The Science of Love & Intimacy

This is an overview of the relationship category.

It’s a one-stop with all the information you need to achieve the best relationship ever.

Think of this as a compendium, the only one post you need to improve your relationship.

Relationship Power Dynamics

We start with what’s relevant to this website: power dynamics.

Below are articles less focused on power dynamics, but equally helpful to master intimate relationships.

Relationships Dynamics

The aim of this article is to give you a quick overview of all the most common relationship problems.
Click on whatever interests you most to dig deeper.

It’s all based on research and data. It condensates, in a shorter and easier format, all the more in depth articles and books previously appeared here.

If you need more details, you can then just click on the hyperlinks.

1. Picking the Best Partner

There are several layers you want to take into account when looking for a great partner.

1. Personal Quality

Learning to recognize your partner’s quality today is the greatest investment you make in your tomorrow:

2. Finding a Loyal Partner

Trust is crucial in a relationship.
And these are the best articles and indicators to find a loyal, trustworthy partner:

3. Attachment Styles

One of the most important traits you need to have compatible with your partner is attachment styles.
It’s as important as it is underrated. Few people talk about it because few people know about it.
Read here:

And most important:

This is possibly the single most important factor when it comes to matching personality traits for good relationships.
For more insights, check the relationship guide.

What Makes Strong Relationships

1. Accepting Influence

Accepting influence means listening to your partner and taking into consideration what they like and prefer.
Couples who don’t do it split up more than 80% of the times.
Read:

2. Emotional Connection

Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight says that great couples don’t communicate better than poor couples.
They are just more emotionally attuned.
Read:

3. Positive Outlook

Couples who have a strong sense of relationship see each other positively.
And this is true for life in general as it is for relationship. Having a positive outlook means that you interpret negative behavior as the exception and positive behavior as the norm.

4. Fondness and Admiration: Staying in Love

A great way to stay focused on the positives and to stay in love for ever is to cultivate a culture of fondness and admiration for our partners.
Read here how to that:

5. Knowing Your Partner (Love Maps)

Knowing our partner and keep alive the curiosity it takes to updated that knowledge says “I care about you”.

6. Shared Meaning

A shared culture tells about your relationship together. The more shared meaning you have, the more unique and special your bond is.

7. More Positives to Negatives

John Gottman found out that there is a “magic ratio” of positive to negatives above which relationships are successful.

8. Share Love Languages

Gary Chapman has such a simple and yet so revolutionary concept: if we don’t speak the same love languages we can’t communicate our love and appreciation to each other.

What Breaks Relationships

And here’s what has been proven to destroy relationships instead (here’s a more in depth overview article focusing only on relationship destroyers)

1. Ambivalence

Ambivalence is not knowing whether to fully commit or not. You can’t have a good relationship while being ambivalent.

2. Bad Conflict Styles

Arguing well is not necessary a plus, but arguing badly does break relationship apart.

Avoid the following, also called The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse:

Unsolvable Issues Bitterness

Conflict resolution is great, but don’t go thinking you’ll solve all problems.
Some relationship issues stem from core differences, which makes them perennial issues.
Here’s how to deal with them:

4. Vicious Circles

When you argue badly, you accuse your partner of your unsolvable issues, and you lack most of what makes an awesome relationship, a bad thing starts happening: vicious circles.
Vicious circles is how most relationships end:

Relationships to End

1. Abusive relationships

Abusive people rarely change, which means you can’t work on a relationship with an abusive partner.

There are as many bad women as bad men, granted.
But most abusers are men, so this list mostly focuses on men.

You must avoid these guys altogether:

And albeit not tailored to abusive relationships:

2. Bad Relationship Dances

Relationship dances do not necessarily spell doom and some of them are not the end of the world (parent/child for example).
But still, if your goal is as awesome as you can be:

3. Combative relationships

Great relationships should be sanctuaries of safety. That means no one upping, no undermining and not too many power games.

Combative relationships are how the most seemingly normal relationships end up being

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