chapter 3. Relationships

Why Anxious and Avoidant Partners Find It Hard to Leave One Another

There is a certain sort of relationship that is alternately passionate, fiery and painfully unfulfilling – and that tends to puzzle both outsiders and its participants; a relationship between one person…

chapter 3. Relationships

Why We Should Not Silently Suffer From A Lack of Touch in Love

We live in an age increasingly prepared to see hurtful aspects lurking within many apparently so-called minor situations, and ready to lend greater public acknowledgement to what had previously been merely…

chapter 3. Relationships

Why Anger Has a Place in Love

It’s natural to imagine that the highest virtue in love would be kindness and, a close second, politeness. But there is an odd danger lurking here: a relationship where we are…

chapter 1. Capitalism

Can Our Phones Solve Our Love Lives?

It would be most of our first choices to have relationships in the real world; but for many of us, it is a great deal more plausible to pursue them with,…

chapter 5. Culture

On Not Being Able To Cook Very Well

In so many areas of life, it’s easy to feel desperate that we have failed to live up to our own expectations. We are evidently not beautiful enough, rich enough, intelligent…

chapter 4. Self

On Eggs and Compassion

Compassion for others is an attractive notion, but in reality we often find it extremely difficult to be kindly and understanding towards people who make a lot of noise at unwanted…

chapter 4. Self

On Needing to Find Something to Worry About

It sounds paradoxical and absurd to think that some of us might need to find something to worry about in order to recover our equilibrium. Worry is, after all, something we…

chapter 4. Self

How We Are Easily, Too Easily, 'Triggered'

If we were totally sane, we would respond to the present only on its own terms; we would worry or be angered or give way to anxiety only as much as…

chapter 3. Relationships

What Is Your Attachment Style?

One of the greatest questionnaires in the history of 20th-century psychology had a modest start in the pages of a local Colorado newspaper The Rocky Mountain News in July 1985. The work…

chapter 4. Self

How We Get Damaged by Emotional Neglect

Many of us are wandering the world bearing a lot of emotional damage. We may be depressed, anxious or very difficult around sex and relationships. We might in certain moods ask ourselves where…

chapter 3. Relationships

The Challenges of Anxious-Avoidant Relationships

There are so many ways to be unhappy in love, but one kind which modern psychology has given particular attention to are relationships, very high in number, in which one of…

chapter 3. Relationships

What We Might Learn in Couples Therapy

Like many things that help our relationships, couples therapy has a habit of sounding appallingly unromantic, involving patience, gruelling work and a host of embarrassing conversations about matters it would be…

chapter 4. Self

Hypervigilance

We would not have been able to survive so long if we were not able, at points, to get very worried indeed; if we didn’t possess a native genius for flooding…

chapter 3. Relationships

On Rescue Fantasies

Of the many desires we might harbour in relationships, few attract as much mockery or suspicion as ‘the rescue fantasy.’ According to this longing, a lover – normally a man –…

chapter 3. Relationships

If We're All Bad at Love, Shouldn't We Change Our Definition of Normality?

Every year, all around the world, millions of couples are forced to recognise – with considerable guilt – that they are emotionally defective. Despite what they would ardently wish, they do…

chapter 4. Self

'Pure' OCD - and Intrusive Thoughts

Few mental afflictions are as humbling or as terrifying as what is known as ‘Pure’ OCD or, more colloquially, Intrusive Thoughts. In standard Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a person is haunted by…

chapter 4. Self

The Problem of Shame

One of the great problems in the world is also one of the most invisible, because – by its nature – it asks to be hidden and saps our ability to…

chapter 3. Relationships

Other People's Relationships

A question that rarely leaves us alone in love is: what exactly are other people’s relationships like? The question is far from disinterested sociological curiosity. What we urgently seek to know…