4 Essential Keys to a Happy Relationship

Love? Sex? Romance? There are many keys happy, lasting marriages. Here, I argue that at the root of it all are four types of safety that secure lasting love.

Who Will Clip Your Toenails When You Cannot?

They never tell you when you are little that you will one day clip the toenails of your parents or siblings. Such little things must amount to great differences in the quality of life as we age. If you needed one more reason to build and maintain lifelong, loving relationships. . .

8 Ways to Divorce-Proof Your Relationship

Married and want to stay that way? You can do a lot to impact your odds of lasting love. While the odds of divorce remain high, there's nothing that says you have to become a statistic. Check in here for strategies you can use n what you can do to make that difference.

7 Ways to Make Yourself Divorce-Proof

Many singles are interested in marriage but fear divorce. You can do things before marriage to increase your odds of lasting love in marriage.

The Sticky (Dating) Problem: Inertia, Lock-in, and Sunk Cost

Things move fast these days in the world of romance. One of the problems that people often do not see coming is making it harder to break up before really deciding if the person they are seeing is right for them. That happens all the time (now) because it's become so easy to increase constraints that lock you in before developing deeper dedication and knowledge of the fit.

What Is the Divorce Rate, Anyway?

There have long been arguments about the divorce rate—what it really is, where the numbers come from, and what that means for couples today. I go deep into the backstory of the arguments about the risk for divorce and the complexity of what many think should be such an obvious number to report.

Lasting Love, like Puppies, Has Both a Front and a Back End

You fall in love with the front end of the puppy, but every puppy has a back end. Therein lies a lesson about commitment in relationships.

Does a Big Wedding Lead to a Better Marriage?

Ever wonder if the size of a wedding matters for marital success? How could it? When it comes to weddings, size comes in at least two flavors: money spent and the number of guests. And it turns out there is an edge, for some, in larger weddings.

Great Article on Psychology Today About Soft Break-Ups

You know you are seeing it. Ambiguity reigns in dating, romantic, and sexual relationships outside of marriage (marriage is not very ambiguous). I've argued before that this is motivated. There are reasons why people like to keep things vague now when it comes to dating and mating. It seems that break-ups are now more ambiguous than ever, and there are reasons for caution.

Rings, Signals, Sex, and Babies

Customs like giving an engagement ring have a lot of history, and the customs are related to deeper themes about biology, babies, and signals of commitment. In this piece, I explore these themes by starting with the question, “should Tyra keep the engagement ring she got from Sam? (After he dumped her?)

Why We Really Give Engagement Rings

There is an interesting history to the use of engagement rings in Western culture, and there are even more interesting ideas about the role of emblems of commitment—like engagement rings. Why, traditionally, does the man give the engagement ring and not vice versa? Should a person give the ring back if the engagement is broken?

The Losses People Fear in Talking About “The Relationship”

At some point in relationships, one of the two partners will be the first to feel a strong need for clarity about where things are headed—if indeed they are headed anywhere. Time is moving on, and it becomes time to get some clarity. There are many reasons, however, why the other partner may avoid this big picture DTR. I describe three of them here.

3 Reasons why People Avoid Talking About "the Relationship"

As romantic relationships have become more ambiguous, the need for having “the talk” or defining one’s relationship has grown. But it is widely recognized that these talks are often avoided. Here, I describe some of the reasons why.

The Hidden Risk of Cohabitation

For decades, people have believed that living together should increase their odds of doing well in marriage because it provides a good test of the relationship beforehand. But there is almost no research support for this being true, which creates a mystery that I try to explain.

Is Living Together Just Another Form of Dating?

As young adults put off marriage until later in life, cohabitation has inhabited much of the space that used to be made up of married couples. A new study shows that all types of cohabiting couples have become more likely than in the past to break up and not marry. Cohabitation is moving toward being a form of dating with no implications about the odds of marrying.

Are You a Leaf Blower or a Broom?

How are leaf blowers and brooms like the choice you have in handling messes in your relationship? Here's a humorous take on the important difference between actually cleaning up a mess and blowing dirt all around. Working out the metaphor in your life is up to you.

Is This a Date?

People have caught on. Earlier this year, USA Today ran a piece on confusion about dating versus hanging out. Today, Vox.com ran one as well, focused on the difficulties people experience in knowing if what they are doing is a date or not. What gives? Motivated ambiguity.