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More Information and Recent Research on Love, Sex, and Relationships

(Reuters) [A]n international poll released on Wednesday showed that more people feel happy and financially secure if they are in a relationship than being single. Nearly 80 percent of more than 18,000 adults questioned in an online Ipsos poll in 15 countries who were part of a couple said they were happy, compared with 67 percent of singles.
Community: But there may be big differences in reports between married men and married women. I once read that the happiness rankings go like this: Happiest, married men; second, single women; third, single men; fourth, married women. I can’t find a reference for it today, so I can’t give you a link.
(Linda Walter, LCSW, Psychology Today) Valentine’s Day is a day that may have some feeling sad and anxious. The media tells us we should be madly in love and strive towards having the “perfect” relationship like we see on TV commercials and in movies. Here's how you and your friends can make the day special.
(Hank Davis and Yana Hoffman, Psychology Today) Valentine's Day: He feels coerced. She feels neglected. Can they reach a resolution?
(Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Valentine's Day is too often portrayed as either a total drag or over the top expression of one's love. Much of the fun of childhood days of silly cards and chalky hearts seem to have faded. But it's not too late to get that back. Read on for 5 ways to take the pressure off this Valentine's Day and to celebrate the holiday for what it truly is—a day of love.
(Rita Watson, Psychology Today) In the world of gift giving, love and gratitude, people who are appreciative generally try to express their feelings with tokens of affection or the gift of time.
(UPI) Fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships among both men and women, researchers at the University of Toronto say.
(UPI) Oxytocin, the "bonding hormone" between mother and child, may also be the bonding hormone between husband and wife, researchers in Germany and China say.
Community: Fortunately, there are ways to increase oxytocin levels. However, see below.
(Alex Korb, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Your relationship with your parents growing up can often negatively impact your happiness in your romantic relationships. Understanding the neuroscience behind this can help you take control of the situation.
More . . .
People Prefer Mates with a 22% Resemblance to Themselves
(Discover Magazine) Subjects rated partners as more attractive when their partner's face was digitally morphed with their own.
(University of Nottingham) Altruistic or selfless behaviour is an attractive trait in a potential sexual partner, according to new research led by researchers from The University of Nottingham and Liverpool John Moores University.
(Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Psychology Today) The adage “opposites attract” is generally regarded in relationship research to be untrue. Similarity seems to breed stronger attraction at least in a relationship’s early phases. Research on joint goal pursuits by romantic couples shows that if you want something done, however, your best bet for a partner is your psychological opposite.
(Vinita Mehta, Ph.D., Ed.M., Psychology Today) Women often can't help but find them utterly appealing.
(Kory Floyd, Ph.D., Psychology Today) The next time you plant a kiss on your sweetheart, you may be improving your health in the process. The science of smooching tells us that we benefit from puckering up.
(University of Oxford) What's in a kiss? A study by Oxford University researchers suggests kissing helps us size up potential partners and, once in a relationship, may be a way of getting a partner to stick around.
(Discover Magazine) The structure of your network indicates the health of your romance.
(UPI) Newlyweds who are anxious about the future of their marriage should just listen to their "gut-level responses," U.S. researchers suggest.
(Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP, Psychology Today) Trust me on this….if you want to make a good decision in marriage be sure to partner with someone who has good impulse control. Problems with infidelity, money management, over indulging in food and drink, and so forth are all predictive from how one manages their impulses. And perhaps the best place on the planet to test your partner’s impulse control is in Las Vegas!
(Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W., Psychology Today) People whose primary reason to marry is other than love — such as to have children with someone they believed would be a good co-parent, to have financial security, or for companionship — generally have longer and perhaps better marriages because their choices are made for a defined purpose. Additionally, their expectations of marriage and their mate are less unrealistic. Their spouse wasn’t expected to be “The One.” They merely needed to be Mr. or Mrs. “Good Enough.”
(University of Rochester) Discussing five movies about relationships over a month could cut the three-year divorce rate for newlyweds in half, researchers report… The findings show that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively simple movie-and-talk approach can be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods—reducing the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after three years.
(Samantha Joel, M.A., Psychology Today) When one partner invests time, energy, emotions, and other resources into the relationship, the other partner tends to appreciate that person more and is subsequently more willing to stay in that relationship.
(Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D. Ed.D.) These are the things we do when we first begin to date, the fun things that keep us in a state of anticipation and relaxation. This is something that one can do to keep that sense of excitement and expectation alive.
(Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Life can be difficult, but with a partner who is willing to lighten your burden, it can be a sweet experience too.
(Guy Winch, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Looking back over twenty years of working as a couples therapist, and considering the many couples I’ve encountered in my personal life, the happiest and most satisfied of them exhibited three specific relationship skills. Don’t be disheartened if you and/or your partner are not great at these skills. They rarely come pre-installed; they need to be learned and practiced. 1. Empathy… 2. Emotional Validation… 3. Consideration and Civility.
(Theresa DiDonato, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Walking, running, or taking on a fitness challenger might benefit you, but might it also improve your romantic relationship?
(Science Daily) Losing weight is beneficial for human health, but when one partner in a romantic relationship loses weight, it doesn’t always have a positive effect on the relationship. According to new research, there can be a “dark side” to weight loss if both partners are not on board with enacting healthy changes.
(The Greater Good) Three easy ways to make it feel like new love.
(Sari Cooper, L.C.S.W., Psychology Today) Why has your sexual energy become so weak? This Valentine's Day do something to wake up all your erotic triggers! Answer 6 simple questions to take your erotic temperature and gain guidance on reviving your energy.
(Temma Ehrenfeld, Psychology Today) Simple exercises—like synchronizing your breath or gazing into each other's eyes—can be done deliberately and strengthen a relationship.
Community: I don’t know. I think I’d burst out laughing if we tried gazing into each other’s eyes.
(Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Each couple has a unique way of relating physically to each other, whether it’s through giving backrubs, kissing, cuddling, or holding. Surprisingly, there’s little research on this topic in close, intimate long-term relationships. These 7 types are a start in understanding how and why we show affection to those we love.
(UPI) Men feel a failure when their wives or girlfriends succeed at something, and feel even worse if their partner succeeds where they failed, U.S. researchers say.
Community: I doubt that all men feel this way. And it may be the same way men feel when a good friend succeeds.
(Medical News Today) It can sometimes be difficult to regain composure after a particularly heated argument with a spouse. But new findings, published in the journal Emotion, show that long-term marital satisfaction depends on wives, not husbands, regulating their own emotions.
(Jay Dixit, Psychology Today) How small irritants become big issues.
(Susan Heitler, Ph.D., Psychology Today) When couples fight about money, they are moving forward on a high risk road. Danger ahead.
(Christine Meinecke, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Good news: Avoidance of conflict is not necessarily a maladaptive cop out.
(Shawn M. Burn, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Self-defeating thoughts (mindtraps) can lead us into dysfunctional helping and giving and codependent relationships. Fortunately, there's a way out.
(Billi Gordon, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Why your brain betrays your heart and you become addicted to toxic relationships.
(Reuters Health) Men's and women's drinking habits could provide hints about their risk of being in a violent relationship, a new study suggests.
(Science Daily) Women are up to 83 percent more likely to experience repeat abuse by their male partners if a weapon is used in the initial abuse incident, according to a new study that has implications for victims, counselors and police.
(Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT, Psychology Today) Letting go of an emotional manipulator isn't easy, but you can do it.
(Juliana Breines, Ph.D., Psychology Today) There is no shortage of advice on how to recover from a bad break-up: keep busy, don't contact your ex, go out with friends, listen to "I will survive" on repeat. But according to a recent study, something important is missing from this list.
(Melissa Kirk, Psychology Today) What if breakups aren't failures, but are quantum leaps instead?
(Jill P. Weber, Ph.D., Psychology Today) The loss of a relationship brings heartache to most. Here are 5 ways to turn the loss and heartache of a breakup or divorce into the golden trophy of a new, healthy and fulfilling love.
(Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Boomers are bucking the trend toward fewer divorces. So why are they divorcing so much more often than everyone else? One view is that they are innovators with high standards for their conjugal partners. That would be so boring if boomers went from transformers of society to garden-variety matrimaniacs.
(UPI) People living in areas with many conservative Protestants are at higher risk of divorce, even if they aren't conservative Protestants, U.S. researchers say.
(Nigel Barber, Ph.D., Psychology Today) The Mosuo people of south west China do not marry and fathers do not live with, or support, children. Do the Mosuo anticipate a global future where no one marries?
(Sean M. Horan, Ph.D., Psychology Today) As Valentine's Day approaches, people might be tempted to engage in drinking and texting former lovers. Sometimes combining the two can be trouble. Why do we engage in cell phone communication while intoxicated? Research identifies five reasons, reviewed here.
(Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Giving and showing intimacy is highly underrated. Many people don’t realize how powerful these little acts can actually be. You can change the course of a bad relationship and make a good relationship great just by being a little more loving and creating, as well as enjoying, greater intimacy between the two of you.
(Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Psychology Today) What are the emotional risks of casual sex?
(UPI) Women are much less likely to have a sexual climax during casual sex than in committed relationships, U.S.
(Tech Times) A new study has suggested that women who feel that sex is important, remain sexually active as they get older, even if they suffer from sexual dysfunction.
(Science Daily) Hypnotic relaxation therapy improves sexual health in women who have hot flashes, according new research.
(Scientific American) For many women, orgasm remains elusive. Help may soon be at hand
(CNN) A leading drug candidate for low sexual desire in women hasn't gotten approved for use in the United States, but the company backing it isn't giving up.
(University of Texas at Austin) A recently published study strongly suggests men succumb to sexual temptations more than women -- for example, cheating on a partner -- because they experience strong sexual impulses, not because they have weak self-control.
(LiveScience) While drugs that help men achieve erections have been around for years, drugs that help men with premature ejaculation are just starting to hit the market.
(LiveScience) Despite how happy the guys in the commercials look, erection drugs won't actually make a man's relationship better, a new study suggest.
(Los Angeles Times) The way we walk is not just the way we walk. The strolling pace of men and women may give away some clues about our romantic partnerships and friendships, according to a study.

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