Informative & Thought-Provoking Posts From Around The Web – March Edition

Continuing our post from last month summarising the best informative and thought-provoking articles from around the web, here are six posts from the month of March covering the hottest topics related to love and relationships.

Is Big Data Dating The Key To Long-Lasting Romance?

Paul Rubens at the BBC investigates whether “big data” is the key to finding long-lasting romance and if modern technology can assist us all in finding our true love (or even just a highly compatible partner).

Love Machine: How Gen Yers Used Technology To Transform The Dating Game

“Sex and romance online was for freaks and geeks until young people came along. Nothing would ever be the same again.” In another post on love in the modern world and the use of technology, the Guardian looks at how Generation Y is going about the quest for love – their ways might seem outrageous to other generations, but it appears that the nature of the beast is still the same.

Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal As First Couples Wed In the UK

The first same-sex weddings have taken place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales at midnight on March 29. Politicians from the main parties have hailed the change in the law. Scotland passed a similar law in February; the first same-sex marriages are expected there in October. For those who missed it last year, check out Find Keep Love’s post on Why Gay Marriage Is A Step Forward For Humanity.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law Challenged In Court

On the other side of the world, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill last month toughening penalties for gay people, including life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriages. Some of the outrageous punishments include:

  • Life imprisonment for gay sex, including oral sex;
  • Life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality”, including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive;
  • Life imprisonment for living in a same-sex marriage;
  • Seven years for “attempting to commit homosexuality”;
  • Between five and seven years in jail and/or a $40,700 (£24,500) fine for the promotion of homosexuality; and
  • Businesses or non-governmental organisations found guilty of the promotion of homosexuality would have their certificates of registration cancelled and directors could face seven years in jail.

Protests are ongoing from groups like All Out and LGBT groups around the world, and the law is currently being challenged in court in Uganda.

Am I Really Ready For This? Pre-Wedding Jitters

A good number of engagements happen during the month of love – Februrary – but what happens when the excitement dies down and reality hits. Here is some advice for those who have recently popped the question (or have been asked to marry) and the enormity of the situation has just sunk in.

Cat Café Opens In London – Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

And, finally, taking after the craze in Japan, a cat café has opened in London: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. At Lady Dinah’s – a home for rescued cats – visitors can kick back and relax with a cup of tea and spend time in the soothing company of our purring feline friends. This article provides more information on the cat café and its opening.

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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas For Everyone

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so I thought in this post I’d provide some timely encouragement and inspiration to make the most of this yearly event celebrating love.

LOOKING FOR LOVE?

For those looking for love, you might like to start with our post Step 3. (Where To) Start Looking For Love, and if online dating is something you’ve thought about trying, check out our online dating-themed posts on The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love, Creating A Successful Online Dating Profile, and Tips & Advice To Stay Safe Online. Make Valentine’s Day your catalyst for finding and keeping love this year.

GOING ON A DATE?

If you’re going on a date with someone, particularly for the first time, don’t leave home without having read our First Date Dos And Don’ts!

And make sure you give yourself the best chance possible of attracting your ideal mate by reading 10 Ways To Make Yourself More Attractive To The Opposite Sex – Part 1 and Part 2.

WANT A DATE IDEA?

If you don’t know where to go or what to do on your date, and want some ideas that won’t break the bank, our posts on 10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 1 and Part 2 should put you on the right track.

If you’d just like to have a romantic evening indoors with your loved one instead, perhaps try our series of movie posts on movies perfect for couples: 10 Man-Friendly Romantic Comedies That Women Love, 10 Feel-Good And Tear-Jerker Movies That Change Your Perspective, 10 Classic Love Stories & Romantic Movies and 10 Girl-Friendly Action Movies That Men Love. There’s something for everyone in these collections of fantastic movies.

WANT TO SURPRISE YOUR PARTNER?

If you are in a relationship and want to make your Valentine feel special, 10 Ways To Surprise Your Partner will give you several handy suggestions to show them that you love and appreciate them.

And if you really want to surprise them and take your relationship to the ultimate level, our post on Epic Marriage Proposal Wins should inspire you to make it uniquely special.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day to celebrate love?

10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 2

In this post, Find Keep Love continues the theme of 10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 1, looking at a few more cheap date ideas that won’t break the bank and won’t make you appear to be a cheapskate.

6. Use vouchers & take advantage of special deals/offers

There are a multitude of voucher/deal applications for smartphones available: Groupon, LocalSocial [Android], vouchercloud [Apple and Android], and HotUKDeals [Apple and Android] are some examples. If you’re embarrassed to use a voucher in front of your date/partner, why not call ahead and book and mention it while you’re doing that (in fact, some deals require that). Or you can always fake a trip to the restroom and slyly make your way to the cashier to sort out the bill, rather than calling it to the table. You’ll not only gain points on the chivalry front, but you’ll get a great deal on the meal. For UK-based restaurant vouchers and deals, check out this post at Money Saving Expert.

7. Ten pin bowling

A ten pin bowling date can be an immensely fun date and many bowling alleys incorporate pool/snooker tables, bars and video games, so there’s plenty to do. Often nearby are restaurants, movie theatres and even nightclubs. You can relive dates of decades past at a retro bowling alley or immerse yourself in one with the latest gaming technology – there’s cosmic bowling, for example, with the latest beats and glow-in-the-dark pins.

8. Go to a local fair, market or other special event

Every weekend you will find local fairs, markets and other special events taking place across the UK. There are music festivals (the more commercial ones will cost a significant chunk of cash, but there are many free ones, too), beer festivals, food festivals, cultural festivals, dancing festivals… the list goes on. Check out your town/city/village’s local newspaper or magazine – in print or online – for upcoming events. You’ll find there’s always something on… to do something you both enjoy, or get out of your comfort zones with something new and interesting.

9. Be a tourist in your own town

People often think they have to travel far away – perhaps to exotic locations – to be a tourist, but you can always be a tourist in your own town. With a little research you can always find something new and interesting to do – sometimes we take our own place of living for granted and overlook some great things to do – and save on flights, accommodation, and so on. Things that might actually be staring us in the face, on our own doorstep, that we lose sight of. The local newspaper or magazine will have a list of things in it that just might surprise you. There could be a new restaurant, bar or coffee shop, or there may be a visiting performer or art exhibition. Fall in love with the place you live all over again.

10. Heat up some popcorn & have a movie night in

You don’t always have to go outside for a date – watching a romantic movie, cuddled up together at home on the couch or in bed, perhaps sharing a bowl of popcorn or some chocolate treats, is a great way to enjoy each other’s company. Some supermarkets have some great meal deals designed for couples to have a night off cooking without having to resort to junk food – my local M&S, for example, has a Dine In For £10 deal on select days. For some movie date ideas, check out these Find Keep Love posts:

So, in summary, in addition to the five ways in Part 1, ten cheap dates that won’t make you (seem like) a cheapskate are

1. A coffee date
2. Visit a National Park & enjoy the great outdoors
3. Visit a National Trust property
4. Go on a day trip on a bus or train
5. Go for a walk/jog/run/cycle somewhere together
6. Use vouchers & take advantage of special deals/offers
7. Ten pin bowling
8. Go to a local fair, market or other special event
9. Be a tourist in your own town
10. Heat up some popcorn & have a movie night in

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10 Cheap Date Ideas That Won’t Make You A Cheapskate – Part 1

In this post, Find Keep Love looks at a few cheap date ideas that won’t break the bank and won’t make you appear to be a cheapskate.  You can show your date/partner a fun and/or interesting time without having to take out a loan to do so!

1. A coffee date

A date at a café can be an inexpensive way to get to know someone over a cup of tea or coffee (and even cake!). This is a great option for first/initial dates – it’s casual, and the bill shouldn’t end up being too expensive. It is also a suitable alternative to a pub, where alcohol can sometimes have a negative influence on a date (see our post on First Dates Dos and Don’ts), but you can also easily end up with an expensive bill if things are going well!

2. Visit a National Park & enjoy the great outdoors

England, for example, has 10 National Parks that cover almost 10% of the land area. There are 113,000 National Parks worldwide, which cover about 6% of the Earth’s land surface! Many of these are free/cheap to enter, so provided the weather is good, why not pack a picnic basket with yummy food and enjoy some beautiful scenery that have been specifically protected for us to enjoy. There are many ways to get in touch with Mother Nature, and it doesn’t have to be at a National Park. Besides enjoying the weather outside, you can watch the sunrise/sunset, watch birds and other animals, pick fruit, gaze at the stars, and so on.

3. Visit a National Trust property

The UK’s National Trust protects and opens many historic gardens, mills and monuments for the public to visit, and for a small yearly membership fee (even cheaper when you get a joint membership), you have access to National Trust properties and events, as well as opportunities to join local supporter groups. National Trust properties include something for everyone: grand houses and mansions, caves, lighthouses, gardens, beaches, castles and abbeys!

4. Go on a day trip on a bus or train

With advance/cheap bus or train tickets, you can take a trip to another village or city and spend the day there. Super Off Peak Day Return train tickets can let you have a day trip on a weekend for just over £10 to travel from Cambridge to London, for example, where a normal ticket would cost over £40. With megabus.com, you can get a bus from Cambridge to Oxford for as low as £1! For other offers and tips, check out Money Saving Expert’s post on cheap train & coach deals.

5. Go for a walk/jog/run/cycle somewhere together

Many cities have walking or cycling trails and getting some exercise together can be a great way to release endorphins. You could stop off at a village along the way to browse the shops, sample the local produce, have a cup of tea or coffee or a beer, and then continue on your journey. The exercise will have a positive impact on your cardiovascular system and have you both feeling (and possibly even looking) better, and with the help of Google Maps you can tailor your route/distance to your specific fitness level!

Stay tuned for the continuation of this post, where we’ll explore five more cheap date ideas!

10 Classic Love Stories & Romantic Movies

Continuing our series of posts on great movies to watch with a loved one or someone special, this week we have 10 Classic Love Stories & Romantic Movies. These 10 movies span a number of generations, but are all iconic love films that transcend the boundaries of time. Be sure to check out our other movie date idea posts:

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #10: Romeo + Juliet (1996) [or the older Romeo and Juliet from 1968]

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #9: Sleepless In Seattle

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #8: The Notebook

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #7: An Affair To Remember

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #6: Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #5: Gone With The Wind

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #4: When Harry Met Sally

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #3: Ghost

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #2: The Great Gatsby [or the one starring Robert Redford from 1974]

Classic Love Story & Romantic Movie #1: Casablanca

Honourable mentions: Other movies that didn’t quite make the top ten include The Way We Were, You’ve Got Mail, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Pride & Prejudice.

Agree or disagree with the list? What’s your favourite love story or romantic movie?

10 Girl-Friendly Action Movies That Men Love

A few months ago, Find Keep Love posted 10 Man-Friendly Romantic Comedies That Women Love, which was followed up more recently with 10 Feel-Good & Tear-Jerker Movies That Change Your Perspective and 10 Classic Love Stories & Romantic Movies. Continuing this theme this week, here are 10 Girl-Friendly Action Movies That Men Love. The movies below combine the thrills and spills of action movies with something for the ladies – either in terms of visual stimulation (e.g., a sexy male actor to look at), a romantic/love sub-plot, good fashion (think Bond, James Bond) or just a movie that isn’t too manly. These 10 movies offer something for both sexes that’ll leave you both satisfied.

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #10: Ocean’s Eleven [and Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen]

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #9: Gladiator

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #8: True Lies

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #7: The Sum Of All Fears

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #6: The Rock

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #5: Paycheck

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #4: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol [and Mission: ImpossibleM:I 2, M:I 3]

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #3: Armageddon

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #2: The Bourne Legacy [and The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum]

Girl-Friendly Action Movie #1: Skyfall [and any other Bond film: Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, GoldenEye, and more]

Agree or disagree with the list? What’s your favourite girl-friendly action movie?

10 Feel-Good & Tear-Jerker Movies That Change Your Perspective

Continuing the theme of date ideas, and sticking with movies to watch (see our other posts on 10 Man-Friendly Romantic Comedies That Women Love, 10 Girl-Friendly Action Movies That Men Love, and 10 Classic Love Stories & Romantic Movies), here is a list of feel-good and tear-jerker movies guaranteed to change your perspective. These will make you feel lucky to have a loved one or friends (or a pet!) by your side or just appreciate life a little more in some respect. Keep those tissues handy – even the strongest or coldest of hearts will have trouble not feeling something watching these ten movies! These movies cover themes of love, hate, friendship, life, and death, and all have an emotional strength that gives you a new perspective and makes you reassess your own sometimes flawed vision of the good and bad in your life. One therapeutic thing that we can all do occasionally (and definitely don’t do enough) is to let our emotions out (safely and privately).

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #1: Hachiko: A Dog’s Story

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #2: The Shawshank Redemption

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #3: Forrest Gump

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #4: Up

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #5: Stand By Me

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #6: The Notebook

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #7: Pay It Forward

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #8: It’s A Wonderful Life

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #9: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Feel-good / Tear-jerker #10: P.S. I Love You

Other dog-related tear-jerkers: I only wanted to put one dog-related tear-jerker on this list, but both Quill [Japanese with English subtitles] and Marley and Me are also highly recommended (see the trailers below). There’s something about the bond between a dog and a human that gets me every single time.

Honourable mentions: Other movies that didn’t quite make the top ten include The Time Traveler’s WifeThe Green Mile, Ghost, Titanic, Schindler’s List, Dear John, I Am SamArmageddon, and Beaches.

Agree or disagree with the list? What’s your favourite feel-good or tear-jerker movie?