbury discuss the basic human need for admiration, validation, love, and security (from the PSB series This Emotional Life). Read more about fundamental needs and relationships here.

See more from Drs. Karney and Bradbury here and here.

Sunday
May202012

Self-Love: The Highest Form of Affection

Saturday
May192012

Week in Review: 13-19 May 2012

Saturday
May192012

Love + Sex + Friends: The Venn Diagram