Research consistently finds that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 married persons in the United States has committed infidelity . 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 .Read More
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).Read More
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 . 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?Read More
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.Read More
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 ! 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 .Read More
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.Read More
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 . 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 , research on same-sex couples suggests that not all investments are equally important [3,4].Read More