Read our posts about relationships

Why We Shouldn't Fear Touch

Why We Shouldn't Fear Touch

The media impress upon us the often horrifying results of inappropriate touch. As increasing numbers of celebrities have come under investigatation, media coverage has been innundated with examples of inappropriate touch.  The fact that Rolf Harris is now serving five years for using his celebrity status to control young women is a case in point.  Are we  fearful of touch?  We now struggle to decipher what is appropriate and what isn't.  At this years sports day, I was surprised to discover that primary school teachers are no longer allowed to put suntan lotion onto...
» Read More
Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

When my triplet daughters went to university in 2005 my household switched overnight from one in which I, as a female, was in a 4:2 majority, to one in which I was outnumbered. Suddenly it was just me, my then three-year old son, and his dad. The shift in dynamic is one I'm still getting used to as my son grows up. I confess I miss my daughters, and I miss female company. People assume I'm an old hand at this parenting lark, but the truth is that raising one boy is very different to raising a trio of girls, and is providing just as much of a learning curve. Parenting...
» Read More
Workaholics Infect Domestic Life

Workaholics Infect Domestic Life

In Sheryl Sandberg's best-selling book, Lean In, she argues that a major reason why women don’t assert themselves at work is that they think it will make other people see them as selfish, cold and unpleasant workaholics. For men, success is correlated with niceness but successful women are often perceived as bossy and dislikable. Sandberg cites Deborah Greenfield, Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at Stanford, who explains that this is the result of a widespread assumption that women not only are nurturing, but that they should be – which...
» Read More
The Psychology of a One-Night Stand

The Psychology of a One-Night Stand

The stereotype of a one-night stand is a brutally selfish, egoistically satisfied male, and a woman shamed by regret and disappointment. Yet a memorable counter offensive was launched more than 40 years ago when Erica Jong, in her novel Fear of Flying, celebrated a female fantasy where “zippers fell away like rose petals, underwear blew off in one breath like dandelion fluff”. And, with the subsiding ecstasy, your partner melted away, freeing you both from embarrassment and commitment. For many men and women, this is the promise of a one-night stand.  The “zipless...
» Read More
Why We Shouldn't Try to be Perfect Mothers

Why We Shouldn't Try to be Perfect Mothers

‘Dear Sebastian,’ the letter began in a childish script. ‘Thank you very much for my Birthday Present. I love ‘Angelina Ballerina’ books. Love Yore God Daughter Eleanor’. I laughed. As any mother reading this will know, the likelihood that my husband Sebastian would have a) known it was his god-daughter’s birthday b) sent her a present and c) known that she liked Angelina Ballerina would have been as likely as me going six rounds at the pub. For the truth is, while women have made huge strides in the workplace, many men have not made commensurate progress at...
» Read More
Couples Therapy: Taking sides

Couples Therapy: Taking sides

At least 110,000 people had couple counselling or therapy last year according to the Relationships Alliance, though this is no doubt a huge underestimation of the numbers, as it doesn’t include those who saw a therapist in private practice. It is noticeable though that we tend to hear far less about couples seeking help for their relationships than we do about those seeking help as individuals. Are people more embarrassed to say they’ve been to see a couple’s counsellor than an individual one?  It seems that if our relationship hits problems, we can feel very exposed and if...
» Read More
What is love?

What is love?

Ongoing contact with significant others is an innate need we all have throughout our lives. We humans are pack animals, and close relationships are part of what we need to thrive. But in recent years people have wondered whether too great a reliance on this desire for love shows our immaturity. Where the misunderstanding about love may have arisen is that when you feel secure in your relationships you tend to make and maintain healthy contact with others, which gives you a sense of autonomy. This is because you are good at dependence, rather than being good at...
» Read More
Old Faces, Younger Lives: How to See Beyond Dementia

Old Faces, Younger Lives: How to See Beyond Dementia

Imagine yourself in hospital, aged and unable to articulate what you need and when. Think of the dejection, loneliness, and knowledge that your wellbeing lies in the hands of someone who sees you only as a blank and wrinkled canvas, who sees you only in the context of your dementia. I have, and I find it frightening. Dementia visits the elderly with a cloak of confusion and uncertainty, its prey usually unaware of its early presence, manifested by occasional illogical behaviour. A friend witnessed her 75 year-old mother trying to pay for groceries with cigarettes,...
» Read More
Birth Order: Does Your Position in Family Really Make a Difference?

Birth Order: Does Your Position in Family Really Make a Difference?

Whether you’re the eldest, a middle, the youngest or a single child will have a powerful impact on your character. Your character is shaped by many factors of course, but your position in the family is particularly important because it’s continually reinforced throughout your life. To gain a realistic picture of how and why birth order makes a difference, let’s start with the qualities that, in broad terms, are characteristic of each birth order position. First borns You are the only child in a family who enjoyed the undivided attention of your carers, only to...
» Read More
Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Do you have difficult family members, someone who doesn’t always make for good company? Take 45-year old Simon. He’s been married to Ali for 15 years, and though she loves him, she struggles to cope with his irritating ways. Why does he spend so many hours a day by himself,  most often hidden away playing computer games? And when they do go out, he can’t seem to hold a proper conservation without getting flustered. She can’t stand the way he procrastinates all the time, and is irritable whenever she asks him to do things to help her out. She is fed up that, as she puts it,...
» Read More