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Love Affairs

Rebie and Kristine: On the radar

Kristine S. Calleja and Rebie P. Ramoso met in 2002 at Dome (a café) at The Podium for an eyeball meeting, having chatted online for several months. After becoming friends, then an item, they also became business partners as co-owners of Radar Pridewear.

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“I’d like to believe she did the wooing, and she’d like to believe I did the wooing,” Kristine S. Calleja says. “In reality, though, there wasn’t any (who did the wooing). We didn’t have to. We already liked each other, and the four years we were best friends made us realize it wasn’t enough for us to be just friends.”

In actuality, the two met in 2002 at Dome (a café) at The Podium for an eyeball meeting, having chatted online for several months.

“I was in a relationship, and Rebie was recovering from a breakup,” Kristine says – meaning, they couldn’t be together as a couple then, even if “we hit it off the first time we met, and we met up almost weekly afterwards.”

For Rebie Ramoso, Kristine was “intelligent yet mysterious. And (she) fell in love with my writing,” Kristine says, adding – with a wink: “I found her attractive in an intelligent and sexy way; plus she was an English teacher that time (a plus for a writer).”

The attraction was put on hold, though, since Kristine was still in a relationship, and Rebie, while single then, “was busy chasing other women,” Kristine says with a smile.

A noteworthy thing about Kristine and Reba’s eventual coming together is its being “by the book.” “We never really courted anyone, and, as sad as it may seem, we were never really courted by anyone. All our relationships stem from friendship or, as Rebie’s ex-partner would put it, ‘sweet surrender.’ Our falling for each other was by the book, so to speak,” Kristine says, adding that, “however, this doesn’t mean it wasn’t unique. It was, because we lived a quarter of our lives having the same circle of friends, and sharing the same interest in art, and going to the same places, and yet not meeting. It would take the invention of a certain social networking site for us to meet.”

WHY EACH OTHER

Kristine remembers how one of Rebie’s friends asked her, “Why Kristine?”

“Rebie replied she couldn’t imagine growing old with anyone else other than me. I felt the same way. When I finally, finally professed my love for her in 2006, I told her, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you,’” Kristine says.

Funny thing was, “unfortunately for me then, she understood my declaration as ‘friends forever,’” Kristine laughs. “It took my message two days to sink in. The rest, as they say, was history.”

Kristine adds: “There were times before our relationship (when) I tried walking out of our friendship because we were getting too close for comfort. However, I knew I’d feel that there would be a lack in my life if she weren’t there, and that distressed me because I was in another relationship. I felt what Jeanette Winterson wrote in Written on the Body: ‘This hole in my heart is in the shape of you. None one else can fill it, why would I want them to?’ I’m glad I didn’t walk out because it led us into a relationship with each other. She, on the other hand, says that she knew I was the one for her because every time she would think of the future she would want to see me there.”

Kristine and Rebie’s partnership is now all-encompassing, as the couple runs a creative boutique called Tham & Manuelle, runs an LGBT apparel boutique called Radar Pridewear, offers writing and designing services, develops online and print marketing platforms, and holds the Zero Gravity streetdance theatre workshop (which culminates in a dance play – the latest was a streetdance adaptation of West Side Story, and a dance drama retrospective on the life of a Filipina hero is in preparation).

FACING CHALLENGES

Things weren’t always as rosy, though.

“In the beginning of our relationship, before we decided to put up a business together, we kept our finances separate. I couldn’t comment on how she spent her money, even if I wanted to tell her to stop buying clothes every time she would wait for me at the mall after office, and to stop buying a new phone every six months. Neither could she comment on how I spend my money, even if she wanted to tell me to choose a less expensive cheese or coffee or to forgo butter for margarine, and to dine out less frequently,” Kristine says. “We knew we had to talk about money; we just didn’t know when.”

Money talks “came sooner than we expected when we decided to put up a business. We had to talk about money because we needed to pull our resources together.” In fact, “one of our reasons for doing so was to bring down personal expenses that could eat into our investment. That was when we decided to live together, forgo our old lifestyles, and put ourselves on allowance. I now even need to sign a voucher before I could get money, just so I could have coffee with my friends,” Kristine says.

That was but one of the challenges they faced as a couple.

“Kidding aside, we do have a deep love and respect and admiration for each other. I respect the fact that she has a male crush on Adam Lambert and she respects that I have a male crush on Barack Obama,” says Kristine S. Calleja.

“When we started living together, we discovered a lot about each other. We are both OC, but not about the same things. Rebie is so strict about time that I have learned to make an appointment with her if I want her company. And she is such a workaholic. She lugs her laptop everywhere, except to Mass, that I have learned to live with her laptop turned on most of the time. My OC-ness, on the other hand, is about order. I like everything neat and clean. Rebie has learned to squeeze the toothpaste tube at the bottom, and put used clothes and towel in the hamper, and not leave food on her plate or coffee on her mug. I also prefer to work alone in a room. Rebie has learned not to enter the room when I’m writing,” Kristine says.

As in any relationships that work, though, “over time, we have learned to manage our differences and have made adjustments to accommodate each other’s idiosyncrasies.”

Both Kristine and Rebie agree that “it is important for the adjustments to be made by both parties. To her credit, Rebie appreciates spur-of-the-moment moments; and to my credit, I let Rebie wrinkle the well made sofa bed, and let her eat snacks in the room and in the office,” Kristine smiles.

NATURALLY NURTURING

“Rebie says we are both KSPs, so we’re naturally nurturing toward each other,” Kristine says with a laugh. Then, turning serious: “Kidding aside, we do have a deep love and respect and admiration for each other. I respect the fact that she has a male crush on Adam Lambert and she respects that I have a male crush on Barack Obama.”

It helps, too, that “we complement each other. Our skills match: I write and she designs, and we share the same aesthetics, so we could always team up for a creative project. Our working styles match as well: I do things in bursts of energy, which she claims makes me better suited than her in handling crises; she, on the other hand, does things in a uniform pace, which makes her better suited than me in managing day-to-day operations.”

Both Kristine and Rebie believe that “a relationship is never perfect, but is always a work in progress. It is important for couples to allow themselves to grow together and to change through their own process, in their own pace.” In fact, “Rebie says, in time, I have learned to watch with her American Idol; and she has learned to stay awake when we watch Nat Geo, CNN or BBC,” Kristine says.

With their families supportive of their relationship (“Our families and friends are happy for us – Rebie’s family knew that eventually we would end up together, while Rebie’s friends were relieved that we did since she would often confide in them about her frustrations with me; and my family and friends were glad I am in a more stable relationship after being in several short-lived ones,” Kristine says), the couple is already looking at finding a place to call home – even while “we also want to travel again, so we’re growing the business to the point that it no longer needs us; give back to our families (I’d like to help my aging parents raise my two younger siblings, and Rebie would like to keep her promise to her mother and help raise her nieces and nephews, especially her godsons); and support the arts more, since we believe the arts provide an opportunity for people to view things from various perspectives,” Kristine says.

Lofty goals that reverberate not just for the couple.

Thankfully, Kristine and Rebie are now on the radar.

Love Affairs

Can colors influence relationships? Check the colors supposedly good for love

Couples with green bedrooms are the happiest in their marriage (89%), followed by beige (84%) and red (77%). Alternatively, couples with purple (31%), brown (33%) and white (38%) colored bedroom walls are the unhappiest in their marriages.

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Photo by Hà Nguyễn from Unsplash.com

When it comes to decorating our homes, little thought often goes into how our choices will impact our wellbeing versus how it will look (and cost). But studies have found that the color of your bedroom walls can affect how well you work from home, as well as your sexual activities. 

Exactly because it was interested in looking at the latter (i.e. how color choices affect sex life), PriceYourJob.co.uk devised a study to see if a bedroom wall color impacts a marriage. For this, 4,390 couples were surveyed. They were asked: about the current wall color of their bedrooms; and then their answers were analyzed to ascertain how happy they are in their marriages. 

CHOOSING WELL

As a side note: The bedroom is where most arguments stem from for couples (51%), followed by the kitchen (22%), bathroom (16%), living room (8%) and garden (3%).

To help those who find the bedroom to be the hub of their issues, if a happy marriage is what you are after, paint your bedroom green. According to the findings of PriceYourJob.co.uk, 89% of people with a green bedroom are happy in their marriage. The color green is said to create a sense of comfort as we’re constantly surrounded by it. It can represent growth, fertility, safety and endurance which could contribute to why so many couples with green rooms are happiest. 

Those with beige-colored bedrooms were found to be the second happiest in their marriage (84%). Beige is often associated with being dependable, calming and warm, so it’s no wonder this is reflected in people’s marriages. 

Sultry, romantic and considered the color of love in many cultures, red takes third place. 77% of couples with this color bedroom are content in their marriage. 

Blue, grey and yellow follow next on the list as 70%, 64% and 62% of couples with these paint colors in their bedroom report being happy in their marriage. 

Completing the list of top 10 bedroom colors that lead to happier marriages are:

7. Indigo – 57% of couples are happy in their marriage 
8. Black – 51% of couples are happy in their marriage
9. Maroon – 48% of couples are happy in their marriage
10. Silver – 45% of couples are happy in their marriage

AVOID…

On the other end of the spectrum, PriceYourJob.co.uk discovered that certain bedroom colors can be found more commonly among couples that aren’t happy in their marriages. 

Couples with a purple bedroom were found to be the least happy in their relationship with only 31% claiming so. Purple often creates a mood of mystery and can call to mind feelings of indifference or sadness. 

Brown was the second most common color among unhappy marriages (33%), and white third (38%). Brown is said to be a heavy color that can suppress your emotions and therefore be a significant factor to a couple’s unhappiness without them realizing it, as communication is key to marriage. White can also be attached to the feeling of isolation, coldness and starkness which couples are inviting into their environment.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Unsplash.com

According to environmental psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers: “We don’t often consider how different colors can impact our emotions when looking for a shade for our bedroom. Research has shown that spending time surrounded by certain colors can affect our emotions, mood and behaviors Especially in the home, this can have an effect on how we feel on a daily basis.”

For Chambers, bedrooms should be a place of relaxation, serenity and peace, where we rest and recuperate, and occasionally show our passions. “Warm, bold colors, like red are great for getting us alert and stimulated in the morning and are certain to bring out our feisty side. Cooler pastel shades such as blues and greens convey a sense of peace and nature, and they tend to calm us down and make us feel safer and assured, promoting a restful state. White is clean and clinical, but without a significant splash of color can feel cold and uninviting, while too much black can induce a feeling of sadness.”

Chambers recommends introducing a color that has both warmer and cooler elements, “and don’t forget to be mindful of each other’s color preferences, as we also attach our own meaning to colors and your bedroom color should feel like an expression of anyone who relaxes there and be a place of safety

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Love Affairs

Dating apps don’t destroy love

Contrary to earlier concerns, a UNIGE study has shown that people who met their partners on dating applications have often stronger long-term relationship goals, and that these new ways of meeting people encourage socio-educational and geographical mixing.

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Photo by Neil Soni from Unsplash.com

As dating apps escalated in popularity, so has criticism about them encouraging casual dating only, threatening the existence of long-term commitment, and possibly damaging the quality of intimacy. There is no scientific evidence, however, to validate these claims.

Now a study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland – and which was published in the journal PLOS ONE – indicates that app-formed couples have stronger cohabitation intentions than couples who meet in a non-digital environment.

What is more, women who found their partner through a dating app have stronger desires and intentions to have children than those who found their partner offline. Despite fears concerning a deterioration in the quality of relationships, partners who met on dating apps express the same level of satisfaction about their relationship as others.

Last but not least, the study shows that these apps play an important role in modifying the composition of couples by allowing for more educationally diverse and geographically distant couples.

“The Internet is profoundly transforming the dynamics of how people meet,” confirms Gina Potarca, a researcher at the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics in UNIGE’s Faculty of Social Sciences. “It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”

These new dating technologies include the smartphone apps like Tinder or Grindr, where users select partners by browsing and swiping on pictures. These apps, however, have raised fears: “Large parts of the media claim they have a negative impact on the quality of relationships since they render people incapable of investing in an exclusive or long-term relationship. Up to now, though, there has been no evidence to prove this is the case,” continues Dr. Potarca.

Facilitated encounters

The Geneva-based researcher decided to investigate couples’ intentions to start a family, their relationship satisfaction and individual well-being, as well as to assess couple composition. Dr. Potarca used a 2018 family survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. The analysis presented in this study looks at a sub-sample of 3,235 people over the age of 18 who were in a relationship and who had met their partner in the last decade.

Dr. Potarca found that dating websites – the digital tools for meeting partners that preceded apps – mainly attracted people over the age of 40 and / or divorcees who are looking for romance.

“By eliminating lengthy questionnaires, self-descriptions, and personality tests that users of dating websites typically need to fill in to create a profile, dating apps are much easier to use. This normalized the act of dating online, and opened up use among younger categories of the population.”

Searching for a lasting relationship

Dr. Potarca sought to find out whether couples who met on dating apps had different intentions to form a family. The results show that couples that formed after meeting on an app were more motivated by the idea of cohabiting than others.

“The study doesn’t say whether their final intention was to live together for the long- or short-term, but given that there’s no difference in the intention to marry, and that marriage is still a central institution in Switzerland, some of these couples likely see cohabitation as a trial period prior to marriage. It’s a pragmatic approach in a country where the divorce rate is consistently around 40%.”

In addition, women in couples that formed through dating apps mentioned wanting and planning to have a child in the near future, more so than with any other way of meeting.

But what do couples who met in this way think about the quality of their relationship? The study shows that, regardless of meeting context, couples are equally satisfied with their lives and the quality of their relationship.

Couples with a diverse socio-educational profile

The study highlights a final aspect. Dating apps encourage a mixing of different levels of education, especially between high-educated women and lower educated men. Partners having more diversified socio-educational profiles “may have to do with selection methods that focus mainly on the visual,” says the researcher. Since users can easily connect with partners in their immediate region (but also in other spaces as they move around), the apps make it easier to meet people more than 30 minutes away – leading to an increase in long-distance relationships.

“Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year’s periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools,” concludes Dr. Potarca.

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Love Affairs

Making an impression using pick-up lines

92% of people agreed that the wrong pick-up line can be enough to put them off someone and swipe left. This means there is a need to know what kinds actually work.

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Photo by Thiago Barletta from Unsplash.com

Due to nationwide lockdowns, more singletons than ever have turned to dating apps to seek a partner, often resorting to dodgy pick-up lines and dreadful jokes in the hopes of scoring themselves a date.

But which one gives you the best chance of receiving a swipe right? 

ManySpins.com did a research on this.

In the hopes of digging deeper and finding out why some pick-up lines are more effective than others, Manyspins.com surveyed 4,320 users to uncover their views.

To start, when asked ‘Do you like pick-up lines?’, 86% of participants said that they do and only 14% disagreed.  This goes to show that your dating success is down to your choice of pick-up line.

Now, 92% of participants agreed that the wrong pick-up line can be enough to put them off someone and swipe left. This means there is a need to know what kinds actually work.

What kinds of pick-up lines are the surveyed users most likely to swipe right on? Consider the following response:

  1. Cheesy/corny (77%)
  2. Romantic (71%)
  3. Funny (62%)
  4. Straightforward (56%)
  5. Dirty (34%)

Taking a range of pickup lines that fit into these different categories, Manyspins.com then took to Tinder to see which is most likely to get a response.

As stated, if you’re looking for a new pick-up line for your dating app bio, Manyspins.com found that old cheesy classics work best. The pickup line that receives the most matches is “I’d say God bless you, but it looks like he already did maintaining an impressive response rate of 80.4%.

With more people taking their search for love more seriously, using the classic “I think I’ve seen you before. You look a lot like my next boyfriend/girlfriendappears to work a treat as this pick-up line leads to a respectable 79.4% success rate. 

It seems that pick-up lines hinting of a potential future, are a hit when it comes to securing those right swipes, the profiles that used the pickup lines “So, when our friends ask how we met, what are we going to tell them?” and “You don’t know how many swipes it took to finally find you” had a 77% and 70.6% success rate, respectively. 

Not all pick-up lines work, obviously.

It’s clear to see that pick-up lines hinting towards sex are off-putting. The pickup line most likely to hinder success is “Let’s have a who’s better in bed contest. I’m hoping to be a sore loser”. With a success rate of just 20.6%, it may be too early to speak about the bedroom.

The pick-up line “If you were a booger, I’d pick you first” is another you may want to avoid. According to Manyspins.com’s findings, it had a beatable success rate of 32.8%. This could be due to the idea of being compared to a booger or the picture it paints of a lack of hygiene, but we’ll leave that up to those using it to find out. 

Another popular pick-up line that didn’t bode well with users was “Your parents will love me, but your neighbors won’t”. With a success rate of 34.2% it’s clear to see that once again laying it on thick may not be the way to go. 

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Love Affairs

Who does the dishes apparently matters in relationships

Keeping the house in order is hard work, especially if you’re a full-time worker. It therefore comes as no surprise that some relatively simple household chores can cause a lot of tension in relationships.

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.com

Keeping the house in order is hard work, especially if you’re a full-time worker. It therefore comes as no surprise that some relatively simple household chores can cause a lot of tension in relationships.

With this in mind, ShowersToYou.co.uk wanted to find out which chores sparked the highest amount of tension within a relationship. To achieve this, the site surveyed 2,459 couples to find the answer, discovering that the chores that cause the most rifts are… pretty dirty (pun intended).

Here’s a list of the most commonly fought over chores within households:

Doing the dishes is the chore most likely to cause arguments, with 57% of couples reportedly getting into a spat over it.

Taking out the rubbish and cleaning the kitchen came second and third, at 46% and 42% respectively.

Dusting is the chore most likely to cause the least amount of arguments, with only 9%, suggesting a lot of couples are fine with sweeping this one under the rug.

Interestingly, among the espondents who are no longer in relationships, 15% revealed that quarreling over household chores was a direct contributor to the breakdown of their relationship.

Other findings include:

  • 40% of respondents disclosed that a lack of appraisal or acknowledgement for doing chores was a large factor in the sparking of arguments.
  • 90% of couples will spend up to one hour arguing with their significant other over chores, with 45% of these arguments incited by a feeling of the chore not having been completed properly.
  • 30% of couples argued about the timingsof the chore, showing that keeping to a schedule was a high priority. Only 15% argued over who was doing what chore, and the remaining 10% argued over entirely different things, with one respondent claiming that they “didn’t like doing it” – which isn’t surprising.
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Love Guides

Importance of a pre-nup for high net worth individuals

To reduce any ambiguity and the risk of someone secretly ‘marrying for money,’ a prenuptial agreement puts down on record what was agreed to before the marriage. This establishes the thinking at the time of the marriage, which is useful in and of itself.

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For people who are just beginning their business journey but have already gained millionaire status, with the prospect of growing wealthier over time, there’s a need to protect themselves. Marriage being a legally binding contract, it opens up the potential for a loss of business control in a contentious and poorly managed divorce proceeding and subsequent settlement. 

To reduce any ambiguity and the risk of someone secretly ‘marrying for money,’ a prenuptial agreement puts down on record what was agreed to before the marriage. This establishes the thinking at the time of the marriage, which is useful in and of itself. 

Why are pre-nups vital for wealthy people?

Where Does the Money Originate?

Some men and women are independently wealthy before they marry. They may have inherited money from family or built a successful business early in life. Either way, they probably want to protect their money in the event the marriage breaks down in later years. 

Divorce Proceedings? Let the Mud Slinging Begin

Divorce proceedings tend to bring out the worst in people. Dividing the assets is not romantic and when there is bad feeling on both sides, it can soon get ugly. Previously friendly communications can quickly degenerate into false accusations as a negotiating tactic to force a higher settlement.

A negotiated prenuptial agreement for high-net-worth individuals should be a priority. Whether as a businesswoman or a businessman, it’s important to preserve the business interests by avoiding a necessary breakup of the corporation. Also, it’s preferable to have any children become the eventual beneficiaries rather than someone leaving the matrimonial union. This is often best achieved by limiting the financial exposure of a potential divorce through a negotiated prenuptial agreement. 

The Validity of a Negotiated Pre-Nup

As a will gladly tell you, it’s become increasingly common for people to attempt to get out of a pre-nup they signed. The most common reason cited is that they were “coerced into signing it” in an attempt to invalidate it. The situation occurs far less often when the person bootstrapped a business or was self-made. In which case, there’s far less of a wealth disparity between the divorcing couple. Yet when marriage was the main wealth creator for one of the parties, their divorce can become extremely difficult to resolve. 

A good resource to find a lawyer is using a directory like lawyers.findlaw.com. However, if you are looking for Lawyer in Salt Lake City, you might want to consider Hepworth & Associates Law Firm as they have considerable experience drafting legally binding prenuptial agreements. It makes it likelier that any pre-nup will be litigation-proof and far less likely that spurious claims used as a negotiation tactic will be taken seriously. 

For anyone who is already wealthy or even expects that they might become so, it’s worth getting a pre-nup before walking down the aisle. Otherwise, they’re literally putting it all on the line with a contract that has a 50/50 success rate, at best. If that were an investment, they’d surely pass. Yet marriage is a special case, so special protections are required to do it right. 

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Love Affairs

What makes a happy couple, a happy family?

Being mindful and emotionally flexible in tough and challenging situations not only improves the lives of individuals, it might also strengthen and enrich their close relationships.

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Photo by Maico Pereira from Unsplash.com

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Leo Tolstoy wrote famously in 1878 in the opening lines of Anna Karenina. Turns out the Russian author was onto something.

Cohesive families, indeed, seem to share a few critical traits – psychologists agree. Being emotionally flexible may be one of the most important factors when it comes to longevity and overall health of your romantic and familial relationships.

That’s the finding of a new University of Rochester meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, which statistically combined the results of 174 separate studies that had looked at acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, and emotion regulation.

The researchers’ aim was to clarify how mindful flexibility – on one hand – and inattentive, mindless, and rigid inflexibility on the other – were linked to the dynamics within families and romantic relationships.

“Put simply,” says coauthor Ronald Rogge, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, “this meta-analysis underscores that being mindful and emotionally flexible in tough and challenging situations not only improves the lives of individuals, it might also strengthen and enrich their close relationships.”

Psychological flexibility versus inflexibility

Psychological flexibility is defined as a set of skills that people use when they’re presented with difficult or challenging thoughts, feelings, emotions, or experiences. Such skills encompass:

  • Being open to experiences–both good and bad–and accepting them no matter how challenging or difficult they might be
  • Having a mindful attentive awareness of the present moment throughout day-to-day life
  • Experiencing thoughts and feelings without obsessively clinging to them
  • Maintaining a broader perspective even in the midst of difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Learning to actively maintain contact with our deeper values, no matter how stressful or chaotic each day is
  • Continuing to take steps toward a goal, even in the face of difficult experiences and setbacks

The opposite – psychological inflexibility – describes six specific behaviors, including:

  • Actively avoiding difficult thoughts, feelings, and experiences
  • Going through daily life in a distracted and inattentive manner
  • Getting stuck in difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Seeing difficult thoughts and feelings as a personal reflection and feeling judged or shameful for having them
  • Losing track of deeper priorities within the stress and chaos of day-to-day life
  • Getting derailed easily by setbacks or difficult experiences, resulting in being unable to take steps toward deeper goals.

Psychologists consider the rigid and inflexible responses to difficult or challenging experiences dysfunctional, ultimately contributing to and exacerbating a person’s psychopathology.

Photo by @suzylee from Unsplash.com

How flexibility shapes interactions

Through their analysis, coauthor Jennifer Daks, a PhD candidate in the Rochester Department of Psychology, and Rogge discovered that within families, higher levels of various forms of parental psychological flexibility were linked to:

  • Greater use of adaptive parenting strategies
  • Fewer incidents of lax, harsh, and negative parenting strategies
  • Lower perceived parenting stress or burden
  • Greater family cohesion <
  • Lower child distress

Within romantic relationships, higher levels of various forms of psychological inflexibility were linked to:

  • Lower relationship satisfaction for themselves and their partners
  • Lower sexual satisfaction
  • Lower emotional supportiveness
  • Greater negative conflict, physical aggression, attachment anxiety, and attachment avoidance

The results suggest that psychological flexibility and inflexibility may play key roles in both couples and families in shaping how individuals interact with the people closest to them, the researchers write.

The meta-analysis, also commonly referred to as a “study of studies,” cements and adds to the findings of Rogge’s earlier work in which he and a team tested the effects of couples’ watching movies together and talking about the films afterward. In that work, Rogge and his colleagues demonstrated that couples could bring mindful awareness, compassion, and flexibility back into their relationships by using movies to spark meaningful relationship discussions, leading to both immediate and long-term benefits.

That study, conducted in 2013, found that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively simple watch-and-talk approach can be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods–more than halving the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after the first three years of marriage.

Being mindful and emotionally flexible in tough and challenging situations not only improves the lives of individuals, it might also strengthen and enrich their close relationships.

“The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships,” Rogge said about the earlier study. “You might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving. And for five movies to give us a benefit over three years–that is awesome.”

Watching and discussing movies with your partner that feature onscreen couples can have a positive effect on your relationship, Rogge recently told People magazine. It’s an easy exercise that “could be a lifesaver during quarantine,” he says.

Which movies work? As Good as It GetsFunny GirlGone with the WindLove StoryIndecent ProposalThe Devil Wears Prada, and Father of the Bride are a few of the films Rogge and his fellow researchers used in their 2013 study of couples.

Looking for some LGBTQ recommendations? Rogge suggests The Kids Are AlrightThe Wedding BanquetThe Birdcage, and episodes of Grace and Frankie.

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