All About Relationships

Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings. There are many kinds of love, but most people seek its expression in a romantic relationship with a compatible partner. For some, romantic relationships are the most meaningful element of life, providing a source of deep fulfillment. The ability to have a healthy, loving relationship is not innate. A great deal of evidence suggests that the ability to form a stable relationship begins in infancy, in a child's earliest experiences with a caregiver who reliably meets the infant's needs for food, care, protection, stimulation, and social contact. Those relationships are not destiny, but they appear to establish patterns of relating to others. Failed relationships happen for many reasons, and the failure of a relationship is often a source of great psychological anguish. Most of us have to work consciously to master the skills necessary to make them flourish.

Recent posts on Relationships

‘Tis the Season… for Emotion Regulation

Find yourself falling into familiar traps during holiday togetherness? You can keep your cool and sidestep problems with these tips.

Do You Dare Talk Politics with Family at Holiday Gatherings?

Decision Number 1: Can you avoid talking politics at the holiday table?

When Reconciliation Is Impossible

By Kathy McCoy Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Complicated Love
What do you do when there's nothing you can do to reconcile with an estranged family member? What if you don't want to reconnect? Here are some ideas for making peace with what is.
Courtesy of Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon

Discovering Meaning Through "The Village"

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
Do you feel a sense of connection and belonging in your neighborhood and work community?

Thoughts of Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Your Future Self
So what if, instead of relishing what we appreciate, we mentally erase the past and imagine our good fortunes had never happened?

The Situation Is Urgent

There is usually one in the pair that can process information more rapidly than the other...
rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

Interfaith Couples and Holidays: 10 Ways to Manage Conflict

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on November 19, 2017 in Off the Couch
It sometimes feels like you need a flow chart to figure out where you’ll be on a given day during the holidays. And being part of an interfaith couple can make it more complicated.

When Post-Breakup Pursuit Becomes Stalking

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 19, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Relational pursuit is part of love stories and romantic comedies, even after a breakup. Unfortunately, glamorous depictions of unrequited love create a false sense of normalcy.

The Psychology of Gift Giving

By Neel Burton M.D. on November 19, 2017 in Hide and Seek
...and 10 rules for better gifts.
growthpointtherapy

Relationship Trouble? Go Bold, Not Timid

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on November 19, 2017 in Fixing Families
When problems flare in your relationship, it's easy to try and lay low, calm the waters. But this is an opportunity to step up, get things on the table, stop going on autopilot.

52 Ways: Identify Threats to Your Relationship from Others

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on November 19, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Identify behaviors that undermine the integrity of your love relationship, create conflict between partners, or destabilize one member in a way that throws a couple into chaos.

National Adoption Day

By Frances Kuffel on November 18, 2017 in What Fat Women Want
I've been pondering adoption for a couple of years as jealousy of my brothers and their children for finding their biological families tortures me each summer weekend.

What is Love?

Most view love as the most important aspect in life. Why, then, do we spend most of our lives focusing on something else?

How to Spot the Stalker: When Casual Dating is Dangerous

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
How many dates does it take to form a relationship? Stalkers might say one—or none. The distorted lens of unrequited love can be delusional and dangerous.

10 Things to Be Thankful For

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Emotional Fitness
Thanksgiving is a very special holiday. Embrace those around you and your ability to give thanks with the people you love.

7 Ways the Insecure Try to Seem Important

Some people will go through extreme and perhaps ridiculous efforts to seem important. These seven behaviors may be covering up their feelings of loneliness and inferiority.

Navigating Difficult People and Opinions During the Holidays

We are living in highly polarized, traumatized, and mistrustful times. Here's how you can avoid turning Thanksgiving into Thanksblaming.

Reducing Host-Guest Tensions: How to Be a Good Houseguest

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Presence of Mind
These houseguest guidelines will increase the odds of a visit unmarked by host-guest tensions.

Is a Bad Boy Good for You? The Case of Carmen Electra

By Jane Greer Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Shrink Wrap
Are "bad boys" the trouble?

10 Reasons Why Your Grown Kids Hate You

By Jane Adams Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Between the Lines
Wonder why you and your grown kids can't get along? Here are 10 reasons, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Paradox of Relationship Commitment: Who Holds the Power?

When a relationship starts to go stale, here are some ideas for ramping it back up to speed.

The Parents of "Stranger Things"

By Mariana Plata on November 17, 2017 in The Gen Y Psy
What does Netflix's "Stranger Things" get right about parenthood? Exploring the psychology behind the hit series.

College Students and Thanksgiving Break

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Social Lights
Tips for enjoying the holidays with your adult children.

Why Is It Important to Have Personal Boundaries?

Boundaries are our guidelines for what you will and won’t accept in a relationship. They show people how to treat you and what to expect from you.
Frank J. Aleksandrowicz/wikimedia commons

Suicide Grievers Talk About Family and Friends

By Elizabeth Young on November 17, 2017 in Adaptations
“Does anyone else feel worried about the safety of a family member?”

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

By Asa Don Brown Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Towards Recovery
Spanking a child is about the parent not the child. The child will learn more from positive correction than physical manipulation.
Negative Space/stocksnap

Tis The Season

If you aren't looking forward to this holiday season, you aren't alone.

Testamentary Restraints on Marriage

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on November 16, 2017 in So Sue Me
Many parents have a lot to say about their children's love interests and relationship decisions. Some parents want to have the last word, even after they die.

Nonviolence in the Face of Hatred

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Acquired Spontaneity
The practice of nonviolence begins precisely when our actions, words, or thoughts are not aligning with our commitment. Because our capacity often lags behind our commitment.

Lidia Yuknavitch's Love Letter to Fellow Misfits

By Jennifer Haupt on November 16, 2017 in One True Thing
Some of us manage to invent bodies, voices, and lives worth living even though we don’t fit in to the normative socius.