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Psychology department Colloquium with Dr. Karen Blair

Author: myUNB News

Posted on Mar 15, 2018

Category: News and Notices

Dr. Karen Blair, from St. Francis Xavier University, will be with us to deliver a talk titled, "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Dynamics of Giving and Receiving Disapproval for Same-Sex v. Mixed-Sex Relationships" on Friday, March 16, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., in Keirstead Hall's Snodgrass Lounge, 105. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Dynamics of Giving and Receiving Disapproval for Same-Sex v. Mixed-Sex Relationships

In the movies, and perhaps at some actual weddings, there is always the line where the officiant asks for any objections to the union or marriage by saying “speak now or forever hold your peace.” Yet, beyond what might happen in Hollywood flicks, it seems rare that anyone actually takes this opportunity to voice their disapproval of the couple’s relationship. Perhaps there is an unwritten understanding that by the time the couple is at the altar and has spent tens of thousands of dollars to invite you to their wedding, it is a little bit too late to voice your discontent over their relationship. But when is the right time to voice your disapproval? And who should you voice it to? What will happen if you tell your best friend that you think their new partner isn’t really ‘the one’? On the flip side of these questions you might wonder about how to decipher the opinions that others have about your own relationship. Have you ever broken up with someone only to be confronted with a chorus of “I never really liked him much anyway” or “she was never right for you”? If your friends and family had told you sooner, couldn’t they have saved you a lot of heartache and time? But if they had shared their disapproval with you, would you have listened? Would you have trusted a disapproving opinion of your relationship when you were at the peak of the honeymoon phase? The dynamics of giving and receiving disapproval for romantic relationships are complicated and challenging to disentangle, but they are important dynamics to understand and investigate because we know that there are strong associations between how your friends and family feel about your relationship and the trajectory your relationship will take. In fact, it is not just a matter of whether your relationship will last and be happy, but there is even evidence to connect social support and approval for your relationship with your mental and physical well-being over time.

In this talk, I will share my research in this area and try to leave you with some answers that might apply to your own relationships. Failing that, I will at least leave you wondering about what your friends and family might really be thinking about your romantic relationship(s)!  

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