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July 2011



Recent Posts


Internet dating and the science of fire starting


The New Yorker has a fantastic article about the psychology of online dating.


The piece explores how the big names of internet matchmaking attempt to strike up sparks between you and millions of other people and how they play off what attracts people in face-to-face encounters.


Psychology, maths and the economics of truth are used to bring people together, with each dating site having a different theory about how attraction works.


It is tempting to think of online dating as a sophisticated way to address the ancient and fundamental problem of sorting humans into pairs, except that the problem isn’t very old. Civilization, in its various guises, had it pretty much worked out. Society—family, tribe, caste, church, village, probate court—established and enforced its connubial protocols for the presumed good of everyone, except maybe for the couples themselves. The criteria for compatibility had little to do with mutual affection or a shared enthusiasm for spicy food and Fleetwood Mac. Happiness, self-fulfillment, “me time,” a woman’s needs: these didn’t rate. As for romantic love, it was an almost mutually exclusive category of human experience. As much as it may have evolved, in the human animal, as a motivation system for mate-finding, it was rarely given great consideration in the final reckoning of conjugal choice.


Read in Full:


Married Without Infidelities: Speaking Up for Monogamy


Are we too quick to forgive adultery?

How Your Most Intimate Relationships Can Be A Vehicle For Your Growth


Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT Updated: Jul 5th 2011


The old paradigm for couples was pretty simple: The man went to work, brought home the money and paid for the house, mortgage, etc. He was the provider of security and stability. The woman’s role was to cook, clean, raise the children and take care of the home. She was the provider of emotional nurturing and comfort. The roles were clearly defined and rigid. How many of us have parents who fit this model or at least strived to?


Now so much of this has changed. Women have jobs and careers, men may stay at home as the primary caregivers, and relationships run across a much broader spectrum than the old “He/She” model. For instance, now there are “He/ He” and “She/ She” models for couples. And there are couples who do not necessarily form a dyad. A “couple” could be in a committed triad relationship or be part of a larger poly community. There are numerous variations on these alternatives, and so it goes on. But what hasn’t changed much is that many relationships still run on unspoken contracts or implicit agreements regarding roles and expectations. When these contracts are broken, couples often get angry with each other and start pointing fingers.


Read in Full:


When Does Flirting Become Cheating? 9 Red Flags


By Therese J. Borchard
Associate Editor


According to psychologist Michael Brickey, author of Defying Aging and many other relationship experts, playful bantering or gentle flirting with someone outside of your marriage is harmless if proper boundaries remain intact. Those boundaries differ with each relationship, of course. What would be considered a violation in one marriage might be perfectly acceptable for another couple. Difference of opinions even occur within a marriage.


For example, I know a woman who recently asked her husband to either give her his Facebook password or close out his account after she found an email that he had sent to a former classmate that she found to be rather suggestive. He disagreed and thought it was perfectly appropriate.


Social media sites and online interaction are pushing this issue to dinner tables across the country — much more so than in the past. Katherine Hertlein, a licensed marriage and family therapist interviewed by DiscoveryNews.com, explains, “You don’t actually recognize that you’re growing closer to someone on the Internet because it just looks like you’re having a conversation, and that’s why I think it could be really seductive in some ways.”


Read in Full:


Loving Others Without Loving Yourself: A Reconsideration


What kind of self-loathing is more destructive of relationships?

Breaking-Up: Should You Leave Or Can You Get the Change You Want?


Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT Updated: Jul 7th 2011


Is your relationship or marriage just, well, so-so? Maybe you’re not sure if you still love or ever loved your partner? Maybe he or she has many good traits – is kind, or generous, funny, or the sex is great. She’s gorgeous, or he showers you with kindness – but something is missing. Maybe your parents or friends think that he or she is great – that others would give their eye teeth for such a relationship. There’s more at stake if you have children together, but if not, how do you decide what’s the right thing to do? You tell your friends that you want a soul mate. They say you’re unrealistic. You say the romance is gone. They tell you that’s why Hollywood movies end when couples marry – romance doesn’t last. You want someone to connect with physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You’re told your expectations are too high, that you’re lucky if you get one, or “He doesn’t hit you or drink. He has a job.” But you’re restless, or feel a vacuum instead of connection.


Take these steps:


1. Make an inventory. Assess your needs and prioritize them. Think of the four above categories and add financial, social, and more. This is very individual. To a feeling-type individual, sharing emotions is number one. Someone else values intellectual conversation, while another, shared interests, a travel companion, or financial stability. This is why no one can tell you what to do.


2. Consider which needs are your responsibility to yourself and not your partner’s. Make sure you’re not blaming your partner for your own unhappiness.


Read More:


Men Love To Cuddle, Women Love Sex More Over Time Global Research Says


Article Date: 07 Jul 2011 – 3:00 PDT


A new international, global study that included more than 1,000 couples from the United States, Brazil, Germany, Japan and Spain, found that tenderness is more important to men than to women overall. Also it was reported that men are more likely to admit to being happy in their relationship, but women are more likely to be satisfied with the sexual part of their partnerships as they view it over time. Basically, cuddling and caressing help boost satisfaction in long-term relationships, according to a new study of middle-aged and older couples who had been together for an average of 25 years.


Sexual satisfaction for both women and men was associated with frequent kissing and cuddling, sexual caressing by a partner, high sexual functioning, and frequent sex. What a revelation right?


Sexual satisfaction for women increased over time. Those who had been with their partner for less than 15 years were less likely to be sexually satisfied, but satisfaction increased significantly after 15 years. Both women and men were happier the longer they had been together and if they had higher levels of sexual functioning, the investigators found. Safe to assume than that it is not about the “fire,” but about the “glow.”


Interestingly enough for men, the report said that having had more sex partners in their lifetime was a predictor of less sexual satisfaction.


Read in Full:


Men Can Improve Health to Improve Sex Life


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on July 7, 2011


It may be a common sense notion, but now research bolsters the link between unhealthy lifestyle choices and sexual dysfunction in men.


In a new study, Danish scientists found that weight problems, physical inactivity, high alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and hard drugs were associated with sexual dysfunctions in men.


The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine also discovered that an unhealthy lifestyle is more common in persons who are sexually inactive.


Read in Full:


How Much Should You Compromise for Your Relationship?


Your relationship should serve you, not the other way around

One Response to “Relationships: Internet Dating, Married Without Infidelities, When Does Flirting Become Cheating?, Men Love To Cuddle & More …”

  1. Steve Ball Says:

    Internet Dating More Successful Than First Thought

    Internet dating is proving a much more successful way to find long-term romance and friendship for thousands of people than was previously thought, new research shows.

    A new study of online dating site members has found that when couples who had built up a significant relationship by e-mailing or chatting online met for the first time, 94 per cent went on to see each other again.

    Perhaps surprisingly, the study, by Dr Jeff Gavin, of the University of Bath, also found that men were more emotionally dependent on their e-partners than women, and more committed to the relationship.

    Old-fashioned romance isnt dead, however: among the surveys findings were that exchanging gifts was the best way to ensure commitment in the relationship.

    Dr Gavins research comes at a time when the numbers using internet dating agencies have steadily increased: around six million Britons are now believed to have signed up.

    Dr Gavin, with Dr Adrian Scott of the University of Bath and Dr Jill Duffield of the University of the West of England, carried out an online survey of 229 people, aged 18 to 65, who have used UK internet dating sites, asking them about their main relationship that they had had online. Dr Gavins paper will be presented to a conference next month.

    The research showed that:

    94 per cent of those surveyed saw their e-partner again after first meeting them, and the relationships lasted for an average of at least seven months, with 18 per cent of them lasting over a year.

    men online were significantly more likely to be committed to the relationship than women and were more dependent on their e-partner.

    the more the couple engaged in simultaneous online chat before meeting rather than simply e-mailing one another, the more they were found to depend on one another emotionally and the more they understood one another.

    those who exchanged gifts before meeting had a more committed and deeper relationship.

    the more the couple talked on the telephone before they met, the deeper the relationship.

    Dr Gavin, of the Universitys Psychology Department, and his co-authors, found that people using the internet rarely used webcams, which allow computer users to see one another, because they preferred the greater anonymity of writing and using the telephone.

    This study shows that online dating can work for many people, leading to a successful meeting for almost everyone we surveyed, said Dr Gavin.

    Given that the most successful relationships lasted at least seven months, and in some case over a year, it seems that these relationships have a similar level of success as ones formed in more conventional ways.

    We found that men tend to be more committed to the online relationships than women, possibly because the anonymity of writing gives them a chance to express their emotions more readily than in real life.

    We also found that people are shying away from using webcams because they feel its important not see their partners for some time there is something special about text-based relationships.

    Dr Gavin believes that the reason that using the telephone and online chatting indicates a deeper relationship is that these are methods of simultaneous communication, whereas e-mails are more formal.

    Of the relationships, 39 per cent were still going on at the time of the survey, and of these 24 per cent had been going for at least a year, and eight per cent for at least two years. Of the relationships that had already ended at the time of the survey, 14 per cent had lasted over a year, and four per cent had lasted over two years.

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