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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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Sunday
May132012

The Anatomy of a Hot Dad

When we first opened the e-mail from iVillage.com, with “2nd Annual Hot Dads Contest” in the subject line, we (as fathers) couldn’t help but be flattered. Reality quickly kicked in, however, when we read the actual message and learned that iVillage was hoping that ScienceOfRelationships.com could spread the word about their Hot Dads contest (still flattering, but not quite so ego-boosting). After dusting off our egos, we did what any good relationship scientist would do: we began to wonder what makes a “Hot Dad” hot? In other words, when iVillage.com readers comb through the hundreds of photos of men on the site, how are they judging relative dad-hotness?

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Sunday
May132012

When Stress Hits, Call Your Mother. Don’t Text, Talk to Her. Really.

Happy Mother's Day!

You’ve had a crappy day. Maybe your boss yelled at you, you forgot to pay the mortgage, or you lost your keys. When life stresses you out, sometimes you need your momma. After all, how many times have you heard your mom say how nice it is to hear your voice? But recent research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that it may be you that benefits from hearing your mother’s voice.

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Sunday
May132012

Success Kid says "Thanks Mom!"

Sunday
May132012

One Tough Mutha: Lactation Facilitates Moms’ Aggressive Behavior

Happy Mother's Day!

If there’s one thing I learned from the old Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, it’s that mothers don’t look too kindly on people messing around with their babies. Across many non-human species, lactating moms’ maternal aggression has been well-documented. The general thinking is that because most young mammals are particularly vulnerable during the developmental period that coincides with lactation, nursing moms are capable of uncharacteristic levels of aggression if that’s what it takes to protect their youngins’. Interestingly, there’s been very little research to determine whether human moms are more likely to go all “Wild Kingdom” when lactating. Until now.

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Saturday
May122012

Week in Review: 6-12 May 2012

Saturday
May122012

How to Keep Things Exciting

Friday
May112012

The Importance of What Happens After Sex

Popular media portrays a range of after sex activities – some partners cuddle, drift off to sleep, spend hours talking, smoke a cigarette, or, in some cases, rush out the door after sex. But, what do we really know about after sex behaviors? As we have discussed in previous articles, researchers have studied when, how often, and with whom people have sex. In comparison, we know much less about what people do after sex. This is unfortunate, because post-coital sexual activities, or the activities that occur during the time after sex (while partners are awake together), could be important for relationship commitment and satisfaction.

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Thursday
May102012

Who Says "I Love You" First in a Relationship?

image source: wideeyedandwild.comSocietal gender norms suggest that women should be most concerned with declarations of love, especially during the early, uncertain phase of relationships. After all, who are all those romantic comedies and chick flick movies marketed toward? But recent research demonstrates that in fact, it’s the men who are more likely to say “I love you” first in relationships. Not only that, but hearing “I love you” from a romantic partner for the first time makes men even happier than it makes women. And although this may not jive with gender stereotypes, it makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary perspective.

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Wednesday
May092012

WTF, North Carolina?