Relationships Essential Reads

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for a child abuser? For a child molester? How can anyone be empathic with someone who has done something so terrible? Why would they want to? Do the perpetrators possibly deserve such a thing? For a judge or prosecutor, of course not. For stopping repetitive dysfunctional family interactions that trigger someone's self-destructive behavior? Necessary.

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

By Joe Navarro M.A. on February 27, 2015 in Spycatcher
Why exercising social intelligence matters and why it can dominate a news cycle

Does Science Really Say That Hot Guys Are Jerks?

There have been many recent media stories—with titles like "Science Says: Hot Guys Are A-Holes"—about a new study on attractiveness and behavior. I was lead author on this study, and I'll clarify here what our study really showed.

Having a Baby: When You Don't Agree

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on February 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Being on different pages about having children can be a major relationship roadblock. The key is uncovering the problem under the problem -- some likely suspects.

What Color Should You Wear on a First Date?

Maximize your attractiveness in that online dating profile pic or on that first date

Online Dating: The Dark Side

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Love, Digitally
These people use devious psychological ploys. Have you ever been suspicious about an online relationship?

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

9 Thoughts That Destroy Loving Relationships

Don't let any of these toxic thoughts overtake you and hurt or destroy your loving relationship.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

Confessing Your Office Romance

By Sean M. Horan Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Adventures in Dating
Workplace romances are common...but how do employees learn that two people are dating at work? My latest research study describes this process.

10 Barriers to Intimacy and How You Can Break Them Down

By Peg Streep on February 18, 2015 in Tech Support
How close and connected you feel to your partner changes over time and can, alas, both ebb and flow. What you can do to increase intimacy in your relationship, based on science.

A Surprising Key To Sustainable Relationship

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 17, 2015 in Ambigamy
We often get frustrated that our partners don't take responsibility for changing an annoying behavior. Their unwillingness to change feels like a violation of give and take. Paradoxically, we can often get more give and take if we stop holding out for them to change and instead change our way of interacting with them so we're fine regardless of whether they change.

Pride and Prejudice and Compassion

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on February 16, 2015 in The Web of Violence
How does gender affect the relationship between compassion and mental health? Revisit a classic love story in this blog as we look at how compassion could drive you crazy.

7 Bad Ways To Quit If You Want A Fresh Start

By Peg Streep on February 16, 2015 in Tech Support
When you leave a situation, a job, or a relationship, what's your quitting style? You will want to avoid all seven of these for sure......

Why Is There So Much Miscommunication Via Email and Text?

Why Is There So Much Miscommunication Via Email and Text? How we interpret electronic messages is shaped by our feelings. By Melissa Ritter, Ph.D.

I Would Rather Have Tasted Her Lips Just Once

Social psychologist Phillip Shaver and colleagues asked students how confident they were that words on a list of over one hundred emotion words referred to emotions. Interestingly, they found that “love” was the single word that students were most confident signified an emotion. But is love really an emotion?

10 Ways to Tell if You're Giving Your Relationship a Chance

We all hold beliefs about love and the importance it have for our happiness. This 10-item scale will tell you how realistic or unrealistic you are about what to expect from your closest romantic partners, how responsible you are for other people's happiness, and whether you're driven by the need for approval.

Will Love Make You Happy?

By Paul Dolan Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Happiness by Design
Sometimes love is described as if it is happiness in and of itself. Love is not happiness, although it can contribute to your happiness - and your happiness can contribute to your success in love too. This Valentine’s Day, learn a bit more about what love is and think about whether it’s worth having or not.

Why So Cynical About Valentine’s Day?

As the Valentine's Day hype machine roars on, so does the Valentine's Day cynicism. Here's why you should resist both.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

Your Bad Relationship Could Make Your Hair Gray

A lot of love advice out there is nothing more than myths and urban legends. If you are an experienced myth buster, go solve some puzzles on Mensa's math site. If not, continue reading.

The 3 Best Gifts You Can Give Your Partner

By Karl Pillemer Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in Lessons for Loving
We often focus on big-ticket gifts in our romantic relationships. But surveys of long-married couples show the importance of "thinking small"—focusing on small, positive actions routinely in a relationship. It's those continual, loving gestures that lead to a long and satisfying relationship.

Why You Might Find It Harder to Make New Friends

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Good Thinking
Every seven years we lose about half of our close network of friends and replace them with others. Here's how it's done.

Mixed Messages in Your Family? A Quiz You Can Take

By David M. Allen M.D. on February 09, 2015 in A Matter of Personality
A highly prevalent feature in families that produce an offspring with a significant personality disorder is parents who give their children mixed, contradictory messages about how to behave in certain social circumstances. To see how your family stacks up against other families and to find out what issues your family has, I herein provide a self-administered quiz for you.

Study: This May Be the Best Way to Keep Couples Together

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Close Encounters
New research found that an intervention in which couples watched and discussed 5 romantically-themed movies together put them at significantly lower risk of divorce, on par with the effectiveness of well-known therapeutic interventions.

What Straight Couples Can Learn from Gay Couples

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
Ten things that gay couples know that every couple should learn. Gay couples often have had to fight for their relationship against great odds: the upside is they know how to do it and why it is worth it.

The Surprising Psychology of BDSM

‘Fifty Shades’ piqued your curiosity? Answers to five kinky questions.

Millennials and Social Media: It May Not Be What You Think

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on February 02, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
We may be worrying too much that our smart phones, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages are making us less capable of dealing with real people in real physical space. The actual problem is that this technology is making it impossible for us to be WITHOUT other people, even for short periods of time.

The One Trait You Need for a Healthy Relationship

Compassion for your partner brings a huge payoff: a healthy and loving relationship.

Why Insecure People Make Such Bad Bosses

A sense of security is beneficial for many reasons, but particularly so when other people depend on you. Horrible bosses can be horrible for many reasons, but being insecure is arguably one of the most important. Whether it’s your boss, or the boss of your lover or friend, understanding the effects of personal insecurity can give you important insights.