"Dyadic displays" - Deepstash

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Why people make 'couple photos' their profile pictures, according to psychologists

"Dyadic displays"

It's a social psychology concept and it refers to the phenomenon of "I'm part of a couple!" displays on social media: how romantically involved users present their relationships online (e.g, couple photos, couple related relationships status, mentioning partner in social media posts, etc.)

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A toxic relationship

Is any relationship between people who don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there is competition and there is disrespect.

A toxic relationship is consistently unpleasant and draining for the people in it, to the point that negative moments outweigh and outnumber the positive ones.

What makes a relationship toxic

People who consistently undermine or cause harm to a partner (whether intentionally or not) often have a reason for their behavior, even if it’s subconscious. 

Maybe they were in a toxic relationship, either romantically or as a child. Maybe they didn’t have the most supportive, loving upbringing. They could have been bullied in school. They could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health disorder.

Warning signs

The most serious warning signs include any form of violence, abuse or harassment, which should be dealt with immediately. But in many cases, the indicators of a toxic relationship are much more subtle: Persistent unhappiness, negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem, feeling like you can’t talk with or voice concerns to your significant other.

Online dating apps

Lots of dating apps and websites claim to be able to use data to sort through profiles for better matches. But scientists and journalists can't investigate their claims, as the algorithms are the intellectual property of these companies and not publicly available.

This encouraged scientists to make their own app and examine predictors of attraction.

Predicting romantic desire

The things that are needed to be able to predict romantic desire.

  • Actor desire. How choosy people are.
  • Partner desire or average attractiveness.
  • Compatibility: Researchers measured compatibility by subtracting choosiness and attractiveness from dater's scores of romantic interest.
Compatibility prediction

To account for research failure, it is believed that when two people actually meet, they form a shared dynamic that is more than the sum of its parts. Their individual preferences do not make up the substance of what they would find attractive.

Couples living apart
Couples living apart

In 2000, a government survey showed that about 2.7 million married Americans lived apart from their spouse. The number rose to about 3.9 million in 2017.

Long-distance relationships today are different from 15 years ago. Economic and technological developments are making couple's love lives more closely resemble those who live together.

The evolution of romantic communication
  • Before video-chat and long-distance phone calls, written correspondence was used to exchange meaningful information. The goal was to write about the most important things that had happened since the last letter.
  • Although the telephone was invented in the mid-19th century, it was only used for long-distance relationships in the 1970s, when the cost of phoning for pleasure instead of just business became affordable.
  • The next major development in romantic communication was the internet. Email, instant messaging, and video-chatting were affordable for couples to share even the smallest details.
  • Many couples today do "background Skype" where everyday living comes to the surface and add to a level of intimacy.
The pressure to live apart

In the past, couples were more likely to accommodate only one partner's job - mostly the man's. But today, couples have dual-incomes, are well educated, professionally minded, and pursuing careers in separate places. It is contributing to the rise in long-distance relationships.

The pressure to live apart for work is worse for younger couples who are still establishing careers.