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The latest news on Relationships from Business Insider
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    There are tons of practical and emotional benefits to being in a healthy partnership, including having someone to hold your hand through the bad times and marathon your favorite show with you. 

    But having a good relationship can also have some profound effects on your physical well-being. Here are the biggest ways that being in love can put you in better health. 

    It can make you happier.

    Being in a healthy and supportive relationship can actually have a big boost on your happiness level, according to several studies

    Being in love has a big effect on your oxytocin level, which promotes bonding and comfort. This is why you love being around your partner, and why just being near them can boost your mood. 

    It can help you to live longer.

    It's been a long-held theory that married people live longer than their single counterparts. 

    Although it's had some studies to the contrary recently, other studies continue to show that being in a healthy relationship allows people to live a longer life. 

    But we can all probably agree the truth benefit of a healthy partnership is having someone you're happy to spend those years with. 

    It can help you age more gracefully.

    If you want to grow old, it helps to have someone to do it with.

    A study by the University of Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies found that people who were in happy marriages actually rated their heath as higher, even in older age, than those who remained single or were in unhappy relationships. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Rachel Crane Wedding

    CNN's resident space correspondent, Rachel Crane, married her long-time boyfriend Andrew Marks, an investment banker and son of billionaire Howard Marks, on Saturday, and it only makes sense that their wedding was absolutely gorgeous.

    The pair got married in the French Riviera with a ceremony at the Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild, and every detail was out of this world. 

    Keep scrolling and get green with envy over their over-the-top celebration. 

    They celebrated with themed shirts.

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    Of course they had to keep the space theme going.

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    The rehearsal dinner space was unreal.

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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Screen Shot 2017 10 11 at 9.36.18 AM

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Two women sat down to discuss why they cheated on each other.
    • The talk was emotional, and hard to watch at times. 
    • Ultimately, the women decided to stay together. 
    • It's important to show that relationships can withstand cheating.

    If you've ever been through a messy breakup, you know how awkward it can be to come across an ex's Instagram post or bump into them in real life. So imagine having to sit down with someone who cheated on you, for all the internet to see. 

    In a new episode of  The Scene, a video series from Condé Nast Entertainment, one couple did just that: they sat down, looked each other in the eyes, and came clean about their lies and infidelities. 

    Both women had cheated on each other: One woman even introduced the person she cheated with to her girlfriend before the infidelity happened. They were candid about how distance played a factor in both of their decisions to cheat and how deep their infidelities cut their relationship.

    "It just made me question our entire relationship," one woman said. "Like if this is where we're going and if this is how things are being played out, then maybe we shouldn't be together."

    But the women ended up staying together, saying that both of their infidelities made them realize that they actually wanted to be together and be committed to working on their relationship. 

    Screen Shot 2017 10 11 at 9.35.48 AM

    "I feel like when people hear 'they cheated on me' it's immediately like, 'why are you still with them? Like, you look dumb.' And I think that's it's important to show that either you choose to fight for what you have or you choose to walk away," one woman said. "In our situation, we chose to fight for it."

    Though it's painful to watch, and may not make sense to a lot of people, it's important to have this portrait of infidelity shown. Although exact statistics are hard to pin down, experts estimate that 22% of people who identify as men and 14% of people who identify as women have admitted to an infidelity. 

    The more we learn to view cheating as something that it's OK to work through if you want, the more we can learn to accept people for the imperfect beings that they are. 

    You can watch the entire video below: 


    Join the conversation about this story »

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    couple carousel

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Defining the relationship can be tough. 
    • If you want to have this talk, experts suggest you wait until you're ready and be flexible, but let your needs be known. 
    • You can negotiate the terms of your relationship, but ultimately you should be happy and satisfied with the way it's going — label or not. 

    It's not always easy to know where you stand with someone romantically. Sure, you can be "cool" and "chill" for some time. Eventually, however, you need to know what's going on with this person you've been on multiple dates with. 

    In comes the talk or, as it's more commonly known, defining the relationship. This is a right of passage for many couples to see where they stand, and what they want going forward. 

    This is an inherently uncomfortable conversation to have, but it doesn't have to be a difficult one. To make it as easy as possible, INSIDER spoke with some relationship experts to get their tips on how to "DTR."

    Take it slow. 

    If you're anything like me, you want to know what's going on with you and your potential partner the minute you meet. Although you don't want to beat around the bush if you like someone, giving your relationship some time to develop can actually work in your favor. 

    "There is no set time to 'have the talk.' If you reach a point where you're only comfortable continuing the relationship with a clear definition, then bring it up," counselor and co-author of the site The Popular Man David Bennett told INSIDER. "If your partner is on a different time-frame, then communicate about it, and see if you can reach an understanding."

    You don't want to wait too long if a committed relationship with clear terms is something that you really want, but it's OK to let things progress on their own for a bit.

    Feel the vibe. 

    Relationships can take many forms. I mean we probably all know a person who was still dating someone when they met the love of their life, and then they lived happily ever after. Not every relationship begins perfectly.

    But you should try to pick up on the vibes. If you only see them after hours, you don't know any of their friends, and your relationship seems purely physical, they may not want anything serious. 

    "If you have to ask yourself 'what are we doing?,' deep down you know your answer, whether you verbalize it or not," relationships author and marriage life coach Shellie R. Warre told INSIDER. 

    That's not to say that your relationship can't morph into something different, but if you try to have a talk about making things more serious with someone you're not sure is ready for that, you should be ready to hear that they may not be interested in that. 

    couple kiss

    Make your needs known to yourself and to them.

    Before you can have this talk with a potential partner, you need to have a good talk with yourself about what you want out of a relationship — specifically, what you want at this time and with them. 

    "Defining a relationship is actually just a conversation about boundaries and expectations," sex and relationships coach Colby Marie Z told INSIDER. "And before you can effectively have that conversation with a partner, you have to devote some time to honest self reflection."

    Figure out what you truly want first so there is no confusion when you go to speak with them. It's easy to go into this thinking you're going to be chill  nd not expect much. But if you truly want a certain thing, save yourself some heartbreak later and be honest with this person. 

    Make it a negotiation. 

    Just because you go in with clear goals doesn't mean that you have to go in as a hardliner. Listen to what your potential partner needs and wants out of things too. Even if it doesn't exactly line up with what you want, sometimes you can find a way to make things work. 

    "I suggest asking in a way that is flexible and open to your partner's views on the issue," Bennett said. "Just became someone isn't ready to put a clear definition on a relationship doesn't mean he or she isn't into the other person. It just could be he or she had a different time-frame in mind, or has reasons to oppose defining it too soon"

    Sometimes your needs won't align and it isn't meant to be, but often people just need a little time to get where you are. 


    Allow room for change. 

    It's important to have an establishing conversation about your relationship, but you should also allow things to change between you. Your relationship will never go exactly to plan, and you won't know your exact dynamic until you begin dating. 

    Don't be afraid to adjust things as you go and try to find a balance that works for both of you. 

    You shouldn't wait around forever for someone if they don't want an exclusive relationship with you if that's what you want, but you should give them time, especially if "the talk" comes as a surprise, to see what they want too. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Girlfriend boyfriend Instagram caption 1

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • On Monday, Isabella Koval tweeted a side-by-side comparison of the different captions that she and her boyfriend wrote for the same photo on Instagram.
    • Koval captioned the photo, "Always a blast [with] my bff." Her boyfriend captioned it, "Sitting here trying to explain football to this uncultured swine." 
    • After her tweet went viral, other couples shared their own side-by-side comparisons.
    • One stand-out caption? "Ravioli ravioli give me the formuoli."
    • It's an interesting example of the different ways in which people express themselves on social media.

    Couples online are going viral for showing the stark difference between their Instagram captions — a hilarious phenomenon we first spotted on BuzzFeed.

    On Monday, Isabella Koval shared two screenshots of the same Instagram photo on her Twitter page. The first was posted on her own account, the caption for which read: "Always a blast [with] my bff." The second was posted on her boyfriend Justin's account. His caption? "Sitting here trying to explain football to this uncultured swine." 

    "My post [versus] my boyfriend's," Koval wrote on Twitter.

    To Koval's surprise, her post instantly went viral, racking up over 41,000 retweets and 195,000 likes since Monday. While some people were not impressed by Justin's caption — Koval told BuzzFeed that a few Twitter users told her to dump him — most found the post hilarious.

    Some couples even replied to Koval's post with their own side-by-side comparisons of their Instagram captions. 

    Mary's caption for her Instagram post reads: "Sean choked on a piece of cheese stuffed crust the other day and almost died, I'm glad he didn't." Her boyfriend's was a bit more concise: "Mary eats a--."

    In her caption, Kristen wrote, "I like green and dis boi." Her boyfriend opted for "Some green s---." 

    Bernette captioned her photo, "Because of you, I smile a little bigger and laugh a little longer." Her boyfriend shared the same photo and wrote, "Wizard kelly with the Sky Hook."

    Maura shared a sweet message in the caption of this photo with her boyfriend: "Thanks for being the best date I could've asked for." Her boyfriend Adam wrote: "Meat sticks or nah?"

    "My favorite person #mylove," Kristina captioned her Instagram post. Her boyfriend Kyle captioned the same photo, "Ravioli ravioli give me the formuoli."

    While these side-by-side comparisons are hilarious, they're also not that surprising, given society's prevailing gender norms that socialize men to withhold their emotions.

    Add to that the fact that Instagram's user base tends to skew female. According to comScore, a company that measures Internet traffic, 58% of Instagram's 108 million unique visitors were women and 42% were men as of April 2016, The Atlantic reported last year.

    Koval even told BuzzFeed that her boyfriend "rarely posts on any social media.""I'm always telling him he should post more," she added.

    Research has also found that women tend to spend more time staging "perfect" posts on Instagram whereas men don't find this effort to be "worth the pressure that comes with it."

    Of course, this is by no means a conclusive finding on how men and women use Instagram. Still, it's interesting that all the women in this story wrote sentimental captions that ostensibly took more time and effort while their boyfriends opted for more tongue-in-cheek one-liners. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    sleeping texting cheating bed couple

    • According to some research, a higher IQ means you're less likely to cheat in your relationship, if you're a man.
    • However, this doesn't take into account other variables such as someone's personality.
    • The reasons men and women decide to cheat vary greatly.

    The common stereotype is that men are more likely to cheat on their romantic partners than women. It falls into the old stories of men not being able to resist female attention, and the fact women supposedly have more self-control.

    In fact, although this may have been based on truth in the past, women have been catching up to men with infidelity over the past few years. One study from Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that women are cheating at nearly the same rate as men. The 2013 General Social Survey in the US found that the number of wives who reported having affairs rose almost 40% over the past two decades, while the number of men stayed pretty much consistent.

    If it's not as simple as a gender divide, then other aspects of our personalities could be to blame.

    Men with higher IQs are less likely to cheat.

    Some people claim that cheating on your partner is a sign you get bored easily, and therefore you must be more intelligent. In reality, scientific research doesn't back this theory up.

    One study from 2010, published in the journal Social Psychology Quarterly, found that men with higher IQs were less likely to be unfaithful to their partners.

    The author, Dr Satoshi Kanazawa from the London School of Economics and Political Science, analysed the results of two major US surveys which had answers from thousands of teenagers and adults.

    "More intelligent men are more likely to value monogamy and sexual exclusivity than less intelligent men," the study concludes. However, the same result was not found for women. The perceived level of intelligence did not affect how much they were unfaithful.

    Kanazawa's explanation for this involves how relationships have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Back when human relationships were basic and new, it was in the male's favour to mate with as many females as he could, in order to produce more offspring.

    The evolutionary advantage isn't as vital to the modern man. Kanazawa theorises that it's the less intelligent men who aren't able to shed their basic instincts, and thus cheat on their partners.

    Women, on the other hand, have always seen the advantage of having one partner, because they have a finite number of eggs with which to reproduce. With females, it has always been quality over quantity, so it makes sense that there wouldn't be a perceived difference in intelligence and their infidelity record.

    Results from another study from 2008, published in the journal American Sociological Review, suggest that people who are financially dependent on their partner are more likely to cheat. This was especially true for men who depended on women.

    On the other side of the equation, when women are the breadwinners of the relationship, they are less likely to stray. When men are, and particularly when they earn more than 70% of the household income, they are more likely to cheat.

    Men and women cheat for different reasons.

    A poll earlier this year found that the reasons men and women gave for being unfaithful were very different. The number one answer among women was they felt that their partner had stopped giving them the attention they needed. The top reason for men simply came down to finding a new person attractive.

    Other reasons women cited were the person they cheated with being there for them. They also cited having doubts about their relationship.

    Another reason from men were they weren't having enough sex in their current relationship.

    In an article in The Independent, Swiss journalist and author of "Cheating: A Handbook for Women" Michèle Binswanger explained why women seem to be more concerned with emotional affairs, and men by the physical aspects.

    "For men it's often a question of opportunity," she said. "If they get a perfect opportunity and the risk of being caught is very small, they might be more likely to cheat. Women usually have more opportunities, but other motivations... Many felt undesired, unheard or just unhappy, so they started looking for excitement."

    Other research has shown that once a cheater, always a cheater, could actually be true. So instead of stressing about your partner's IQ, clues about whether they'll be faithful or not could simply lie in their past. If their history is clean, it might be a case of innocent until proven guilty — you decide.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Ghosting is becoming a more and more common occurrence. 
    • Although it seems like ghosting can happen at any time, there can be some big flags that someone is about to ghost you. 
    • If someone is becoming more distant and canceling plans, these could be signs they're about to bow out of your life.

    There are a lot of ways you can be terrible to someone when you break up with them, but one increasingly common and particularly cruel way is to not break up with them at all, but to disappear from their life. It's called ghosting

    For those who haven't experienced it or are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means you stop having any form of contact with the person you were dating, talking to, or even living with

    Although in some cases there may not be any clear-cut signs you're about to be ghosted (aka emotionally abandoned), there are some warning signs. 

    INSIDER asked relationship experts for a few clues you can look out for the next time you're worried someone is about to slide on out of your life. 

    They cancel plans, often with no reschedule date.

    If someone is planning on ghosting you, they may still want to keep you on the line a bit. They may make plans with you and then at the last second, they'll cancel.

    "A person often cancels the last minute, 'I'm sorry for the short notice but I can't make it tonight. Maybe next week will be better. I'll let you know,'" relationship and divorce therapist Karolina Pasko told INSIDER.

    Although people get busy and an occasional cancellation isn't the end of the world, if they're not giving you a plan to reschedule, it's a sign they're going to stop talking to you soon. 

    woman texting

    They go dark on social media.

    Someone may still be talking to you via text, but if all of the sudden they've blocked you, unfriended you, or stopped interacting with you on social media then that should be a major red flag, Plenty of Fish's dating expert Kate MacLean told INSIDER. 

    They're showing you that they don't want any social media trace of your interactions and they're also knocking out one form of communication before they stop talking to you for good. 

    You don't have any friends in common — and you haven't met each other's friends.

    It's natural on your first few dates for it to just be the two of you, but if after a while they refuse to meet your friends or have you meet theirs, it could be a sign that they want to be able to disappear without a trace. 

    "One thing to take into account is if you have friends in common. If you don't, then they have no one to be held accountable to and may be more inclined to disappear," matchmaker and CEO of the VIP matchmaking service of  Platinum Poire, Rori Sassoon told INSIDER. 


    They start taking a long time to get back to you.

    Experts told us that one of the biggest signs that a person may be getting ready to ghost you is taking awhile to get back to you. Maybe you were used to getting a text every day from them, but now you find yourself waiting a week for a text. They're probably testing to see when they'll be able to stop talking to you completely. 

    "You have reached out on multiple occasions to ask what's going on, only to receive radio silence for up to a week, if not longer, until they text you back when it's convenient for them," MacLean said. "It's as though the person you've been dating for the last month is a figment of your own imagination."

    They don't have too much to say when you do talk.

    Even if someone isn't waiting a week to text you, if you find that getting a conversation out of them is all of the sudden very difficult, that's not a good sign. 

    "The person doesn't have much to say when you do talk, a lot of awkward silences or one to two word responses on texts," single life expert and author of the blog "Urban Spinster"Sadia Sanders told INSIDER.

    If you're getting two word texts from them when you're sending paragraphs, that person is probably about to ghost.

    In all of these cases, you may be saying to yourself that "well, this person is just busy!" or "they have a very important life as a teacher/astronaut/model that these experts know nothing about!" Although that may be true (it's probably not), the fact is that when you care about someone, you make the time to see them and talk to them. Plain and simple. 

    If you have to beg someone to interact with you and are truly worried they're about to walk out of your life, you should probably let them. Don't settle for being with someone who wants to be with you only on their terms.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Couples therapist Esther Perel , author of "Mating in Captivity" and "The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity" and the host of the Audible original series "Where Should We Begin?," explains how people might cheat on their partner even when they are happy with the relationship. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Esther Perel:  Today we are very comfortable with the idea that we have no-fault divorce. We still have not found a way of thinking about affairs as no-fault affairs.

    I am Esther Perel. I am a couples therapist, and I’m the author of “Mating in Captivity” and “The State of Affairs,” as well the host and co-producer of the podcast “Where Should We Begin?”

    “There must be something wrong” is what is at the core of how we try to understand why would people risk losing everything and cheat on their partner to whom they have made a vow.

    Our typical idea is that if I have found the one, and if with that one I have everything that I need, obviously, if I am going to look elsewhere, it must mean that there is something missing. And either there is something missing in our relationship or there is something missing in the person who is straying. But it is a deficiency model. It is seeing infidelity as a symptom of a relationship gone awry. This is true in many cases. There are many motives for why people stray that have to do with the discontents of a relationship — loneliness, neglect, rejection, complacency, sexlessness. But then there is also the motivation that often has nothing to do with the partner. And that has to do with a form of self-seeking — that many times, people who stray are also hoping to reconnect with lost parts of themselves, with the lives unlived, with the sense that life is short and that there are certain experiences, but not in the vain sense of the word, that they are longing for, and that they are not just looking for another person but, in a way, they are looking for another self.

    Instead of thinking that the person who cheats is unhappy with their partner or with their relationship, it is sometimes important to think that they may be unhappy with themselves, or at least uncomfortable, restless, longing for something else. Longing to reconnect with lost parts of themselves. Longing to transcend a sense of deadness that they are feeling inside. Longing to experience a sense of autonomy over their life — that they are finally doing something that they want. And, paradoxically, while they are lying to their partner, sometimes they find themselves in this strange situation where maybe for the first time they are not lying to themselves.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    couple kissing

    Kissing is one of our favourite disgusting activities.

    Looking at it objectively, sharing saliva with someone else is a pretty gross thing to do. In fact, we transfer approximately 80 million bacteria for every ten seconds we're kissing each other.

    The majority of these germs are totally benign, so it's nothing to worry about.

    But it's still weird to think about inviting someone to share their spit with you, so why do we do it?

    First of all, it makes us feel good. Our lips are packed full of receptor cells, which make them very sensitive. In fact, along with fingertips, they are thought to have the highest concentrations of receptor cells.

    When you enjoy kissing someone, these receptors shoot signals to your brain, and you release chemicals like dopamine, which fuels your reward system, and makes you want to carry on kissing.

    Endorphins, your body's natural painkillers, are also released, which enhance the feeling of pleasure. If it's a really good kiss, your brain may also release oxytocin, the "love hormone," which makes us feel warm and cuddly, and increases our attachment to the other person.

    Male saliva contains measurable amounts of testosterone, which could also increase your libido (if you're kissing a man.)

    Dr Sarah Johns, an expert in human reproduction and evolutionary psychology at the University of Kent, told The Independent that as well as being an emotion-driven act, kissing helps us pick our most compatible partner.

    "Humans don't have strong olfactory skills and kissing allows you to smell and taste a person and see if you have different immune responses as we tend to feel more attracted to someone with a different immune response," she said.

    "The major histocompatibility complex is detectable in body odour, so by kissing and tasting someone it gives the opportunity to assess how similar or different that individual is to you biochemically."

    In other words, somehow your body may be able to detect whether reproducing with the person you're kissing would be an evolutionary risk or not.

    She added that feeling arousal can inhibit feelings of disgust, meaning we don't necessarily think of all the gross things we're doing while we're doing them, because we're too turned on.

    Nobody really knows where kissing came from

    There's some debate about whether we started kissing each other for cultural reasons, or if it's something we evolved to do biologically.

    About 90% of human populations kiss in some way or another, with the majority of others doing similar things in replacement such as rubbing noses, suggesting it could be something instinctual.

    Kissing also isn't unique to humans. Primates such as bonobos often kiss each other, and cats and dogs lick and groom one another.

    Some scientists believe that kissing could have evolved from "kiss-feeding" behaviours, which is when mothers pass food from their own mouths to their offspring. Birds still do this with their chicks. One theory is that over time, pressing lips became known as an act of caretaking and love.

    According to evolutionary psychologists at the University of Albany, the way men and women feel about kissing can differ quite significantly.

    In a study of 1,041 college students, the researchers found that women placed more emphasis on kissing, seeing it more as a deal-breaker. They were more likely than men to insist on kissing before having sex, and emphasising the importance of kissing during and after sexual encounters.

    Men were more happy to have sex without kissing, and weren't that bothered about whether their partner was a good kisser or not. They were also more likely than women to initiate french kissing (with tongues.)

    So whether it's an evolutionary thing, or just something we've picked up, humans really enjoy kissing. It might be gross on paper, but it looks like the benefits outweigh the costs on this one.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    cheater By Dean Drobot

    A new survey from Ashley Madison, the online extramarital affairs dating service which has more than 56 million members worldwide, has uncovered how and why people cheat on their partners.

    Paul Keable, VP of communications for Ashley Madison said: "The universal desire and inclination to have extramarital affairs is a lot more common than people might think.

    "As our data has shown, monogamy is not our natural state and infidelity is part of our DNA."

    In a survey in partnership with YourTango, the site asked 1,300 male and female respondents about how they partake in illicit affairs, and uncovered how the murky world of cheating actually works.

    Here are some of the report's startling findings:


    • 44% of men said they have cheated on a partner, while 55% have at least contemplated cheating.
    • 27% of men said that if they were unhappy in a relationship and decided to cheat, they would approach a friend...
    • ...While 23% said they would meet a stranger, either out in a bar or while away from home.


    • 39% of women said they have cheated on a partner, while 35% confessed to at least thinking about it.
    • 28% of women said that if they were unhappy in a relationship and decided to cheat, they would approach a friend...
    • ...And 17% said they would meet a stranger, either out in a bar or while away from home.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    We get into relationships because they're all about give and take. There are things we want to get out of a relationship. But you can't just say "I want cash," or "I want your love," or "appreciate me!"

    You need to build the relationship slowly, in a way that won't invite rejection. Do that by giving first. And when you give, you'll do best to give in a different way than you withdraw.

    1. Make "deposits" to a relationship different from the withdrawals.

    Let's say you want to get really close and involved with Venture Capitalist Alex Drywall…as a business partner, of course. But everybody wants to do business with Alex. Any prospectus you send to the office gets returned by Gatekeeper Minion #9348. Approaching Alex along business dimensions just won't work.

    So how do you get the attention and stand out from the crowd? Learn more about Alex. A bit of digging reveals that Alex does community work, serving as the chairperson of your local Big Brothers / Big Sisters chapter. You just happen to be a member of the organization!

    You can start building a relationship with Alex that way. Call Alex to discuss your experience as a Big Sibling, share your thoughts on the organization, and so on. You may find that calling Alex's office about Big Brother / Big Sister business gets right through, bypassing Minion #9348 completely.

    Once you get to know Alex socially and through community service, you can discuss business. You've invested in a strong social bond, which lets you now open up into a business discussion.

    2. Come in sideways when directly doesn't work.

    Keith Ferrazzi, author of the excellent book on building your network "Never Eat Alone," wanted to be an executive. But he was both young and rash. No matter how good he was, it would take him years to work his way up the partner track at Deloitte Consulting. Vying for a top job directly would have gotten him laughed out of the room.

    So Keith devoted his time, energy, and expertise into building relationships for Deloitte within his local business community. He also got his CEO to agree to dinners together every six weeks. When Deloitte decided they needed a new Chief Marketing Officer, Keith was put in charge of finding the candidate.

    During the search, he worked closely with the other senior management, shared his ideas for the challenges facing the new executive. He impressed them with his skills and ideas. When no perfect candidate could be found, he was chosen for the CMO position. Instead of working his way up, he demonstrated his desirability where his skills could be seen. steve jobs wozniak

    3. Strengthen a partnership through complementary deposits.

    Partnerships are a great place to think about mixing skills. Strengthen the partnership by contributing the skills you're good at. Withdraw the benefits of your partner's expertise.

    Steve Wozniak was a technical genius. Steve Jobs had an instinct for product design and finding markets for products. Together, they built Apple Computer, but it took both skill sets to make it happen.

    What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What would it look like to have a partner who's the other way around? When you find someone who can help build a business in ways you can't, search for ways you can each contribute your strengths.

    4. Expect to get what you don't expect.

    Even in other relationships, it's worth understanding that different people give in different ways. In an unhealthy relationship, one person can end up giving everything, while the other one takes. This is the kind of complementary that we don't need. If you find yourself in something one-sided—professional, romantic, or platonic—leave! Life is too short to hang out with relationship vampires.

    But first, check all the dimensions involved before leaving. What do you give in the relationship? What do you take? You might find you complement each other in unexpected ways.

    In the 1950s sitcom "I Love Lucy," Ricky provided the income, and he withdraws housework and emotional support. Lucy does the reverse. She contributes housework and emotional support and withdraws economically. (Of course, in real life, Lucille Ball was a major force as a Hollywood businesswoman.) Each character may have driven the other insane, but they were a happy, loving couple nonetheless.

    We're taught relationships are give-and-take, but what you're giving and what you're taking matters. When building a relationship from scratch, build it along a different dimension than what you plan to get out of it. Use complementary giving and taking to strengthen partnerships, and when it comes to formal relationships like employers and employees, find ways to come in sideways like Keith Ferrazzi.

    Since Bernice wanted to be friends with Taylor Gaga Efron Pitt DeNiro Lawrence Sarandon, she decided to reach out along a business dimension. Calling Taylor's agent, she proposed that Taylor become the official celebrity spokesperson for the "Green Growing Things" line of Audrey IIs.

    Over lunch, Bernice and Taylor discovered that Bernice has a holding pen full of carnivorous Audrey II plants. Taylor has several outfits made entirely of meat. They've only been worn once, because, well, you really can't be seen in the same meat outfit twice. As the two negotiate a business deal to keep the Audrey IIs, it's a match made in, er, heaven. Not only do both parties profit when Bernice purchases the meat, but in the process, they become fast friends. By coming in along the business angle, Bernice ended up with happy, well-fed plants, and a new friend.

    I'm Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. I give great keynote speeches on productivity, Living an Extraordinary Life, and entrepreneurship. Find me at

    SEE ALSO: 6 ways highly emotionally intelligent people deal with anger

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    • People in abusive relationships may become victim to something called "perspecticide."
    • It occurs when their abusive partner has made them believe so many things that aren't true, they no longer know what is real.
    • They are effectively a prisoner in their own life, not being allowed to do anything or even think on their own terms.

    Living with a controlling or abusive partner is confusing and draining. They blame you for things that weren't your fault, or that you didn't even do, and you become isolated from your friends and family in an attempt to keep the abuser happy.

    The way you see the world can also completely change, because it may be dangerous for you to know the truth.

    Lisa Aronson Fontes, a psychology researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of "Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship," told Business Insider the word for this is "perspecticide."

    She said the word, which basically means "the incapacity to know what you know," was first used in the literature on the brainwashing of prisoners of war, and has also been applied to people in cults.

    "In an abusive or controlling relationship, over time the dominating partner changes how the victim thinks," Fontes said. "The abuser defines what love is. The abuser defines what it appropriate in terms of monitoring the partner. The abuser defines what is wrong with the victim, and what she needs to do to change it."

    Over time, the victim — or survivor, if that is your preferred term — loses sense of what their own ideas, goals, and thoughts were. Instead, they start taking on those of their dominating partner.

    "Through perspecticide, people give up their own opinions, religious affiliations, views of friends, goals in life, etc," Fontes said. "I am not talking about the natural mutual influencing that occurs in all intimate relationships — this is much more nefarious and one-sided."

    Someone can fall into an abuser's trap in a number of ways, but it's often through psychological, emotional, or physical abuse. Once the victim has been hooked and reeled in, their partner starts to bring them down with belittling comments and insults.

    However, they often pause the abuse with intermittent periods of kindness and warmth. This means the victim is trauma-bonded to their partner, constantly trying to make them happy, because they believe they deserve to be punished if they don't.

    Victims become prisoners in their own lives.

    The controlling partner might cut off resources like money and transportation, practically keeping the victim a prisoner. By living in fear, the victim changes how they view themselves and the world.

    Fontes recalled several stories of people who had been controlled by their partners. All her examples were from women who were being abused, but it's important to note that emotional, psychological, and physical abuse can happen to anyone.

    One man convinced his wife she could not have her own toothbrush, because married couples share these things. He also never let her have any privacy — she wasn't even allowed to close the door when she was using the bathroom.

    Another husband slept all day so he could keep his wife up at night. He deliberately didn't let her sleep, controlled what she ate, and hid her medication, which all made her physically weak. Eventually, she even forgot her age because everything down to the way she walked was managed by someone else.

    Other stories involved a woman who believed her partner could read her mind, when really he was spying on her with cameras in her house and trackers in her belongings. Another man actually told his wife he had inserted a microphone into her fillings to monitor where she went all day.

    "He was actually monitoring her through other routes, but she believed what he said — she had no other explanation for why he knew everything about her days," Fontes said. "Of course, anyone who she told this to thought she was crazy. This isolated her further."

    For the victim, their life is overwhelmed with wondering how to appease their controlling partner. Fontes said they may even experience physical signs of stress over time such as changes to eating and sleeping, head or back aches, and digestive problems, because they are too worried about their partner's wrath.

    "A person who is being coercively controlled — even without physical violence — does not feel free to live their own life on their own terms," she said.

    If you think you might be a victim of abuse of any kind, you can talk to your GP in confidence, or contact organizations such as Women's Aid and Victim Support.

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    Raising children requires good parenting techniques as well as avoiding bad habits.  A positive body image help children develop socially. Quality time with kids also helps them in school. But just as important are avoiding mistakes that can curtail a child's social, physical, emotional and intellectual development. The following is a transcript of this video.

    Parents of unsuccessful kids could have these 6 things in common.

    They're authoritarian. Authoritarian parents discourage open communication. They make demands without explaining why. One study showed, when these parents checked children's homework it inhibited the child's overall school performance.

    Parents who let kids watch TV when they're really young. Researchers said children who watched more TV were less likely to participate in class and had lower math scores. 

    Parents who yell at their kids a lot. Shouting, cursing and insults can have the same negative effects as physical discipline.

    They're helicopter parents. Over-controlling parents have been linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression in children. Researchers found these children were less open to new ideas and more self-conscious.

    Parents who are emotionally distant. This can contribute to: behavioral problems, insecurity, and emotional difficulties.

    Parents who spank their kids. First graders who already had behavioral problems were even more disruptive if their parents spanked them. Spanking has also been linked to mental health problems and cognitive difficulties.

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    The Office of National Statistics estimates that 42% of marriages in the UK end in divorce. It's even higher in the US, with nearly half of all married couples splitting up.

    As a child, it's your worst nightmare to have the two people who love you the most tell you they don't love each other anymore.

    As we get older, though, we're more likely to start seeing our parents as people, and be more understanding of their decisions.

    This is particularly true if one or both of the parents were unfaithful.

    When we're very young, it can be almost impossible to imagine how our parents could be happier with different people, but as we grow up, we realise that they might still be working life out too.

    However, whenever it happens, something still sticks. According to one study from 2015, published in the Journal of Family Issues, children who had one parent cheat on the other are more likely to be cheaters themselves.

    Researchers asked 294 student participants to complete a survey to see whether people were more or less likely to cheat when their parents had had affairs.

    33% of participants answered that their mother or father had cheated on their other parent. Dads were slightly more likely to have been the one to mess around.

    Meanwhile, about 30% of the participants in the survey said they had also cheated on a romantic partner.

    The researchers found that those who had unfaithful parents were twice as likely to have had a parent who had also cheated — 44% versus 22%.

    Having unfaithful parents didn't affect the way students viewed cheating overall, though. Children of cheaters were apparently no more accepting of the idea, if we are to believe their answers, so what exactly accounts for this increase in them being unfaithful isn't certain.

    The researchers concluded that family experiences are related to infidelity behavior, so this could be through indirect influence, such as one parent having a clear fear or commitment, or constantly highlighting the importance of independence.

    The reasons people cheat also differ greatly. Some research has shown that women are more likely to look elsewhere when they are searching for comfort, whereas men stray when they aren't having enough sex in their current relationship.

    Another study also showed that higher intelligence means someone may be less likely to want to cheat on their partner. However, as the research showed, this doesn't necessarily mean they won't do it.

    If you're with someone whose parents are divorced, don't panic. The increased probability of cheating is just another risk factor in the already complicated world of dating. Equally, if you're the child of divorced parents, and you have no intention to cheat, you'll be fine, too.

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    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Studies show that red wine may be the only type of alcohol that can improve sex.
    • It can increase testosterone levels and lower the chances of an instance of sexual dysfunctions. 
    • But the key is to drink it in moderation. 

    Everyone who drinks has a pick for what kind of alcohol they prefer — and what they avoid. But when you and your partner are looking to get it on, there may only be one type of bottle to pick up at the store: red wine. 

    Several studies have found that of all the alcoholic beverages you can have before sex, red wine is the only one that can actually enhance and improve your sexual experience. 

    This can happen for a few reasons. One study, for example, found that red wine in moderation can boost your testosterone, a hormone that can increase your sexual desire. The key here is moderation, though, as the researchers found that drinking too much wine could actually tank your testosterone levels. Your best bet is to stick to a glass or two with dinner. 

    Another study found that drinking a moderate amount of red wine actually increases blood flow to women's' erogenous zones, and could increase lubrication. The study also found that women who drank red wine had a higher sex drive than those who drank another type of alcohol. 

    red wine

    A study also found that polyphenols, which are found in red wine, as wells as berries and chocolate, can decrease instances of erectile dysfunction by 14%. If that wasn't enough, researchers also pointed out that red wine contains hhistamines, which can increase your sex drive. 

    They key to take away here is drinking in moderation. If you chug a lot of red wine, that doesn't mean that your sex is going to be that much better. In fact, you'll likely make the situation that much worse. But if you're looking for a drink that will work in your favor on a romantic date, there's a reason why so many people reach for red wine. 

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    Anna Faris Chris Pratt

    • Anna Faris told People magazine that she and ex Chris Pratt still laugh together, despite their break up. 
    • She said that she understands why fans were so upset by their break up, but that they still adore each other. 
    • Pratt even wrote the forward for her new book, "Unqualified," and said that the former couple is going to be "just fine." 

    Fans of Anna Faris and Chris Pratt's relationship may still be crying over the couple's split in August, but Faris said that the former flames are still laughing together. 

    "There is still so much laughter in our lives together, and he is so proud of me, still," Faris told People magazine. "We watched each other grow, and he still cracks me up all the time. And I think I crack him up  — unless he's a really good actor and great at faking laughter."

    Faris told the magazine that although she and Pratt are now longer romantically involved, she knows that they will always be best friends and have each other to lean on. 

    "We'll always have each other and be incredible friends," she told them. 

    anna faris chris pratt

    But the actress gets why fans were so heartbroken over Pratt and Faris's split after eight years of marriage, and says she doesn't blame them for feeling sad that they're no longer together. 

    "It's understandable that people seemed so invested in our happiness together," Faris told People. "All I can say about that is, it's all true, that we truly adore each other, and we love each other, I think it still comes through."

    In fact, the former couple adores each other so much that Pratt actually wrote the forward to her new book "Unqualified" due out October 24. In the book, Pratt writes, according to People, that he and Faris will be "just fine" and will be able to "amicably co-parent a human," their son, Jack, 5. 

    It's great to see that this former couple is keeping it positive and professional, especially for the sake of their son. Although I'm sure it's taken them some time to get to this point, it will only make things easier for healing down the line. 

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    young women smartphones texting

    • A new paper suggests partners who meet online are more likely to be compatible than those who meet in person.
    • The paper adds to a growing body of research suggesting marriages that start online are stronger and last longer than relationships that start offline. 
    • The research doesn't prove that online dating causes relationships to be stronger. It could be that people who register for dating services are more interested in a relationship.

    Telling people you and your partner met online can seem kind of boring.

    Wouldn't you rather be able to share a story about how you were both reading the same obscure French novel on the New York City subway? Or how you'd been best friends since kindergarten and then one day something just clicked?

    But couples who connected through swiping or clicking can take, ahem, heart: If they choose to tie the knot, they'll likely have a healthier marriage than couples who met offline.

    There's a growing body of research to support this idea, and the latest piece of evidence is a paper by Josué Ortega at the University of Essex in the UK and Philipp Hergovich at the University of Vienna in Austria, cited in the MIT Technology Review.

    The researchers reached their conclusion by creating upwards of 10,000 randomly generated societies. Then they simulated the connections made through online dating in each society.

    The researchers calculated the strength of marriages by measuring the compatibility between two partners in a society. And they found that compatibility was greater in partners after they had added those online-dating connections to that society.

    Earlier studies — in which real people were surveyed — have found relationships that begin online tend to have an advantage over those that began offline.

    For example, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 looked at about 19,000 people who married between 2005 and 2012. People who met their spouse online said their marriage was more satisfying than those who met their spouse offline. Plus, marriages that began online were less likely to end in separation or divorce.

    (That study was funded by, but one of the study authors told MarketWatch that it was overseen by independent statisticians.)

    Another study, published in the journal Sociological Science in 2017, found that heterosexual couples who met online made a quicker transition to marriage than couples who met offline.

    None of this research proves that online dating causes couples to have a stronger relationship. It's possible — and more likely — that there's some self-selection going on, as University of Kansas professor Jeffrey A. Hall told MarketWatch in 2013.

    That is, people who sign up for dating services may be more interested in a relationship, and even marriage, than say, people at a bar who aren't specifically there to meet a serious partner. As Business Insider previously reported, 80% of Tinder users say they're looking for a meaningful relationship — despite the app's reputation as a place to find hookups. Plus, the more people you're exposed to, the more likely you are to find someone you're compatible with.

    The takeaway here isn't that online dating is a panacea for your romantic troubles. It's not necessarily.

    But as online dating becomes more prevalent — right now it's the second most common way for heterosexual American couples to meet and the most common way for homosexual American couples to meet — it could have a meaningful impact on the divorce rate, and on overall relationship happiness.

    SEE ALSO: A psychologist says apps like Tinder and Bumble have become the only dating services worth your time

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    • Celebrities are often carted off to receive treatment for "sex addiction."
    • However, experts disagree over whether it is a real condition or not.
    • Sex addiction is not listed as a clinical diagnosis yet, but some scientific research does show that sex and drug addicts' brains respond in similar ways to what they are hooked on.
    • Addiction is not an excuse for bad behaviour, but it does show that someone has deeper set issues they need to work through.

    It's a familiar story — a Hollywood star is driven away in a black car to go and receive treatment because they have an addiction. For some, it's because they can't stop having sex.

    Whether it's Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, or Harvey Weinstein, they seek out a cure for their "sex addiction," and promise they will get the help they need.

    However, experts disagree on whether sex addiction is a real thing or not. In the cases of high profile men being accused of sexual assault or cheating, sex addiction could be a front, or an excuse, for their bad behaviour.

    The term has been thrown around in the mainstream since the 1990s, when Michael Douglas was admitted to rehab for a supposed addiction to sex. Over the years the disorder has supposedly affected many celebrities such as Robbie Williams and Russell Brand, with varying levels of cynicism.

    According to some research, only about a third of sex addicts are women, but this figure is likely to be low because women are less likely to seek out treatment, or to believe they have a problem, and are thus under-represented in studies.

    Sex addiction is not a clinically-listed diagnosis.

    Sex addiction is not actually listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) — the two health catalogues medical professionals use as their mental health diagnoses bibles.

    One argument against sex addiction is that nothing physically bad happens when you stop being sexually active. Meanwhile, when someone goes "cold turkey" from substances like alcohol or heroin, the body goes into withdrawal and nasty things can happen.

    Someone in withdrawal from heroin use experiences symptoms like shaking, sweating, abdominal pain, muscle spasms, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting — some people can even die. If someone doesn't have sex, these obvious withdrawal signs don't occur. Also, unlike with substance addictions, a so-called sex addict doesn't appear to need bigger and bigger doses over time, i.e.: more and more sex.

    Calling it an 'addiction' could be harmful.

    Sex addiction specialists also still debate over whether applying a term like "addiction" to normal human behaviours like sex is appropriate. Suggesting people have something wrong with them for engaging in a lot of sex may be seen as pathologising normal behaviour — or "slut shaming"— which is harmful.

    According to David Ley, a clinical psychologist and author, a diagnosis of sex addiction is based on a therapist's own idea of what constitutes an excessive amount of sex, and this varies a lot between them.

    "The mistake all these 'experts' make is to try to apply the characteristics of drug and alcohol addiction to sex, claiming too much sex works like a drug, causing cravings, withdrawals, tolerance (the need for increasingly powerful 'hits') and a downward spiral in which sex 'takes over their life,'" Ley writes in his book "The Myth of Sex Addiction."

    "There are many embedded moral concepts in these definitions, all of which suggest that sex is dangerous, shouldn't be 'enjoyed too much' and that something that creates imbalance in a person's life is inherently unhealthy."

    Ley told Business Insider over email that some research over the past few years has built on the theory that people who believe they are addicted to sex think this because of a conflict within themselves, sometimes of a religious nature, rather than simply because they're having too much of it.

    "So called sex addicts don't actually have more sex, they typically just feel worse about it," he said. "In addition to these religious conflicts, sex addiction is also a label used to excuse the misbehavior of wealthy powerful men, and is used to pathologise the sexuality of gay and bisexual men."

    He added: "All of this reveals clearly that sex addiction is a social construct, serving social functions around sexual control, not a medical or scientific one."

    FILE PHOTO: Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company gestures during a break on the first day of the Allen and Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 9, 2014.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

    One theory suggests sex addiction is influenced by the fact internet porn is so readily available. However, while Ley admits porn is inarguably a powerful stimulant, he says there is no evidence to suggest it is actually addictive.

    Considering the amount of men who watch — or have watched — porn, Ley argues that if it had the destructive effect that some claim it does, men would be committing sex crimes at a much higher rate than they do now. In fact, Ley writes that "every day would look like the erotic chaos of Carnival and Mardi Gras."

    As porn access has increased, sex crime has actually decreased. This doesn't mean porn is the cure for sexual abusers and rapists, but it can be said that it hasn't made things worse.

    In a blog post on Psychology Today, Marty Klein, a sex, marriage, and family therapist wrote that the Harvey Weinstein saga is more proof that the term "sex addict" doesn't exist and just masks other problems. That, or it's a cover for infidelity and womanising.

    He argues that it's short-sighted to focus on the sex aspect of cases like Weinstein's, because it is obvious he is suffering from other problems, some of which he lists as the abuse of power, a lack of empathy, masochism, or self-destructiveness.

    Whatever Weinstein is perhaps covering, Klein says labelling him with a problem like "sex addict" makes it easier for everyone else to read about him and think "I don't have that, so I am not like that."

    It gives people the excuse to wave the problem off, rather than accepting bad sexual behaviour could be something that is ingrained into culture.

    Whether it's a real 'condition' or not, people still suffer.

    Despite not being listed as a disorder, many other therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are certain of sex addiction legitimately affecting people.

    Robert Weiss is a certified sex addiction treatment specialist, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, and author of many books on the subject. He told Business Insider that in simple terms, sex addiction is an out-of-control pattern of compulsive sexual fantasies and behaviors that cause problems in the addict's life.

    He said people with it are preoccupied with sex to the point of obsession, and their attempts to quit or cut back have failed. They also suffer from directly-related negative consequences such as relationship trouble, problems at work or school, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, isolation, financial trouble, and a decline in their health.

    "As with other addictions, the problematic behavior is used not to have a good time, but as an emotional coping mechanism," Weiss said. "Sex addicts, like other addicts, are not trying to feel good, they're trying to feel less. They want to escape stress, anxiety, depression, and other forms of emotional discomfort, and they use their addiction to do that."

    Unlike the skeptics, Weiss said many people in the field take a broad approach to the disorder — that it's less about the actual sex, and more about the destructive consequences of out-of-control behaviours.

    Addiction — whether it's substances or compulsive behaviours — often stem from having trauma in early life, such as neglect, emotional, or physical abuse.

    At some point, often during teenage years, survivors of trauma work out they can soothe their emotional pain with alcohol, drugs, and sometimes sex.

    Weiss says sometimes people may eroticise or reenact aspects of their trauma, and this turns into a cycle of self-hatred and shame throughout adulthood, fuelled by their sexual fantasy and sexual behavior.

    Addicts have similar brains, whatever they're hooked on.

    Some scientific research does back up the idea that people can be biologically addicted to sex, just as they could be to a drug. One study from 2014, conducted at Cambridge University, found that the brains of sex addicts responded in very different ways to porn than the brains of people who weren't addicted.

    Several areas of the brain — the dorsal anterior cingulate, which is involved in detecting social interactions; the amygdala, which processes emotional reactions; and the ventral striatum, which has many functions including motivation and reinforcement — are involved in addictive behaviours. The study found that for sex addicts, these areas of the brain respond in a similar way to porn as brains of drug addicts respond to getting high.

    Weiss said that although you won't see a sex addict go "cold turkey" in the same way as a heroin addict, withdrawal from sexual behaviour can happen.

    "With sexual addiction, withdrawal tends to manifest not so much physically, as sometimes occurs with substance abuse... but emotionally and psychologically," he said. "Sex addicts in withdrawal tend to become either depressive, or restless, irritable, and discontent. Moreover, withdrawal is not a necessary element of any addiction diagnosis, though most addicts, including sex addicts, do experience it to some degree."

    For all these reasons, the American Society of Addiction Medicine does recognise some behaviors, like sex, can be just as addictive as substances. The World Health Organization's forthcoming update to the ICD is also expected to list sex addiction as an official diagnosis for the first time.

    No matter the cause, if a person needs help, they need help.

    the priory

    Whether or not sexual addiction is the product of a past trauma or a cover up for other issues that need to be explored in the patient's mind isn't really the point, according to Weiss.

    Whether it's called a sex addiction, hypersexual disorder, out-of-control sexual behavior, sexual compulsivity, or something else, it's something people struggle with. Weiss said it's his duty as a therapist to help individuals in crisis, especially if it's a public issue, or the client has suicidal thoughts.

    If a client is an addict, they can be treated as such. If not, they can be helped in other ways, such as working through past trauma, or in the case of Weinstein, denial of what they have allegedly done to people.

    "I also think it's important to say that 'being addicted' does not absolve someone like Weinstein — if he really is an addict and not just an offender — from responsibility for his abhorrent behavior," Weiss added. "In fact, part of recovering from sexual addiction is admitting what you've done, taking responsibility, and accepting the consequences that ensue."

    Whether people like Weinstein will be helped by sex addiction or not depends on how open they are, and how willing they are to dig into their past.

    The important thing is, if you are suffering from what you believe is an addiction to sex, there is help out there — regardless of how many cynics are around.

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    Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake

    • Singer Justin Timberlake and actress Jessica Biel have been married for five years.
    • To celebrate their anniversary on Thursday, Timberlake sang their wedding song — "A Song for You" by Donny Hathaway.
    • Timberlake shared the video on Facebook and wrote that Biel is his "best friend." 
    • "Yes, I've been back in the studio cooking! But, today is even more special for me because five years ago, on this day, I became the luckiest man in the world when I exchanged vows with my best friend," he wrote in the post. 
    • Watch the full video below. 


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    aziz ansari

    • A psychologist-led survey found that the greater the perceived similarity between partners’ texting habits, the higher their relationship satisfaction.
    • It's just as much about how often you text as what you say.
    • Being sensitive to our romantic partners' texting habits isn't crazy — it's something to pay attention to.


    For better, or possibly worse, texting is perhaps the central way that people keep in touch with their partners (both would-be and actual). It's especially the case for the younger set: Some 42 percent of young adults have used texting to “to communicate sexual intent,” as researchers have clinically put it, while a little under a third of teensreport having broken up with someone via text message.

    And as new research in the journal Computers in Human Behavior has found, the way you text—and how you feel about how your partner texts—has huge implications for how satisfied you are with your relationship.

    Psychologist Leora Trub, PhD, who leads Pace University’s Digital Media and Psychology Lab, and her team recruited 205 young Americans to participate in an online survey. They were all between 18 and 29 years old, and about three quarters of them were women. All of them were in relationships: 83 percent were dating exclusively, 11 percent were married and 13 percent were dating openly.

    The respondents took standard surveys measuring attachment style, or how much they tend to crave or fear intimacy, and relationship satisfaction. They also took a new assessment developed for the study about the perceived similarity between one’s own and one’s partner’s texting habits.

    They rated how frequently they initiated text conversations, and also the emotional quality of their texts—whether to express affection, to just say hey, to bring up an issue that’s hard to do in person, and the like. In each case, participants evaluated their own habits and also answered on their partner’s behalf.

    Overall, the greater the perceived similarity between partners’ texting habits, the higher their relationship satisfaction.

    Not all of the individual variables were important, but having symmetry around the frequency of starting text conversations and the amount to which you text to “just say hey” were both particularly predictive of satisfaction. If you’ve felt anxiety over someone not texting you back—or messaging you too much—then you’re not alone. In texting, as in life, balance and compatibility are key.

    The immediate benefit of this is study is making all of us feel less absurd about being sensitive to our romantic partners’ texting habits. Consider Aziz Ansari’s character Dev Shah from Master of None, who perfectly portrays millennials’ torturous relationship with texting in relationships.

    Beyond the anxiety relief, this study also brings a lot of offline research about what makes relationships work into smartphone-land. It’s been known for a long time that when both partners have emotional intelligence, they have happier relationships.

    Ditto if they both value emotionally laden communication like comforting each other, conflict management and generally helping people feel good about themselves, and if they’re into expressing affection for one another, a studyresult that’s been found again and again. It’s right there in the title of an earlier Communication Quarterly paper on the topic: “Similarity makes for attraction (and happiness, too).”

    Furthering this work will require getting both members of a couple involved, Trub and her colleagues say, especially for doing in-lab experiments.

    Still, the researchers contend that there are immediate applications for therapists and anyone trying to navigate the many thickets of electronic romance. For example, mindfulness interventions have been shown to get people to edit their texts more and drunk-text less.

    Maybe most meaningfully, the research helps reveal that texting isn’t something frivolous and inconsequential, but rather a big part of the day-to-day rhythm of being with someone.

    That’s means it’s worth articulating to yourself—and your partner—what messaging means to you.

    SEE ALSO: Here's why happy couples post less about their relationships on social media

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