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The Science of First Dates

Show interest if you're the least bit attracted.

Despite the pervasive myth we like to chase after people, the actual dating research paints a different picture: no one wants to date people who play hard to get. There's a world of difference between someone who's less available because . . . Read Keep it Interesting


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Entries in stress management (6)


Talk-Free Relationship Fix #56: Self-Care

Want to improve your relationship? Run. Not away, of course. I just mean go for a run. In an earlier post, I wrote about the importance of knowing when to end a conversation. Sometimes, more talk isn’t the best solution to your romantic troubles. When I posted that article, I was already drawing on the considerable evidence that being in a high stress (“fight or flight”) state while discussing your relationship usually does more harm than good. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the latest stress response research I heard cited at a conference a few weeks ago.

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One of the Top Questions I’m Asked: Answered Below

I’ve lost count of the number of clients and journalists who’ve asked me this one: Should people date while depressed? At a glance, the number last year looks like ten times from the press, alone, (eleven if you count, “Should people date while unemployed?”—in some ways, a variation on the same question, considering how often unemployment seems to coincide with depression).

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Jealousy, interrupted.

It fuels suspense in the greatest novels. It’s a motive for murder. It even has its own color. Jealousy—the green-eyed monster. Taming it’s not easy, but you’ll find it’s a lot easier if you know what keeps it alive (that’s true of a lot of problem behaviors--for more examples, see: Romance on the Road, Part I and Part II, Why Your Neighbor is Your Next True Love, and info on my book about controlling attraction). defines jealousy as:

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An Assertiveness Cheat-Sheet

Trying to stand up for yourself? Remember your A, B, C’s. I’ve already shared my perspective on the art of saying no. It’s probably one of the most important social skills you can master. But proper assertiveness statements--part of a broader class of assertive communication techniques--tend to come in handy across situations, and along with the gentle limit-setting of a gracefully delivered no, they can help you draw clearer boundaries around your relationships. In the end, everyone benefits from this. You’ll have a much easier time maintaining your integrity, self-esteem and sometimes safety, and your friends, partners, and dates have an easier time getting to know who you really are.

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Talk Free Relationship Fix #1: Touch

We’ve always attributed special powers to touch. Our cultural imagination is teeming with images of catastrophic or transformational contact, both sacred and profane. God reaches out to touch Adam and offers the spark of life. Midas touches the world and all becomes still. A mother holds her child’s hand for the very first time and her entire world—everything around her—changes all at once.

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