How can you tell is someone is in love with you, or just lusting after you?
New research shows that eye contact – how we fix our eyes on another person – can reveal our goals and intentions.
When we are in love with someone, most of our eye contact is directed at their face. When feeling lustful, our eyes focus on the other person’s body.
Key quote from the research:
“In both studies, therefore, the number of fixations to the face, relative to the number of fixations to the body, was greater for decisions involving love than for decisions involving lust. These findings are consistent with the functional-coupling hypothesis, which posits that visual attention reflects, in part, the features of a stimulus that are most relevant to a person’s intentions or goals.”
Eye contact is not useful when trying to determine if someone is lying. But, it can give us insight into how people feel about us.
New research shows that couples, who seek counseling for infidelity, have a decent chance of making their relationship work. More than half the couples dealing with infidelity were still married 5 years later. Moreover, couples who remained together were just as happy and satisfied with their relationships as couples who had not experienced infidelity.
However, in relationships, where infidelity remains secret, few marriages were able to last the test of time. Only 20% of the relationships where infidelity occurred, but was not addressed, were still together 5 years later.
The main takeaway of the study: Discovering infidelity does not mean the end of a relationship. Couples, who address the issue in therapy, have an above average chance of making their relationship work.
Source: Marín, R. A., Christensen, A., & Atkins, D. C. (2014). Infidelity and behavioral couple therapy: Relationship outcomes over 5 years following therapy. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 3(1), 1.
New research highlights the possible chemical pathway through which individuals, who are in love, may not be vigilant about detecting a partner’s deceptive behavior.
In the study, some participants were given a dose of oxytocin, a powerful hormone that naturally increases when individuals fall in love and have a lot of affectionate and physical interaction.
People, who were exposed to oxytocin, were less accurate at judging others trustworthiness. From the study…
“Rather than improving subjects’ inferences about others’ mental states, oxytocin impeded accurate assessments of trustworthiness in risky social exchanges.”
Maybe oxytocin, which is often called the “love drug”, should come with the following warning label: “Too much kissing, cuddling, and sex can lead to higher levels of oxytocin, ultimately making you vulnerable to being duped by your lover.”
Source: Israel, S., Hart, E., & Winter, E. (2014). Oxytocin Decreases Accuracy in the Perception of Social Deception. Psychological Science,25(1), 293-295.
New research shows that personality differences play a role in determining who is likely to cheat on a partner.
There are several interesting things about the findings. Psychopathy (lack of empathy for others) and Machiavellianism (lacking emotions and being manipulative in nature) are both linked to infidelity. However, there are some interesting sex differences at play.
“Among women, however, only psychopathy and Machiavellianism were unique predictors of infidelity, whereas only psychopathy uniquely predicted infidelity among men. However, infidelity committed by psychopathic individuals led to relationship dissolution, whereas infidelity committed by Machiavellian individuals did not.”
In short, men, who lack empathy and concerns for others, are more likely to cheat and not be concerned about the consequences that follow. Women, who are manipulative and emotionally aloof, are also more likely to cheat, but probably attempt to cover their infidelity better than psychopathic men.
It is always good to get to know the person you are dealing with before becoming romantically involved.
Source: Jones, D. N., & Weiser, D. A. (2014). Differential infidelity patterns among the Dark Triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 57, 20-24.
New research on mate poaching, that is successfully stealing someone else’s partner, is not the wisest way to start a new relationship.
Individuals, who left a partner to be with someone else, tend not to be very happy in their new relationships.
Poached individuals turn out to be less happy and less invested in their new relationships compared to couples where mate poaching did not occur.
Poached individuals are also more likely to commit infidelity and be on the look out for a better partner to come along.
Other key findings of this research…
“To summarize, the results of the present analysis suggest that individuals who were successfully mate poached by their current partners tend to be socially passive, not particularly nice to others, careless and irresponsible, and narcissistic. They also tend to desire and engage in sexual behavior outside of the confines of committed relationships.”
Stealing a mate from someone else is probably not the best way to find love and happiness.
Source: Foster, J. D., Jonason, P. K., Shrira, I., Keith Campbell, W., Shiverdecker, L. K., & Varner, S. C. (2014). What Do You Get When You Make Somebody Else’s Partner Your Own? An Analysis of Relationships Formed Via Mate Poaching. Journal of Research in Personality.