Jan 30, 2007

Electronic Tattle-Telling

This post isn't really about lying or relationships, but it deals with a somewhat related topic: snooping and tattle-tellling.

If your childhood experience was anything like mine, there was always the nosey neighbor, someone who kept close watch on what was going on and reported any hint of wrongdoing.

And while most people disliked the specific individuals who took on such a role, tattle-tales probably served an important function - after all, people tend to behave more appropriately when they think they are being watched.

But, given our high tech, mobile society, how does the neighborhood tattle-tale keep up? By going online?

A new trend is emerging - the electronic tattle-tale:

Jan 24, 2007

Jan 22, 2007

Importance of Happiness

Close relationships are so interesting because all of the important issues in life - happiness and heartache, cooperation and competition, trust and betrayal - all get played out on a very small stage, providing a certain amount of clarity and focus.

And when people lie to each other, it is often about their feelings. Fortunately, most people know better than to take words at their face value; it is important to pay close attention to how messages are conveyed.

And more often than not, people pay special attention to the face, believing that facial expressions convey information about one's true emotional state. But at the same time, people are aware that others are watching their faces for clues to their inner feelings. So, people are pretty good at masking their emotions - putting on their poker face, so to speak.

But as it turns out, one of our most basic emotions, genuine happiness, is hard to fake. Generally speaking, signals which are hard to fake are also very important - the fact that they can't be faked usually indicates that important information is being exchanged.

To me, it is reassuring to know that there is real value in letting people know when you are happy or not - that at some level our happiness, or lack thereof, is important to share with others, so important, that it is one of the few things we can't easily hide.

Jan 16, 2007

Love and Marriage...

Most people find themselves deeply attached to a romantic partner. Forming a deep emotional bond to a sexual partner is a fundamental part of our human nature. But, two interesting articles published this week highlight some growing trends and problems people encounter when our ancient ways of relating encounter our modern day notions of love and romance.

The first article published in the Guardian's Observer highlights how attachment bonds, which are designed to keep people together, do not necessary equate with longterm sexual satisfaction. And how some couples, who are happily attached, but sexually unsatisfied, find romance on the side.

The second article, published in the NYTimes, highlights the growing trend in the US away from marriage as the "main institution that organizes people’s lives."

What is interesting about these two articles, to me at least, is not that people are moving away from love, romance, and attachment, as if that were possible, given our human nature. But, that people are starting to come up with creative solutions to fit love and romance into their lives in ways that may be less traditional (idealistic), but more pragmatic. These articles also remind me of a previous post I wrote about relationships - Does one size fit all?

Jan 12, 2007

Questions Couples Should Consider...

Even in the best of circumstances, lying and deception are part of our close relationships. And being in love is no guarantee that the truth will be told. In fact, infatuation and passion often lead people to make poor choices when it comes to picking a romantic partner, only increasing the odds that deception will occur.

So, before jumping into a serious relationship, it often useful to consider some issues which eventually drive many couples apart. With this in mind, I've put together a list of questions couples should ask when evaluating their relationship:

Jan 11, 2007

Late Life Divorce

Increased health, more disposable income, living longer, and increased expectations for happiness... has spurned a new trend: The late life divorce.

Deirdre Blair's new book, "Calling It Quits: Late Life Divorce and Starting Over," explores why people are increasingly getting a divorce after decades of marriage.

Infidelity, falling out of love, and growing apart are just a few of the reasons why couples are increasingly calling it quits as they approach their golden years.

More details on this growing trend can be found in an article in the Hartfort Courant and an AARP report on divorce.

Jan 8, 2007

Divorce Day In Great Britain

Monday January 8th is D-Day in Britain - Divorce Day that is.

Now that the holidays are over, more couples start the divorce process than at any other time of the year.

Reasons why couples decide to call it quits:

  • Lack of sex, infidelity, falling out of love, and relationships which have turned abusive are the primary reasons given.
  • Roughly one third of all men in England are bored with their relationship.
  • And the holidays can be particularly tough on relationships, as couples are forced to spend quality time together, which turns out to be far less than ideal.
In any case, the early part of January is the busiest time of the year for divorce attorneys in the United Kingdom.

The full report on D-Day can be found at InsideDivorce.com.

Jan 3, 2007

Resources on Lying and Deception

My favorite resources on the web for information about lying and deception.


Detecting Deception:

  • Psych Central - Article focusing on difficulty of detecting deception.
  • American Psychological Association - Article describes the nonverbal clues of deception and how difficult lying is to detect.
  • Human Face - Article provides an overview of the various ways to detect deception.
  • Science News - Article highlights problems involved in using nonverbal clues to detect deception.
  • FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (pdf) - Article discussing how to detect deception in the context of an interview or interrogation.
Benefits of Lying:
  • Forbes.com - Article highlighting the benefits of lying.
Ethics of Lying:

Websites on Lying and Deception

How to Lie:
  • How To Lie - Information on how to lie persuasively.
Deception in Romantic Relationships:
  • Truth About Deception - A detailed look at lying and deception in close relationships.
  • Love Fraud - A website for people who are romantically involved with a sociopath.
General Information about Lying and Deception:
Quotes on Lying:
Popular Culture:
  • Eyes for Lies - A "truth wizard" - a person with an unusual ability to detect deception - provides her insight on lying and current events.

Jan 2, 2007

Women's Views on Love and Marriage

Relationships are always difficult. Being close to someone else brings rewards, but it also creates tension. And as I have posted in the past, not everyone belongs in a modern day romance.

Personally, I believe that our expectations about love and romance are out of touch with reality. While being in love is great, love does not solve the problems people face.

And despite the average $30,000 wedding, many couples end up unhappy.

Unfortunately, a new survey of married woman being released this month by AOL and Woman's Day also brings home that point.

Here are some of the highlights of that survey:

  • 36% of the women surveyed said that they would not marry their husbands if they had to do it all over again.
  • An additional 20% said they were not sure if they would marry their husband again.
  • 76% of the women reported keeping secrets from their husbands.
  • 49% suspect their husbands of cheating at one time or another.
  • 76% fantasize about having sex with other men.
  • 39% admit to constantly flirting with other men.