Entries in healthy relationships (7)


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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Relationships 101: Having Healthy Relationships in Your First Year of College 

For a .PDF version of this article, please click here. This article is free to any college/university for dissemination to students (e.g., as part of college orientation, first-year seminar, or college course).

College is all about new experiences: the start of a new life, new friends, new freedom, and new relationship experiences. Not surprisingly, romantic relationships are responsible for life’s happiest moments.1 For that reason, it is important to avoid problematic relationships that could jeopardize your college education. To help, we’ll identify qualities of healthy relationships in the context of common relationship experiences that students encounter during their first year in college.

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What Are the Health Benefits of Sex? There‚Äôs an App for That (Sort of)

In an effort to manage my snacking while dissertation writing I recently downloaded an app to my iPhone called LoseIt! LoseIt! is essentially a food diary that keeps track of your caloric intake for the day. You can increase the amount of calories you can eat in day by entering any exercise you have done. I noticed that sexual activity is listed as one of the exercises and you can even select whether your sexual activity was passive, moderate, or vigorous. I'm not exactly sure how to validate these categories, so you just have to use your best judgment.

LoseIt! suggests that an hour of vigorous sexual activity burns about 33 calories. That's it!?!?

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He May Wear The Crown, But Who Wears The Pants?

The Mouse That Roared (October, 1985)
Diana Brought to Heel? (September, 1988)
Di’s Palace Coup (February, 1993)

These are the titles accompanying three Vanity Fair cover stories featuring Princess Diana. Taking a look, it would appear that power was a major theme of Diana’s marriage to Charles. Their power struggle may have been due to differences in title, age, or life experience, and these differences may have contributed to their eventual divorce, but a question many people seem to be wondering is: how will the marriage of their son, William, to Kate be different?

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Ask Dr. Loving: Does Sexual Chemistry Matter?

Nicole asked, "If every other sought after characteristic is present, can a relationship thrive on a long-term basis if there is no sexual chemistry?"

 Dear Nicole;

The makers of Viagra® would have you think such an idea is sheer lunacy!  Ultimately, however, it depends on what you mean by “thrive.”

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Why Prince William Has the Makings of an Excellent Husband

I was watching the interview with the newly engaged Prince William and Kate Middleton on Youtube, when I noticed Prince William engaging in the very behavior I study-- invisible support.1 It’s like he knew I’d be watching! The basic idea behind invisible support is that it’s support that is very subtle and flies under the radar-- so much so, that the person receiving it may not even realize that they’re being supported. It doesn’t look or feel like one person providing support to another person.

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Ask Dr. Loving: Should We Stay Friends after a Breakup?

(reposted from drloving.net)

Dear Dr. Loving;

I am in the middle of healing and attempting on moving on right now. My boyfriend and I broke up last October, but we only decided to really move on this December. Now, we still see each other and are just now "friends" or "best friends" We text each other everyday (I text him and he replies) and we see each other and hang out or study at least 3-4 times a week. We celebrated his birthday together last week, just me and him. He still gives me a hug after we hang out when I ask him to hug me. Basically, we're still part of each other's lives except we're just simply "close friends."

 Now my question is, do those signs show that he still likes me or is he just doing that because he's a guy? and is this kind of relationship healthy for me? I don't know whether I should really avoid him or just go with the flow with whatever we have. I honestly still want to get back with him, but bringing that up to him always irritates him. He said he doesn't have "time" to be in a relationship anymore. I am not sure whether there's no chance of us getting back together and I'm just fooling myself. -- Conflicted

Dear C;

Let’s start with your second question: No, this kind of relationship is not healthy for you.

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