Wednesday
Jan162013

ScienceOfRelationships.com in New Orleans

We're headed to New Orleans this week for the annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference. Given the success of our live-blogging at the IARR conference in Chicago last summer, we'll be doing it again at SPSP. Stay tuned for reports on the latest and greatest in relationships research begining this Thursday and continuing through the weekend.

We'll also be receiving the 2012 SPSP Media Award at the conference. Thanks for all your support in making us the best place on the internet to learn about relationships!

If you're also going to be in New Orleans later this week you might want to check out our tips for attending your first conference. 

Tuesday
Jan152013

Are There Benefits to Making Sexual Changes for your Partner?

Over the course of a romantic relationship, there are bound to be times when your sexual interests diverge from your partner’s interests. Perhaps you enjoy having sex at night, but your partner prefers morning sex. Maybe you desire sex about once or twice a week, but your partner would like to have sex once or twice a day. Or maybe you fantasize about being tied to the bedpost, but bondage is not one of your partner’s sexual fantasies. Although a satisfying sex life is an important part of overall relationship happiness,1,2 sex can also be one of the most challenging issues to negotiate in a romantic relationship.2 Romantic partners may disagree on when to have sex, how often to have it, and what those sexual activities involve. If romantic partners have differing sexual interests, what can they do?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan142013

Reflections and Resolutions

With the start of each new year, I engage in a lot of self-reflection; in fact, I think I do more self-reflection than New Year’s resolution making. At about this time last year, I started to awaken from a long, self-induced romantic relationship hibernation. After wiping the sleep from my eyes, I have dated several interesting men and had quite a few adventures. As I reflect on the last year, and the years that have led up to this one, I need to admit to myself that the changing of old relationship patterns remains difficult for me.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan132013

Creating A Bad Relationship

Most of the time relationship science focuses on how to create and maintain stable and happy relationships. What if someone tried to create bad relationships? Well, wonder no longer because the "scientists" over at The Onion have developed a highly volatile relationship. Click here to read the full "study."

Sunday
Jan132013

Long-Distance Relationships: The Infographic

Click to see the whole, big infographicLong-distance relationships are very common. Not surprisingly, we get a lot of questions from our readers and students about whether they should stick it out with their long-distance partners, and if so, how they can make their relationships last in the face of geographic separation. Here are a few of our articles on LDRs, along with a new infographic:

You can check out all of our infographics here, on fun topics like facial hair and attractiveness, breaking up by text message, discrimination against single people, similarities in political views between partners, Valentine's Day and break up, and female orgasm in hook-ups vs. committed relationships.

Saturday
Jan122013

Week(s) in Review: 1 - 12 January 2013

Saturday
Jan122013

Indisputable Evidence of Infidelity?

Thursday
Jan102013

Is Knowledge Power?: Familiarity and Liking in Relationship Initiation

Some say that knowledge is power. Although knowledge in skills such as physics, literature, history, or foreign languages can help you look smart and win on Jeopardy (speaking of which, do you want to hear me talk about history in Russian?), it is less clear whether having knowledge of other people can help you “win” in social situations. In other words, can knowledge about another person lead you to like this person more? Social psychological research has evidence that familiarity may lead to either more and less liking, depending on the context.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan092013

All You Need Is Love

When the Beatles proclaimed that “love is all you need,” little did they know these lyrics would be subjected to scientific scrutiny. Indeed, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, the classic song holds some truth for real relationships. Specifically, relationship success may depend not only on fighting less, but also on being more affectionate in contexts where positive, loving behavior is appropriate or expected. While relationships research has historically focused on alleviating negative communication patterns and distress, such as during conflict, a number of recent studies have explored the role of positive processes in promoting optimal relationship functioning.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan082013

Do People With Dark Personalities Enhance Their Physical Attractiveness?

A friend recently passed along the following and termed it the first date riddle:

“A woman is attending her mother’s funeral and sees a man in the back of the church that she wishes to talk to. He leaves before she gets a chance to speak with him. The next day she kills her sister. Why does she kill her sister?”

The answer to this riddle is that she kills her sister so she can see the man in the back of the church again (she assumes if he attended her mother’s funeral, he would also attend her sister’s). A pretty dark answer, right? The assumption is that the person who answers this riddle correctly is more likely to be a psychopath (empirical evidence not available). Given this possibility, you can ask this riddle on a first date to identify potential psychopath romantic partners before you make the mistake of scheduling a second date.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan072013

How Do I Get (More) Intimate With A Woman? 

At the stage of my life right now, I feel like I should be able to have a grasp of this, but I still don't. I am 27, male, and I've never had a serious relationship. The plain and simple reason is because I don't know how. During high school the girlfriends that I had were always more aggressive in getting what they wanted (me), so I never truly learned how to go for a woman. As I grew older, it seemed to me that the women expect the men to do most if not all of the work when it comes to intimacy. The steps from introduction to actual physical intimacy are very unclear to me; it's like figuring out the meaning of life (yes, it's that much of a mystery to me).

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan042013

Sex Lives in Second Life

I met my first boyfriend in a Sailor Moon chat room. For the uninitiated, Sailor Moon was a Japanese anime show that was “popular” in the late 1990s. My online alter ego, a character I named Hiko Aino (Japanese for “fire child of love”), was tall, graceful, and witty—everything that I, at the time, was decidedly not. After a few weeks of frequenting the chat room, I started a relationship with a guy whose online persona was a dog (yes, a dog, as in a canine…oh, the shame is endless). It’s probably worth mentioning I was thirteen at the time and wildly unpopular at school (given what I just shared, I can’t imagine why). But the chat room allowed me to reinvent myself, connect with others with similar interests, and—in short—escape the sad reality of middle school. And although the Sailor Moon chat room is probably long gone, other virtual worlds have sprung up in its wake. One such environment is the online community named Second Life.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan032013

I Get BUY With A Little Help From My Friends.

Imagine you’re buying a new cell phone. Would you rather have a ton of different options or only 1-2 choices? Usually, people assume that having more choices is better. In fact, in experiments that mimic game shows (“what’s behind door #1?) people will pay more money to have more options to choose from. But ironically, having more choices can be a source of distress. People feel less satisfied with their decision after it’s made when they have a bunch of different options to choose from, and sometimes people experience paralysis-by-analysis (they give up and don’t choose anything at all.). Some scientists refer to this as the “paradox of choice”—a lot of choices feels like something we want, but it ends up being bad for us.1

New research suggests that how supported we feel in our relationships affects how appealing we find having a lot of options/choices.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan012013

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Relationship

It seems as though there is a fairly standard list of New Year’s resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, pay off credit card debt, and quit smoking/drinking. Perhaps you’ve gone beyond this list and added things like: spend less time on Facebook or watching TV, get organized, find a better job, fix up the house, stop procrastinating, etc.

Oddly (to us, anyways), although resolutions typically emphasize physical and mental health, they generally ignore relationship health. To address this oversight, here is list of 7 scientifically-validated ways you can improve your relationships...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec312012

Can a Kiss Predict the Future?

According to superstition, the person you kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve is the person with whom you’ll share your love and affection in the upcoming year. A New Year's Eve kiss allegedly brings good luck for the future of your relationship with the recipient on the other end of your lips…but can a kiss really predict the future?

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec302012

30 Things You Should Know About Sex (2012 Edition)

Saturday
Dec292012

2012 Editors' Choice Awards: Recap

Friday
Dec282012

2012 Editors' Choice Awards: #1

With the launch of her column Adventures in Dating: Memoirs of a Single Mom this year, Dr. Jennifer Harman has let readers take a peek in her heart, and bedroom, as she chronicles through a scientific lens her return to the dating world. We've been introduced to men such as The Consultant, Mr. Metal MouthThe Question Mark, Mr. Scuba Man, and The Cheapskate, and learned new terms like Insanimus Guano and Premature Sextaculation. All in all, it's been a fun and educational year. But our favorite from Adventures in Dating... is when Dr. Harman was challenged to reflect on her feelings about polyamory.

Click here to read the article...

Friday
Dec282012

2012 Editors' Choice Awards: #2

Maybe the only thing more popular than ScienceOfRelationship.com over the last couple of years has been Gotye's catchy song (and video) "Somebody That I Used To Know." And although he exclaims to his lost love "that you didn't need to cut me off," Dr. Sadie Leder explains that it's probably better that she did.

Click here to read the article...

Thursday
Dec272012

2012 Editors' Choice Awards: #3

The third spot on the 2012 Editors' Choice Awards goes to Drs. Laura Vanderdrift and Justin Lehmiller, for their answer to a reader's question about how to navigate a "friends with benefits" relationship. What happens once sex invades a friendship, and what do people ultimately want to happen after hooking up with a friend? See what science has to say...

Click here to read the article...