Older Women Who Date Younger Men Are More Satisfied

Older Women Who Date Younger Men Are More Satisfied

Relationships in which a woman is significantly older than her male partner have always attracted a lot of attention and scrutiny. Case in point: remember what big news it was when Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were together? Or the international media obsession that followed French president Emmanuel Macron and his spouse, Brigitte, who happens to be 24 years his senior?

This same scrutiny isn’t usually applied to relationships in which men are significantly older than their female partners. For example, U.S. President Donald Trump happens to be 24 years older than Melania. Certainly, the Trumps have attracted a lot of media attention—it just hasn’t been for their age difference! Research on age-gap relationships bears out this double standard.

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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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These Are The 8 Main Reasons People Cheat

These Are The 8 Main Reasons People Cheat

Research consistently finds that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 married persons in the United States has committed infidelity [1]. Rates of infidelity in dating relationships are even higher. Why are so many people cheating? Surprisingly little research has explored the motivations behind infidelity; fortunately, however, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some valuable insight [2]. 

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Older Women Who Marry Younger Men: They're Stigmatized, but Highly Satisfied

Older Women Who Marry Younger Men: They're Stigmatized, but Highly Satisfied

Both before and after the recent election of French president Emmanuel Macron, his wife, Brigitte, found herself to be the target of constant attacks on social media. Why? Because she happens to be 24 years older than her husband.

Age-gap relationships in which a woman is significantly older than her male partner have always attracted a lot of attention and scrutiny. Case in point: remember what big news it was when Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were together? As you may have noticed, this same scrutiny isn’t usually applied to relationships in which men are significantly older than their female partners. As some evidence of this, just consider what a non-issue it has been that U.S. President Donald Trump happens to be 24 years older than his wife, Melania (the same age-gap as the Macrons).

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The Unique Benefits of a Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship

The Unique Benefits of a Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship

In a consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationship, the partners involved agree that having more than one sexual and/or romantic partner at the same time is permissible. Although interest in CNM relationships appears to be on the rise, these relationships continue to be widely stigmatized, with people tending to see them as inferior to monogamous relationships in most ways [1]. This is interesting when you consider that research comparing the quality of CNM to monogamous relationships reveals few differences and suggests that CNM relationships are not inherently less satisfying or stable. Findings like this suggest that perhaps those who view CNM relationships as inferior simply have a difficult time imagining the potential benefits that these relationships afford.

So what exactly are the benefits of a CNM relationship anyway? And how are the benefits similar to or different from those afforded by a monogamous relationship?

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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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The Science Of Mate Poaching: Why Stealing Someone Else’s Partner Probably Isn’t A Good Idea

The Science Of Mate Poaching: Why Stealing Someone Else’s Partner Probably Isn’t A Good Idea

Stealing someone else’s spouse or lover is a common occurrence on television shows and in the movies. This phenomenon, known scientifically as mate poaching, is not just the stuff of Hollywood fiction, though--it's incredibly common in the real world too. For instance, survey research on North American adults reveals that about half of them report having been poached successfully from a previous relationship [1]! So what comes of romances that begin with poaching. Can luring someone away from their current partner form the basis of a healthy, long-term relationship? According to a new set of studies published in the Journal of Research in Personality, not so much [2].

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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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Are People In Monogamous Relationships More Satisfied?

It is a widely held belief that people in sexually monogamous relationships are happier and healthier than their non-monogamous counterparts. For instance, when asked to describe the benefits of monogamy, most people say that being sexually exclusive promotes trust, meaningfulness, and commitment.1 But is this the case in reality? Are monogamous couples really the most emotionally fulfilled and committed to one another? According to a new study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the association between monogamy and relationship outcomes depends upon the partners’ level of attachment anxiety.
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Can “Friends With Benefits” Transition Into A Successful Romantic Relationship?

Many people involved in “friends with benefits” (FWB) relationships are hoping that their relationship will eventually turn into a full-fledged romance. For instance, in a recent Internet survey of FWBs, 43.3% of women and 23.7% of men expressed a desire to eventually transition from “no strings attached” to true love (read more about that study here) [1]. Such findings beg the question of how often these relationships make the jump into romantic territory and, more importantly, whether they achieve success. A new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships provides some preliminary answers [2].
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Is Jumping Into Bed Quickly Harmful To Relationships?

Are couples who start having sex right away not as happy in the long run? A new study has found that heterosexual romantic partners who had sex within the first month of seeing each other reported lower levels of relationship satisfaction, communication, and commitment compared to partners who waited six months or longer to begin having sex [1]. However, these effects held only for women, not men, meaning that timing of sexual activity was not related to how men felt about their relationships. The popular media has jumped on this study running headlines such as “How Leaping Into Bed Harms Relationships” and “Sex Before Marriage Adversely Impacts Relationships.” These media reports go on to claim that early sex “stunts” relationship development and causes “unhappy” marriages. However, if you look at the actual data, it will become apparent that these reports are sensationalized and that it is far from clear whether early sex is truly “harmful” to our romantic lives.
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How Does Parenthood Affect The Sex Lives And Relationships Of Gay Men?

How Does Parenthood Affect The Sex Lives And Relationships Of Gay Men?
Researchers have known for years that parenthood has some predictable effects on heterosexual couples. Specifically, relationship satisfaction typically decreases [1] and sexual activity usually drops off markedly once kids enter the picture [2]. Given the significant increase in gay couples raising children through surrogacy and adoption in recent years, researchers have begun to explore whether similar effects occur among persons in same-sex relationships. Perhaps not surprisingly, the answer appears to be yes.  
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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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Sex Question Friday: Do Committed Couples Have Better Sex? Does the “Pull and Pray” Method Work? And Can You Change Your Sexuality?

Sex Question Friday: Do Committed Couples Have Better Sex? Does the “Pull and Pray” Method Work? And Can You Change Your Sexuality?
Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re talking about whether married couples have better sex than single people, whether the pull-out method of birth control actually works, and whether it’s possible to change your sexual orientation if you don't like it.
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What Role Do Investments Play in Gay Relationships?

What Role Do Investments Play in Gay Relationships?

There is a large amount of research showing that commitment to a romantic partner depends upon how many investments have been put into that relationship [1]. Investments is very broad term that refers to any resources attached to a relationship that would be lost if the couple were to break up. Investments can be tangible (i.e., material things, such as joint bank accounts, shared possessions, pets, etc.) or intangible (i.e., things without material being, such as time and effort, plans for the future, emotional disclosure, etc.). Although research shows that both tangible and intangible investments are key factors driving commitment in heterosexual relationships [2], research on same-sex couples suggests that not all investments are equally important [3,4].

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