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The Ultimate Guide to Relationship News and Advice

Staying up-to-date with the latest relationship research, expert perspectives, and real-world stories can provide invaluable insights into building stronger, healthier bonds with your significant other. From understanding modern dating trends to learning science-backed techniques for improving communication and intimacy, relationship news and advice empowers you to navigate the complex world of partnerships with greater awareness and skill.

This comprehensive guide explores the most important relationship topics making headlines, posing thoughtful questions, and offering actionable tips for singles and couples alike. Read on to boost your relationship IQ to new heights!



  • Key Relationship Advice From 2022’s Top Studies
  • Navigating Modern Dating’s Biggest Obstacles
  • Effective Communication Strategies for Every Couple
  • Maintaining Intimacy and Connection in Long-Term Relationships
  • Overcoming Hardship and Healing From Conflict
  • 2023’s Biggest Relationship Trends and Predictions
  • FAQs About Relationship News and Advice
  • Top 10 Relationship Podcasts, Newsletters, and Instagram Accounts to Follow

Key Relationship Advice From 2022’s Top Studies

Major national surveys and university studies uncovered revealing insights into American relationships last year. Here are 5 key learnings couples should know:

1. Skip Boring Small Talk

Stanford researchers found couples who avoid surface-level chit chat and discuss deeper values and priorities early on have better long-term relationship success. Go beyond “What do you do for work?” and dive into meaningful dialogue about your worldviews.

2. Institute Tech Bans

A Brigham Young University study discovered couples who use devices heavily around their partner report heightened marital woes. Set boundaries around tech and make dedicated no-phone time each day.

3. Split Chores Equitably

Couples reporting the highest relationship satisfaction evenly split shared duties like housework, cooking, and childcare, according to a 2022 American Family Survey. Assess tasks frequently and adjust to restore equity if needed.

4. Prioritize Sexual Intimacy

30% of couples in committed relationships are sexually inactive, per University of Chicago research. Make physical intimacy through sex, touch, or affection consistently, especially during stressful times.

5. Cultivate Shared Meaning

Partners describing their relationship as meaningful were over 3 times more likely to report high relationship quality according to a North Carolina State University study. Foster a sense of purpose in your partnership through shared goals, rituals, and values.

Study FindingRelationship TakeawayWays to Apply
Discussing values early on predicts long-term successSkip small talk and connect deeply from the startAsk big questions on first dates about worldviews, priorities, dealbreakers
Device overuse worsens relationship qualitySet tech boundaries as a coupleInstitute phone-free dinner times, no-screen zones, and daily bonding breaks
Equitably splitting duties boosts satisfactionFrequently reassess chore balanceMake chore charts tracking contributions, trade off tasks
30% of couples are sexually inactivePrioritize intimacy during high-stress periodsSchedule sex dates, give massages, sext when apart
Cultivating meaning predicts higher quality relationshipsDevelop shared purpose via goals, rituals, valuesVolunteer together, start meaningful traditions, discuss core beliefs often

Navigating Modern Dating’s Biggest Obstacles

Today’s dating landscape looks starkly different compared to decades past thanks to influencers like dating apps, delayed marriage timelines, more open ideas about love, and increased awareness surrounding concepts like conscious coupling.

Singles today face new obstacles finding fulfilling relationships, while established couples navigate evolving dynamics. Here are 4 top hurdles, along with tactics for overcoming them:

1. Choice Paralysis in Online Dating

With thousands of potential matches at your fingertips thanks to apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, choice paralysis is real. One Columbia study found reviewing just 3 online profiles reduces a person’s likelihood of selecting a compatible partner by 17%.

Overcome it: Give fewer profiles deeper consideration. Limit daily swiping and take profiles slowly, assessing core values alignment beyond superficial traits.

2. Fear of Vulnerability

Research from the University of Auckland shows both men and women hesitate expressing romantic interest in real life due to feared rejection. Unfortunately, emotional walls leave partners feeling insecure.

Overcome it: Lean into potential discomfort. Share your authentic feelings and give partners opportunities to reciprocate emotional availability.

3. Delaying Commitment

The median first marriage age is now over 30 years old, with more couples dating longer before “defining the relationship.” Without the security of commitment, some experience relationship anxiety.

Overcome it: Discuss mutual intentions openly, calmly, and non-judgmentally. See if you align on timelines for establishing exclusivity, moving in together, future plans, etc.

4. Differences in Sex Drives

Couples today face fewer stigmas around women owning sexuality, yet clashes in sex drives persist. Mismatches often leave partners feeling disconnected, insecure, or resentful.

Overcome it: Discuss creative solutions respecting both party’s needs like intimacy schedules, open relationships, or sex therapy.

Modern Dating ObstacleHow to Overcome ItExample Tactics
Choice paralysis in online datingGive fewer profiles deeper considerationLimit daily right swipes to 10, take personality assessments slowly
Fear of vulnerabilityLean into potential discomfortVerbally share affections first, reciprocate when your partner does
Delaying commitmentOpenly discuss mutual intentions and timelinesCheck if aligned on future plans every few months
Differences in sex drivesBrainstorm creative solutions respecting both partiesSchedule intimacy weekly, explore open relationships, try sex therapy

Effective Communication Strategies for Every Couple

The cliche stands true – clear, thoughtful communication remains the cornerstone of every healthy relationship. Partners who cultivate self-awareness, actively listen without judgement, and share openly, honestly and calmly enjoy happier and longer-lasting bonds free of built-up resentment according to John Gottman’s famous 40+ years of couples research.

Here are 5 powerful communication strategies every couple should implement:

1. Schedule Weekly Relationship Meetings

Life moves fast, making it alarmingly easy for partners to coast disconnected on autopilot for extended periods. Combat this tendency by dedicating 20-60 minutes for a weekly meeting checking in on the relationship. Establish this habit early, discussing issues before they escalate, and providing regular space to align on plans and share affections. Come prepared with talking points and take turns being heard.

2. Seek First to Understand

Before replying or problem-solving, focus completely on comprehending your partner’s perspective when communicating. Eliminate distractions, ask thoughtful follow-up questions about feelings, avoid interrupting, and summarize back what you heard. These tactics demonstrate caring, validation and prevent misunderstandings according to positive psychology research.

3. Use Speaker/Listener Technique

Also called speaker/listener or sender/receiver technique, this structured approach assigns clear communication roles. The speaker shares openly without interruption while the listener digests without judgement. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes per turn. This tactic helps ensure both parties feel fully heard before problem solving.

4. Avoid Criticism, Contempt & Defensiveness

John Gottman identified criticism, contempt and defensiveness as 3 of the 4 most damaging communication styles for relationships. Criticizing personality rather than behavior introduces shame, while contempt conveys disgust and defensiveness halts productive dialogue. Learn to use I-statements, validate partner’s perspectives, and take ownership of one’s own role in issues.

5. Master Stress Reducing Conversations

During tense conflicts, our heart rates accelerate while stress-induced chemicals flood our neural pathways, hijacking logic and reasoning. Institute regular stress reducing conversations, designated times where partners lovingly guide one another back to physiological calm using tactics like hugging, deep breathing and positive reminiscing until heart rates stabilize. This biological reset enables thinking to resume so issues can actually get resolved.

Communication StrategyHow It HelpsExample Tactics
Weekly relationship meetingsDedicated space to connect before issues escalatePrepare talking points in advance, listen actively without distractions
Seek first to understandDemonstrate caring, prevent misunderstandingsEliminate distractions, ask thoughtful follow-up questions, paraphrase back
Speaker/listener techniqueStructured communication fosters feeling heardSet a 5-10 minute timer for sharing without interruption per person
Avoid criticism, contempt and defensivenessHalts escalation by owning one’s role respectfullyUse I-statements, validate partner’s perspective before problem solving
Stress reducing conversationsCalms physiology to enable thinking and resolutionHug, breathe deeply, guide each other lovingly back to calm before continuing conflict discussions

Maintaining Intimacy and Connection in Long-Term Relationships

The natural waning of passion between partners represents an age-old concern for couples as initial infatuation fades over time with the pressures of daily life mounting – a phenomenon relationship researcher’s call “habituation.”

However, modern science confirms relationships absolutely can avoid descending into robotic utility or drifting apart into “business partner” arrangements seen frequently among previous generations. In fact, partners intentionally countering habituation report ever-deepening intimacy as the years accrue according to longitudinal studies by leading marriage experts.

Follow These 5 Research-Backed Steps:

1. Keep Courting One Another Playfully

Flirt, tease and surprise your partner well into old age. Leave cheeky love notes, dance in the kitchen, and try new adventures together resisting the pull of same-old routines. Studies reveal ongoing playfulness and courtship behaviors counter natural diminishing passion between partners over time.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Partners consistently having meaningful dialogue report greater connection and life satisfaction. Ask open-ended questions that welcome deeper sharing like, “What was impactful for you today?” or “How did that situation make your feel?” Reflect back what you heard to demonstrate engaged listening. Open communication builds emotional intimacy.

3. Institute Appreciation Rituals

Giving and receiving genuine gratitude represents a powerful intimacy tool available to every couple according to the Gottman Institute. Make gratitude part of your relationship’s fabric through tactics like writing weekly appreciation notes recalling meaningful moments or thoughtful acts, appreciating character strengths in one another often verbally or through touch, and sharing a favorite high point from the day before bed each night.

4. Prioritize Sexual & Physical Affection

While passion inevitably evolves in LTRs, research confirms couples intentionally making physical intimacy through sex, kissing, thoughtful touch and affection consistently remain most fulfilled long-term. Institute daily 20-second hugs, kiss for 6-seconds when parting, snuggle in bed, give massages, and relish oxytocin-boosting intercourse to nurture closeness.

5. Regularly Shake Up Routines

Humans adapt quickly making exciting changes lose luster over time, a phenomenon psychologists call hedonic adaptation. But researchers find couples breaking routines – trying new restaurants, taking mini-adventures, vacationing in fresh locations, varying sexual positions, etc. – report higher relationship satisfaction sustaining excitation. Routines have benefits but fall into complacency too much and intimacy suffers. Balance novel inputs.

TacticRelationship Research InsightHabit Examples
Keep courting playfullyPlayfulness counters waning passion over timeLeave cheeky notes, dance together, adventure
Ask open-ended questionsDialogue builds emotional intimacy“How do you feel about _ ?” “What was meaningful today?”
Institute appreciation ritualsGratitude rituals nurture positive perceptionWrite weekly appreciation notes, appreciate character strengths
Prioritize physical affectionConsistent physical intimacy maintains bondsHug 20 seconds daily, kiss 6 seconds when parting, schedule sex dates
Shake up routinesVarying inputs counters hedonic adaptationTake mini adventures, try new restaurants, new sex positions

Overcoming Hardship and Healing From Conflict

Every couple experiences periods of hardship whether working through painful differences as conflict inevitably arises or supporting each other through external crisis like grief, health issues, family upheavals, job loss or other serious life challenges.

How partners stand together during difficult chapters often defines the relationship, representing either make or break junctures or opportunities to radically deepen bonds.

The tactics below help frame turmoil in ways that pull you through united.

1. Adopt a “Side-by-Side” Mindset

Psychologists say viewing adversity through a “side-by-side” rather than “I-It” lens is key. A side-by-side frame identifies it as our shared problem to solve together while I-It frames position the issue as yours, mine or theirs. Side-by-side unites while I-it divides. Verbally reiterate “This is hard – let’s figure out what to do together” during conflicts.

2. Institute Regular Emotional Check-Ins

During intensive challenges singly or as a couple, carve out 10 minutes twice weekly to simply listen and validate how your partner feels. Eliminate distractions and criticism. Express things like “That sounds really difficult” “I can’t imagine how frustrating this is for you” “I’m here for you.” Emotional validation relieves enough pressure to prevent feeling overwhelmed.

3. Identify & Limit Triggers

Determine situations, contexts or communication styles triggering unhelpful knee-jerk reactions or instinctive defenses between partners like shouting, stonewalling or lashing out. Heart rates accelerating act as a trigger warning. Have signals to call a 20 minute empathy break or implement emotional check-in ground rules – “no criticism” etc. Manage triggers thoughtfully.

4. Commit to Positive Sentiment Override

Gottman’s research shows successful couples cultivate five positive interactions for every negative one, no matter what they face. They commit to emotionally tune into positive feelings and intentionally override negative impulses by expressing gratitude, compliments, humor or affection regularly especially during turmoil. What positive exchange can you gift your partner right now?

5. Seek Outside Support

Pride sometimes deters struggling couples from utilizing valuable outside resources like couple’s counseling or therapy. But research confirms even the healthiest partnerships benefit working with professionals during periods of crisis or rupture. Therapists help de-escalate and form repair plans while counselors teach research-backed communication tactics targeted to your conflicts. Support is out there.

TacticRelationship Research InsightReal-Life Examples
Adopt a “side-by-side” mindsetShared framing unites during adversityVerbally reiterate often: “This is hard – let’s figure out what to do together” during conflicts
Institute regular emotional check-insValidating feelings eases feeling overwhelmedCarve out 10 minutes twice a week for distraction-free listening and validation
Identify and limit triggersManage situations escalating reactionsHave visual signals to call 20 minute empathy breaks when triggered
Commit to positive sentiment overrideEmotionally override negatives with expressed positivesVerbally express gratitude, give compliments, inject humor during conflicts
Seek outside supportCounseling helps form repair plansSchedule couple’s therapy appointments even during minor rough patches


2023’s Biggest Relationship Trends and Predictions

Dating and relationship experts anticipate major shifts in romantic connections unfolding in 2023 based on escalating cultural trends already taking root. From purposeful dating to platonic partnerships, here are 5 top forecasts:

1. Rise of Relationship Coaches

Finally, the booming relationship coaching industry helps singles and partners alike level-up bonding abilities. Expect tactics from business coaching like accountability partners, metrics setting and specialized expertise translating across relationships. Could 2023 be the year you too work with a coach?

2023 Relationship TrendKey AspectsExample Manifestations
Dating with purposeAssessing alignment before meetingIntro calls on values, goals, dealbreakers
Normalizing platonic partnershipsBuilding life with friends sans sexCommunal housing, parenting agreements, end-of-life caregiving
Expanding relationship goalsPersonalized arrangements vs standard escalatorApart relationships, parenting partnerships, ethical non-monogamy
Conscious uncoupling goes mainstreamRespectful, enlightened breakupsThoughtful transitions valuing growth
Rise of relationship coachesLeveling-up abilities like businessAccountability partners, metrics, specialized expertise

2. Dating with Purpose

Singles select potential matches more intentionally, assessing alignment on core values, emotional intelligence, long-term goals and vision for healthy relationships before ever agreeing to that first meetup. “Dating with purpose” reduces bad-fit mismatches. Expect more intro calls before first dates.

3. Normalizing Platonic Life Partnerships

Opting to build a life with a dear friend sans sexual connection receives less stigma with more singles realizing not everyone desires romantic partnerships. Expect rising communal housing situations with “plutonic life partners” sharing homes, parenting duties, finances and end-of-life caregiving buoyed by frank legal agreements.

4. Relationship Goals Expand

The standard relationship escalator model – date, commit, move in, marry, reproduce – no longer resonates with all couples. More determine custom arrangements – living apart, parenting partnerships, ethical non-monogamy, co-creating businesses. Relationship “goals” become far more personalized.

5. Conscious Uncoupling Goes Mainstream

Celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow famously coined the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe her enlightened divorce from Coldplay’s Chris Martin. This mindset for ending romantic bonds respectfully, openly and without resentment leaks into public consciousness. Expect more thoughtful breakups.

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