Should You Ever Keep a Relationship Secret?

Should You Ever Keep a Relationship Secret?

Keeping a relationship secret is exciting, right?

That's what movies and television shows might lead you to believe. Couples who sneak around together are usually depicted as full of passion and excitement. For example, remember when Monica and Chandler started sneaking around together on Friends? But is that what secret relationships are really like in real life, or is this just Hollywood fiction? Research suggests secrecy is usually more onerous than it is exciting.

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How To Get Over Your Ex, According To Science

How To Get Over Your Ex, According To Science

It can be challenging to get over a breakup. Many people find that they can’t stop thinking about their ex and that this has negative implications for their mental health, including depression and anxiety. So if you’re having trouble moving on, is there anything you can do?

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Sex With An Ex: Is It A Terrible Idea?

Sex With An Ex: Is It A Terrible Idea?

“Welcome to the wonderful world of ex sex. It’s hot, it’s naughty…oh yeah, and it’s a really stupid idea.” – Cosmopolitan Magazine 

When a couple decides to end their relationship, the result isn’t always a clean break. There’s often some degree of contact that continues and, sometimes, that includes sex. So what exactly are the implications of maintaining a sexual relationship with a former partner? According to conventional wisdom, it’s a terrible idea (as exemplified by the above quote from Cosmo). However, conventional wisdom isn’t always right. 

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How Do You Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work?

How Do You Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work?

A reader submitted the following question:

"I'm in a long-distance relationship and it's tough. Are there any tips or tricks to help keep a relationship alive when you can't physically be with your partner very often?"

Great question! You're not alone in finding the experience of a long-distance relationship to be difficult. However, while these relationships undeniably pose some unique challenges, it's definitely possible for them to not only work out, but to be just as strong as relationships in which the partners live close to one another.

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Secret Romances: Not Nearly As Exciting As They Sound

Secret Romances: Not Nearly As Exciting As They Sound

Having a secret relationship is hot, right? That's what the popular media would have us believe. Couples that sneak around together are usually depicted in the movies and on TV as being full of passion and excitement. But is that what secret relationships are actually like in real life? Research suggests that the reality tends to be quite different and that, if anything, secret relationships are likely to fare much worse in most respects than non-secret relationships.

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Video: Breakups Don't Have To Leave You Broken

Video: Breakups Don't Have To Leave You Broken

In this TEDx Talk, Dr. Gary Lewandowski takes a look at the science behind relationship breakups and argues that they often aren't as bad as we think they're going to be. Why? Because, despite the heartache, they represent an opportunity for personal growth. For instance, breakups can provide you with a valuable opportunity to learn something about yourself and what you want from a relationship in the future. Of course, that's easier said that done for some people. For those persons who are struggling to get over a breakup, it turns out that there are practical steps you can take to enhance your coping ability and move on faster. Check out the video below to learn more.

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Is There A Romeo & Juliet Effect? The Link Between Parental Interference And Relationship Quality

Is There A Romeo & Juliet Effect? The Link Between Parental Interference And Relationship Quality

In 1972, a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology announced scientific support for the so-called “Romeo and Juliet effect." The basic idea was that the more parents try to interfere in a couple’s relationship, the stronger that relationship becomes--just like in Shakespeare's classic story. Given both the sexy name and intuitive appeal of this idea, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that this effect has been cited hundreds of times in academic journals and textbooks. In recent years, however, several scientists (myself included) have grown skeptical of this idea because it just doesn’t seem to fit with what the broader literature on social approval and relationships has reported.

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Revenge Sex and Rebound Sex: "Getting It On" To Get Over A Breakup

Revenge Sex and Rebound Sex: "Getting It On" To Get Over A Breakup

It’s a popular storyline in the movies and on TV: one of the characters gets dumped by their romantic partner and decides to cope with this unfortunate reality by having sex with someone else. In these stories, sex is sometimes portrayed as a way of restoring one’s self-esteem, which ultimately helps that person to move on with their life (i.e., “rebound sex”). Other times, however, sex is used as a post-breakup weapon—as a way to “get back at” the ex (i.e., “revenge sex”). But do people actually do these things in real life, or is this just the stuff of screenwriters’ imaginations? A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that rebound and revenge sex are the real deal.

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The Science Of Heartbreak (VIDEO)

The Science Of Heartbreak (VIDEO)

Have you ever wondered why people often use physical terms to describe the emotional pain they experience from breakup and other forms of social rejection? It turns out that the same parts of the brain that process physical pain also process emotional pain, which may explain why emotional pain feels as bad as it does. But why is this the case? Some scientists theorize that there may be an important evolutionary reason behind it. Check out the video below by ASAP Science for a quick rundown of some of the research on this topic.

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Secret Relationships Are Far Less Exciting Than They Sound

A recurring theme in many television shows and movies is that secret relationships are hot. Couples that sneak around together seem to find it pretty exciting—they can’t stop thinking about each other, and when they’re together, they have a hard time keeping their hands off one another. But is that what secret relationships are like in real life? Are they really as full of passion and excitement as the popular media makes them out to be? A growing amount of research suggests not. In fact, secret relationships appear to fare much worse than relationships that are out in the open.
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Should Newlyweds Promise “Till Death Do Us Part” Or “For About 20 Years?”

Most of us have attended weddings before where the couple getting married explicitly promised to love each other “till death do us part.” And if you’re anything like me, you probably thought to yourself “yeah, that’ll happen” at least once, not necessarily because you are pessimistic or jealous (or maybe you are), but because you know all too well that a large number of marriages just don’t go on forever. So what’s a realistic expectation for how long a new marriage will last these days? New research suggests that, among heterosexuals, most people would be pretty fortunate to have a 20-year partnership [1].
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Are Couples Who Meet Online More Likely to Break Up?

Are Couples Who Meet Online More Likely to Break Up?
Ever since the Internet arrived in our homes, people have been using it as a tool for making love connections. In fact, research indicates that about one in five heterosexual couples and two in five same-sex couples in the United States today met online [1]. Despite the frequency of Internet dating in the modern world, looking for love on the Internet online carries some degree of stigma [2]. For instance, people are often embarrassed to tell others they belong to an online dating site because they are afraid this information will make them look desperate. Another factor that makes people cautious about online dating is the well-known fact that lying is rampant on Internet personal profiles [3]. Between the prejudice and the lies, online romances would appear doomed to fail right from the start. But is there any truth to this idea? Are online daters really any worse off than couples who meet in other ways?
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