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May 2011



Recent Posts


5 Keys to Building Strong Relationships in Any Sphere of Life


By Joe Wilner

If there is one thing that psychological research and personal experience will reveal to each and every one of us, it’s the positive impact relationships have on our happiness, level of success, and overall well-being. Having healthy relationships means so much for every area of our life.

Relationships offer us joy, love, and support in times of need. They also help us expand our aspirations and level of achievement through support, knowledge, and connections. In general, relationships can help us to grow and become better people.

So, whether your focus is on intimate and loving relationships, or more professional business relationships, there are certain traits that will make any relationship more meaningful and long-lasting.

Commitment – Relationship success and commitment go hand in hand. When we’re committed to a relationship we are willing to put in the effort to make it work. It’s more likely there will be a plan to stick together, and a growing sense of loyalty and trust can develop.

When we’re committed to a partner of any kind, there is a dedication and allegiance that provides stable plans and goals for the future.

Compassion – Being able to connect with others emotionally is so crucial to build a strong relationship, and to have more than just superficial interactions. When we want for others what we want for ourselves and truly care about their well-being it provides an amazing foundation for making real connections.

Connecting with others comes from having empathy and caring about how they feel, just as we do about ourselves. Developing compassion and empathy will offer great security for a long-lasting relationship.

Generosity – In a healthy relationship the more we give the more we get. Wanting to make others happy and offering our support to help one another is a staple of loving and caring relationships.

Being generous is about being willing to give of yourself when you may not immediately get in return, and this can require a having “win/win” attitude or a “what’s mine is yours” mentality. By practicing this habit it will provide amazing benefits to deal with conflict and strife.

Tolerance – Everyone makes mistakes and having a tolerant and open-minded perspective goes a long way in building relationships. Taking a non-judgmental attitude and learning that there will be differences in opinion serves the purpose of making relationships safe and trustworthy. If we feel we are understood and will not be judged for making mistakes or being imperfect, we can be our real self and experience much greater fulfillment and growth.

Kindness – This is one area that has been shown empirically through psychological research to have benefits on peoples’ happiness and life-satisfaction. When we engage in random acts of kindness it is beneficial for both parties involved.

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Sexual Chemistry and Keeping Your Relationship Alive


By John M. Grohol, PsyD
Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Our partner, YourTango.com, recently completed a scientific survey of over 20,000 people with their partner sites, MSN’s lifestyle website Glo.com and Chemistry.com, on sexual chemistry and what keeps a relationship alive and growing.

The effort was overseen by a leading biological anthropologist and relationship expert, Dr. Helen Fisher, who also analyzed the results.

Some of their findings might just surprise you, including the finding that 90 percent of men and women believe that dwindling attraction in a relationship can be rekindled.

Their findings are detailed below.


Check out the articles linked above — a lot of interesting and a few eye-opening findings there garnered from their survey. And just to whet your appetite…

7 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Sexy

Who doesn’t want to keep their marriage or long-term relationship on the sexy side? I know I do! Here is a summary of the seven tips offered by the article above, Lifelong Attraction: 7 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Sexy Forever.

1. Flaunt your sexy self.

The first step to staying attractive to each other: Feeling attractive. There’s nothing more appealing to a man than a woman who feels sexy in her own skin.

2. Have sex. Lots of it.

Two-thirds of women don’t get aroused until they’re already in the act, says marriage and family therapist Pat Love. Translation: Don’t wait to “feel” like having sex to do it.

3. Be a little selfish.

The happiest marriages are the kinds in which both spouses have their own hobbies and interests, according to a Monmouth University study.

4. Step out of your comfort zone.

If your the Chinese delivery restaurant knows your Friday night order by heart, listen up: One of the best ways to stay hot for each other is to do new things together.

5. Have an affair… with your partner.

Having an affair with your spouse can bring back the feelings of excitement and closeness—not to mention the smoking-hot sex—that you had when you first met, Love says.

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Politicians and Sex: The Type T Personality


By John M. Grohol, PsyD
Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Colleague and psychologist Dr. Frank Farley has an interesting op-ed over at the LA Times the other day about some of the underlying psychological motivations that may explain why politicians stray from their marriages.

In the article, Dr. Farley refers to the “Type T Personality” — the T stands for Thrill. He makes the argument that we elect the politicians we do because we’re drawn to their bold ideas, their intensity, their charisma. But those same qualities that may make them a good politician (we don’t really know, because there hasn’t been a lot of research done in this area yet), also may put them at greater risk for engaging in unethical relationship behavior, such as cheating on their spouse.

Politicians, like Hollywood celebrities, are also constantly surrounded by people who do nothing but look up to them, sing their praises — “yes” people. He notes that the politician is immersed in a set of people who are “adoring followers, campaign workers, office staff — all focused on pleasing the politician.” It may give someone an unrealistic belief that they above normal morals and ethics, and so cheating is “okay” (perhaps explaining former President Clinton’s tryst with an intern).

Farley’s take on risk-takers who exhibit the Type T Personality:

Read More …


Study Of Sexual Attraction Between Heterosexual Men And Women

Article Date: 24 May 2011 – 7:00 PDT

Women find happy guys significantly less sexually attractive than swaggering or brooding men, according to a new University of British Columbia study that helps to explain the enduring allure of “bad boys” and other iconic gender types.

The study – which may cause men to smile less on dates, and inspire online daters to update their profile photos – finds dramatic gender differences in how men and women rank the sexual attractiveness of non-verbal expressions of commonly displayed emotions, including happiness, pride, and shame.

Very few studies have explored the relationship between emotions and attraction, and this is the first to report a significant gender difference in the attractiveness of smiles. The study, published online today, May 24th, in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion, is also the first to investigate the attractiveness of displays of pride and shame.

“While showing a happy face is considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction – few studies have actually examined whether a smile is, in fact, attractive,” says Prof. Jessica Tracy of UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “This study finds that men and women respond very differently to displays of emotion, including smiles.”

In a series of studies, more than 1,000 adult participants rated the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of images of the opposite sex engaged in universal displays of happiness (broad smiles), pride (raised heads, puffed-up chests) and shame (lowered heads, averted eyes).

The study found that women were least attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody and ashamed. In contrast, male participants were most sexually attracted to women who looked happy, and least attracted to women who appeared proud and confident.

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