If you’re a dude, you’ve probably heard of the book, THE GAME, Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick up Artists (2005). The non-fiction book follows author, Neil Strauss on a personal transformation from self-described, “average frustrated chump” to “pick up artist” to eventually reaching the top of the heap, “pick up guru.” It’s the age-old game where the average man, evolved to want sex more than the average woman, learns to extract sex from women using a few psychological tricks, all laid out neatly by the pros. Basically, it’s the boy bible. (If you happen to be a one-woman man looking?to meet and connect with just one woman, the advice can easily be adapted and you can win the girl.) The book shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.
Fast forward a decade and Strauss, the guru of genital poaching is entering sex addiction treatment because his girlfriend just walked out on him for cheating. Thus begins THE TRUTH, An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships, the fascinating, brutally honest saga of one man’s search for answers about love and commitment. And, like a good journalist, Strauss finds the right way to love by first experiencing every wrong way — Paris sex clubs, hippy free-sex communes, his own harem, and even trying to negotiate making a baby without love or a relationship. Eventually he brings the reader to a serious study of his own mommy issues that were the route of his relationship woes in the first place. Only after healing himself can he track down the love of his life and begin the work of real intimacy. The book is my favorite kind of read: sexy chapters peppered with the science of relationships. Trust me, THE TRUTH, will set you free.
Could you imagine if someone promised you a guaranteed 18% return on your money? I’ll bet you’d jump at such an impressive investment return, right? That’s what the lawmakers in Minnesota did after they read data by economist Arthur Rolnick Ph.D.. Turns out the best investment any legislator can make is in high grade early childcare and preschool. After crunching the numbers, free baby-care and pre-school paid an 18% return in savings from education, the judicial system, and health care. Yup. 18%.?This was only part of the data presented at a Think Tank I attended this week hosted by the Simms/Mann Institute.
But what does this have to do with relationships?
The other speakers at the Think Tank were esteemed neuroscientists and attachment researchers who backed up the financial argument for investment in babies and toddlers with startling news about brain development. According to the reams of research they presented, the foundational architecture of the brain is mostly formed by a child’s third birthday.?Disrupted early life bonding, abuse or neglect creates a break down in the brain’s receptors for oxytocin — the bonding hormone — making people who grow up unable to have secure attachments. They fail at relationships because they are missing some basic wiring.
But infants given consistent, empathetic care and emotional mirroring have a better capacity to regulate their own feelings, an increased ability to engage in intimate relationships, and are better able?to recover after relationship ruptures. In plain speak, a secure attachment in early life creates grown-up lovers who can contain themselves, become attracted to people who can love them back, and they fight fair and repair well. By the way, at this juncture, the researchers estimated that about half of us get this kind of early life care at home.
The rest grow up attempting to transform relationships. They ?spend money in therapy, or fighting chronic health conditions linked to stress, or commit crimes related to anger issues, poor impulse control or lack of empathy. And all that is not only bad for relationships, but very expensive for society.
According to Pat Levitt, Ph.D., the Simms/Mann Chair of Developmental Neurogenetics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, “Investment in child development is the foundation for all prosperous communities. It is simply not cost effective to create plasticity through experiences later in life.”
Economist Rolnick backed up that sentiment, “A key ingredient in economic super powers is early child education. Kids in poverty show the biggest investment return. And the best predictor of successful outcomes for kids is a mother’s education.”
And, I’ll add to that: The best predictor of a healthy adult connection isn’t one’s access to Tinder or Match.com. It’s ?the care one received aged 0 -3.
Things aren’t so bad in Florida. People are becoming richer and, if you look at the numbers only one way, increasingly single.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released 2014 statistics that show the average Florida household brought in nearly $47,500, the highest since before the great recession. This is a good news/bad news story for single women. Those much maligned “gold diggers” might do well in Florida to live out their naturally evolved instinct to gravitate toward men with resources (the better to feed hungry infants in our anthropological past.) But it’s bad news for high wage earning women, who tend to have higher divorce rates when they marry men with fewer resources.
These, and other sociological realities of human mating are woven into a new kind of show coming to Miami, headlined by America’s Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh (CNN, The Doctors, KFI Radio.) Love Lab LIVE Miami comes to Tantalize Miami in South Beach on October. 29th. And the show doesn’t stop with data. Live social experiments involving smell, vocal tone, and yes, touch, reveal the science and sometimes shocking reality of our animal mating strategies.
“Married couples are usually the most astounded by our show,” says Walsh, “Because they are the true survivors of the fittest in the increasing competition for mates. And one lucky couple can win our Long Lasting Love Test, that looks at age of marriage, length of courtship, even career choices, proving that the data is usually right.”
The news in Florida about marriage rates is a bit deceiving.?The Census figures show that, compared to a decade ago, ?fewer Floridians have tied the knot, having decreased from 54% in ?2005 to a mere 46% in 2014.?But that doesn’t mean?marriage is out of vogue. True that there are more single adults in American today that in any other period in history. But that may be because there are simply more of us and our ages are different.
Look at this chart to see that the decline in both marriages and divorces during the 1960’s through 1970’s. Simply put, those were the years baby boomers were busy growing up, not running to the alter. It makes perfect sense that during those years the per capita marriage rate declined. Rest assured, marriage rates went back up to pre World War II levels, after boomers grew up.
The fact that marriage is alive and well in Florida is evidenced by the success of Cupid Dates, a Miami based special events agency that creates dream dates for married couples. Cupid Dates is a promotional sponsor of Love Lab Live.
Long before I was a media psychologist, back when I took my very first class in psychology, I remember thinking “They shouldn’t keep this information a secret for therapists to dole out at $150 an hour — a 50-minute hour, at that! Everyone should know this stuff!”
And that’s been my mission. To take the best academic information about relationships, and share it with the world using language everyone can understand. No psychobabble. No jargon. No woo-woo nonsense. Just simple strategies in plain words that help you have rockin’ intimate relationships.
And now my ultimate dream has come true. I’ve partnered with PopExpert.com and compiled my greatest hits of relationship wisdom with my practice of mindfulness to create an online workshop like no other.
Let me help you get the love you deserve with my brand new 10 lesson workshop, 10 Secrets of Mindful Relationships with Dr. Wendy Walsh . Whether you’re having trouble finding a long term relationship or your current relationship needs some TLC, you’ll learn how to implement mindfulness strategies to bring greater love into your life.
Each day you’ll receive a daily guided mediation and access to a video with my lesson along with an article highlighting the key points from the day’s lesson with an introspective challenge for you to put the material into action! You can chat with other participants about your questions and favorite parts of the 10 Steps to Mindful Love workshop to have support along the way.
To celebrate the launch of this powerful and life transforming workshop, I’m extending an exclusive offer to my loyal friends and followers. Get the entire program for 50% off. My course normally sells for $149, but with this exclusive offer you will get it for only $74.50!
Finally, see the entire game board. Win the game of love! Click on image for special offer.
Have you been blindsided by a divorce? If so, you are not alone. According to divorce attorneys, women are more likely to initiate divorce than men. Plenty of men are happy to stay in good enough relationships because, frankly, they don’t believe their emotional needs are important to survival. But not women. Women put more emotional demands on men than ever before.
So what do you do? If you’re like most men who have been blinded by divorce, your first instinct is to tell yourself, “I’ve got to find a way to stop my divorce. I need to save my marriage.” This is an especially good idea if there are kids in your nest. But if you’re like most men, you’re probably going about it in the wrong way.
I’ll bet the first things you are trying, are all the things that worked in the past. The things that worked when you courted her originally. You’re showering her with affection and gifts to remind her how valuable she is to you. You tell her you love her. You take her on date nights. Or, you give her all the freedom she desires — more girls nights out, yoga retreats to go “find herself” or even a housekeeper so she doesn’t feel so burdened. When that doesn’t work, you try to give her the emotional attention she says she’s craving. You spend a ton of time in couples therapy while she hashes out all the reasons she wants to leave and you tell her what a great wife she is, and then you pay the therapy bills. While all this makes sense from a logical point of view, the truth is, SHE KNOWS HOW VALUABLE SHE IS. That’s why she is ready to head to the mating market.
Showering her with affection and love may have worked when you were initially courting your wife, but now it underscores her suspicion that she is a valuable partner asset — to someone else! I think you see where I am going with this. Being the nice guy just doesn’t work.
But there’s another problem here. Being the bad guy is even less effective. Changing the locks, blocking bank accounts, or giving her your rages or the silent treatment, only serve to remind her why she wants to leave the relationship. It’s way easier to leave an angry man than a groveling man. That’s why, if your goal is “stop my divorce,” there’s an even better man who must emerge. The strong backbone guy.
Think of a spine. It is flexible but firm. It supports the entire body and controls everything through a balancing act that never bends too far. Growing a back bone in an impending divorce means you must do three things:
1. Raise your own self esteem. Go to the gym. Flirt with women (don’t let your wife know about this harmless flirting or she will perceive you as the bad guy.) If you have kids, win the best Dad award in their eyes. Discover that you are a valuable man in the eyes of the world, your children, and most importantly, your own eyes.
2. Agree with her. She’s not expecting this. She wants you to grovel or be mean. When you do neither, and you calmly make plans to go on with your life, she may second guess her decision.
3. See a therapist — alone. You need to get in touch with your feelings. And if you’ve been sleeping with the enemy, she’s not the person to bleed on. Tell her you’re going to therapy. That you need some support in processing all that’s happening. She’ll beg you to go to couples therapy because she doesn’t want to feel excluded. In fact, if your therapist is a woman, she might even feel a little jealous. These feelings will confuse her, but let her sit with them.
4. Stare into her eyes and use platonic touch – I know you think that sex will cure everything. If you could just get her into bed, she’ll melt and forget about all her crazy ideas of breaking up. But sadly, there’s a pretty good chance she’s already having rocking sex with someone else and exposure to old pheromones will generally not stir her juices. And when women have an affair, they have a 79% chance of falling in love with their paramour. This is a battle for love not sex. That’s where eye contact is important. In a lab, strangers have been known to fall in love simply by staring into each others eyes for four minutes straight. The eyes are the window to the soul. So, while you are having all the calm conversations about the break up, use plenty of eye contact and touch only in a protective, brotherly way. If she sexually comes on to you, tell her you do desire her but feel it’s not the right time. The world’s biggest aphrodisiac is the word no.
Will all this work to stop your divorce? It depends, of course, on the degree of marital discord, if there is substance abuse involved, if she has already made a commitment to someone else. But I’ll tell you this, FOR SURE, playing the nice guy or flipping out like a bad guy will only seal the deal.
DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.
WATCH ME ON CNN TALKING TO DON LEMON ABOUT HOW DIVORCE IS CONTEGIOUS.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50” CLICK HERE