Sex is Just a Hot, Delicious Pizza

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How do you discuss sexual activity? Although many of us may not play the sport, or have even seen a game, Americans seem to love comparing sex to it’s “favourite pastime:” baseball. Baseball metaphors dominate our sexual vernacular with phrases such as “hitting a home run” “first, second, and home base” “strikeout” and “batting for the other team.” While these comparisons seem to be nothing more than easy ways to be demure in your speech, Al Vernacchio points out that baseball, or any sport metaphors, do very little for healthy sex.

“It’s competitive, it’s goal related, and it can’t result in healthy sexuality developing in young people or adults, so, we need a new model,” explains Vernacchio in his 2012 TED talk. What kind of model? One that revolves around something everybody loves: pizza.

To explain exactly how much more effective and accurate the pizza model is for describing sex, Vernacchio compares baseball and pizza in regards to three key components of sexual activity.

When and How Sex Happens. Baseball

When do you play baseball? Generally, there’s a specific season for it. ... Read more »


5 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

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Every day is full of conversations and communication, or at least it should be. Because of the technology centered nature of the world, face to face conversation has become secondary to emails, texts, Snapchats, and Facebook messenger. While this is a benefit in many ways, it can also become a hindrance on establishing close and meaningful interactions.

As conversation and mutual self-disclosure has been found repeatedly to strengthen familial, friendly, and romantic relationships, it makes sense to want to build upon that skill to ensure that every conversation we have is a good one.

5 Ways to Have a Better Conversation   Don’t multitask

As a result of using technology to enhance every day, all of us have become both masters and failures at multitasking. We find ourselves constantly splitting our attention between different activities simultaneously, yet research indicates we are not nearly as effective as doing so as we may think. If you want to be engaged in a conversation BE ENGAGED. Ignore texts, tasks, and technology in general to be present. Partners who experience disengaged (or multitasking) conversations have ... Read more »


The 3 Worst Couples You’ll Ever Meet

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When I was 4 years old someone told me I had to get married someday. I cried for hours on my mother’s lap while she tried to comfort me by saying I never had to get married if I didn’t want to. This fear of marriage stayed with me for most of my life, and I justified it by pointing out all the terrible couples I saw around me. Why on earth would I get married just to end up like them? I eventually realized that many couples have perfectly happy and healthy marriages.  I also realized that many of these “terrible” couples were simply like most of us, experiencing the ups and downs of a normal relationship.  

Who are these couples and is everything about them really that terrible? Let me summarize some of the more common types of marriages we see.  You’ll likely see yourself and your relationship in some of these descriptions.    

Overly Reactive Who?

This couple is like the high school sweethearts who dominated the halls with their screaming matches or passionate kissing; everything is at 100% ... Read more »


Marriage: Ready or Not

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Very few of us want to get married just to have the marriage end, but that seems to be a common result.  It’s no secret that about 50% of marriages end in divorce, and many of those occur in the first five years of marriage.

The high divorce rates have led many of us to believe that marriage is fragile and should not be entered into lightly.  Yet as a society, we still tend to favor marriage as an important life goal.  The result of these two conflicting views is a delay of marriage into the late 20’s and 30’s.  Instead of getting married young like so many generations before us, we want more time to prepare.

But this leaves an important question:

How do we know when we are ready?

In a recent study, Jason Carroll from Brigham Young University and a team of scholars from universities across the nation wanted to know how we answer that question.  They surveyed young adults across the nation to determine how young people today are preparing for marriage.  What they found revealed some important ... Read more »


5 Ways Your Partner Could Leave You Powerless

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It seems that it is infinitely easier to give out advice than to take it. It also can seem almost impossible to see red flags in your life while the ones in your BFF’s relationships stand out to you like neon signs in Vegas.

This is one of the reasons that people can find themselves in a controlling relationship with no idea how they got there. Chances are the relationship began happily with romance and passion, but gradually became more worrisome until you can’t avoid admitting it. So what ARE the warning signs? What bad behaviors in a relationship mean that you should jump ship? Or should you always hold on and work through issues?

Isolation from friends and family.

Every new couple may find themselves lost in each other’s eyes at some point, and many go through periods where they only ever want to be with each other. The sense of satisfaction to just be with one person isn’t a bad thing. However, if a partner actively tries to stop the other from having any sort of social life ... Read more »


The 100% Relationship Guarantee

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We have all seen some television ad claiming that if you try some product the company is willing to give a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee!”  If you buy their product and aren’t completely satisfied, you can return it, get your money back, and pretend the purchase never happened.  

As this tactic is so extremely prevalent in our modern culture, you would have to live in the middle of the wilderness somewhere to avoid seeing it used. In fact, this method seems to have become part of how we treat other aspects of life as well.

Especially relationships.

However, I would like to share with you the harsh reality revealed across relationship studies: there is no 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and trying to find one is 99% sure to fail. (Like 53% of statistics, the 99% is made up on the spot).  Here are three reasons why we want a guarantee in our relationships and why such thinking may cause more problems than we think.

No Need to Commit

Companies often use the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee tactic to build a new customer base.  It provides ... Read more »


The Formula for Fairytales

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Growing up I loved being read bedtime fairytales. The most important stories in my mind always ended with the same phrase: “And they all lived happily ever after.” Yet, I never could imagine my princes and princesses in any sort of married life. They weren’t couples doomed to argue over who did the dishes, or how to raise children, they just lived in the same continued bliss of their courtship, never getting older or becoming less in love, no matter how many years passed.

Now that I’m older, however, I realize how much work goes into finding “happily ever after;” it isn’t something that comes easy after finding the perfect fit for that glass slipper. That being said, I am always looking for a quick answer to one big question. Is there any way to tell whether a relationship is destined for a disastrous divorce or if it’s a happily ever after fairytale? According to Mathematician Hannah Fry, it may be as simple as a formula.

In her newly released book The Mathematics of Love, Fry explains that the ... Read more »


Are You Afraid of Marriage?

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As a student and marriage scholar, I have been fascinated by the attitudes so many young adults hold about marriage.  In fact, my Thesis is on that very topic.  I have taken particular interest in the increasing delay of marriage we see among young adults today.  According to the US Census Bureau, the average age at first marriage for men is 29 and 27 for women, and it appears this continues to increase.  So what is behind this increase in age?  Some might say young adults are just being smart because they are more mature at those ages. There appears to be some fears about marriage that suggest that many young adults believe that marrying at younger ages is simply irresponsible.

While the fears we have about marriage are often different and come from different places, research has revealed some common fears about marriage that are prevalent among young adults today.  While these fears are often based on valid concerns, they also drive many relationships to a less than satisfying end and a delay in one of the most rewarding ... Read more »


To Fall in Love with Anybody Try This…

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Did you know you can fall in love with someone simply by asking them 36 personal questions? Such a concept was first introduced in 1997 by researcher Arthur Aron and has been producing results in participants since then.

The set up is simple. A heterosexual man and woman enter a lab separately, they sit face-to-face and ask a series of increasingly more personal questions, taking turns to answer. They then hold silent eye contact with each other for four minutes. As simple and silly as may sound, there have been significant results, the most notably being two participants who were married six months after completing the experiment.

But what is so magical and romantic about this study? Does it matter what 36 questions are asked or how they are answered? According to the study’s authors, yes. The 36 questions are separated into three sets, with each set becoming more personal than the last. The concept that the study is based on is that mutual vulnerability creates closeness. As Dr. Aron explains,

“One key pattern associated with the development of ... Read more »


Consoling the Inconsolable

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“To have and to hold…for better or for worse.”  This phrase is familiar to all of us, and many of us have heard the phrase, or one like it, directed towards us and a previous or current spouse.  While this phrase carries a lot of meaning, it highlights one of the key aspects of a successful marriage: supporting one another in good times and bad.

Many of us take this to heart and willingly give of ourselves in support of our spouse.  Whether it be supporting them in finding a job, working together as parents, or being a shoulder to cry on, we all recognize the value of support.  

But what happens when the support we try to give doesn’t seem to have any effect?  If you have a partner who doesn’t feel better with the support you have to offer, then what happens to that value?

According to a recent study by Gelareh Karimiha and a team of scholars from Canada, when the support we offer doesn’t work it can leave us feeling much less valued.

How Inconsolability Affects Us

When a ... Read more »