Why Readers Make the Best Lovers According to Science

 

There is something about cracking open a new book that makes one filled with hope. With equal measure finishing a great book can leave a hollow feeling. Those who know this struggle well revel in the act of what is called, “deep reading”. Psychologists note that reading is the second most transformative act one can take part in. The first is writing. But today due to the internet, tablets, smart phones, and e-readers people are more or less skimming, and not really delving in deep like they used to. That’s a shame. For if true readers are a dying breed so lessens a great segment of the dating pool which makes preferable mates. According to two studies those avid readers are smarter and more compassionate, two vastly appealing features for a significant other. Both these studies were Canadian. One took place in 2006 the other in 2009. Each study was a collaboration between Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, along with York University’s Raymond Mar, a psychologist. Oatley and Mar were able to prove that fiction readers showed more empathy—knowing exactly how another feels and being moved to compassion. These readers were also better able to hold beliefs, ideas, and interests that were not their own, something called “theory of mind.” If you have ever been in a multicultural relationship, you know just how important these are.

Today, psychologists say those who have trouble with empathy should read fiction. The idea is that if you can see the world from behind someone else’s eyes, you can better identify with him or her and through the experience people in general. One of the most important relationship tools you can have is how to relate to one another. Theory of mind is considered a natural part of the human experience. But it takes the right kind of social interaction in life to bring it out and help one to develop it. Anyone who has ever been with a selfish lover or even a narcissist knows how important theory of mind is. If you are considering having children with someone, know that just having books in the home increases the child’s word count and cognitive abilities from a younger age. They are also better adjusted socially. A study Mar conducted in 2010 found that children who read more had a better developed theory of mind and could relate to people more. So that would go for not just your love interest but should you wish to have children, your potential offspring as well.

Someone who is a reader should have a better vocabulary. Few relationship skills are more necessary than communication. A person who can communicate exactly what they mean clearly, and perhaps in different ways so you can grasp it should their first attempt not strike you, is the type you wish to keep around. Chemistry and rapport are certainly important. But what we often forget is that relationship and problem-solving skills are necessary too. We don’t often screen a potential love interest for these. Many times we just lead from the heart. So when you go into someone’s apartment for the first time, be cognizant of whether or not they have a bookshelf and check out what is on it. If you are out with someone special, ask them about their reading habits. What was the last book they read? What was a book that changed their life? Their answer may mean the difference between you sticking around or rushing out the door. For more on finding the perfect mate read,Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate by Patti Stanger and Lisa Johnson Mandell.

Should You Let Your Lover Visit a Dominatrix?

Should You Let Your Lover Visit a Dominatrix?

We often think of sexuality as a solid set of likes, desires, and characteristics. But as we grow and develop, our interests might change or deepen. Especially today with so much access to sexual material on the internet, and a looser attitude toward sexuality in general, people feel free to explore experiences and fetishes they may not have otherwise communicated. But this puts the monogamous relationship in a particular bind. Sometimes two people get together with very different thresholds of what is acceptable in the bedroom and what is not. What makes it doubly difficult is that many people do not find this out until later on, after the nuance of what the BDSM community calls “vanilla sex” has worn off. Usually one person gets comfortable with the repertoire, while the other gets bored with it. Another thing that sometimes happens is one person gets interested in a particular fetish, or certain aspect of BDSM, or finally feels comfortable enough to share their other-than-straight-sex interest. At this point, the vanilla loving partner gets freaked out. They may go through a point of insecurity, wondering if they are enough for the kinkier partner, which one hopes they are assured that they are. But then things come to a point where, each person has to ask, what do you do with this fetish or fascination if the other partner is disinterested, or unwilling to fulfill it? Should you let your partner visit a dominatrix for instance?

First of all, take a step back for a minute and realize that for your partner to divulge this to you, your relationship must have good communication. That speaks to a strong bond and a deep well of trust. These are not things to be taken lightly. Often the emotional paradigm and the sexual one are not at the same level. We may be getting all that we need and more in terms of emotional needs, but a preoccupation or overwhelming desire is waiting in the wings. This is a solid relationship. But the fetish if ignored is not going to go away. Instead, it will fester underneath the surface. You do not want to put your lover in a position where they may feel desire to cheat. Reconsider their fetish. Is it really something you do not wish to take part in? Perhaps you can have a playtime for the kinky one, and straight sex for the vanilla partner. If you are totally against taking part, consider allowing them to see a professional. There is no actual sexual interaction between the dominatrix and her client. It is really about focusing on the fetish itself, and fulfilling that desire. It may even make the relationship happier.

Do not think after years of marriage that you have your partner all figured out. Sexuality is a constantly evolving thing. It is one of the aspects after all, that keeps sex interesting. What the practice of tantra but also of BDSM teaches us is curiosity and compassion. Instead of acting out of fear or judgment, push these thoughts aside. Instead, move forward with curiosity. What is it about this act or fetish that they find so appealing? Where does it stem from? Through sexuality we can learn a lot about our partner’s psychology and our own. Supplant judgment with curiosity. Support your partner in their explorations. Set boundaries that both of you are comfortable with. Allow yourself the freedom to explore some fantasies and kinks of your own, and tell your partner about them. Make plans to have them fulfilled. Being open, honest, flexible, practice superb communication, and be responsive to our partner’s needs. This is what being in a long-term relationship is all about. Do not allow them to go if you have misgivings. Talk it out, until you both feel comfortable. You may even want to meet the dominatrix in the flesh. Whatever the situation, remember to make your relationship your own. Don’t try to fit into some preconceived mold of what you think it should be. Instead, make your relationship a place where both of you can be happy and yourselves.

For those who have changed their mind, and want to give it a shot read Dominatrix 101: The Good Girl’s Quick Guide to Dominating Her Man by Rebecca Lawson.

Coming to Terms with Singleness

Coming to Terms with Singleness

Whether you are newly single, or perpetually so, lots of people don’t reflect on their singleness, nor do they actually come to terms with it.

Some jump from one relationship to another without any forethought. Others pine, preach keep impossible standards and curse the dating pool rather than evaluating themselves. There are those in today’s world who focus much more on their career. Love is an afterthought and sometimes just something to cure the biological need so that the focus can return to pursuing work related goals. Perennial adolescents exist too, in both sexes and existing way into adulthood. But many of these people don’t reflect on what it means to be single, who they really want to be and where they are going. Though it is the fastest growing demographic in America, single women seem to be stigmatized as weird, too independent or damaged. Single men up until middle age are seen either as someone else’s throw away, used goods or Peter Pans who are too selfish and never want to grow up.  But few people sit down with themselves and do some soul searching. Who is it I really want to be? What goals do I have for my love life? Do I really want to be cohabitating, married or single? How can I achieve my goal whilst still pursuing my other objectives?

People are staying single longer nowadays, marrying later, choosing to cohabitate or finding themselves divorced and back in the dating pool again. But few people really think about their future and where they would be happy. If you are single, determine what it means to you. What are the perks you enjoy? What are the drawbacks? Is having the freedom to do anything you want at the drop of a hat worth more to you than say having someone to be there for you, supporting you? How do you feel in the social sense about being single? Some people are embarrassed or even ashamed by their singleness. They feel that it makes them seem like damaged goods or carrying too much emotional baggage. But that is a yardstick to measure one’s self to a bygone era. In today’s world with such a high divorce rate, people staying in unhappy marriages for loath of the expense it takes to divorce, with people marrying later, cohabitating or just choosing to be single, there is no social norm in which to measure ourselves anymore. A lot of people compare themselves to their friends. But what good does that do you? If you are an architect you don’t want to be a mechanic like your best friend. Yet, why should their relationship choice have any bearing on yours? Being single can be seen as intimidating or exciting. It can make you seem confident and independent or damaged and bitter. Society may view you a certain way. Your parents and friend may have an opinion on your relationship status. And perhaps you have one yourself. But instead of letting the opinions of others dictate your singleness, take control of it, evaluate it, decide what you really want and go after it. Own your singleness and make it work for you.

Single in Your Thirties

Single in Your Thirties

With the way the job market is today, many people are putting off marriage. The omnipresent focus on advanced degrees and career development puts a damper on young people’s love lives. They have to put all of their focus on developing their career.  It’s normal to be single right into your thirties today. Around the late twenties or early to mid-thirties is when people are marrying, or as the trend increases choosing instead to cohabitate long term. Having children has been delayed until somewhere in the third decade as well.

Though it’s normal to be single even well into your thirties, and some prefer it that way, lots of people feel anxious about their love life if they don’t have someone serious at their side by this time. Women are feeling this sting particularly poignantly. But they shouldn’t worry so. Being single in your thirties today can even be natural. Lots of people feel lost without any clear path that one should take. It’s hard to figure out for yourself what you want in life and if it’s doable. But here is some advice to make dating and singleness in your thirties a more positive experience while you seek out your romantic path and pursue whom you meet on the road to love.

First, don’t build up a callous or bitter heart due to disappointments from the past. Lots of people clump the opposite sex together in a negative light when they’ve been unlucky in love. We are all guilty of it in some point in our lives and to a certain degree. The truth is that if you want to have a positive experience, you need to be enthusiastic. No one wants to date a sour puss. And if that’s all you are putting out there you are driving good, qualities mates away and perhaps attracting the wrong ones. Of course it is painful and heart wrenching when things don’t turn out right and we get hurt. No one and nothings seems to be able to cut so deep as being injured or spurned by someone we cared about. But at a certain point you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there again. It’s the same with a sport, an interest or a hobby. You have to work at it and you can’t let obstacles stand in the way. When you lose a game, you don’t give up the sport forever. You practice harder and come back to the playing field, not sulking but with your game face on. Don’t focus on your biological clock. It will make you choose the wrong person or make the wrong decision. Many a nasty divorce had its seeds in an anxious marriage. If it is really weighing on your consult your doctor for medical help such as freezing your eggs or sperm. This could free you from such worries. Know that you will date a lot, sometimes the wrong people, and that’s okay. Don’t fall for grass is always greener syndrome. Understand that everyone has faults. Find someone who has great qualities and faults you can live with, in time.

Unhealthy Relationship Warning Signs

jelaous-man

Unhealthy Relationship Warning Signs

Do you know the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship? You’d better or else you could be in one and not even know it. Sure you might feel deep down something is wrong. But you’d be surprised how many people chug along in a relationship that is weighing them down or slowly poisoning them psychologically and they don’t even realize it. Here are the warning signs, see if you recognize them in your own relationship. First, what is the lying situation like?

Are you lying about small things? Do you tell a web of lies, one to cover up another and so on? If you aren’t a pathological liar by nature, then it is likely serious issues in the relationship that are making you lie. What about your partner? Are they lying all the time too? If you suspect they are lying, even on small matters, or worse if you’ve given up on whether they are being truthful or not, your relationship is rocky at best. Once the bond of trust has been severed, it’s hard to restore it. The next warning sign is infidelity. If one or both of you have gone astray, not only has the trust bond been severed but you’ve both been hurt emotionally. And what caused the cheating to begin with? This is a serious warning sign.

Do you have a secret goal that you wish your partner would achieve? If you have secret desires for them you haven’t shared, then go ahead and share them. Sit down with them and see if they want to commit to accomplishing whatever it is you have in mind. But to harbor them and have them affect you, thereby affecting the relationship, is a poor way to conduct yourself and it hurts your partner without either one of you knowing it. When they aren’t living up to some imagined expectation you punish them, even though they have no idea why. Is there jealousy issues? If you or your partner try to cut the other down, say separate someone from their friends because they are popular, or trying to get them fired because they are successful, a toxic jealousy has crept into the relationship. This will drive you two apart if it isn’t dealt with.

Being overly insecure and jealous of the opposite sex is another red flashing, warning sign. When you aren’t feeling any emotional intimacy the relationship is down the tubes. Reestablish it by reconnecting, or drift apart. If there is no sex in the relationship, this is a big sign that problems are deep and profound. Do you or your partner set each other up for a fall, just to say, “I told you so”? This is a warning sign that things aren’t going well. Find ways to turn this relationship around or get out of it. For more advice read, Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth, and Dr. Paul Meier.