• Here’s what you win when you poach a partner.
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    Men and women who said they’d been poached by their current partner tended to start out the study by reporting less commitment to their existing relationship, feeling less satisfied in it, committing more acts of infidelity and looking out for more alternatives. What’s more, over the course of the study, these participants reported progressively lower levels of commitment and satisfaction in their relationships. They also showed continued interest in other potential romantic partners and persistent levels of infidelity. This is in contrast to participants who hadn’t been poached by their partners – they showed less interest in romantic alternatives over time.

    It makes intuitive sense that people who were poached by their partners showed less commitment and satisfaction in their existing relationship. After all, if they were willing to abandon a partner in the past, why should they not be willing or even keen to do so again? This logic was borne out by a final study of 219 more heterosexual participants who answered questions not just about the way their current relationship had been formed, but also about their personalities and attitudes.

    Foster and his team summarised the findings: “individuals who were successfully mate poached by their current partners tend[ed] to be socially passive, not particularly nice to others, careless and irresponsible, and narcissistic. They also tend[ed] to desire and engage in sexual behaviour outside of the confines of committed relationships.”

    And, the even shorter summary?

    Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be driving in it for a VERY long time…

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  • Are you too afraid to find love?
    1 Comment on Are you too afraid to find love?

    Huffington Post

    Why do we fear vulnerability? We are afraid that if someone finds out who we really are, they will reject us. While we may try to appear perfect, strong or intelligent in order to connect with others in actual fact, pretense often has the opposite effect intended. Research by Paula Niedenthal shows that we resonate too deeply with one another not to perceive inauthenticity. We even register inauthenticity in our bodies. A study by James Gross shows that when we are inauthentic and try to hide our feelings, others respond physiologically (a rise in blood pressure). This physiological response may explain our inherent discomfort around inauthentic or “fake” people.

    On the other hand, when people stick to the truth (including avoiding little white lies), not only does their well-being increase, but their relationships improve, recent research suggests. Another recent study indicates that verbally expressing our feelings exactly as they are may help us overcome emotions faster. When we allow ourselves to be completely open and vulnerable, we benefit, our relationships improve, and we may even become more attractive. “We are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth,” says Brown. “We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.” Why do we love children so much? Why are we drawn to people who act themselves? Because we feel an intrinsic comfort in the presence of authenticity. Moreover, someone who is real and and vulnerable gives us the space and permission to be the same.

    The path to hell:

    (1). Con your way into a marriage and then lie your way through to keep another liking or even loving you (or have such done to you) (or both.)

    (2). Experience the inevitable implosion of that marriage — usually by way of an affair.

    (3). Feel such self hatred and insecurity from such you seek out and enter into relationship with a person who is even more unwilling to say ANYTHING negative or fight with you (And justify such by believing you need peace in order to repair your heart.)

    (4). Experience the agony of that person pulling the pin even sooner.

    (5). Repeat…

    Or, you could read the above linked and rethink the lies you believe about yourself that keep you in hiding…

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  • Perhaps you don’t have a communication problem?
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    Huffington Post

    I feel bad for marital communication, because it gets blamed for everything. For generations, in survey after survey, couples have rated marital communication as the number one problem in marriage. It’s not.

    Marital communication is getting a bad rap. It’s like the kid who fights back on the playground. The playground supervisors hear a commotion and turn their heads just in time to see his retaliation. He didn’t create the problem; he was reacting to the problem. But he’s the one who gets caught, so he’s sent off to the principal’s office. Or, in the case of marital communication, the therapist’s office.

    I feel bad for marital communication, because everyone gangs up on him, when the truth is, on the playground of marriage, he’s just reacting to one of the other troublemakers who started the fight:

    1. We marry people because we like who they are.

    2. Marriage doesn’t take away our loneliness.

    3. Shame baggage.

    4. Ego wins.

    5. Life is messy and marriage is life.

    6. Empathy is hard.

    7. We care more about our children than about the one who helped us make them.

    8. The hidden power struggle.

    9. We don’t know how to maintain interest in one thing or one person anymore.

    The full article is more than thought provoking — read it.

    But, #7 above is likely the leader of them all — followed at a distant second by #2.

    The good news is that more and more authors and thinkers are waking and realizing that we truly have replaced the faiths of our fathers with a religion of parenthood.

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  • Do you need a high fat diet?
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    Men’s Journal

    One year later, the high-fat, low-carb group had lost three times as much weight – 12 pounds compared with four – and that weight loss came from body fat, while the low-fat group lost muscle. Even more persuasive were the results of blood tests meant to measure the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The high-fat group, despite eating nearly twice as much saturated fat, still saw greater improvements in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. This was enough to improve their scores on the Framingham Risk Calculator, a tool for predicting 10-year risk of heart attack. The low-fat group, by contrast, saw no improvement on their Framingham scores. “I think the explanation lies in how the low-fat dieters filled the hole left by fat – they just ate more carbs,” says Bazanno.

    How a fatty pork chop can trump pasta begins with the fact that our bodies don’t process calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the same way. “When we eat carbs, they break down into sugar in the blood; that’s true of whole grains, too, though to a lesser extent,” says Jeff Volek, a leading low-carb researcher at Ohio State University. The body responds with the hormone insulin, which converts the extra blood sugar into fatty acids stored in the body fat around our middles. Our blood sugar then falls, and that body fat releases the fatty acids to burn as fuel. But carb-heavy diets keep insulin so high that those fatty acids aren’t released, Volek says. The body continues to shuttle sugar into our fat cells – packing on the pounds – but we never burn it. Dietary fat, meanwhile, is the only macronutrient that has no effect on insulin or blood sugar. “This means it’s likely excessive carbs, not fat, that plump us up,” he adds. Low-carb diets stop that vicious cycle, keeping insulin levels low enough to force the body to burn fat again.

    But isn’t too much saturated fat bad for your heart? “The evidence for that has really disintegrated,” says Dr. Eric Westman, a bariatric physician and director of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic. It is true that saturated fat can raise cholesterol. But as we know, there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. And it turns out that a diet rich in saturated fat increases the former while decreasing the latter. Carbs, on the other hand, do exactly the opposite. In fact, a new Annals of Internal Medicine review of 72 studies and hundreds of thousands of subjects found no strong evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease.

    You know scientists are starting to get sure of something when they start to use terms like, “The evidence for that has really disintegrated.”

    Now, the real question is how long it is going to take for your average family doctor to finally let go of last generation’s fat based folklore…

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  • On second thought, you really DO need a drink…
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    Science Daily

    Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, University of Kentucky, and University of Maryland found that for people 60 and older who do not have dementia, light alcohol consumption during late life is associated with higher episodic memory — the ability to recall memories of events.

    Moderate alcohol consumption was also linked with a larger volume in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for episodic memory. The relationship between light alcohol consumption and episodic memory goes away if hippocampal volume is factored in, providing new evidence that hippocampal functioning is the critical factor in these improvements. These findings were detailed in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.

    This pretty much stands on its own.

    Along with the authors final caveat…

    …having five or more alcoholic beverages during a single drinking occasion is known to be harmful to the brain.

    (Other studies have suggested it’s actually dangerous at any more then two and it kills almost 80,000 people/yr in the Americas…)

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  • Does your brain really need a gym?
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    “We object to the claim that brain games offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline when there is no compelling scientific evidence to date that they do. . . . The promise of a magic bullet detracts from the best evidence to date, which is that cognitive health in old age reflects the long-term effects of healthy, engaged lifestyles.”

    “When researchers follow people across their lives, they find that those who live cognitively active, socially connected lives and maintain healthy lifestyles are less likely to suffer debilitating illness and early cognitive decline,” as the statement describes it.

    I’ve been waiting for years for someone to finally do this study. And, not only did it finally get done, but a vast number of scientists just stepped up and signed it. (Apparently I’m not the only one who found this racket to be just as annoying as the you-can-sit-and-get-fit exercise videos…)

    Once again, the ONLY WAY to limit the effects of age related cognitive decline is to spend your life using your brain — instead of watching soap operas. This study says it well:

    MCI is defined as cognitive decline greater than expected for an individual’s age and education level but that does not interfere notably with activities of daily life. Symptoms often include forgetfulness and a decline in executive skills.

    Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain studied the way in which the brain compensates for cognitive impairment and discovered the brain uses its cognitive reserve to make up for memory loss.

    “Cognitive reserve” is the name given to the brain’s capacity to compensate for the loss of its functions. This reserve cannot be measured directly; rather, it is calculated through indicators believed to increase this capacity.

    Scientists discovered use of a higher level of vocabulary appears to buttress cognitive reserve.

    In other words, if you want to prevent yourself from getting old AND senile, forget about brain gym. Read a book — then go and discuss it with someone you love.

    (Yes, even a completely trashy novel will do just fine…)

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  • Need a great anti-depressant?
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    Capital FM

    But, did you know sperm comprises only about 3 percent of semen? The rest is seminal fluid: mostly water, plus about 50 compounds: sugar, immunosuppressants and oddly, two female sex hormones, and many mood-elevating compounds: endorphins, estrone, prolactin, oxytocin, thyrotrpin-releasing hormone, and serotonin.

    Compared with women who “always” or “usually” used condoms, those who “never” did, which means their vaginas were exposed to semen, showed significantly better mood and fewer depressive symptoms. In addition, compared to women who had no intercourse at all, the semen-exposed women showed more elevated mood and less depression.

    Researchers also found among women who “always” or “usually” used condoms, which meant their vaginal tissue never came in contact with semen, about 20 percent reported suicidal thoughts, but among those who used condoms only “sometimes,” the figure was much lower, 7 percent, and among women who “never” used condoms, only 5 percent reported suicidal thoughts. So it appears quite possible that the antidepressants in semen might have a real mood-elevating effect.

    Ok, yes, correlation does not even remotely prove causation. (And these guys barely even have a decent correlation happening here…)

    But, more and more of this sort of research is happening and it’s starting to go beyond this sort of sillyness into actual understanding of the powerful impact genital secretions, pheromones and vaginal fluid/semen have on the male and female body.

    And, if that weren’t strange enough, also growing is our understanding of the impact an ingestion of semen (via oral sex) has on female physiology in terms of its ability to control morning sickness via successful maternal immunosuppression.

    It’s beginning to appear that an act of unprotected sexual intercourse is actually a marvel of chemical communication that accomplishes something far more complex then the simple experience of climax. Now we just need to figure out what, exactly, it’s all doing…

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  • Who is having risky sex?
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    Women’s Health

    It turns out that having higher levels of long-term self-regulation — that’s basically the ability to plan for the future, prioritize, and generally monitor yourself and your actions as they relate to your long-term goals — was associated with waiting longer to have sex, having fewer lifetime sexual partners, using condoms, and having low levels of sexual risk. Meanwhile, those who scored higher on short-term self-regulation — i.e., they had the ability to inhibit snap impulses and a moderate ability to shift attention in the moment over limited periods of time — weren’t as well-off in the safe sex department. This trait was associated with lower condom use and higher sexual risk.

    So, when you strip away all of the statistical terminology and somewhat misguided commentary about personality, this study is essentially saying two simple things:

    All the emphasis the Church has put into choosing virginity and having willpower around sexuality turns out to be pretty close to worthless.

    The teens who don’t make stupid sexual decisions are those who know who they are, what they are worth, what their hearts long for and where they are going in life.

    (You know — the ones we didn’t drown under so much shame, fear and guilt they actually could hear and connect with their own hearts in first place…)

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  • Pull and Pray?
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    Kevin MD

    No one is going to accuse either of these characters of being subtle — ever…

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  • Do you know what to do when your child gets angry?
    Comments Off on Do you know what to do when your child gets angry?

    Aha Parenting

    “Sending children away to get control of their anger perpetuates the feeling of ‘badness” inside them…Chances are they were already feeling not very good about themselves before the outburst and the isolation just serves to confirm in their own minds that they were right.” — Otto Weininger,Ph.D. Time-In Parenting

    When our kids get angry, it pushes buttons for most of us. We’re not perfect, but we try to be loving parents. Why is our child lashing out like this?

    Many parents send an angry child to her room to “calm down.” After all, what else can we do? We certainly can’t reason with her when she’s furious. It’s no time to teach lessons or ask for an apology. She needs to calm down.

    If we send him to his room, he will indeed calm down, eventually. He’ll also have gotten a clear message that his anger is unacceptable, and that he’s on his own when it comes to managing his big scary feelings–we don’t know how to help him. He won’t have worked through whatever led to his anger. Instead, he’ll have stuffed the anger, so it’s no longer under conscious control, and will burst out again soon. No wonder so many of us develop anger-management issues, whether that means we yell at our kids, throw tantrums with our spouse, or overeat to avoid acknowledging angry feelings.

    What can we do instead? We can help our kids learn to manage their anger responsibly. That begins with accepting anger — without acting on it.

    This is one of the most critical tasks of childhood–learning to tolerate the wounds of everyday life without moving into reactive anger. People who can do this are able to resolve challenges more constructively. We call them emotionally intelligent.

    Kids learn emotional intelligence when we teach them that all their feelings are okay, but it’s their job to control their actions. How?

    The full article is incredibly well written and well worth the read.

    I can’t help but notice how popular the exact opposite of the advice she gives is — and how much it defines our entire society even as adults.

    When we see someone expressing anger we:

    Panic, write off the person, act like the emoter is dangerous and bad, try to isolate the person, escalate a threat to control them and them punish them for disturbing the peace.

    A lot of places, it’s called policing — sometimes it’s even referred to as pastoral care…

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