Entries in flow (3)


Ben Affleck Was Right: Relationships Are Hard Work. And That’s OK.

As many of you are no doubt aware, Ben Affleck got a lot of flack after his infamous 2013 Oscar acceptance speech, in which he thanked his (then) wife Jennifer Garner for the “work” that they put into their relationship. This comment prompted an intense backlash, which has been revisited in light of Ben and Jennifer’s divorce earlier this year. Many thought the writing was on the wall, and some questioned the very idea that marriage and work are synonymous, including this pointed article specifically questioning experts’ wisdom that successful relationships do in fact require work. Here’s a key quote from this opinion piece: 

…maybe if marriage seems like really hard work, there is something that needs a little fixing…. is our marriage work? It can't be. Because I never feel like I need a vacation.”

Well, perhaps it’s time for the Science of Relationships experts to weigh in. I’ll cut right to the chase: Ben was right. Relationships are hard work. And that’s OK.

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Are You Gonna Go My Way?

Have you ever found yourself walking in the same direction as a stranger (e.g., down the hall at work/school; through the shopping mall) and found yourself oddly attracted to that person? No? Yeah, me neither. But, and hear me out, even though we don’t consciously feel an immense desire for this person, we may be more attracted to the stranger than if her or she had been walking the other direction.

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Get in the Flow of Your Relationship

Ever get so involved or absorbed in doing something that you completely lose track of time? Perhaps it happens to you when checking Facebook or Pinterest, or when reading your favorite vampire novel (sometimes our readers report this happening when they’re engrossed in reading ScienceOfRelationships.com.) Psychologists call this experience being “in the flow,” which is an intense feeling of concentration and being fully immersed in an activity. Most of the research on flow looks at how it impacts positive performance in activities like work or sports (think: being in the zone); however, a recent study finds that the “flow” experience is beneficial for intimate relationships as well.

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