Untied Shoestrings & Romantic Conflicts

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
10 min readJul 29, 2021


Couples that decide to tie the untied shoestring are less likely to trip over the issue down the road & have a major fall leading them to break up

(Random idea during lecture on July 26th)

Long term lovers are walking in the same shoes. One is responsible for the 2 left strings & the other for the 2 right strings; meaning neither person can tie a shoe on their own. It requires both.

Couples that decide to tie the untied shoestring are less likely to trip over an issue down the road & have a major fall where they end up breaking something/ breaking up. It’s better to tie that shoestring when it comes up rather than putting those tough conversations off.

Moreover, failing to tie that shoe string when you’re on flat ground increases the odds that you’ll trip when things get stressful walking uphill. That shoestring can lead to a far worse outcome if you trip while going uphill than if the two of you sat down to have those sometimes uncomfortable conversations in the first place.

Dyadic Self-Concept

GamerGirl & Jarryd are driving to Garden of Eden National Park in their own cars. GG knows the way but Jarryd doesn’t, so Jarryd is following GG.

As they are approaching a green light, it suddenly turns yellow.

GG determines that she can make the light based on her current speed, distance from the light, dry road, no other driver in front of her, & otherwise favorable environmental conditions. However…

She’s driving for 2. Jarryd CAN’T make the light. Thus, her dyadic self-concept leads her stops at the yellow light she otherwise could’ve made.

— An example of the baseline/default behavioral adjustments that help define healthy, close relationships 💟🧡💛💚💙💜


— Among monosexual men dating bisexuals, some #gay men fetishize their boyfriend’s perceived masculinity (American Institute of Bisexuality, 2016) & some #straight men fantasize about the idea that their girlfriends will let them experience a 3-some (Eliason, 1997; Callis, 2013).

— Among #monosexual women, straight women would rather date a straight male than a #bisexual male (Callis, 2013) & lesbians would rather date a #lesbian than a bisexual woman (Feinstein et al., 2014).

— “Among #asexuals, three-quarters of those participants identified as #introverts.” (Esther Rothblum et al., 2019)

— The sexual satisfaction of #heterosexuals dating #bisexuals is higher than both heterosexuals dating heterosexuals & #lesbians/ #gays dating bisexuals (Spalding and Peplau, 1997).

#psychology #UCSD #TritonPride #relationships #LGBTQIA+


Researchers found those who had contracted COVID saw the greatest underperformance on tasks requiring reasoning, planning and problem-solving compared to those who had not had the virus.

but they found a significant (starred) drop **even in mild patients too**!

“There is significant IQ drop across all levels of #COVID19 mild to severe infections. COVID19 survivors suffer severe cognitive deficit. Patients hospitalized on ventilators saw the biggest drop in on intelligence tests —

equal to a *7-point drop in IQ*!”

We risk “creating a generation left with chronic health problems & disability, the personal & economic impacts of which might be felt for decades to come.”

— Dr Eric Feigl-Ding


Muslim Women’s Courtship

Annisa Rochadiat et al. (2017)

“Very few studies have actually investigated the dating experiences of Muslim women, let alone those residing in the United States [most have focused on men; Lo & Aziz, 2009; Soukup, 2012; Al-Saggaf, 2013]. This bias is perhaps because the intrinsic link between conservative Muslim courtship practices and norms for gendered behavior (Hammer, 2015) limits Muslim women’s activity in the dating and courtship process.

The extant research has also failed “to emphasize the fundamental significance of the constructed discursive triangle of (universalized) Islamic norms, (generalized) American values, and attachment to ethnic cultures (Arab, South Asian, African American, etc.) as distinct entities through which Muslims negotiate religion (Islam) vis-à-vis culture(s) and vis-à-vis American societal norms regarding mate selection and marriage (Hammer, 2015: 37). These dynamics are in perceived and constant tension and animate Muslim American marriage practices and surrounding discourses.

The impact of online dating technology on Muslim courtship Increased agency.

Online dating platforms have allowed Muslim women greater freedom to initiate contact with the opposite sex. One interview participant said she engages in online matchmaking services because “it makes the idea of messaging a brother (i.e., another Muslim man) feel like it’s normal and not scary or intimidating in any way” (S07).

This same respondent claimed that she had initiated conversation with the opposite sex at least “60% of the time” in online settings. Such experiences seem consistent with previous work that highlights the Internet’s ability to facilitate relationship initiation by reducing inhibitions. That said, the ability for a Muslim woman to initiate contact with the opposite sex by herself with no intermediary involved in the process can be considered as an effect that has been enabled by computer-mediated-communication. Going online can also increase a Muslim woman’s overall agency during mate selection. One participant explained why she preferred online dating as opposed to more “traditional” forms of courtship in which “… the vetting process happens entirely between parents.”

For her, “growing up in the US … has sort of distanced me from that traditional way of finding a mate, because … I would just like to meet the person, it’s fine if we don’t get along, but I would rather meet him rather than wait for the parents to decide whether this is a good match.” (S07)

The Gospel of Allyship by Jenn

Jenn Finnegan — (One of the greatest pieces on Allyship I have ever read)

(assume direct quotes)

“When we start to get involved in fighting for racial equality, it’s almost as if we are starting a new job. I don’t mean to compare anti-racism to a job, obviously, it is way more socially charged and complex than that, it’s just the best way I have to describe how it feels for a white person. Like a new job, you’re learning so much, trying to absorb it all, trying to do a good job, and say the right thing. Not only because you don’t want to hurt anyone but also because you genuinely care about helping improve the state of the world. You’re trying to help make an impact externally while unpacking white privilege and biases internally. At the end of the day, your brain is on overload, and you’re exhausted.

Have you ever heard a white person say, I’m so tired of hearing about racism? I know I have. Frankly, I’m sure I’ve thought that at some point or another. And many people of color will say, if you’re tired of hearing about racism, imagine what it’s like to experience it because they don’t get to opt-out. But here’s the thing, white people get to opt-out, and we do. We post on social media, read the news, and after our daily dose of what we deem to be fighting for racial justice, we opt-out. We just, turn it off, and we don’t have to deal with it anymore. White people get overwhelmed with racism. Unlike people of color, we haven’t had to deal with racism for our entire lives.”

At the family dinner table

“White people will post on social media, and it becomes the easiest way for them to meet their daily quota of doing their part. By daily quota, I mean that they reach their limit of emotionally draining labor in the race arena. White people are needed daily in so many spaces where racism exists.

That leaves very little room for other impactful work to be done in allyship. It’s great to educate and spread awareness. But white people are needed daily in so many spaces where racism exists. We need to be speaking up in the board room. We need to correct the cashier, or the teacher, or the barista when they get our BIPOC friend’s name wrong. We need to be examining company policies and procedures to create systemic change. We need to attend anti-racism protests, form school clubs and do our own research to support BIPOC artists and business owners. We need to call out our friends when they say something racist — even unintentionally, especially unintentionally.

There is so much more to be done whether it’s in a business meeting, at school,

at our family dinner table,

or within our political parties.

So, white people, stop posting about racism on social media all of the time and mix it up with other actionable steps.”

It’s helpful for White people to create safe spaces to talk about race

“I think this is especially important to talk to your white friends and create safe spaces for them to discuss racism. It’s a necessary step in the short term that will help reach long-term goals more quickly. It’s almost like taking two steps back to take 10 forward. Why? Well, for starters, when it comes to conversations surrounding race, white people need to prioritize psychological safety for BIPOC individuals, and they can’t do that when they feel defensive and emotional.”

“it’s hard for us to come to terms with the fact that we’ve been unintentionally reinforcing systemic oppression for our entire lives”

“…the reality is that everything from microaggressions to straight-up racist remarks are so embedded in our society, sometimes we don’t even see it”

“Sometimes, I experience a situation, and it takes me a few days to realize what exactly happened” (truth)

“Social media can be a great way to get complex concepts simplified down into easy-to-digest snippets.”
[Jarryd: Memes are cogent, aesthetically digestible, & oft entertaining digital versions of food for thought. Though memes’ modality may be unconventional (a term whose definition is changing over time), don’t underestimate their capacity to parsimoniously communicate concepts, theories, & insights it may have taken others a lifetime to learn. Acknowledging the cumulative insights of others enriches the compass of one’s own journey.]

“White people’s biggest fear is being called racist. Have you seen how we react? Damn, we get sooooo defensive!”

“Focus on self-educating. Instead of waiting for a person of color to hand you information on a silver platter, get out there and seek it out. The internet offers a massive amount of knowledge at your fingertips.

Prepare yourself for difficult situations because allyship can bring an array of interpersonal challenges your way. Most of all, don’t post on social media about racism if you aren’t going to pair it with in-person action.”

Borderline Love (Alyson Blanchard et al., 2021)

Women who present with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) women “might be alluring in that they offer a thrilling relationship for the short-term, so long as they are also physically appealing” (Blanchard et al., 2021).

For example men are willing to date women high in BPD if they are attractive; specifically, “a woman high in BPD traits could be initially appealing so long as she is “hot” as compensation for behaviors associated with her clinical diagnosis” (p. 5).

Women, in contrast, make intelligent decisions.

Indeed, “women are more astute in mate preference, avoiding troublesome or financially challenged men who are temporally & economically costly, whereas men more readily engage in potentially turbulent relationships” (Blanchard et al., 2021).

“Women prefer high levels of wealth in a partner compared to men and compensate for low attractiveness with wealth, whereas men disfavor high levels of wealth & prioritize physical attractiveness when making calculations of mate preference. Women rated wealthy, low attractive partners as more datable then men did for their equivalents, for both short- and long-term dating.

Interestingly, women rated low attractive wealthy men as more desirable for an official relationship than men who were both wealthy AND attractive. Potentially, high attractive wealthy men might be considered at a higher risk of cheating because they attract more women whilst a less attractive man is a safer bet for long-term commitment. That women still preferred low attractive high wealthy men in the short-term suggests that they adopt this strategy no matter the dating context in case the coupling results in an unexpected pregnancy” (p. 6).”

“According to sexual dimorphism in parental investment (ConroyBeam et al., 2015)”, ‘straight women assess partner value along traits such as altruism because it signals men’s likelihood of investing in offspring (Bhogal et al., 2018)’ (p. 5).

“Traits such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, & openness facilitate long-term partnerships (DeYoung, Quilty & Peterson, 2007). According to life history theory, short-term relationships are preferable under certain circumstances. In environments where longterm survival is uncertain, allocating resources in the short-term to mating effort is adaptive & preferable over prioritizing/seeking longterm relationships (Del Giudice et al., 2015). Attractiveness might be prioritized because it signals the types of genetics that are adapted to uncertainty, certainly in terms of physique (e.g., strength and masculinity in men)” (Alyson Blanchard et al., 2021, p. 2).

Blanchard, A. E., Dunn, T. J., & Sumich, A. (2021). Borderline personality traits in attractive women and wealthy low attractive men are relatively favoured by the opposite sex. Personality and Individual Differences, 169, 109964.

Nov 1 Update

How Chronic Stress Influences the Immune System

Piper = Outside Walking = no stress
Pelody = Outside jogging = chronic stress

At some point a pathogen-virus-infection tiger appears. Their immune system/legs tries to fight off/ outrun the pathogen/tiger. Piper succeeds because she has been walking (low stress). Pelody has been jogging/ going through chronic stress. Thus, she is unable to run as fast as she usually can & her legs get tired sooner than they usually do. As a result of chronic stress, Pelody is more likely to get sick/bit. And it’ll take her longer to recover from the ailment/ bites

Serotonin Transport Protein

Imagine serotonin is being transported on the bus. For some people, their sero takes the long bus & for others it takes a smaller bus. Given that sero is key for emotional regulation, those with longer buses will have more available when their sero passengers arrive. Those with smaller buses will have fewer sero transported & thus will be more influenced by environmental inputs The road is the environment & it’s filled with potholes. Busses with more passengers (LL) weigh more & thus are less influenced by envir inputs. Busses transporting fewer serotonin passengers (SS) weigh less & thus may tip over when encountering those same potholes.

The road is the environment & it’s filled with potholes. Busses with more passengers (LL) weigh more & thus are less influenced by envir inputs. Busses transporting fewer serotonin passengers (SS) weigh less & thus may tip over when encountering those same potholes.



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.