Most Americans who get married today believe they are choosing their own partners after falling in love with them. Arranged marriages, which remain common in some parts of the world, are a rarity here.
In a widely read blog post, Jennifer Willoughby wrote this phrase after each of the many reasons she gave for enduring what she described as her abusive marriage to former White House aide Rob Porter: “And so I stayed.”
We're programmed to have unrealistic expectations from movies and TV, from romance stories promising wonderful experiences with people who anticipate our every wish. We want someone to be always caring, always considerate, always loveable, always giving. But these romantic illusions too often leave us feeling cheated...
Infidelity highlights the potential fragility of our closest and most important of relationships. But despite the blunt belief infidelity is the result of immoral and over-sexed individuals wanting their cake and eating it too, the reality is far more nuanced.
Your first sexual partner may have more to tell you about your spouse or current lover than you may think. Although this may sound surprising to you, studies have shown early experiences play a role in who we choose as a sexual partner.
There can be plenty of tension associated with Valentine's Day. One cold, dreary February 14th, I am at the grocery store at 5 p.m. In the parking lot I can see men getting out of their cars and scurrying into the store. Inside at the express lane checkout counter are five men standing in line, each holding a dozen roses...
To create a truly lovely Valentine's month and build more joy, love, and peace in your life, I offer you ten tips for building and sustaining good personal and intimate relationships. This article full of numbers is followed by eight Valentine gifts that don't cost any money and blatantly show your love.
The paradox of vulnerability in relationships, the path to connection, is to allow yourself to be both strong and vulnerable at the same time. When you do, it allows your partner to get to see the real you with your defenses down. This means no hiding. Not from yourself, not from your partner and best of all no hiding from the truth.
To be vulnerable with a woman is to allow yourself to be seen and known in your entirety, not just your powerful, independent, secure, loving and capable self. To be vulnerable is to show her your fear, pain, shame, and need for love.
Characteristics merely reflect gross exaggerations of important evolutionary qualities that we actually want in a long-term partner.
We all know what infidelity is, but a universal definition is difficult to carve out—especially in the digital age. Is watching porn cheating, or is it only cheating if the person on the other side of the screen is live?
Simple behavioural tests have now allowed us to see how this organisation is revealed through biases in how we see and interact with the world – and each other – often without us being aware of it.
A male African jacana bird mounts a female, but who takes the lead in caring for the young?. In many species, the males develop elaborated sexual traits to attract females and dissuade potential rival males through competition.
Heterosexual men have unwanted sex with women for two reasons, interviews with 39 college men suggest: in order to conform to gender expectations and to avoid uncomfortable interactions.
Allegations about sexual harassment in Hollywood, British politics and various other sectors have exposed a reality already familiar to most women.
There’s no doubt: Fewer people are making a commitment to marriage. Barely “more than half of adults in the U.S. say they’re living with a spouse. It is the lowest share on record, and down from 70 percent in 1967.”
Any child (or spouse) who has been scolded for their tone of voice – such as shouting or being sarcastic – knows that the way you speak to someone can be just as important as the words that you use.
The quality of women’s relationships with their partner is diminished if they view their parenting division as unfair or want to spend more time working, our new study of employed parents in Canada has found.
The list was one I never thought I would make. I stared at the book titles I had jotted down for reference; each of them looked at divorce from a different angle. I felt I was at the end of my rope as I drifted farther and farther away from any hope of restoring the unity we...
Sex has a strong influence on many aspects of well-being: it is one of our most basic physiological needs. But millions of people spend at least some of their adulthood not having sex.
Persons living with dementia don’t have sex. Or they have weird sex. Or they have dangerous sex, in need of containment.
When Joan Holloway – the bombshell office worker on the show “Mad Men” – enters a room, she knows she looks good and is going to turn heads.
What does it mean to be fully committed in a monogamous relationship? The traditional meaning has to do with focusing your romantic energies only upon your partner. You are not committed if you have “one foot outside the door,” meaning you are still available for romantic relationship with another person.
"A childless royal couple finally has a baby... Life spins along normally for the next sixteen or so years. One day, the princess discovers..."
Trust is the foundation of love. Yet how do you build it? With monotonous regularity you hear your friends and colleagues say, "You can't trust anyone anymore." Almost every popular magazine you open has an article about how couples cheat on each other. Yes, a majority of married men and women do...
It’s often said that the opposite to love is not hate, it’s indifference. Why then are some of us so seemingly fickle in our ability to switch from love to hate in an instant?
What do your exes have in common? A new study finds that the people we date share many similarities—both in terms of appearance and personality.
REALationship. Okay, it’s a cute word. But what does it mean to have a real relationship, a relationship with substance? What does it take to have a relationship that not only lasts, but also thrives with loving connection?
When it comes to power in romantic relationships, men are often cast as dominant and women as deferential. But working against this are caricatures of domineering women with their “hen-pecked husbands” and “whipped boyfriends.”
It’s up to you to take smart risks with love. You don’t want to put your heart in the care of anybody who’s going to hide their true self, treat you poorly, and/or turn out to be psychologically unavailable. Trust must be earned and renewed regularly by our actions.
We all lie. How contradictory it is: we are taught as children that we must always tell the truth, that we shouldn’t lie, yet society teaches us to lie “appropriately” — in order to avoid conflict, to be polite, to get what we want...
Are we relationship material? Boy this sounds like a loaded question. A question that I have been spending quality time asking myself.
When it comes to reporting the number of sex partners or how often they have sexual intercourse, men and women both lie. While men tend to overreport it, women have a tendency to underreport it.
In today's changing times, we are looking for a better way to be ourselves, not someone we were raised to be. In this time of intense self-discovery, all others serve as our mirrors.
Many couples have a special song – “our song” – that reminds them of a significant event or time in their relationship, like when they first met, their wedding or when they were separated by war.
Online dating is an increasingly popular way for people to find love, but that also makes it an attractive target for those with less than romantic intentions.
Even happy couples can be pretty clueless about the ploys each partner uses to avoid dealing with their feelings, new research suggests.
In the late 16th century, the famous French essayist Michel de Montaigne wrote about two marriages between people of the same sex. At the time, same-sex marriages were not recognized by religious or civil law...
Being compassionate to a spouse makes you feel good, even if the nice thing you did goes unnoticed.
It may seem that new relationships are entirely fuelled by dreams and hopes for a perfect future. But the past can have a powerful influence too – often more so than we would like to admit
In America, 60 percent of digital media consumption now occurs on mobile or tablet devices instead of desktop computers.
In the beginning, humans were androgynous. So says Aristophanes in his fantastical account of the origins of love in Plato’s Symposium.
E L James’s Fifty Shades trilogy is a bona fide publishing, and now film, sensation. Whatever you think about the trilogy and its film adaptations...
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are five love songs that pose serious scientific questions. Experts from the University of Melbourne offer insights about the evolution of love, how it changes our bodies, and what human couples can learn from prairie voles and spiders.
Being someone’s BFF is a big deal – you don’t hand over the other half of your “Best Friends” necklace to just anyone. Having a romantic partner who is also your best friend potentially sounds perfect.
Love sure does hurt, as the Everly Brothers knew very well. And while it is often romanticised or made sentimental, the brutal reality is that many of us experience fairly unpleasant symptoms when in the throes of love.
Study after study affirms that people want a partner with a sense of humor. But it’s less about cracking jokes than about finding a style of humor that makes you both laugh.
Cities as distant and varied as Moscow and Manchester, New York and Newport, Beijing and Blackpool all have one striking feature in common.
Whether people are struggling to save a marriage, to cooperate in a family crisis, or to build rapport with a difficult boss, they usually have one thing in common: They need to share emotional information that can help them feel connected.
My favorite fairy tale as a child was Cinderella, so when I met Charlie and fell in love with him, I thought my prince had come. But these kinds of fantasies are a setup for expectations that are impossible to fulfill...
Most people think just one sperm is needed to fertilize a woman’s egg and make a healthy pregnancy. However, biologists now believe sexual intercourse is not just a sperm delivery process, but also a kind of biological communication.
The notion of mind reading conjures images of psychic powers, crystal balls and other aspects of the paranormal.
I celebrated my first Gay Pride Day in San Francisco on June 28, 2015. Two days earlier, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
Maybe you can't see an obvious reason why you haven't found happiness in your relationships, but somehow it's not happening as you envisioned. You can't seem to locate the answers that will bring everything together. Don't give up. Understanding is a journey...
For the philosopher Bertrand Russell, drinking alcohol was a sign of misery: happy people – a category that for the rapacious Russell included sexually satisfied people – did not seek escape in booze.
Aging is generally associated with improvements in our quality of life: We become more proficient in our work, learn how to manage our finances better and our bonds with loved ones deepen.
Heterosexual romantic relationships have historically been all about men courting and “keeping” women. And it’s a powerful tradition.
In a relationship there are myriad issues to manage. Who walks the dog? Does his mother like me? Whom are we supporting to win RuPaul’s “Drag Race All Stars 2”? But there is one issue that can often be harder to manage – how do we as a couple deal with HIV?
Many people involved in abusive partner relationships don’t think of the mistreatment as abuse, say researchers. Yet over the course of a lifetime, one-fourth to one-third of women in the United States will experience abuse from an intimate partner.
The majority of our relationships are in shambles. The U.S. divorce rate hovers at 40 percent, but that’s not the whole story.
Attempting to game the mysteries of love – or, in dating site eHarmony’s terms, “the secret sauce of attraction” – is nothing new. Equally old, of course, is the failure inherent in all such attempts to do so.
Stress isn’t good for you, but it’s not good for your spouse, either. For older married couples, one spouse’s long-term stress can cause the other’s weight gain.
Does anxiety keep getting in the way of you making connections with the people you’d like to spend more time with? Maybe you’ve just met someone, but are worried that your anxiety will ruin it all.
People in the throes of a breakup universally express the fear that they will never love again. I was afraid of this myself for a few months after losing my life partner. In the midst of the despair and hopelessness, we believe that losing our loved one means losing the possibility for love and connection forever.
Sexual desire can change from moment to moment. One minute you’re feeling frisky, and the next you just feel like a cup of tea and a nap.
A popular misconception is that most child sex offenders were once victims themselves. The theory is based on the erroneous assumption that they’ve become paedophiles – those preferentially sexually attracted to prepubescent children – because of their victimisation.
Having sex frequently—and enjoying it—may put older men at higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. For older women, however, good sex may actually lower the risk of hypertension.
There's a psychological war that goes on in us humans between self-hate and self-love. It's a part of another battle that persists: the energy war between living and dying, building energy and depleting energy. The two issues are wrapped up with abundance and love, and they can very dramatically affect your ability to earn money and pull abundance to you...
Divorce is seasonal, new research shows. It consistently peaks in March and August, following the winter and summer holidays.
The selection and attraction of a suitable mate is of fundamental importance to all species. It is perhaps not surprising then that dating programmes, featuring men and women competing for the attentions of a potential partner, are so popular.
Difference exist only on the surface. People sometimes use their differences as an excuse for their lack of closeness. And yet these differences can be a great blessing, and almost force a couple to go to a deeper place where the differences do not exist.
For a new study, researchers asked people about their experiences before, during, and after sex while under the influence of marijuana and alcohol.
Over the past few years, there has been a steady flow of articles in magazines, newspapers and online news outlets examining what hookup culture on college campuses means for sexual norms and behaviors among young adults, particularly young women.
New research suggests that there are ways for couples to sustain—or rekindle—their passion, despite the tendency of sexual desire to dwindle over time.
The world of internet pornography is a pervasive and wide reaching technology, growing at a breathtaking rate. It is a $13 billion-a-year industry in the US. Nine out of 10 boys in America are exposed to it before the age of 18, and men are 543% more likely to be users than women.
Why do people sext? Why do they send racy or naked photos or videos and sexually loaded texts? For a short-term hookup, sexting might seem like a direct way to get what you want
Making friends is tough for teenagers. Making friends with the opposite sex can be even tougher. Our research, published in the Journal of Personality, suggests empathy may be the key to developing friendships, and may be especially important for young men establishing supportive friendships with young women.
Many researchers have asked why people cheat on their partners. A new study asked how they stay together.
You are on holiday with your partner of several years. Your relationship is going pretty well, but you wonder if it could be better. It’s Valentine’s Day and you find a bottle on the beach. You rub it. A love genie appears. He (or she) will grant you three special Valentine wishes. Here are some of your choices:
Comprehensive, inclusive sexuality and relationships education (“sex ed”) teaches children and adolescents in age-appropriate ways that sexuality is a normal, healthy part of life.
June kicks off the U.S. wedding season. Whether you love nuptials or hate them, an astounding trend is occurring: fewer couples are tying the knot.
After having their first baby, new parents report being only somewhat satisfied with their sex lives. The stress levels of moms—but not dads—may be a reason why.
We know a lot about why people choose different brands of dishwashing detergent, because companies spend billions of dollars investigating who buys what. But when it comes to the processes behind perhaps our most significant life choice – choosing a romantic partner – science knows surprisingly little.
The scene described in Nancy Jo Sales’s huge Tinder report published in Vanity Fair magazine featured groups of twenty-something friends and colleagues in a Manhattan bar relaxing after work. But rather than socialising with each other they were engrossed in the more private world of their mobile phones, seeking something completely personal: a sexual partner (albeit not necessarily just for sex).
Matchmaking and dating services used to advertise in small rectangles on tube carriages, next to the vitamin drinks and food delivery services, and in smaller rectangles still on the classified pages of newspapers and magazines.
Everyone loves a good story, but can a good story lead to love? Storytelling is a fundamental form of communication, and research has demonstrated the power of narratives to change minds and influence behavior.
We’ve all felt it at some time in our lives. Poets write about it, singers sing about it – and a whole industry has grown up around finding it, expressing it and maintaining it. But what is love? Where does it reside? What triggers it? And what’s really going on in our minds and bodies when we fall “head over heels”?
“Nice guys finish last” is one of the most widely believed maxims of dating. Fleshed out, the idea goes something like this: heterosexual women might say they want nice characteristics in a partner, but in reality what they want is the challenge that comes with dating a “bad boy”.
In the United States, the teen pregnancy rate is higher than in any other western industrialized country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, a growing number of American teens and young adults have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Lots of women look forward to motherhood – getting to know a tiny baby, raising a growing child, developing a relationship with a maturing son or daughter. All over the world, people believe that parenting is the most rewarding part of life.
Incest sparks strong emotions – and today, in many cultures at least, they are largely negative. But has it always been thus? Or is the taboo peculiar to certain times and places?
It is perhaps one of the most controversial debates in sexual function: is there or isn’t there a G-spot? And if there is, how do we find it?
"Masculine traits in humans are not the same as, say, in peacocks where the beautiful tail attracts a mate," says David Puts. "For example, beards make men more dominant looking, scarier, and seemingly more dangerous, but most women prefer clean-shaven men."
True or false: *Couples with great relationships don’t fight. * Most people expect too much from marriage. * All the good men/women are already taken. * Love can heal all wounds. * If my partner were more like me, we’d have a better relationship.
"A lot of times, just by avoiding negative traits, people will probably be fairly well off—maybe even more well off—than if they were trying to optimize the best potential partner," says Gregory Webster.
The difficult thing is how to measure it, because people will probably over-estimate. If you’re a non-scientist, you might have once asked yourself, propped against the bedhead after disappointingly quick intercourse, how long does sex “normally” last?
Becoming vulnerable with a woman teaches you all about trust. I often hear, “I’ll be more vulnerable with her when I trust her more.” This attitude doesn’t work. Your vulnerability opens the door to trust, and trust opens the door to love.
Some time ago, I found myself single again (shock, horror!) and decided to get back into the world of dating. One thing that struck me very early on in my forays was that everyone had an opinion about “what worked” in terms of dating.
For all that Miley Cyrus’s cropped hair and crotch-clutching and “I don’t relate to being boy or girl” have inspired articles about gender fluidity as the new “in” thing, it’s hard not to see Cyrus’s “trailblazing” as derivative of David Bowie – a true icon in so many ways, not least in his defiant smashing of gender norms.