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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

Friday
May182012

Facebook and Your Relationships - Take Stock

image source: takeadvantageoffacebook.comFacebook has finally gone public. Unless you're sitting on a stack of their stock, you'll never see a dime from it. But thanks to ScienceOfRelationships.com, at least you can be rich in knowledge about relationships. Here's a recap of some of our favorite articles about Facebook. 

  1. Does the Green Eyed Monster have a Facebook Profile?
  2. Read This Before Your Next Facebook Post
  3. Does Facebook Cause Divorce and Infidelity?
  4. How Does Social Media Influence Relationships?: The Morning Show Discussion
  5. Get Your Facebook Profile Ready for Valentine’s Day
  6. Are You Facebook "Official"?
  7. I’m Watching You on Facebook: Attachment and Partner Surveillance
Friday
May182012

We’re Tired Of Drinking And Partying All The Time: Can We Settle Down Without Committing Social Suicide?

Ray asked the following:

Hi, my boyfriend and I have been dating for a little more than 4 years. We live together. For the past few months, I've been pretty unhappy with our social life. I'm sick of partying, going to gay bars and getting shit-faced almost every weekend. I want to transition out of this life to something more mature, or in the words of others, boring. Perhaps most of my friends are single. I just want to hang out with more couples and do something more than just clubbing. A perfect weekend is cooking with friends, having dinner and having a few drinks. That is all I want. However, I have this trepidation. Am I committing social suicide? How do I make sure that I go through this transition successfully? My partner seems to be onboard, after talking to him about this, but he is way more social than I am. I'm afraid he will not be happy. What should I do?

Dear Ray,

First, let me say that you’ve already started off on the right foot by talking to your partner about your concerns. Open and honest communication is one of the most important contributors to relationship success, and you appear to be ahead of the game in this regard. Another thing you have going your way is that your partner actually agrees that it’s time for a change, which means that you have a good shot at making the kind of transition you’re talking about. The big question here is how to do this without socially isolating yourselves, and that can be tricky.

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Thursday
May172012

Hot Dads, Part Deux

Because we’re geeks, we can’t stop thinking about our earlier write-up of the iVillage.com Hot Dads contest. Most of the features we highlighted this past Monday suggest that a lot of what likely makes a dad hot are the same characteristics that make a man hot. But as any good psychologist will tell you, context matters. And we’re not talking about just judging hotness of men in general, we’re talking about judging hotness in dads. And part of what should make a dad hot is his ability to fulfill his role as father (at least we hope it matters!). So thinking more about the ‘dad’ context led us to suspect several other cues or features should (or could) also come into play when evaluating the future winner of iVillage.com’s Hot Dads Contest.

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Thursday
May172012

Top 5 Classic Studies in the Psychology of Attraction

Most of the time our articles focus on current, cutting edge studies. Yet, the nature of science is that it continually builds on findings from previous research. Inevitably, current research stands on the shoulders of giants. Here are some of the “giants” or classic works in attraction research...

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Wednesday
May162012

Ask Dr. Loving: When Should I Tell My Friends What I Think About Their Relationships?

Is there any research that shows how or when to express your feelings (positive or negative) about a friend’s relationship?

Let’s back up and start with a more basic question: Does your opinion matter? Absolutely. Knowing what others think about our romances is a critical piece of information if those relationships are going to survive.

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Tuesday
May152012

Is Watching The Bachelorette Bad for Your Relationship?

Here for the right reasons

Last chance at love

Sent home broken-hearted

If you recognize these phrases, you, like me, are guilty of watching The Bachelorette. Recently, one of our readers was curious about how pop culture influences relationships. The current season of The Bachelorette provides a great case study to answer this question. Is watching relationship “reality” TV like The Bachelorette bad for your real life relationships?

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Tuesday
May152012

You are the Perfect Drug 

I recently read your article Oxytocin: The Hormone that Binds. This bonding molecule and its withdrawal effects can be so severe. Have there been any studies on how Oxytocin or withdrawal from it affects the levels of other similar hormones such as serotonin, epinephrine, etc? It seems like the detoxing process is just as bad if not worse than hardcore drugs such as Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, or morphine, at least from an emotional/ psychological perspective.

It's been almost 2 years since I came out of this very bad, painful "relationship" with a girl. I say "relationship" because it was strictly a sexual and logically I knew it was never going to lead to anything serious but my emotions said otherwise. After such a long time I feel like I am still in detox mode.

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Monday
May142012

The Dependency Paradox

Those who know me best understand that I am a deeply philosophical person. One of my favorite topics in the science of relationships is an existential paradox, or what Dr. Brooke Feeney calls “The Dependency Paradox.”

As I described in a previous post, humans have a fundamental need for connection to others, or “relatedness.” But we also need “autonomy” (a sense of independence and the feeling that we have personal control over our behavior). Intuition tells us that these needs are distinct, and possibly conflicting. But the “paradox hypothesis” suggests the opposite—people who are more dependent on their partners for support actually experience more independence and autonomy, not less. Logically this is a contradiction, but only to the untrained eye.

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