All About Relationships

Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings. There are many kinds of love, but most people seek its expression in a romantic relationship with a compatible partner. For some, romantic relationships are the most meaningful element of life, providing a source of deep fulfillment. The ability to have a healthy, loving relationship is not innate. A great deal of evidence suggests that the ability to form a stable relationship begins in infancy, in a child's earliest experiences with a caregiver who reliably meets the infant's needs for food, care, protection, stimulation, and social contact. Those relationships are not destiny, but they appear to establish patterns of relating to others. Failed relationships happen for many reasons, and the failure of a relationship is often a source of great psychological anguish. Most of us have to work consciously to master the skills necessary to make them flourish. 

Recent posts on Relationships

How to Respond to Criticism

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on February 21, 2018 in Think Well
No one can avoid criticism. But understanding the three basic types of criticism, and how to best respond to each, can help us navigate some of the social labyrinth of life.

Finding True Love - Profiles in Perseverance

By Mendi Baron on February 21, 2018 in On the Verge
Ever wonder what it's like to try and help people find true love? It's as complex as you would think, but rewarding.

Why Do Couples Fight—and How Can They Stop?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on February 21, 2018 in Think, Act, Be
Two recent studies show how relationships are happier and more harmonious when couples are meeting these needs for one another.

Civility Matters: How Rude Behavior Spreads Like The Flu

By Linda Esposito LCSW on February 21, 2018 in From Anxiety to Zen
Studies show exposure to rude behaviors makes us more likely to act aggressively...even if we're not the targeted recipient.
William Stitt/Unsplash

Is a Big Age Difference Problematic for a Relationship?

By Jenna Birch on February 21, 2018 in Navigating the Love Gap
Research can help explain whether May-December romances are built to last.

Feeling Awkward? 12 Reassuring Lessons from Science

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 21, 2018 in Living Single
Author Melissa Dahl wanted to rid herself of awkward feelings. She discovered that she was thinking about cringeworthy experiences in all the wrong ways.

5 Reasons Why Polyamorous Families are Reluctant to Be on TV

This blog explains five reasons why polyamorous folks might not want to be on reality television and a few of the remedies that might help poly folks feel safer about being on TV.

Transcending Barriers while Life Meets Death

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on February 20, 2018 in Acquired Spontaneity
I was unexpectedly nourished by an email I received from someone who is consciously, purposefully trying to live applied NVC and Conflict Transformation in work and life.

Let's Go Beyond He Said/She Said

By Barbara J. Risman Ph.D. on February 20, 2018 in Gender Questions?
Can going beyond gender itself help to end sexism, and protect women from #metoo moments in the future?

My Marriage is Great—Relatively Speaking

Dealing with issues in a marriage requires one to make some mental adjustments in the way we deal with that issue.

What’s Wrong with a Little Bit of Jealousy?

The surest way to begin the end of a relationship is to fill it with doubt and neediness.

What Do Singles Really Want?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on February 20, 2018 in In the Name of Love
Married people envy singles for their romantic freedom. Do singles envy married people for their serious relationships? A recent Match study indicates surprising trends.

Tina Alexis Allen: Untangling Identity and Sexual Abuse

By Jennifer Haupt on February 19, 2018 in One True Thing
What I once labeled "a relationship" with my teacher was really sexual abuse.

You Have to Love Yourself Before You Can Love Someone Else 

By John Kim, LMFT on February 19, 2018 in The Angry Therapist
You don't have to love yourself to love someone else.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

6 Pathways to Mental Health You Probably Don’t Know

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on February 19, 2018 in What Matters Most?
Want to get familiar with 6 pathways to psychological happiness? Hear the stories and tips of 6 people, as well as the latest research, to help you find your way!

Your Partner Cheated, Now What?

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on February 19, 2018 in Friendship 2.0
In infidelity's aftermath, you may feel like your world has been shattered. As you take a breath, here are some steps to help you cope and find a path forward.

Cycles of Intimacy

By Kathy McCoy Ph.D. on February 19, 2018 in Complicated Love
Has your ardor cooled? Do you yearn for a bit of emotional space? Cycles of distance and intimacy are common in relationships, but too many couples panic. Don't be among them!
George Hodan, public domain

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Our mother is how we know ourselves and our world. With a narcissistic mother, we never feel good enough and like her bond with unavailable or abusive partners.

5 Relationship Red Flags You Should Never Ignore

By Peg Streep on February 19, 2018 in Tech Support
In retrospect, it's often easy to see why a relationship or marriage failed. But there are signs along the way that experts know and you should too...

What Will It Take to End the Epidemic of Bullying and Hate?

By Sue Scheff on February 19, 2018 in Shame Nation
We are bombarded with headlines of youth bullying and cyberbullying almost on a daily basis. New book outlines how we can can combat cruelty both online and off.

When Is Porn Use a Problem?

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on February 19, 2018 in ExperiMentations
How do relationship and sexual satisfaction affect couples' use of pornography? New research provides guidance for when porn use is likely to become detrimental.

Lessons from Love and Loss

By Frances Kuffel on February 18, 2018 in What Fat Women Want
As we crammed the protesting dervish into her crate for our flight back to New York, my brother said, “You know, you don’t have to keep her. Not every dog is right for everybody.”

Love and Contempt

Contempt is the ultimate in self-fulfilling prophesy. That’s because contemptuous attributions eliminate all chance of improvement.

The Psychology of Expectations

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 17, 2018 in Cui Bono
"What's wrong with expecting people to do what is right? Don't I have a right to feel resentful when they don't?" Find out what is wrong with that kind of thinking.

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous: Does It Make Sense?

By Emily T. Troscianko on February 17, 2018 in A Hunger Artist
I analyze the ABA literature to explore whether or not the translation from alcohol addiction to eating disorders results in coherent and constructive principles and practices.

"My Child Is an Addict" — How to Talk and Be Heard

Communicating with kids is not always easy. When adult children are battling addiction, it might feel impossible to speak to them in a way that gets through to them.

Love and Toddler Brain Coping Mechanisms

Most of the time, toddlers can get away with blame, denial, and avoidance, because they’re so darn cute. When adults do it, we’re not so cute.

The Best Way to Handle Your Partner’s Silent Treatment

Having your partner ignore you intentionally never feels very good. New research on relationships suggests what silence means, and how to cope when you’re the target.

11 Reasons Women Have Difficulty with Orgasm, and What Helps

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on February 17, 2018 in ExperiMentations
Up to half of women report difficulty with orgasm. Research identifies barriers to sexual pleasure, and provides guidance on how to enjoy intimate experiences more fully.