Essential Reads

5 Reasons Why the Fairy Tale (Almost) Always Dies

Here are five reasons why fairy tale dreams often lead to misery in romance

Are You A Status Seeker? The Chances Are Good that You Are

Exploring how status motivates all of us

Unbroken by Divorce: 5 Rules of Resilience

What's different about the people who are least likely to be undone by divorce

What Do Women Look for in a Mate?

Choosing a potential mate is always tricky. A new research study shows why.

Recent Posts on Relationships

A Clinical Portrait of Excessive Online Porn Use (Part 6)

By Todd Essig Ph.D. on April 23, 2010 in Over-Simulated
Continuing the story of "Paul and His Girls" with a brief journey into clinical theory and one therapist's need (mine) to understand this confusing patient.

Touch is the ultimate communication

By Randi Kreger on April 22, 2010 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
When we read about communicating with someone with borderline personality disorder, we lean what we're supposed to say and not supposed to say. As it turns out, all the techniques we memorize may matter less than our body language, which communicates a whopping 93% of our attitudes and beliefs about something.

The Leap from A Little Bit Married to the Whole Thing: Do Men and Women Differ?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 22, 2010 in Living Single
A new book claims that if you are a little bit married (in a long-term monogamous relationship, without the official marriage certificate) and a heterosexual woman, you are probably more eager to make the leap to marriage than he is. Looking at the big picture, though, I think men and women are becoming more similar in how they approach (or don't) coupled life. A glance at the demographic trends over the past century indicates that the age at which men and women marry (among those who do marry) is becoming more similar.

Celebrating Infertility Awareness Week

 So, you may be asking, "what's to celebrate?" Infertility is not an experience anyone wants to have, it is something people hope to put behind them as quickly as possible, and it tends to be a somewhat carefully guarded secret for many couples

A Declining Relationship? Recharge It Through "Indifference"

Most couples assume that  long-term relationships will decline in passion and vitality.  But you can revitalize your relationship through the paradox of "indifference"

Sadomasochistic Reenactments: What Every Woman Needs to Know, Pt. 2

By Wednesday Martin Ph.D. on April 22, 2010 in Stepmonster
If you feel unlovable, contemptible, repellant, take heed: you might be a magnet for frenemies or cheating men. You might seek out painful, even disastrous attachments.

Suppressing Emotions

By Sue Johnson on April 22, 2010 in Hold Me Tight
Research has shown that suppressing your emotions pretty well shuts down communication within that relationship. Let's chat about what the findings from one study might mean for your relationship.

Keeping the friends you make on your travels

Dear Irene,I would love your advice on how to make the transition from traveling with someone (navigating a foreign country together and sharing things on a daily basis) to being "long-distance" friends once one or both of you have returned home to your respective lives and countries.  

Another Ten Partly Baked Ideas

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on April 21, 2010 in BrainSnacks
What are partly baked ideas? They're off-beat, off-the-wall, partly-formed, embryonic snippets of ideas, that might even be off-limits to your everyday thinking. Think of them as "ideapetizers." They're often weird - they make you stop and think for a second, and then all kinds of crazy connections start coming up in your mind.

Friendship in a Box: What's going on?

Dear Irene,We both lost our husbands to illness in their prime. Needless to say, we feel connected in a way that is not common to most friends. 

How Do You Die Well?

By Angela Baker on April 21, 2010 in Dying Well
When individuals first come into a hospice program, they are frequently dealing with the initial shock regarding their poor prognosis. They have often just heard the words "there is nothing more that can be done" from their doctor, and they are reeling from a variety of mixed feelings - anger, sadness and fear are just a few on the spectrum of emotions that may be justifiably whirling through their mind.

Hidden Brain Puzzle Finding Love: Quantity vs Quality

By Shankar Vedantam on April 20, 2010 in The Hidden Brain
Do we make better romantic choices when we have many options or a few options?

Sadomasochistic Reenactments: What Every Woman Needs to Know, Pt. 1

By Wednesday Martin Ph.D. on April 20, 2010 in Stepmonster
If you repeatedly sabotage yourself at work or in relationships, and see yourself as someone who is prone to persecution and suffering, you might be trapped in a sadomasochistic reenactment

Serial Adultery: Is It Chance or Character?

In the comments to my previous posts on adultery, one recurring theme dealt with "serial" adulterers, people who seem to exemplify a pattern of cheating, whether it involves repeated affairs within one committed relationship, or leaving one relationship for a lover, then leaving that person for another, and so on...

How Long Does "Typical" Divorce Recovery Take?

There are things you can do to impede your divorce recovery and things you can do to improve your recovery.

May I Help You? Passive Aggressive Behavior in the Customer Service Industry

 Have you fallen prey to a customer service professional's passive aggressive behavior? Have you been the one to dish it out? What are your stories of private anger in public service?

A Clinical Portrait of Excessive Online Porn Use (Part 5)

By Todd Essig Ph.D. on April 18, 2010 in Over-Simulated
Continuing the story of "Paul and His Girls" with an installment in which I learn more about the kinds of images Paul includes as "one of my girls."

Self-esteem highest among middle-aged boomers

By Ray Williams on April 17, 2010 in Wired for Success
Self-esteem was lowest among young adults but increased throughout adulthood, peaking at age 60, before it started to decline according to researchers Ulrich Orth of the University of Basel, Kali Trzesnieuski of the University of Western Ontario and Richard Robbins of The University of California and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Is This Love Or Too Much Caffeine? Misattributions of Arousal Strengthen Relationships

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on April 17, 2010 in Mental Mishaps
I'm in love. I can tell because my heart rate soars and I feel great when I'm near her. Of course, a lot of things can send my heart to palpitating, so how do I know it's love? Researchers have played with people's hearts by manipulating arousal. 

Are Love and Sexual Desire Moral?

 Love is valuable morally because it increases attachment between people, and this is of the utmost importance in maintaining social and personal relationships. The great importance of care and attachment in human affairs makes it understandable that we consider those who are unable to love as morally delinquent. The position of sexual desire is less clear in this regard.

Infertility Gardens

As I'm looking out at the glorious spring weather, filled with sunshine and bursting blossoms, my thoughts of infertility take a slightly different turn today. I find myself thinking of the ways that the healing balm of nature has calmed sadness and grief of friends and clients experiencing infertility. For those of us tempted to seek solace on the internet, by reading articles and books, through comfort food, or just seeking some solitude, there's yet another option: creating a garden.