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Relationships: Long-Distance Relationship May Have Benefit

Does distance really make the heart grow fonder? Maybe so: According to a new study, people in long-distance romantic relationships can form stronger bonds than those in normal relationships.Does distance really make the heart grow fonder? Maybe so: According to a new study, people in long-distance romantic relationships can form stronger bonds than those in normal relationships.

Dating couples in long-distance and normal relationships told researchers about their daily interactions using different methods: face-to-face, phone calls, video chat, texting, instant messaging and email.

For a week, the participants reported to what extent they shared about themselves and experienced intimacy, and how much they they felt their partners did the same thing, for the study in the June issue of the Journal of Communication.

Long-distance couples had greater feelings of intimacy due to two factors: They disclosed more about themselves and they idealized their partners’ behaviors, said study authors Crystal Jiang of City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey Hancock of Cornell University.

Long-distance relationships are increasingly common and people use many kinds of communications technologies to maintain their romantic bonds, a journal news release noted. Recent figures show that 3 million married couples in the United States live apart. Between 25 percent and 50 percent of college students are currently in long-distance relationships and up to 75 percent have had one at some point.

Even so, many people believe that long-distance relationships are challenging.

“Indeed, our culture emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values. People don’t have to be so pessimistic about long-distance romance,” Jiang said in a journal news release. “The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back.”

Source: WebMD News from HealthDay

New Stanford research on speed dating examines what makes couples ‘click’ in four minutes

Stanford researchers analyze the encounters of men and women during four-minute speed dates to find out what makes couples feel connected.

Can you “click” with someone after only four minutes?

That’s the question at the heart of new research by Stanford scholars Dan McFarland and Dan Jurafsky that looks at how meaningful bonds are formed.

McFarland, a sociologist at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, and Jurafsky, a computational linguist, analyzed the conversations of heterosexual couples during speed dating encounters to find out why some people felt a sense of connection after the meeting and others didn’t.

Their paper, “Making the Connection: Social Bonding in Courtship Situations,” was published this month in the American Journal of Sociology.

“One of the key features of a community, social network or relationship is the sense that it’s meaningful, that there is some kind of force behind the relationship,” McFarland said. “We wanted to get at what the essence of the connection is, what makes people feel like they bonded.”

McFarland said much of the literature on social bonding points to characteristics – traits, status, attributes, motivation, experiences – as reasons why people connect. But, he said, those explanations ignore or downplay the role of communication.

There is a great deal of uncertainty, the paper notes, about the meaning of signals we send to other people, and how that plays into forging interpersonal connections.

“We wanted to see if there is anything about the interaction that matters or is it really just what I look like, what I do, what my motivation is. Is it all things that are psychological or in my head or is there actually something in how we hit it off?”

Their analysis of nearly 1,000 dates found that words, indeed, do matter. How the words are delivered, when and for how long make a difference to how people feel toward each other, and in this case, whether the men and women sensed that they “clicked” during their encounter.

The four-minute date, the study found, was enough time to forge a meaningful relationship – something that seemed to go beyond looks and motivation. But female participants reported lower rates of “clicking” than men, suggesting the women are more selective and, in this particular setting, more powerful.

The participants in the study were graduate students at Stanford, and wore audio recording devices during their dates. The dates lasted four minutes each, and after they were done, the participants filled out a scorecard that, among other things, asked if he or she would like to go out on a real date with the person. If both parties said yes, a real date was set up.

For the purposes of this study, the participants also filled out pre- and post-date surveys.

The dates were transcribed and computer software was used to analyze the words and speech to see if any characteristics of the language corresponded to the participants’ reporting of feeling a sense of connection.

“We were looking at conversational behaviors or speech features and how they express characteristics of the social experience, how you feel about the other person,” Jurafsky said.

Women reported a sense of connection to men who used appreciative language (“That’s awesome” or “Good for you”) and sympathy (“That must be tough on you”).

Women also reported clicking with male partners who interrupted them – not as a way to redirect the conversation but to demonstrate understanding and engagement, for example, by finishing a sentence or adding to it.

Both genders reported clicking when their conversations were mainly about the women.

“You could say men are self-centered and women are always trying to please men and dates will go well if they talk about the guy, but it turns out that’s just not true. It’s just the opposite,” McFarland said. “This is a situation in life where women have the power, women get to decide. So talking about the empowered party is a sensible strategy toward feeling connected.”

While interrupting could be viewed as positive, asking a lot of questions tended to have a negative result.

“Women feel disconnected when they have to ask men questions, or when men ask them questions,” the paper said. Questions were used by women to keep a lagging conversation going and by men who had nothing to say.

Successful dates, the paper notes, were associated with women being the focal point and engaged in the conversation, and men demonstrating alignment with and understanding of the women.

Shared stories also indicated a sense of connection, as did speakers who showed enthusiasm by varying their speech to get louder and softer.

The researchers said the longer it took for the individuals to decide on a date, the more they reported having a bonding experience, suggesting communication can change someone’s feelings about another person and break the association with traits.

Further studies could look at same-sex relationships, for example, or could explore the transitions to other states, like marriage.

Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences and various grants from the National Science Foundation supported this interdisciplinary research effort.

5 Online Dating Myths

Another Thursday has come by and it is time for a guest post! Today we have a awesome post from Doug, he is an ex-teacher and one of the two directors of The London School of Attraction. Today he will share with you 5 Online Dating Myths. Thank you Doug!

When it comes to online dating, perhaps the hardest thing of all is getting your profile right to attract the right kind of person for you.

In the age where Google can answer almost any question, it’s all too tempting to turn to the internet to help you find the answers. However, having done some research of my own, I’ve seen just how much bad advice is out there that may be doing you more harm than good.

So in this post, I want to try and highlight the five biggest online dating profile myths. All come from supposedly reputable sources.

Myth 1: Use your profile to sell yourself

Most people seem to see their profile as their very own small ad, using it as an opportunity to sell themselves. However, this is one of the biggest pitfalls, and here’s why: no one cares.

No one cares how deep you make yourself out to be or what you think of current events. These types of profile are essentially a collection of Facebook statuses and Tweets – the ones that everyone pays no attentions to and skims over. Remember, you can’t really learn about someone via a profile, and it’s not until you go on a date with someone that you actually get to know them.

Instead of trying to sell yourself, use your profile to say what you want from a potential partner. Make them do the hard work; make them wonder if they’re right for you and if they can live up to your standards and requirements.

Myth 2: Try to please everyone

Being bland and vanilla is one of the biggest profile crimes that you can commit. Trying to appeal to everyone would be understandable if there were only a handful of people left in the world, but there are hundreds of thousands of people out there. It doesn’t matter if some of them don’t like your profile – in fact, that’s what you want! Continue reading

Men’s DNA could still be identified after kissing

Passionate kissing swaps more than just spit, with DNA lingering in a partner’s mouth for at least an hour.

Researcher Natalia Kamodyova and her colleagues at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, found 12 couples willing to make out for at least two minutes in the name of science.

Saliva samples were then taken from each of the women at five, 10, 30 and 60 minute intervals.

The researchers found DNA from the men could still be identified in the samples up to an hour after the couples had kissed.

The study, entitled “Prevalence and persistence of male DNA identified in mixed saliva samples after intense kissing”, has been published in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics.

The method used by the researchers relied on the detection of the Y chromosome, so it could only identify male DNA.

The findings could prove vital in cases of sexual assault, or could perhaps be used to catch out an unfaithful partner.

“Our study confirms that foreign DNA tends to persist for a restricted period of time in the victim’s mouth, can be isolated from saliva after prompt collection and can be used as a valuable source of evidence,” the researchers wrote.

Continue reading

Women Know if Date is a Potential Partner Within 90 Seconds

New research shows that women know whether their date is a potential partner within the first 90 seconds of meeting them, compared to 5 minutes for men.

It’s true, women really do know what they want when it comes to choosing a man as the average British woman knows if her date is a potential partner within 90 seconds of their first date.

Men are more forgiving and give a woman 5 minutes to impress them before they make the decision as to whether they’ll be seeing them again. Continue reading

Speed Dating: how it works in your brain

Another research that proves the science behind Soul2Match: The brain runs a complex series of computations to tally the allure of a prospective partner in just seconds, a new study finds.

And the strength of these brain signals predicted which speed daters would go on to score a match.

The results help explain how people evaluate others — a process that happens at lightning speed, says neuroscientist Daniela Schiller of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “It’s a gut feeling, but here, the paper dissects it for us and tells us, ‘This is what we calculate.’”

Scientists led by Jeffrey Cooper, who conducted the work at Trinity College Dublin and Caltech, scanned the brains of single volunteers as they looked at pictures of potential dating partners. Although it’s hard to put a number on people by a photo alone, researchers made volunteers rate on a scale of 1 to 4 how much they’d like to go on a date with the person in the photograph. Continue reading

Again research shows: we like the look of look alikes!

Dating your mom? Your wife or girlfriend probably shares Man with his mothersome close similarities with the first woman you ever fell in love with: your mother.

Researchers in Finland recruited 70 men and women and compared the face of each person’s spouse to the participant’s opposite-sex parent. The absolutely horrifying results: While the women’s husbands looked nothing like their fathers, the men were likely to end up with women who “significantly” resembled their moms, says Urszula Marcinkowska, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Turku. (You may now vomit.) Continue reading

How Facebook Ruined Dating (And Breaking Up Too)


The Facebook Relationship Effect is real: research shows that Facebook is changing the way we meet, date and also slowly rip each others hearts out. 

Meeting/dating/relationship-ing was hard enough before 2003. And then Facebook created a whole new set of obstacles, awkward conversations and unclear situations. “Can I admit to knowing things you’ve done (based on your pics) before we go on dates?” “Should we get to know each other on Facebook before we date?” The difficulty of dating in the era of Facebook is not just in your head, either. Researchers have found that Facebook really is altering, or at least reflecting, new relationship patterns, even how people break up. Or more accurately, don’t break up.

“I’ve been surprised at what a real impact Facebook has on romantic relationships,” Galena Rhoades, a clinical psychologist at the University of Denver, told me. “And I do think Facebook is playing bigger role in relationship formation and relationship disillusions.” Continue reading

A real love competition

Everlasting love…Is it possible for one person to love more than another? In an attempt to find out, filmmaker Brent Hoff teamed with Stanford University neuroscientists to test lovers’ abilities, using an fMRI to monitor brain activity and measure whose adoration was the strongest.

The results can be seen in The Love Competition, a short film directed by Hoff (watch the whole thing below). The San Francisco director, who edits DVD magazine Wholphin, said he knows the idea of reducing love to a neurochemical blood sport might rub some people the wrong way, but he hopes people see the film in the good-natured way he intended.

It turns out — based on the levels of activity in the dopamine, serotonin and ocytocin/vasopressin pathways — it is possible for one person to exhibit that they can love someone more deeply than another person can. But what’s amazing about The Love Competition is seeing the participants talk about their loves and the effects the fMRI tests had on them. Many come out almost giddy when the test is complete, and one woman tearily explains that she just feels lucky for the love she’s had in her life.

What they found was unique, Hoff said, because the player with the lowest score was actually the one who probably “won” in the long run. “The guy who lost, who came in dead last, was probably the happiest of anyone; he realized he wasn’t in love with his ex-girlfriend,” Hoff said. “He walks out of there with his arms raised, triumphant.”

If you have 15 minutes, this is for sure worth to watch. This isn’t about psychological evaluations, personalty tests, hundreds of questions, quizzes, behavioral matching and the rest of it. This is a short film about how some researchers are going right to the heart, er, brain, of the matter of love.

A competition were real people are  thinking about true love, and the researchers are just measuring this.

Why Men And Women Can’t Be Just Friends (and men think they DO have a chance)

Can men and women be just friends? Well NO!

A recently published article titled “Benefit or burden? Attraction in cross-sex friendship” in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships confirms what many of us have known for a long time now, namely that it’s quite difficult for men and women to be just friends. Here’s what the research tells us:

We propose that, because cross-sex friendships are a historically recent phenomenon, men’s and women’s evolved mating strategies impinge on their friendship experiences. In our first study involving pairs of friends, emerging adult males reported more attraction to their friend than emerging adult females did, regardless of their own or their friend’s current relationship status. In our second study, both emerging and middle-aged adult males and females nominated attraction to their cross-sex friend as a cost more often than as a benefit. Younger females and middle-aged participants who reported more attraction to a current cross-sex friend reported less satisfaction in their current romantic relationship. Our findings implicate attraction in cross-sex friendship as both common and of potential negative consequence for individuals’ long-term mateships.

Do you remember this video?

Tell me, are we lying to ourselves (and the cameraman :P ) because we do want to keep this friendship? If the guy has feelings for you and you know it, is this really a friendship? What is going to happen when you both become open Go to websiteabout it? Is it selfish to ignore the fact and keep your ‘good friend’? Do we do it because of the male attention? Or the control over? I am curious what your comments are..  :D