You know those couples that post about their partner non stop on social media, or post ESSAYS about their love? Well, research shows that they might not be as solid as they seem. This is our second episode with relationship expert Ty Tashiro and the 4th episode in our relationship series. Ty shares even more evidence based information on how to truly be happier in your partnership for a love that lasts.
What we cover:
- How to grow stronger in your relationship
- How much is TOO much when posting about your partner on social media
- Is the second time the charm when it comes to marriage?
- How to be happier in your relationship
- How to keep a playful spirit in love
- How to appreciate your partner more
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Science of Happily Ever After by Ty Tashiro
- The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward by Ty Tashiro
- Ty Tashiro on Instagram
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Jess: [00:00:00] So you talked about growing positive strengths in a relationship versus focusing solely on getting rid of problems. Can you elaborate a little bit more on how people can grow positive strengths in their long-term relationship?
Ty: Uh, sure. Yeah. So psychology in general, I should say, as a blanket statement, has not been great about, uh, focusing on how to grow positives.
Uh, as a field we've been really focused on, Hey, what's wrong with somebody and how can we, it was for a good pur purpose. It was like, how can we. Help people not suffer as much, but there's a lot more to life of course, than, um, than just trying not to suffer. You also want to thrive and, uh, have good things as well.
Um, relationship research and therapy has been no different in, in that sense, but, um, there have been some good advances, I think over by the last 15 years or so, and one of my favorite. Areas of research is called [00:01:00] capitalization. And this is, I, I love it because it's a really powerful, um, thing, folks, things that, uh, folks can do in a relationship.
Um, and it's also just makes a lot of sense. I think it's really intuitive, so, Uh, there's this woman, Shelly Gable, she's a professor in social psychology and she's got this great series of studies. And so she, she found like when couples come home at the end of a day, the overwhelming majority of the time, something good has happened right during a course period.
Thank goodness. And they share that with their partner. And so, here's this great opportunity. Your partners just shared something. Really well that day. So, you know, maybe they're like, Hey, I, I really had this great interview with Justin, Wendy today. It was so much fun and it was, it was really fantastic. Uh, that's a piece of good news now, the partner.
Can just keep [00:02:00] surfing the television channels and not really pay attention to what's going on. Uh, that is not capitalization, , that's actually a real lost opportunity. But that can happen, right? And so what Gable found is that when the partner is a good listener about this good news, and then they, their response, you know, is responsive to the content of that.
So like, oh, I'm so glad you had a. Interview today. Tell me more about that. Uh, that's huge, but just as important is that the person's level of enthusiasm, uh, or emotional state, matches the intensity of the person who is sharing the good news. Um, and when this happens, when you. Echo the, the content of what's happened and maybe show some curiosity about it.
But you also have this genuine enthusiasm that something is good has happened for your partner, um, that's capitalization and you've capitalized on this great moment. And what happens then is that [00:03:00] couple is more happy, of course, in that moment, both partners. Uh, but also then if you look hours later before they go to bed, it's carried over for hours.
If you look at them three days later. After capitalization has occurred, that capitalization effect is still having a positive impact on a relationship. So when we think about empathy, we usually think about, oh, something's wrong, and I need to empathize with that for my partner. Yes, that's still important.
but I think we miss these other opportunities where, hey, there's, there's good things, that happen in a relationship or in our partner's lives all the time, and we really need to seize that opportunity to. Hear them, but but also build them up, you know? And, and it's what a wonderful way to, to support somebody.
And conversely, if we fail to get to grasp the moments, that sure doesn't go very well. Uh, I think we've maybe had moments for, our partners aren't, They don't [00:04:00] capitalize on a moment, and it can feel really deflating when, when that happens. So yeah, there, there's an example of of of building strength. Uh, there's other things folks can do.
Uh, I I think one of the things folks lose sight of is play things that get so serious and kind of checklist, like in a relationship, um, just dealing with life that. You know when couples, they'll lose that playful spirit, and that really SAPs some of that passion out of the relationship. So having, you have to be kind of premeditated about it, and it feels a little bit contrived as you're making the plans, but it's such an important thing to do for couples to intentionally set aside time.
To do something that's gonna be a playful kind of activity and uninterrupted. And when they find, when couples do make that time and do immerse in those activities, once again, there's something that's not only fun in the moment and relationship building, but as carryover [00:05:00] effects in the long term. I
Wendy: love that.
Now, shifting gears to social media and the internet, cuz I know you said that you know, these things have really shifted. Dating relationships and on social media, I feel like I see extremes. It's either like the perfect relationship or people are getting divorced and there's no in between . Um, and I'm just wondering like, what are your thoughts on, you know, putting a relationship out there like that?
Especially with, you know, social media. If you have a profile that's open to people that you don't know. , does that have the potential to hurt the relationship? Um, you know, does that, like, does being on social media and kind of like putting your stuff out there, then does that pressure impact, um, you know, the happiness in the relationship?
Ty: Yeah. It's, uh, what a confusing area that is Yeah. How to navigate that. [00:06:00] Right. Um, there's, there's a couple things I think that are pertinent. One is observers of other people's relationships, uh, and social media. Uh, there's this, there's this interesting finding that's, it keeps getting replicated, which is that there's those super enthusiastic, uh, couples who are kind of overboard with the posting and, and like the enthusiasm and you're like, oh, this is almost kind of weird.
Too much. Yeah. Uh, it is too much. It turns out because. In those couples, they're more likely to be actually unhappy and have issues. And you know, I'm, I'm not, I actually have some empathy for it cuz here's a couple that's struggling and they're using it as a coping mechanism. So it's a way to be like, Hey, they're almost trying to convince themselves, Hey, we're okay
You know what I'm saying? , right? Uh, no, I don't know. Then maybe you get a bunch of like, shit, and it's kind of, you're [00:07:00] building this in the metaverse, you're building this idea in your head, Hey, we're, we're all right. Keep going. Yeah. So that's, that's, that's one thing to know. Um, but I think there's another thing.
Two that goes along with that, which is an old social psychology phrase that I love, which is what's perceived as real is real and it's consequences. And I think sometimes folks think like, oh, it's just social media. Uh, and so they'll do things on there that might make a partner uncomfortable, that might do things on there that are maybe flirtatious with someone.
Who's not their partner, for example, and, uh, and they think, oh, it's just social media. And I, I don't think that's true , you know? Yeah, it is social media, but the impact of that, and the perception of that is gonna have a very concrete and real consequence, um, on the relationship. So I always tell [00:08:00] folks, you know, whether it's in a relationship or otherwise, uh, yes, try to keep some realism around the role of social media and keep some distance from it and it's this whole other thing.
But also realize that some of the actions that you do or don't do on social media will have a very real. On the actual quality of your, of your relationships. And you know, I see couples get tripped up by that all the time, where, you know, one of the partners will be like, oh, well, let's say it's a jealousy kind of situation.
But maybe it's one of those jealousy situations where it's like, well, I kind of understand why someone feels meant outta shape here. And the other partner will be like, well, it's just, but it's just, it's just dumb. It's just Facebook or whatever. It's like, no. That's a real deal. So that would be the other thing I would say to folks is, you know, just be real cautious about it.
And it's real easy to be passive aggressive, toward a partner. I think using the social media sometimes.
Jess: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So don't post your [00:09:00] relationship
Ty: online, I would say. Yeah. I mean, I, I, I try not to make blanket statements, but yeah. , I, I'd feel pretty comfortable, pretty much, yeah. Feel pretty comfortable with that one.
I think, you know, assuming it's the case. You're solid in a relationship. Uh, then I, I do think it's nice. You'll see those occasional posts sometimes. You're like, yeah, that couple's good, and the partners posted something to just show their gratitude or appreciation for the partner every now and then. I think that's great.
Cause now here's something that's gonna be perceived as real and that's gonna be real and its, and its consequences. So, yeah. Uh, that, that would be something that would be, that would be nice to do. I think in general, what they're, my impression, I'm not an expert in this area, but my impression of what they're finding with social media and wellness and mental health is that the people who use it well are [00:10:00] people who.
Use it to support others, you know, and they're, they're, they like other people's posts more. They've say, share more encouraging comments on the other people's posts. Um, and then they use it as a bridge to strengthen their in real life relationships. So, um, I think if people keep that general philosophy in mind, that seems to be the most productive way to.
Jess: helpful advice. I'm trying to do that more with like liking other people's stuff, commenting, supporting, and you're right, it does make you feel
Wendy: better on
Ty: hearing other people on. Yeah, yeah, for sure. It can be tough, especially when, you know, when you have a big platform and and so forth. It can be hard to do those things, but uh, but yeah, we could all just do the best we can, right?
Yeah. The best we
Jess: can. I have a quick question about second marriages. from your research, if you've looked into [00:11:00] it at all, do people tend to be happier in second marriages?
Ty: No . Uh, as far as the happiness goes, my impression is the results have been mixed about that. So I, I, you know, I can't say one way or the other.
Now, when it comes to stability, though, it's a little more clear. So when it comes to the relationship stability, second marriages tend to fare a little bit worse actually, than first marriages. So the risk rate for divorce actually goes up about 10% in second marriage. So to about, you know, let's say 51% from 41%.
So, uh, a little bit elevated. It's not to, you know, with all these we have to keep in mind these are group averages. So these are across large groups of people, you know, looking at the average raise stability, for example. So that also means half of those second marriages are working out and yeah, and staying together.
But, um, I think what happens there [00:12:00] sometimes is. You know, there's two ways to approach that, I guess. One is the first marriage didn't work out. You're mindful about it, you think about it, do some soul searching, figure out what it is you really want, and then go in with that clarity and intention of the second marriage.
Um, or, you know, some people just like to be in relationships, . Yeah. And so they'll just kinda jump to the next thing. And, um, th that's a case then where obviously the prospects wouldn't be.
Wendy: Hmm. That makes total sense. Well, in wrapping, tell our listeners one thing they can start doing today to improve the quality of their relationship.
Ty: Hmm. Wow. Uh, well, they could capitalize, which we talked about, but let me give you just a, I'll cheat here and give a, give a second one, but, And I think going back earlier to what we talked about with, uh, uh, [00:13:00] couples who did find a happily ever after and, and, you know, just appreciate those little things about their partner and a relationship.
Uh, so easy to habituate to the awesome things are our partners doing relationships. So I would say, you know, just, just go into those. everyday experiences with eyes open and, and heart open and full gratitude and appreciation for, Hey, you know what, there are dozens of things my partner does every day that are so cool and so thoughtful and, and the, the support, um, either me or the relationship and, and share that with the partner.
It doesn't have to be everything. Still think something's wrong, or something maybe. But, um, just to say, hey, the, the, the fact that. Pack my lunch every day. If that's something that they do for you and you put those hot Fritos in there, or whatever they're doing for you, that's a really sweet little [00:14:00] gesture.
Um, just vocalizing that and, and putting that out there, uh, is an easy thing that people can do and that they should do because it has a really positive, um, you know, growth promoting effect on their relat.
Jess: Can I just say I've listened to so many relationship podcasts and this is my favorite one because it is so rooted in science and evident Oh, thank you.
And it's also just very practical advice, so thank you for that. I loved. Interview and I think our listeners will love it as well. And can you let folks know where they can find your book and more about you and the work that you do?
Ty: Yeah, and and let me say too, I appreciate you all and. There's a real genuineness, I think, how you go about this.
So, um, I think you create good situations for, for folks. But, [00:15:00] um, yeah, they, they go to tahiro.com, which is my website. Um, the book we've been talking about is the Science Pathway ever after, and they can just find network where books are sold. But, uh, yeah, I, I really enjoyed this too, so thank you for having me.