Essential Reads

Does Science Really Say That Hot Guys Are Jerks?

Our new study suggests that better-looking men are more selfish.

Having a Baby: When You Don't Agree

Different visions? Find the problem under the problem.

What Color Should You Wear on a First Date?

What primates can teach us about attracting a mate

Online Dating: The Dark Side

What you should be wary of when using online dating

Recent Posts on Relationships

What Married Men Need to Know so They Don't Become Divorced Men

Susan swears it wasn't an affair even though there was another man involved. It was, rather, an epiphany. And the other man? The plumber. The plumber came to fix a leaky faucet and she offered him a coffee. When they sat across from each other at the kitchen table, she talked about her life and he listened and seemed to find what she had to say interesting. He laughed at her jokes and she felt alive for the first time in a very long time. And then he left. That was all. But that was enough. 

White House Emotional Intelligence Rating: 0

By Raphael Cushnir on September 29, 2010 in Emotional Connection
That's how they feel, Mr. President. Are you listening? The more you ignore the emotional aspect of your presidency, the more those emotions will do you in. 

The Problem with Happiness

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on September 29, 2010 in Curious?
The United States is obsessed with happiness (same goes for a number of other countries in the world). There are cultural pressures to be happy. But has anyone considered what this pressure to be happy does to people? Read on for the science that shows the folly of organizing your life around trying to be happy.

When the Dish Breaks: An Internet Time Out

By Kimerer LaMothe Ph.D. on September 29, 2010 in What a Body Knows
I think of myself as a technomoderate. While I sit at a computer for some time nearly every day, I do so selectively. I email regularly, blog periodically, and update my website from time to time. I surf the New York Times daily, and Facebook weekly. While writing, I invariably call upon google or amazon to help me find a source or research an idea. In all, I use the web in moderation, to get the job done, while living most of my life in the real world—or so I thought. Then we spent two weeks at the end of the summer without an internet connection. Two weeks? 

Gain a Romantic Partner, Lose 2 Friends?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on September 29, 2010 in Living Single
Asked to name the people they can turn to in times of severe emotional or financial crisis, singles list about 6 people. Coupled people name about 4. What does this mean?

Why Men and Women Can't Be "Just Friends"

By Clifford N. Lazarus Ph.D. on September 28, 2010 in Think Well
Is the idea of a pure, platonic relationship between non-related, heterosexual men and women a myth? For the most part, it would seem the answer is "yes" and the reason is deeply rooted in the evolutionary soil of our species. 

Why and How Do We Help?

When someone needs help, we all can draw on our inner courage to be heroes. The “bystander effect” refers to the principle that bystanders are less likely to help someone in need when there are others around than when they are the only witness.  

Angelina: Is Loneliness the Price of Success?

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on September 28, 2010 in The Friendship Doctor
By outward appearances, 35-year-old Angelina Jolie seems to have it all: beauty, six incredible kids, and a life partner considered one of the most attractive men in the world. Her career success has also been meteoric; she's won an Oscar, two SAG awards and three Golden Globes. Earnings estimated at more than $20 million per year make her one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. Yet, in a satellite interview with CNN's Sanjay Gupta earlier this month, she said, "I don't have a lot of friends I talk to." 

The Most Important Thing To Know About Conflict

By Elaine Shpungin Ph.D. on September 27, 2010 in Peacemeal
Turning ideas about conflict, safety, and explosiveness upside down.

Starting the conversation

How do we begin a scary and painful conversation on the role of racism and prejudice in society? 

How To Win Friends (The Sad Truth)

By Shankar Vedantam on September 27, 2010 in The Hidden Brain
Why Some People Make Friends More Easily Than Others

Stories Are Us

By Marietta McCarty on September 27, 2010 in Life Saving Philosophy
My stories bind my life as one life through the passage of time; they are the threads that weave seemingly separate events into my identity. Our stories bind us as travelers on the same planet. Personal narratives introduce us to each other and give us a shared history. Comic or tragic, heartwarming or heartrending, each of our lives is one big short story collection.

The Dark Side of Self-Control

While behaviors like smoking, drinking and eating too much, taking drugs, or sleeping with strangers, can have many root causes, they all seem to have one obvious thing in common: they are all examples of failures of self-control. But if you really think about it, something about that simple answer doesn't quite make sense. In fact, it turns out that sometimes it's having willpower that really gets you into trouble.

A Conversation with Gail Caldwell: On the loss of a close friend

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on September 25, 2010 in The Friendship Doctor
The death of a close friend is extraordinarily painful, made that much more difficult because bereaved friends typically evoke little sympathy and support. This occurs even when the emotional connection between two friends is as strong as the bonds between siblings, spouses or partners.

Does Love Involve Sacrifice or Compromise?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on September 24, 2010 in In the Name of Love
The need for sacrifices and compromises is often mentioned in discussions of romantic relationships. Are the two the same and if not, which of the two is most needed in romantic relationships? According to Romantic Ideology, love is frequently described as involving sacrifices and resisting compromises. In reality, the situation is typically the opposite-relationships require fewer sacrifices and more compromises. 

Alternative Sexualities Research

By David J Ley Ph.D. on September 24, 2010 in Women Who Stray
CARAS is an organization dedicated to academic and therapeutic research into kinky, alternative sex. These people are asking a lot of very healthy, intriguing questions.

Your Sense of Agency: Are You In Control of Your Life?

By Mary C Lamia Ph.D. on September 24, 2010 in The White Knight Syndrome
Your ability to take action, be effective, influence your own life, and assume responsibility for your behavior are important elements in what you bring to a relationship.

Positive Relationships

By Michelle Gielan on September 23, 2010 in Lights, Camera... Happiness!
Close relationships are an important part of being happy.  Some powerful reasons why relationships matter... at least to me.

Can You and Your Partner Agree to Disagree?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 23, 2010 in Evolution of the Self
Certainly, you've heard the phrase before. Perhaps so many times that it's ceased to have much meaning to you. But the fact is that in a long-term, committed relationship, when circumstances oblige you to confront significant differences with your partner, nothing could be more crucial than agreeing to disagree.

Passive Aggressive "Paybacks" on CBS's Survivor: Nicaragua

 When you need to avoid being the target at Tribal Council, is passive aggressive revenge your best weapon?

The Cosmic Countermove: What Your Therapist Won't Tell You!

By Harriet Lerner Ph.D. on September 22, 2010 in The Dance of Connection
Warning: The universe itself may give you a hard time if you make too bold a change! For example, you buy a house and the week you move in the dishwasher stops working and your car breaks down. What does this mean? Before you make a relationship change of any kind, know the truth about "cosmic countermoves!

The Key to a Good Marriage

By Michael W Austin on September 22, 2010 in Ethics for Everyone
Using parenting techniques on a spouse may be effective in helping us get what we want, but is it right?

Reaping Justice from an ex-Spouse

A while ago, I was listening to a weekly radio show on PBS called "This American Life". Each episode has a particular theme and people tell stories related to that theme. I was really taken by a story about a man who had experienced extreme injustice but was unable to correct it.