Relationships

No one ever said that people were logical when it comes to love and infidelity

By Truth About Deception

A new study shows that people almost certainly hold irrational beliefs about infidelity in their romantic relationships.

The research found that dating couples strongly disapprove of cheating, yet most couples do not discuss what constitutes infidelity with their partners (and it turns out many couples do not agree on what it means to cheat).

More importantly, although 30% of people had been cheated on before and 40% of people think that the “average” person cheats, fewer than 10% of people thought that their own partner would cheat on them. In other words, people who have been cheated on in the past and think that cheating is fairly widespread still don’t think it will happen to them again. Not exactly a rational point of view.

Even people who cheated on their current partners still held very low estimates that their partner would ever cheat on them.

So what are the factors that explain what appears to be an “optimistic” bias about believing that a partner will be faithful? Trust and disapproval. The more people trust their partners and disapprove of cheating, the less likely people consider the possibility that their partner might stray.

Let’s face it. People are not great at applying logic to their romantic relationships.

Source:  Watkins, S. J., & Boon, S. D.  (2015).  Expectations regarding partner fidelity in dating relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi:10.1177/0265407515574463

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Forming a Healthy Relationship Online When You’re In Recovery

By Gemma Crooke

Have you ever noticed just how much of your dating life is conducted in smoky bars and clubs? From that first date drink to the affair conducted under the cover of darkness, it’s likely that you will have been on a date to a bar (or on several dates to several bars) at some point during your dating career. If you’re a recovering alcoholic or simply don’t drink alcohol for any reason, this can make the dating world difficult: whilst you may be happy to enjoy a coke whilst your date is sipping on their beer, many people, particularly men, find the concept of drinking alone to be problematic. And if you haven’t been in recovery for long then you may well not want to go into a bar or club and stare temptation in the face. During the early stages of alcohol recovery being around other people drinking really isn’t a good idea: even if it is your only chance to meet and date the person of your dreams! However there are other options available: such as online dating. Online dating is a wonderful option for recovering alcoholics and provides a wonderful way to meet new people.

The Wonderful World of Online Dating

Dating when you’re a recovering alcoholic can be very difficult. When is the right time to tell the person that you want to date that you have a history of alcoholism? Is it better to be upfront straight away? Should you leave it until your third date, your fifth date? Many people shy away from these kind of uncomfortable conversations in the flesh, but find them much easier to have online when they have time to think about what you want to say and how you want to express yourself. It’s easier to be upfront and let your potential love interest know everything they need to know about you very quickly, including the things you find difficult to talk about. If the person you wish to date doesn’t want to meet with you in real life because they are turned off by your past then you also have the advantage of knowing this before you invest any real time and emotions into the potential relationship.

Find the Right Match

When you’re meeting people in a bar you are going in blind: you know that you like the way a person looks before you deliver that initial chat up line but nothing else, not even their name! Online dating gives you an immediate advantage though; you can indicate clearly in your profile than you don’t drink and you can even make it clear that you only want to be contacted by non-drinkers or people who only drink occasionally in your profile. This means you don’t have to have that immediate conversation when you see a profile you’re interested in and it also means that you won’t run the risk of starting to date an alcoholic, something with could have negative effects on your own recovery process. When you’re heading to a bar with your friends to meet new people, it’s highly unlikely that you will meet someone that doesn’t drink: however online dating helps you to widen the net and find someone who matches your very precise criteria.

Online dating also allows you to take your time getting to know your potential match and then when the time is right for meeting each other in the flesh you will know each other well enough to know that meeting in a bar is not a good idea. This will help you to protect your sobriety and give you the opportunity to try another fun date option: after all, how much fun can you really have on a date in a bar when you could be holding hands on an ice skating rink, snuggling in the back of a movie theater or even indulging your foodie impulses in a delicious restaurant instead? There is an assumption that the best dates take place when you have a glass in your hand, but actually, sober dates can be so much more unusual, exciting and fun!

This is a freelance article from Gemma Crooke.

 


Your Crystal Ball: How not to let their past ruin your future

By Duana C. Welch

A central task each of us faces when choosing a partner is loving ourselves. And as science would have it, a crucial aspect of loving ourselves is setting boundaries for whom we’ll let in our lives~and who gets shut out.

A big shut-out? Anyone whose past might ruin your future.

I have lost track of how many letters I’ve gotten from women and men who are trying to ignore a partner’s past. We have all done things we’re not proud of. But I mean past behavior that speaks poorly of a partner’s odds of being a Good Citizen in the relationship.

This especially applies to the Three A’s of addiction, abuse, and adultery. Or anything else you find unbearable.

One woman was dating a man who had slept with his best friend’s wife. He had also cheated on his now-ex-wife. Did I think he would cheat on her, too? That’s the question she asked me. I think if she had not been in love with him already, or if someone else told her that same story about another couple, she would know the answer. But too often, we get emotionally and sexually involved with people before taking the time to know the important aspects of their character.

So people keep hoping that the past is the past, and it’ll be different now that they’re together.

Well, maybe it will. It’s a big world, and every kind of action we can think of has happened and will happen sometimes. Some people cheat once, and never again. For instance, a person who fumbled their way into an affair at work, but then felt horribly guilty, ended the affair, believes affairs are wrong, and never had another affair is likely to be a safer bet—much safer than someone who has had multiple affairs and feels entitled to get some on the side. Some people kick addictions—but one of the biggest studies on sobriety ever conducted found that only 15% of men remained alcohol free for the entire four years.   And maybe some abusers stop; but science suggests those odds hover near zero.

Science is about odds, and odds are highest that your would-be sweetie will behave like they already behaved, as long as conditions are similar. For instance, if they cheated while traveling for work, and they are still traveling for work? Bad bet. If they habitually lied, or drank, or fill-in-the-behavior-you-find-intolerable, they will probably do it again under similar circumstances.

Are you okay with it if their behavior comes down on the wrong side of probably?

It’s one of the very few Laws in psychology: What a person did in a similar past situation is the absolute best indicator of what they’ll do in the future. It’s not a guarantee; science has few of those. But it’s the way to bet.

We all have a crystal ball: the past. Now it’s time to love ourselves enough to use it to chart a great future with someone trustworthy and good for us.

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, releasing on January 7, 2015; this entry is a partial excerpt. You can read more and get a free chapter at http://lovefactually.co. Copyright Duana C. Welch, Ph.D.

 


Love is in the gaze

By Truth About Deception

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.

Source:

Bolmont, M., Cacioppo, J. T., & Cacioppo, S. (2014). Love Is in the Gaze An Eye-Tracking Study of Love and Sexual Desire. Psychological Science, 0956797614539706.

 


Holidays

By Truth About Deception

Holiday gatherings can bring out the best and worst in us.

It can be fun to catch-up with relatives and friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Sharing old stories, meeting new guests, and enjoying food – it’s all fun until old grudges lead to snide comments, intrusive questions are met with half-truths, and fake compliments abound.

The holidays reveal just how complex our social lives can be. Both truth and lies are needed to manage the complexities of the day.

Happy Thanksgiving.