Who are our writers?
Most of our writers are relationship scientists who research the very topics we feature on the site. Our writers are true experts that have intimate knowledge of the types of research that appear in our articles.
The majority of our writers have a Ph.D. and hold positions as professors at academic institutions where they teach about relationships, conduct and publish their own research findings in peer-reviewed academic journals, write books, and serve as reviewers or editorial board members for the major journals in their field.
Gary Lewandowski – Chair/Professor of Psychology, Monmouth University
Ph.D., Stony Brook University
Gary’s research explores the role of the self in romantic relationships (e.g., attraction, relationship maintenance, infidelity, break-up), with a specific focus on self-expansion. Recognized as one of the Princeton Review’s Top 300 Professors, he has also authored dozens of publications for both academic and non-academic audiences. Dr. Lewandowski’s work has appeared in media outlets such as CNN, the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Women’s Health, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Self Magazine, USA Today, WebMD, Business Insider, Scientific American, New York Magazine (Science of Us), The Conversation, and The Washington Post. Click here for Gary’s articles.
Benjamin Le – Professor of Psychology, Haverford College
Ph.D., Purdue University
Ben’s research focuses on the role of commitment in romantic relationships, including the factors associated with commitment and its role in promoting relationship maintenance. He has published on the topics of breakup, geographic separation, infidelity, social networks, cognition, and need fulfillment and emotions in relationships. Prof. Le teaches classes on Statistics & Research Methods, Social Psychology, and Close Relationships, and has served on the editorial board the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personal Relationships, and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Click here for Ben’s articles.
Ph.D., Purdue University
Tim’s primary research program addressed the mental and physical health impact of relationship transitions, with a particular focus on affectively positive transitions (e.g., falling in love) and the role friends and family serve as relationship partners adapt to these transitions. He has served on the editoral board of top journals in the field (e.g., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology)and was an Associate Editor of Personal Relationships. His research has been funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. He is also an award-winning instructor, having received several major teaching awards at The University of Texas. Click here for Tim’s articles. In February 2016 Tim left the University of Texas to work for a major social media company. His legend lives on.
Marni Amsellem – Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Ph.D., Washington University
Marni is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in health psychology. She is a research consultant with hospitals, organizations, and corporations, as well as a practitioner. Her research interests include how physical health and health-related behaviors affect individuals and their relationships, and vice versa. You can reach her via Twitter @smartpsychreads. Click here for Marni’s articles.
Lindsey Beck – Assistant Professor of Psychology, Emerson College
Ph.D., Yale University
Lindsey’s research focuses on how people initiate and develop close relationships. For example, she examines why some people—but not others—choose to avoid situations that facilitate relationship initiation, how people’s offers and requests for support change as partners develop close relationships, and how unique features of the relationship context shape partners’ physiological, behavioral, and psychological responses to stressful situations in newly-formed relationships. She uses diverse methodologies to investigate these topics, including developmental approaches, biological methods, field studies, experimental designs, and longitudinal and daily-report studies. She also teaches classes on Close Relationships, Social Psychology, and Introduction to Psychology. Click here for Lindsey’s articles.
Jeff Bowen – Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jeff’s research examines the role of self-control in relationship maintenance, and how mental representations of romantic partners are influenced by psychological distance. Jeff explores these processes during interactions that are diagnostic of a relationship – conflict negotiation, social support provision, encounters with attractive alternatives, etc. He is particularly interested in how these phenomena manifest in the implicit signals partners send during interpersonal interaction, including mimicry, word choice, and gaze. Click here for Jeff’s articles.
Robert Burriss – Research Fellow – Northumbria University
Ph.D., University of Liverpool
Rob is an evolutionary psychologist who researches what we find attractive in potential partners. Most of his work focuses on face preferences, and how they are influenced by variables such as the type of relationship sought, menstrual cycle phase, and hormonal contraceptive use. He is also interested in jealousy and mate retention behaviour. His work has been published in Psychological Science, Evolution and Human Behavior, and Archives of Sexual Behavior, and featured in media outlets such as The Guardian, The Times of London, and National Geographic Channel. Since 2009 he has produced the monthly Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast, a summary of new research that often features interviews with researchers. Participate in Rob’s attraction experiments on his website. and follow him on Twitter @RobertBurriss. Click here for Rob’s articles.
Ph.D., Northcentral University
Karla has earned degrees in a range of disciplines including: Business Administration, Psychology, Human Development Counseling, and INO-Disability Studies. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who is board certified by the American Psychotherapy Association. Karla teaches Psychology for the University of Illinois at Springfield. In addition, Karla is the co-founder and President of OnePatient Global Health Initiative. Karla also hosts a radio show called Life and Love, with her partner, Dr. Daniel Ivankovich. The show airs on the iHeart radio network. Click here for Karla’s articles.
Tina Coffelt – Assistant Professor in Communication Studies , Iowa State University
Ph.D., University of Missouri
Tina researches sexual communication in marital, dating, and family relationships with a current focus on sexual disclosures, consent, and apprehension. She conducts both quantitative and qualitative research with publications appearing in the Journal of Family Communication, Communication Yearbook, Journal of Sex Research, and Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. In addition, she teaches classes on interpersonal communication and research methods. Tina is a member of the National Communication Association and the International Association of Relationship Research. Click here for Tina’s articles.
Fred Clavél – Doctoral Student, Social Psychology, Iowa State University
M.A., New York University
Fred’s primary research interests include social support dynamics in romantic couples, the effects of context on relationships, relationships and health & well-being, issues of the self in relationships, and complex statistical approaches to modeling relationship phenomena. He approaches these interests from a number of theoretical angles including social exchange, attachment, evolutionary psychology, motivation, probability, and theories of social cognition. He is currently engaged in research examining the longitudinal effects of stressors such as racial discrimination and chronic financial strain, on the dyadic support experiences and mental health of married and cohabiting couples. Click here for Fred’s articles.
Marisa Cohen – Assistant Professor of Psychology, St. Francis College
Ph.D., The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Marisa, along with a colleague at St. Francis College, founded the Self-Awareness and Bonding Lab (SABL) in Fall 2014. The research conducted in this lab centers on the subfields of relationship science and social psychology. Research has focused on the development of relationships throughout the life span, including factors influencing mate choice and peoples’ perceptions of what makes relationships survive and thrive. Her specific focus is on how various relationship configurations impact the satisfaction derived from them. She teaches General Psychology, Educational Psychology, Experimental Psychology and an Attachment and Attraction seminar at St. Francis. Click here for Marisa’s articles.
Erica Djossa – Psychotherapist and founder of The Love Compass
M.A., Yorkville University
Erica Djossa is a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships. She has a Master’s degree in counselling psychology and has spent most of her lifetime observing and learning about various relationship dynamics. As a passionate professional, she works full time in a private practice, has founded and writes a relationship blog called The Love Compass and often appears as the relationship expert for local television programs. She has a desire to educate people on the ways they can improve and strengthen their relationships in order to foster satisfying and lasting connections. Visit her website or connect with her on Twitter and/or Facebook. Click here for Erica’s articles.
Richard A. Dowlat
Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
Richard is a social psychologist whose research lies at the intersection of interpersonal attraction, online dating, and racial influence. Prompted by the rise in popularity of online dating, as well as the growing racial diversity in the United States, Richard is predominantly interested in how historic processes of interpersonal attraction are affected by modern advancements in technology and influenced by this increasing racial diversity. He is particularly interested in how some of the classic determinants of interpersonal attraction change and evolve over time in the face of these external factors. Richard has recently co-authored and published a chapter in “Towards a Positive Psychology of Relationships: New Directions in Theory and Research” on the history and psychological development of online dating, titled Toward a Positive Psychology of Online Romantic Relationships: A New Frontier? Click here for Richard’s articles.
Jennifer Jill Harman – Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Jennifer’s primary research interests examine relationship behaviors that put people at-risk for physical and psychological health problems. Specifically, she has been examining how feelings and beliefs about risk (e.g., sexual risk taking, communication problems) can be biased when in an intimate relationship. Recently, she also has been examining the role of power on commitment to intimate relationships. She is the proud mother of 2 elementary aged boys and enjoys collaborating with research colleagues from Fort Collins and Austin, to New York, Tanzania, and Nepal. Dr. Jennifer Jill Harman is also available for relationship coaching. Click here for Jennifer’s articles.
Lisa Hoplock – Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manitoba
Ph.D., University of Victoria
Lisa’s research examines how personality traits like self-esteem and attachment influence interpersonal processes in ambiguous social situations — situations affording both rewards and costs — such as social support contexts, relationship initiation, and marriage proposals. Within these situations, Lisa observes and codes people’s objective behavior, assesses what people think their behavior is telling others, and evaluates others’ impressions of the individual. Another line of research examines people’s theories of matching within romantic relationships and how those theories predict relationship behaviors like mate poaching. Click here for Lisa’s articles.
Samantha Joel – Assistant Professor, University of Utah
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Samantha’s research examines how people make decisions about their romantic relationships. For example, what sort of factors do people take into consideration when they try to decide whether to pursue a potential date, invest in a new relationship, or break up with a romantic partner? Samantha is particularly interested in states of ambivalence or indecisiveness over these important relationship choices. Her work often integrates judgment and decision making techniques and concepts, as well as attachment theory. Click here for Samantha’s articles.
Michelle Kaufman – Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior & Society
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Michelle’s research focuses on sexual health and how power in heterosexual relationships influences sexual risk. She has conducted research in the US, South Africa, Nepal, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Indonesia. She has published her work in various international journals on the topics of HIV risk behavior, gender-based violence, sex trafficking, cross-generational sex, and partner communication about sex. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Nepal 2007-2008 when she studied the Kathmandu sex industry and sexual health of Nepali women in general. Click here for Michelle’s articles.
Ph.D., University of Texas
Liz’s research centers around the intersection of romantic relationships, social networks, and health. Specifically, her research interests include social network support and romantic partner support processes, romantic relationship development and transition norms, and psychological and physiological resilience to relationship stress. Liz is currently a doctoral student at The University of Texas at Austin and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Click here for Liz’s articles.
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Bonnie’s research focuses on how caring for others is linked to personal and relationship well-being, with a specific focus on how people regulate their emotions, engage in different goals, and respond physiologically to close others. Click here for Bonnie’s articles.
Sadie Leder-Elder – Assistant Professor of Psychology, High Point University
Ph.D., University at Buffalo, SUNY
Sadie’s research examines close relationships from a risk regulation perspective, focusing on how people balance their competing desires for closeness and protection against rejection. Her lines of research examine this goal negotiation within the context of partner selection and established romantic relationships, as well as look specifically at the experience of romantic love, hurt feelings, and relationship rekindling. Sadie was the national recipient of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award for graduate students in 2010 and the Jane S. Halonen Teaching Excellence Award for early career psychologists in 2014. She teaches classes on Close Relationships, Love & Hate in Cyberspace, Social Psychology, and Social Influence at High Point University. Click here for Sadie’s articles.
Justin Lehmiller – Lecturer, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University
Ph.D., Purdue University
Justin’s research program focuses largely on how secrecy and stigmatization impact both relationship quality and partners’ physical and psychological health. He also conducts research on the topics of commitment, sexuality, and safer-sex practices. To date, Dr. Lehmiller has published over 30 scholarly papers, several of which have received prominent media coverage in outlets such as the National Geographic Channel, Psychology Today, Men’s Health, and The Sunday Times. Click here for Justin’s articles.
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jana’s research focuses on close relationships, interpersonal processes, and positive emotions. Her current research focuses on conflict recovery in newlywed couples. She enjoys using a variety of methodologies such as participant self-reports, behavioral coding, psychophysiology, and biological measures to study well-being at the individual level as well as the relationship level. Click here for Jana’s articles.
Helen Lee Lin – Research Scientist, Ankara, Turkey
Ph.D., University of Houston
Helen’s past research has focused on potential problems in romantic relationships, such as keeping secrets about oneself from a significant other. She is also interested in communication in and about relationships, as well as the use and consumption of media in relationships. She is planning to work in applied contexts for her future projects. Click here for Helen’s articles.
Charlotte Markey – Associate Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University
Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
Charlotte’s research addresses issues central to both developmental and health psychology. A primary focus of her research is social influences on eating-related behaviors (i.e., eating, dieting, body image) in both parent-child and romantic relationships. An additional line of research focuses on the role that personality plays in individuals’ health-related behaviors. Her current research combines these two lines and investigates both heterosexual couples and same-sex couples and the role that both their relationships and their personalities play in influencing their health behaviors. Click here for Charlotte’s articles.
Patrick Markey – Associate Professor of Psychology, Villanova University
Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
Patrick’s research focuses on how behavioral tendencies develop and are expressed within social relationships. His work has examined range of contexts, from fairly mundane interpersonal behaviors (e.g., acting warmly during an interaction) to behaviors of real life importance (e.g., unhealthy dieting, civic behavior, personality judgment, interpersonal aggression after playing violent video games, etc.). In order to examine how these behavioral tendencies develop and are expressed in social contexts, he has examined a multitude of social relationships (e.g., parent-child relations, peer relationships, romantic relationships, internet interactions, etc.) at different stages of life. Click here for Patrick’s articles.
Taylor Anne Morgan – Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
M.A., The University of Texas at Austin
Taylor Anne’s research focuses on different stages of romantic relationships, with an emphasis on the associated cognitions at each transition point. Specifically, she is interested in how fluctuations in relationship evaluations over time affect relationship and individual outcomes. Upon her graduation in August 2015, she will join Facebook as a User Experience Researcher, where she will design and execute research studies aimed at enhancing the relationship between users and technology. Click here for Taylor Anne’s articles.
Amy Muise – Post-Doctoral Fellow, Psychology, University of Toronto
Ph.D., University of Guelph
Amy’s research focuses on sexuality in close relationships, including the role of sexual motives in maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships, and sexual well-being. She also studies the relational effects of new media; specifically how new technologies have changed the dating script and how social network sites such as Facebook influence relationships and the experience of jealousy. Amy teaches courses on social psychology, and couple and family relationships, and also has a blog at Psychology Today called The Passion Paradox. Click here for Amy’s articles.
Amy Newberg – Graduate Student, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
B.S., Florida State University
Broadly, Amy’s research focuses on adult attachment, couples’ communication, and how couples perceive their relationships. Currently, she is interested how romantic partners choose to negotiate with each other in disagreements. Click here for Amy’s articles.
Melissa Schneider – Dating and Relationship Counselor, New York City
M.S. in Clinical Social Work, Columbia University
Melissa is a licensed counselor and the Co-Founder of LuvWise.com. She earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University and her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University. Take her free relationship test or contact her to get over that breakup and learn how to build your own great relationship, right from the very first date. Click here for Melissa’s articles.
Elizabeth A. Schoenfeld – Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
Liz’s research focuses on love, particularly its development over time and its reported and actual expression in day-to-day life. She also studies the impact of romantic relationships on physical health, as well as hoindividuals’ sexual relationships are tied to their personal attributes and broader relationship dynamics. She works closely with colleagues at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, as well as the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and Her work has been featured in media outlets such as Men’s Health, US News & World Report, the Chicago Tribune, and the Daily Telegraph. Liz is currently the Director of Research and Evaluation at LifeWorks, an Austin-based non-profit that helps transition youth and families from crisis to safety and success. Click here for Liz’s articles.
Gwendolyn Seidman – Associate Professor of Psychology, Albright College
Ph.D., New York University
Gwen’s research focuses on self-presentation on the Internet, particularly the expression of hidden self-aspects online and the presentation of romantic relationships on social media. She also studies social support in couples, and the role of romantic partners’ perceptions of one another in relationship satisfaction and conflict. Gwen teaches courses on social psychology, the self, and close relationships, and also has a blog at Psychology Today called Close Encounters. You can follow Gwen on Twitter @GSeidmanPhD. Click here for Gwens’ articles.
Dylan Selterman – Lecturer of Psychology, University of Maryland College Park
Ph.D., Stony Brook University
Dylan’s research focuses on secure vs. insecure personality in relationships. He studies how people dream about their romantic partners and how nighttime dreams are associated with daytime behavior. In addition, Dylan studies issues related to morality and ethics in relationships, including infidelity, betrayal, and jealousy. Dylan has taught Social Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, Interpersonal Relationships, and Human Development, and has published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, Attachment & Human Development, Dreaming, and In-Mind Magazine. Click here for Dylan’s articles.
Jennifer Shukusky – Graduate Student, Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
M.A. in Psychology, Rutgers University
Jennifer’s research examines relationship initiation and maintenance behaviors, specifically, the ways in which relationships impact evolutionary reproductive urges. For example, in what behaviors do people engage to protect their romantic relationships in the face of attractive others? How does relationship commitment interfere with sexual desire for extra-pair partners? Jennifer has also explored hookup culture and relationship diversity. She is interested in the cognitions and specific sexual behaviors that distinguish between various relationship partners (i.e. hookups, friends with benefits, and serious romantic relationships). Click here for Jennifer’s articles.
Ph.D., University of Western Ontario
Sarah’s research encompasses three main areas within the broader topic of close relationships: relationship cognition, self-regulation, and psychophysiology and health. She is particularly interested in how different types of people (e.g., those who are insecurely attached) think, feel, and behave in relationships, the distinct positive and negative relationship outcomes associated with low self-regulatory ability, and how relationship experiences influence goal pursuit, bodily stress responses, and mental and physical health outcomes. Her work also seeks to uncover relationship circumstances that promote intimacy, satisfaction, and positive behavior, especially for insecurely attached individuals and their partners. Click here for Sarah’s articles.
Ph.D., California Graduate Institute
Wendy is the author of “The 30-Day Love Detox” and the host of Investigation Discovery Networks’ “Happily Never After.” She is regularly featured as CNN’s human behavior expert. As adjunct professor of psychology at California State University, Channel Islands, she lectures on human mating strategies. Click here for Wendy’s articles.
Ph.D., Arizona State University
James’ primary area of research is the study of uncertainty and how it influences close relationships. So, what behaviors make us the most uncertain about our relationships? And, more importantly, how do those uncertainties affect our relationships? James also studies friends with benefits relationships in great detail, and how they differ from/overlap with more traditional close relationships. Click here for James’s articles.
(click on names to see their articles)
- Matt Baldwin
- Dr. Jennifer Bevan
- Dr. Karen Blair
- Dr. Lorne Campbell
- Karlene Cunningham
- Dr. Bella DePaulo
- Dr. Paul Eastwick
- Lydia Emery
- Dr. Sandra Faulkner
- Hilary Gamble
- Dr. James Giles
- Dr. Marci Gleason
- Dr. Wind Goodfriend
- Dr. Bjarne Holmes
- Dr. Sonia Ip
- Dr. Kristen Mark
- Julie Martin & Dr. Laura Smart Richman
- Dr. Debra Mashek
- Dr. Brent Mattingly
- Dr. Minda Oriña
- Dr. Galena Rhoades
- Dr. Jana Richert
- Dr. Lindsey Rodriguez
- Dr. Maryhope Howland Rutherford
- John Sakaluk
- Dr. David Sbarra
- Jean Smith
- Dr. Scott Stanley
- Sabrina Thai
- Stan Treger
- Dr. Laura VanderDrift
- Dr. Yanna Weissberg
- Dr. Steve Yoshimura