Episode 42: The Decisions That Make or Break a Relationship

July 9, 2021 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast

Episode 42: The Decisions That Make or Break a Relationship


Getting into a relationship is much easier than getting out of one. People have a tendency to slide into relationships without putting in a lot of thought. But when it comes to getting out of a relationship, people may deliberate for months, perhaps years—decades even. So why is that?

This episode of the Sex and Psychology Podcast is all about how we make relationship decisions. I interviewed Dr. Samantha Joel, an Assistant Professor at Western University. Her research examines how people make the decisions that grow or break apart their romantic relationships. Sam has a fascinating body of work that I am so excited to share with you!

Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:

  • Can computer programs predict who we’re going to be attracted to before we ever even meet someone? Can these programs also predict which relationships are going to stand the test of time?
  • What are the factors that predict relationship happiness? What predicts when couples decide to break up?
  • Are people more afraid of missing out on an opportunity for love or being rejected?
  • Why do so many of us have such a hard time rejecting romantic prospects who aren’t a good match for us?
  • Is having sex with an ex-partner a good or bad idea? Does ex-sex prevent you from moving on?
  • Why is it easier to get into a relationship than to get out of one?
  • What happens when a couple decides to open up their relationship? Does it change the quality of that relationship over time?

To learn more about Sam, visit her website and follow her on Twitter @datingdecisions


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Credits: LEGIT Audio (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.

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Written by

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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