The Countries Where Kissing Is Uncomfortable or Disgusting (M)

Romantic kissing is considered weird in a surprisingly high number of countries.

Romantic kissing is considered weird in a surprisingly high number of countries.


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The Instant Sign Of A Cheating Partner

Watch the eyes for this sign that a partner is 50% more likely to cheat on you.

Watch the eyes for this sign that a partner is 50 percent more likely to cheat on you.

Partners who spend a fraction of a second longer looking at other people they find attractive are 50 percent more likely to cheat, psychological research finds.

The marriages of those who can’t keep their eyes in their heads are also more likely to fail.

Other signs of infidelity were hidden in couple’s appearance and dating history.

Less attractive women were more likely to be unfaithful, it emerged.

Among men, those that reported more short-term sexual partners before marriage were more likely to have an affair.

The opposite was true for women: the more sex partners before marriage, the more faithful women were during marriage.

The conclusions come from a study in which newlyweds were shown pictures of both average-looking and very attractive men and women.

Those that had trouble looking away from the very attractive pictures were 50% more likely to cheat.

Professor Jim McNulty, the study’s first author, said:

“People are not necessarily aware of what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.

These processes are largely spontaneous and effortless, and they may be somewhat shaped by biology and/or early childhood experiences.”

Faithful newlyweds were more likely to downgrade or discount the very attractive faces they saw.

This helped them put these other options out of their mind.

The study followed 233 newlyweds for up to the first 3.5 years of their marriage.

Professor McNulty said that social media has a role to play in the US divorce rate, which is approaching 50 percent:

“With the advent of social media, and thus the increased availability of and access to alternative partners, understanding how people avoid the temptation posed by alternative partners may be more relevant than ever to understanding relationships.”

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (McNulty et al., 2018).

A Simple Sign Your Relationship Will End Soon

Language use changes three months before a relationship break up.

Language use changes three months before a relationship break up.

Signs that a couple are going to break up are evident in their use of language months before the event happens, research finds.

The types of words both people use changes three months before breaking up.

Their language shifts more towards a self-focus with greater use of the pronoun ‘”I”.

There is also a higher use of words that indicate cognitive processing.

This suggests that they are thinking about something intensely.

Examples of cognitive processing words include ‘want’, ‘think’, ‘need’, ‘realise’, ‘decide’, ‘reason’, ‘depend’ and ‘wonder’.

This is true whether they are the person about to end the relationship or the one on the receiving end.

Ms Sarah Seraj, the study’s first author, said:

“It seems that even before people are aware that a breakup is going to happen, it starts to affect their lives.

We don’t really notice how many times we are using prepositions, articles or pronouns, but these function words get altered in a way when you’re going through a personal upheaval that can tell us a lot about our emotional and psychological state.”

The study analysed over 1 million posts by 6,800 people on Reddit, an online forum for discussing a wide range of subjects.

One of these forums, called r/BreakUps, is dedicated to relationship issues.

The results of the analysis revealed that language use became more personal and informal around three months before the couples broke up.

This pattern continued for a further six months afterwards.

Similar shifts in language use were seen in forums discussing divorce and other upheavals.

Ms Seraj said:

“These are signs that someone is carrying a heavy cognitive load.

They’re thinking or working through something and are becoming more self-focused.

Sometimes the use of the word ‘I’ is correlated with depression and sadness.

When people are depressed, they tend to focus on themselves and are not able to relate to others as much.”

A minority of people’s language did not revert and they returned to the r/BreakUps forum to retell the story of the end of their relationship again and again.

This suggests that some people find it particularly hard to adjust to their new circumstances.

Dr Kate Blackburn, study co-author, said:

“What makes this project so fascinating is that for the first time, through technology, we can see the way people experience a breakup in real time.

Implications for this research are far reaching.

At the most basic level, it gives you, me, and everyday people insight into how loved ones may respond over time to the end of a romantic relationship.”

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Seraj et al., 2021).

Self-Disclosure: How People Become More Intimate

Self-disclosure, which typically involves an exchange of intimacies, helps turn an acquaintance into a good friend.

Self-disclosure, which typically involves an exchange of intimacies, helps turn an acquaintance into a good friend.

Without self-disclosure, turning an acquaintance into a good friend can be hard.

Whether it’s romantic or platonic, there are endless reasons why people fail to connect and maintain their relationships with each other.

This disconnect isn’t always a result of some huge mistake by one person or the other, more often it’s just that people drift apart — sometimes through lack of self-disclosure.

Social bonds can be hard to maintain, especially when they aren’t based on firm routine footings like work, marriage or other institutions.

In explaining how people form strong relationships, psychologists – along with other social scientists – have long been interested in what personal information people reveal to each other in self-disclosure.

This research has culminated in recent studies of self-disclosure in internet daters and how they reveal (or fail to reveal) information about themselves.

Not just deep and meaningful

Research on self-disclosure is enormous, addressing issues such as when people choose to self-disclose, for what reasons and whether it is effective.

Within this research though, Greene, Derlega and Mathews (2006) point out some highlights.

Self-disclosure brings to mind earnest conversations about our deepest hopes and fears.

But self-disclosure is also about simply sharing our preferences for music, food or books.

These can play an equally important role in forming relationships as those deep and meaningful conversations.

Romantic partners often go through an initial stage of frantic self-disclosure.

Changing circumstances reveal different patterns of self-disclosure.

In contrast, long-term partners may reduce their self-disclosure alarmingly as the relationship lengthens.

But not all disclosure is good disclosure.

Early studies on self-disclosure confirm that too much self-disclosure too soon can be off-putting.

When someone you’ve just met starts pouring out their heart, it can make you want to run away.

Self-disclosure affects perceptions

One of the main reasons we engage in self-disclosure is because of how it affects other people’s perceptions of us, and indeed, our perceptions of other people.

We want others to like us so we tell them our secrets.

Does this really work or is it just a fantasy peddled by movie and TV script-writers?

Reviewing a range of studies, Collins and Miller (1994) found there are three main effects of self-disclosure on liking:

  • Those who disclose intimate secrets tend to be more liked than those who don’t.
  • People disclose more to those they like (relatively obvious).
  • People prefer those to whom they have made personal disclosures (not so obvious).

Being responsive

While increasing intimacy between people through self-disclosure is often seen as ‘a good thing’, there are many ways it can go wrong.

Process models of self-disclosure have looked at how disclosures are dynamically dealt with in relationships.

The way in which you react to the self-disclosure of others is of vital importance.

People want to be ‘understood’, not just ‘heard’.

This is demonstrated through behaviours like responsiveness, attentiveness and timing.

The way in which listening occurs has a huge impact on whether intimate information grows and blooms or falls on fallow ground.

Again, you can disclose too much too soon.

More importantly, self-disclosure is not just about blurting out your darkest secret, it’s about negotiating a complex relationship.

Laughter and self-disclosure

Laughter is also central to more self-disclosure, which leads to greater liking.

Laughter encourages people to open up and this is the secret to how to make friends (Gray et al., 2015).

People in the study were more likely to disclose something personal about themselves after laughing together, although they didn’t realise it.

The results showed that when the groups laughed together more, they also shared more intimate information with each other.

Alan Gray, who led the study, thinks the effect is about more than just feeling good.

Laughter releases the ‘happy hormones’ endorphins, which are what may encourage people to share intimate details of their lives.

One of the fascinating findings of the study was that people did not seem aware they had shared more with others.

Although objective observers rated the disclosures of people who’d been laughing as more intimate, people themselves did not.

Self-disclosure online

Recent research has focussed on the ways in which self-disclosure occurs in online relationships.

Two aspects of internet dating make it particularly interesting to study in relation to self-disclosure:

  • Those communicating online have more control over the way they present themselves.
  • When speaking face-to-face, a huge amount of information is transmitted through nonverbal communication. Much of this is involuntary, but this becomes largely irrelevant online.
  • It easier to construct an identity online. Emails can be crafted and photographs retouched.

The study came to some rather complex conclusions but one clear finding emerged.

Those successful at online dating tended to use large amounts of positive self-disclosure, along with an openness about their intent.

So, generally it is better to be open about yourself and honest and clear about your intentions.

As a result of both of these, it is easier to carry out ‘impression management’ (lying).

These points are made in a study by Gibbs, Ellison and Heino (2006) in which the perceived success of members of an internet dating service was related to self-disclosure.

In other words, the best strategy is the polar opposite of many people’s actual practice in online dating.

The art of self-disclosure

The idea that self-disclosure is important in relationships is no big surprise.

But while it may be easy to understand in principle, the complexity of the process means it’s much harder to do in practice.

The art of self-disclosing, then, is giving information to others in the right way and at the right time.

Receiving intimate information is no less of a skill, involving the verbal and nonverbal communication of understanding.

Online dating offers the huge temptation to cheat at self-disclosure, but, to be successful, the art of self-disclosure is much the same in the online world as the offline.

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2 Attachment Styles That Damage Relationships

Certain types of anxiety can cause massive ups and downs in relationships.

Certain types of anxiety can cause massive ups and downs in relationships.

Partners who have attachment issues cause considerable instability in their relationship, research finds.

One type, known as ‘attachment anxiety’ by psychologists, involves see-sawing feelings.

It is the same reason that babies cry when they are taken from their mothers.

Around one in five people have an anxious attachment style.

A classic sign is having wildly varying feelings about the relationship from one day to the next.

People experiencing attachment anxiety spend a lot of time thinking about what the other person wants.

They can easily move from feeling strongly attached, to wanting independence.

Ms Ashley Cooper, the study’s first author, said:

“For people anxious in their attachments, they have anxiety as to whether the person is going to be there for them and whether they are worthy of others.

I was interested in how attachment security impacted partners’ experiences in their relationship on a daily basis.

Some couples experience instability from one day to the next in their relationship, so we sought out to explore what could increase or decrease this volatility.”

The second problematic type is attachment avoidance.

This is someone who wants to avoid getting too attached to the other person.

Around one in four people has an avoidant attachment style.

High levels of attachment anxiety are linked to more ups and downs in the relationship, while avoidance is linked to low relationship satisfaction.

The study of 157 couples — half of whom had been dating for two years or less — found that high attachment avoidance in one partner was linked to low relationship satisfaction for both.

Ms Cooper said:

“For the average person, stay attuned to what your partner is saying and avoid making assumptions that can escalate conflict.

Trusting in your partner and your relationship is important to daily interactions and stability for your relationship.”

The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (Cooper et al., 2017).

90% Of People Keep These Little Secrets From Their Partners (M)

These secrets, though, made people feel guilty and motivated them to invest more in their relationship.

These secrets, though, made people feel guilty and motivated them to invest more in their relationship.


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Spending Money Makes You Happier When It Fits Your Personality (M)

Spending money so that it increases your happiness and wellbeing is an art form in itself.

Spending money so that it increases your happiness and wellbeing is an art form in itself.


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What Namibian Nomads Can Teach Us About Relationships (M)

People say they want someone more attractive than themselves, but this is not the key to a successful relationship.

People say they want someone more attractive than themselves, but this is not the key to a successful relationship.


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