Essential Reads

Criticizing Personal Autonomy

Self-realization comes not from control but from connection

"Is Adolescence Really Necessary?"

Surprised by early adolescence, parents wonder if their child's changes need be.

Why Women Don't Make the First Move

In the rules of dating, it’s all about control

The Difference between Sadness and Depression

Knowing the difference can significantly impact your quality of life

Recent Posts on Relationships

Single and Lonely? The Truth May Be Exactly the Opposite.

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on September 14, 2015 Living Single
Who is most likely to maintain social ties with parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors? Who is likely to help those people and receive help from them? Is it married people? Previously married people? People who have always been single? The answer is always the same, and it comes from nationally representative surveys.

Why We Marry People We Aren't Physically Attracted To

Is your relationship blowin' in the wind?

Family Reality and Bipolar Research: Today There Is Hope

By Rita Watson MPH on September 13, 2015 With Love and Gratitude
Although there is some hopeful news on bipolar disorder, author G. D. Spilsbury shows how family became the bridge between research and reality.

Love, Sex, and Surrender

By Frances Cohen Praver Ph.D. on September 13, 2015 Love Doc
Slim of body, meticulously groomed, Sari sat down carefully at the far end of the sofa. “Thank you for fitting me in at this late hour. It’s just that I work full time in Manhattan and have three children

Why Little Things Are Worth Getting Upset About

“Take it easy. Chill out. Relax. Cool down. Don’t stress out. Lighten up. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s not a big deal.”

Could Having More Sex Actually Make You Less Happy?

Are you having enough sex? Before you change you habits, beware: more, it seems, is not necessarily better.

Attractions That Go Sour: The Good & Bad of Complementarity

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on September 11, 2015 Fixing Families
What we're most attracted to in another is often what eventually can drive us crazy. Some of the whys and ways to sidestep such reactions

When a Friendship Gets Too Complicated

When friends move away from each other, it’s hard to maintain the same relationship they had when they were living close together. Even without that barrier, relationships change over time as two people grow in different directions.

Intimate Relationship Dynamics III

Many therapists greatly underestimate the power of the fear-shame dynamic or, worse, pathologize it.

Do I Have to Know Who I Am to Find True Love?

It is possible that the very notion of being "ready for love" can serve as a powerful defense against it. Many of us cling to the belief that self-knowledge, perhaps even self-love, is the missing ingredient in our histories of failed attempts. Do you wish you knew yourself much better? Do you imagine that if you did, everything would fall into place? Then read on...

Does Conditional Self-Acceptance Keep You From Being Happy?

Do you have a tendency to disavow compliments? Deny credit if what you accomplished was done with minimal effort? Or might you attribute your successes more to luck than to social skills, intelligence, or innate gifts? If any of these characterizations applies to you, you’re probably preventing yourself from experiencing what all of us most desire.

Why Play?

By Bernard L. De Koven on September 10, 2015 On Having Fun
"Playfulness is, in part, an openness to being a fool, which is a combination of not worrying about competence, not being self-important, not taking norms as sacred and finding ambiguity and double edges a source of wisdom and delight."

In Praise of the One-Second Pause

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 10, 2015 How To Do Life
Much benefit derives from waiting a second after someone speaks.

Sex, Love and Politics at the Movies

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on September 09, 2015 The Pacific Heart
Mora Stephens' new film "Zipper" explores private needs and the public good. Starring Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey and with an appearance by John Cho, it's a great conversation starter about politics, the libido and ethics.

Social Media and Healing of Memories

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on September 09, 2015 Works in Progress
When an unexpected name comes back from the past, it can throw us for a loop.

I'm Afraid That I'm Gay

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 09, 2015 The Teen Doctor
What To Do About Sexual Confusion

Could Donald Trump Make Us More Informed?

Donald Trump, the stock market, and being irrational. Behavioral economics tells us that having "The Donald" in the race could actually make us more informed.

Top 10 Amazing (Recent) Findings on Character Strengths

The science of character strengths has exploded in the last decade and a half and we are gaining plenty of new knowledge about these core positive qualities in human beings. Here are 10 interesting and very recent research studies on VIA character strengths.

6 (Science-Backed) Secrets to a Better Love Life

One of the clearest things to emerge from research on happiness is that we are social creatures. The quality of our relationships goes hand-in-hand with our wellbeing. That said, here are a few creative and data-driven ideas to improve your love life.

The Right Way to Bring Romance Into Your Life

By Isadora Alman MFT on September 08, 2015 Sex & Sociability
“Incurable gadget collector.” “Hopeless opera fan.” Even when it’s something appropriate like “incurable cancer” or “hopeless Alzheimer's patient,” a hopeless or incurable anything sounds depressing. Why then take pride in being a hopeless romantic?

5 Questions Better Than "How Was Your Day?"

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 Friendship 2.0
Kids worldwide are back at school-- and parents are eager to hear how it's going. If your child seems to stall out at "Fine" when asked how his or her day went, these five questions can set the stage for a more interesting discussion.

Venus v. Serena Williams: Reflecting on Sibling Relationship

By Peg Streep on September 08, 2015 Tech Support
What a tennis competition between sisters can teach us all about this most extended of family relationships...

What Makes People Do the Same Stupid Things Repeatedly?

If we assume as I do that they are not mad, bad, or stupid, how do we account for people with personality disorders who continue with the same disastrous behavior patterns repeatedly with the exact same disastrous results? Or who go from one extreme to the other, and still end up at the same place? Could it be that the end result is actually their goal? And why?

The Simplest Way for a Couple to Boost Intimacy

Couples are constantly looking for ways to improve their relationships, but there’s one easy way that can be part of your everyday routine. Sharing a meal does more than feed the body, it also feeds the quality of your emotional well-being.

Trust in a Trustless Society

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 Jacob's Staff
Knowledge, transparency, privacy and trust. How are these related? When they are incomplete, what is their impact on our lives? How do we deal with the uncertainties that result from a lack of trust? Do we need new metrics of trust? How can humans develop trust through interactions based purely on digital media?

Evolutionary Love: An Interview With Dr. Marc Gafni

By Mark Matousek on September 08, 2015 Ethical Wisdom
What does it mean to eroticize our daily lives? And why is it so important to do so?

Why Men and Women Have Different Sexual Regrets

Research finds that women are more likely to regret the sex they had, whereas men are more likely to regret the sex they did not have.

When Kids Leave Home

The transition to college or work is a major milestone for our kids. Yet it's a potential nightmare for parents, who naturally worry about countless problems their young-adult children may face. Here are some tips that may help parents survive this important, if not critical, time in family life.

Loving What You Hate and Hating What You Love

By Lynne Soraya on September 07, 2015 Asperger's Diary
For an autistic person, pain can be disturbingly difficult to distinguish from pleasure.

Is Your Relationship Toxic?

Are your or your partner's obvious or hidden toxic thoughts and feelings destroying your relationship?