Category Archives: Maintain a Relationship

How to Make Your Relationship Happier

Research has led some couples astray. Couple Fights in BedIn plenty of studies, couples who are happier also have more sex. Knowing that finding, it would make sense that having more sex should lead to increased feelings of happiness. But it turns out that having sex specifically to improve feelings of well being in a relationship more often back fires. Instead unhappy couples were left feeling tired and less interested in sex.

The truth is, happy people have more sex, and if you want to know how to make your relationship happier, there are many factors, unrelated to the bedroom, that can help. To name a few:

• A firm work/life boundary (cell phones off at home)

• Regular exercise (love those endorphins)

• Less isolation (more friends and family at the table)

• Music

But are there things that science tells us couple can clearly do more of to increase relationship satisfaction? Turns out there are two big ones: Frequent kissing and hugs of long duration. Surprisingly, frequency of kissing is linked to better relationships even more than frequency of sex. And, long bear hugs, the kind where bodies melt into each other, seem to help us release a dopamine in the brain.

So, if you’re relationship is in the doldrums, forget about high-pressured sex. Instead, turn off technology, and snuggle together for a cozy hug.


The Psychology of Human Mating




iDate Convention News

dr-wendy-walsh-reporter-cnn-keynote-address-idate-idateexpo-2014-las-vegas-03I’m off to the iDate conference, the world’s largest convention for the relationship industry. There has been such an explosion in the dating, mating and divorcing culture in recent decades that an entire industry has grown out of it. At iDate, I’ll be teaching a panel on Attachment Theory to Dating Coaches and Matchmakers, encouraging many to sign up for my new launch of to increase their business.

Tom Kershaw, head of product management at Google will kick off iDate with a keynote address on big data and dating. Other panel discussions include such topics as enforcement of dating fraud, the sociology of internet dating — Are people showing up for dates? — and yours truly will lead a panel on how Relationships have become a news beat not unlike sports, politics, or fashion. From Celebrity relationships to advances in tech dating and the trend of conscious uncoupling, even hard news covers relationship topics. I’ll include a few of my segments below do you can see the diversity of this growing journalist beat. See you at iDate in Las Vegas this week!

Fox New Channel, O’Reilly Factor: Turning to the internet for love.

CNN’s Don Lemon and Dr. Wendy Walsh Talk Sex and Technology


Mindfulness and Your Relationships

stockvault-man-in-lotus-pose121427It is Spring! As the weather warms and the sunny days begin to stretch longer, we are filled with optimism. This is our chance to have a rebirth or new beginning. In our relationships, single people begin to shed their winter clothes and winter pounds and begin their search for a mate. Couples clean out their closets and in the flurry of spring cleaning there is opportunity to change negative patterns of relating.

I encourage you to use the Springtime for your own personal growth. Lately, I have been practicing mindful meditation.  It’s the newest lifestyle trend taking the world, not by storm, but by a single, focussed breath: Mindfulness. Living in the moment, breathing with an effortless flow and adorning for sensuous feeling is no longer a short-lived bonus for spa goers. It is a trending way of life.

Mindfulness is growing in popularity because it is a brain training technique with a host of scientifically proven benefits. The practice of non-judgmental focused breathing and awareness of the present has been shown to reduce stress, improve athletic performance, boost creativity, improve immune functioning, ease chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and even help patients cope with cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease.

But Mindfulness’s proven benefits to mood are equally as exciting. Mindful people are happier, more empathetic, and more confident. People who meditate regularly have higher self-esteem and can comfortably accept their own weaknesses. Stopping to adjust your awareness on the here and now makes people less reactive and impulsive, behaviors that can fuel depression, eating disorders, and attention deficit issues. The benefits to relationships are powerful. Mindful people argue less with their lovers are less likely to feel attacked and feel more compassion. As a result, daily mediation can lead to happier, more satisfied love relationships.

Mindfulness is the opposite of attention deficit injected by technology and  multi-tasking. Mindfulness is about having an abundance of attention. It is pure focus without thought. Like an athlete in her zone, mindfulness is a calm attention to everything present: breathing, body awareness, sights, sounds, feelings, and the energy of all life.

Techniques of Mindfulness Training:

  1. Savoring the present experience (sight, smell, touch)
  2. Breathing -awareness of your breath in a gentle flow.
  3. Knowing that you don’t know.
  4. Accepting all feelings without judgement
  5. Seeing the blurred line between you and all life.


FOR MEN: Happy Wife, Happy Life, is True!

happy-couple-mainYou might think the role of wife as peacemaker, soother, and placater is an unrealistic stereotype, but science tells us something different.

All relationships have conflict. In fact, the road to trust and intimacy is paved with rupture followed by repair. In the repair process, partners begin to understand each other’s vulnerabilities and accept their differences. As a relationship expert, I’ve always known that healthy conflict resolution skills are key to relationship satisfaction and duration.

But a new study shows that if wives cool off first, partners report more short term and long term happiness. The study, out of the University of California at Berkeley, looked at 80 middle aged and older heterosexual couples, part of a group being tracked since 1989, and video taped their arguments. Then a researcher started a stop watch from the moment considered to be the peak of the argument. They found that when wives quickly calmed down after even a heated dispute, the couples reported greater happiness in separate evaluations.

“Emotions such as anger and contempt can seem very threatening for couples. But our study suggests that if spouses, especially wives, are able to calm themselves, their marriages can continue to thrive,” says psychologist Lian Bloch, the study’s lead researcher.

So, how can a guy use this valuable science? Obviously, in a dating relationship that one is evaluating for a long term commitment, it’s important not to dismiss unhealthy conflict style. Other research shows that when babies and small children enter the picture, relationship stress goes up. If your gal has trouble regulating herself over a simple mis-communication, this doesn’t bode well for your long term family life.

If you are married and already in a relationship where heated arguments become nasty grudges that can trigger other explosions, I suggest you both get into couple’s therapy where both of you can gain some new conflict tools. This is particularly crucial if children are soaking up those maladaptive fighting tools.

And, keep in mind that this research is not a hall pass for men to go unregulated. The researchers note that since the study looked as middle aged and old couples, young couples with changing gender roles and expectations may show a very different outcome. If you believe the adage that a happy wife makes for a happy life, then know that your own anger management can go a long way to contributing to a happy wife.

FOR MEN: Yes, She Can Drive You To Drink

man-drinking-beer-picPlenty of people think that women have far more relationship anxiety than men, but new research shows quite the opposite. The big gender difference, when it comes to love life stress, is the way men and women deal with it.

A new study of over 1000 participants from Wake Forest University is published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and is the first of it’s kind to really tease out what goes on in the minds of seemingly stoic men when emotional speed bumps happen in personal relationships. First, the good news: Men tend to reap far more emotional benefits from their love lives than woman do. Other research out this year from the University of Oxford might explain this. Women, it seems, have a wider emotional support system and can spread their vulnerable intimate selves among many “caregivers” (read: empathetic gal pals) while men tend to put their emotional eggs all in one basket, so to speak.

And this presents the other finding of the of the Wake Forest study. Men are more vulnerable to emotional pain when love hurts. A rocky relationship can impair a man’s mental health far more than a woman’s. And when women do have relationship problems it often results in depression, while men’s emotional stress is more likely to lead to substance abuse problems. While depression is no cake walk, women have better coping mechanisms through their other social relationships and, should the relationship end, do better than men when single. Men, it seems, are more likely to stay in a bad relationship and self-medicate.

But when things go well, when the relationship is mutually supportive and the couple has healthy conflict resolution skills, men tend to get the greatest boost in mental health benefits. The take away for men? If you find that your girlfriend or wife makes you want to check out with chemicals, remind yourself that a sober you will be in a better position to attract a more healthy relationship.