Like a moth to a flame, individuals are drawn to the very aspects of another individual that they will eventually dislike.
— Diane Felmlee in The Dark Side of Relationships
After we break up with someone, we usually have an explanation as to why the relationship didn’t work out.
“Our values were too different,” we might say, for example.
Or: “my ex was just too arrogant.”
However, if these explanations are accurate, what could have driven us to get with such an incompatible mate in the first place?
Were we previously blind to their arrogance, or oblivious to differences in…
Here’s a common romantic myth: in a satisfying relationship with the right person, you should never feel attracted to anyone else.
But according to Relate, the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, it’s perfectly natural — and inevitable — to find people other than your partner attractive from time to time.
In fact, it’s much more common than you might expect.
In one study published in Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, almost 70% of participants said they’d experienced some kind of attraction toward someone other than their partner while in a long-term relationship.
The researchers noted that even in…
Many of us like to believe we’re not the ‘type’ of person who would ever cheat on a partner.
But according to psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel, many straying partners don’t fit the stereotypical ‘cheater’ profile.
Not all people who cheat do so out of a grandiose sense of entitlement, an inability to empathize with others, or a narcissism that puts their own needs at the forefront.
This may be true of some cheaters, but it’s not universally the case, Perel says.
She’s worked with numerous clients who were sexually exclusive for more than a decade…
Falling in love can be an incredible experience. Many of us start relationships on a hopeful, optimistic note, high on the euphoria that accompanies newfound love.
But according to positive psychology expert and well-being consultant Suzann Pileggi, mere feelings aren’t enough to keep a couple happy together over years and decades.
“Love is not just a feeling; it’s an action verb,” Pileggi says. Investing energy in healthy relationship habits is what helps us sustain love over the long haul.
Is it possible that someone could love the real me?
— Lillian B. Rubin, Intimate Strangers
So you’re in a new relationship.
You haven’t been together long, but things are going pretty well.
Except… there’s a persistent worry in the back of your mind about something your new partner doesn’t know.
There’s a reason you haven’t brought up this topic. It’s not an aspect of your history you’re proud of.
It pertains to a past mistake you don’t want to repeat.
It involves a painful lesson, learned bitterly.
Is there such a thing as ‘emotional cheating’?
How does it differ from a physical affair?
And what are the warning signs you’re becoming more than ‘just friends’ with someone other than your partner?
“An emotional affair is an intense, secret relationship that competes with and undermines your primary relationship,” writes Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, psychiatrist, addiction specialist, and author of Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat.
In a committed relationship, what is considered ‘cheating’?
Are all transgressions easy to define? Or, when it comes to acceptable behavior, are there gray areas that vary from couple to couple?
For insight, I turned to the work of psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel.
A well-known trainer and lecturer, Perel is widely recognized as an international expert on relationships and sexuality.
In 2017, she published The State of Affairs after spending 6 years of psychotherapy practice helping couples deal with infidelity.
In some ways, technology and the internet have made infidelity more ambiguous.
We see numerous…
So you messed up. You made a mistake. Inadvertently, you ended up hurting the person you love.
Slip-ups are human. What’s done is done. Now, you’ve got a choice about how to act next.
What’s the best way to apologize, and show your loved one you’re genuinely sorry?
When one individual feels wronged by another, it isn’t just the words “I’m sorry” they need to hear, says Beverly Engel, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of The Power of Apology.
She writes that apologies need to be meaningful in order to be effective. They have to demonstrate that the…
What are some great ways to say “I love you”, without using those specific words?
Though candle-lit dinners and flowers may automatically spring to mind, relationship experts believe that small, day-to-day shows of affection may actually be more impactful.
Similarly, Ellie Lisitsa, staff writer at The Gottman Institute, explains that although moonlit walks, picnics, soft music, and drives in the country may sound very romantic, research suggests “none of these things alone will make…
How do successful long-term couples maintain a satisfying sex life?
For some tips, tricks and strategies, I turned to the work of pioneering sex therapist and author Jack Morin, Ph.D.
By the time he died in 2013, Morin was a nationally recognized expert on the psychology of desire and arousal.
In his Sexual Excitement Survey, he questioned hundreds of adults of different ages, races, and sexual orientations about their most unforgettable real-life sexual encounters. Respondents to the survey also disclosed their most stimulating private fantasies.
Along with his other research and professional experiences, this provided Morin with groundbreaking insights into…