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

February’s always a hot month for love with Valentine’s Day falling right in the middle. Here are a summary of posts from around the web this month that are informative and thought-provoking, covering various topics related to love and relationships. There’s something for everyone in this collection of news, articles and videos.

The History Of Marriage – Alex Gendler (A TED Talk)

“Marriage has always been shaped by society, and as a society’s structure, values and goals change over time, its ideas of marriage will continue to change along with them.” With marriage being a hotly discussed topic of late with increasing divorce rates and same-sex marriage legislation being debated by governments around the world, here is a brief history of marriage (via TED-Ed – Lessons Worth Sharing) in The History Of Marriage – Alex Gendler.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Polyamory But Were Afraid To Ask

Some of the estimated 1 million to 2 million Americans who choose to openly love more than one person share wisdom and advice for people who are considering “going poly,” or who are just curious about the practice in Everything you wanted to know about polyamory but were afraid to ask – inside the sex positive world of multiple partners.

10 Stubborn Sex Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked

Perhaps you’ve heard that size matters, women are naturally more bisexual than men, or that tantric sex means everlasting orgasms. The fact is, none of these things are quite true. Sex has been around forever, but we’re just starting to understand it. Lifehacker debunks 10 of the most common sex myths to set the record straight in 10 Stubborn Sex Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked.

Canadian Actress Ellen Page Comes Out As Gay At Time To Thrive Conference

Canadian actress Ellen Page made the brave decision to come out as gay at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Time to Thrive Conference in Nevada, Las Vegas. Check out the post over at the Human Rights Campaign’s Tumblr page and watch the Juno star’s moving coming out speech below.

Facebook Offers Users 56 New Gender Options

Facebook announced this month that it will allow users to customise their gender, after consulting on the subject with gay and transgender advocacy groups. Facebook now offers users 56 new gender options and here’s what they all mean over at The Week.

In The Mood For Love (10 TED Talks On Love)

Love: it’s what makes the world go round. And also: all you need. As well as that thing, in addition to war, in which all is fair. Here, watch TED Talks about this most basic of human emotions in In The Mood For Love.

26 Of Hollywood’s Most Romantic Movie Moments In One & A Half Minutes

Watch 26 of Hollywood’s most romantic movie moments in a minute and a half in The Most Romantic Movie Moments Mashup by Fandango.

Philosophy Of Love Course On MIT’s OpenCourseWare

The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. This course,  titled ‘Philosophy of Love,’ explores the nature of love through works of philosophy, literature, film, poetry, and individual experience. It investigates the distinction among eros, philia, and agape. Students discuss ideas of love as a feeling, an action, a species of ‘knowing someone,’ or a way to give or take. Authors studied include Plato, Kant, Buber, D. H. Lawrence, Rumi, and Aristotle. Find out more and go through the course materials yourself here.

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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 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?

The Natural Drift Of Relationships – Why Some Relationships Don’t Last

The roles of men and women have changed in Western society over the past few decades and it’s now estimated that up to a half of all marriages end in divorce. Why has this happened? Are people more immoral than they used to be? Are modern couples not as strong-willed as ones in the past? No, divorce rates are now higher because the laws have changed, the stigma attached to a being a divorcée has been reduced, and society has placed a higher premium on individual rights. We all have a greater awareness of the fragility of life and that life really is too short to be unhappy and stick in situations that are no good for our mental and/or physical well-being. People are realising the importance of individual happiness against sticking together for some other reason (because they “said till death do us part” or to do so “for the kids” and so on) and enduring a life of unhappiness. An interesting post on the reasons for divorce can be found here, but in this post I’ll be discussing relationships that didn’t break down due to infidelity, a traumatic, life-changing or significantly stressful event, domestic violence or addiction(s).

There aren’t too many couples who aren’t madly in love when they first get married (with the exception being arranged marriages), so how does a relationship end up in such a state? People do change with time – not just physically, but their personality, likes and dislikes, and even beliefs. Think about the person you were five years ago, or even a year ago, and how much you have changed since then. The pace of modern life means these changes occur at a faster rate than ever before. If you don’t keep up to date with your partner’s thoughts, feelings and activities, you may end up loving the person they once were, and not who they’re becoming (and then feeling like you don’t know them anymore). This is one reason why couples ‘drift apart’ or feel like they ‘don’t know each other anymore,’ but is this because the relationship hasn’t been maintained properly? By maintaining your relationship (see our post on Relationship Maintenance & Avoiding Relationship Ruts) and by keeping the love strong by doing an occasional nice thing (see 10 Ways To Surprise Your Partner), your love for your partner will change dynamically with time and be continually refreshed.

Perhaps the relationship just wasn’t meant to be? People – friends, as well as lovers – come into our lives to help form new chapters of our lives, some can be brief (a seasonal love), others longer, but there are some gems that last a lifetime. Sometimes we misjudge relationships – we can hang onto the wrong person, trying as we might to make things work, or we can give up the right person prematurely. It is incredibly rare for two people to find themselves exactly on the same page.

Or perhaps you weren’t being honest from the very start? Perhaps your partner fell in love with the person you portrayed to win their affection, and not your true self. Being yourself from the outset can avoid this later on. The longer you date someone, the harder it is to fake who you really are. As someone who’s been there before, and told a white lie or two to gain someone’s interest – in the early stages of dating, meeting someone say once a week or month, you can almost be anyone you like. This reminds me of the movie There’s Something About Mary, where each of the guys vying for Mary’s attention create their own fake persona to win her over.

The proliferation of romantic movies, including romantic comedies, can also share the blame as many of these give a false sense of hope and aren’t treated as merely a form of escapism. Treating them as realistic can give unrealistic expectations of your partner and your relationship, particularly when times are tough in a relationship and the parties involved think a quick and amicable solution can be reached immediately. Hardly ever are the normal, everyday parts of the relationship portrayed in a 90 minute movie (well, it wouldn’t sell movie tickets, would it?). This topic is also covered in Romantic comedies make us ‘unrealistic about relationships’, claim scientists and Romantic Comedies Are Ruining Real Life Relationships. However, there are a few movies that do keep it real – It’s Complicated, The Change-Up (except for the switching bodies part), This Is 40, Crazy Stupid Love, and the latest release, I Give It A Year, which looks at the trials and tribulations of a newlywed couple during their first year of marriage. The trailers for these movies can be found at the end of this post.

There are also scientific explanations for why feelings seem to change with time and why we shouldn’t panic when they do, but I’ll save that discussion for another day… stay tuned for Scientific Explanations For Love (And Why Hearts Seem To Change).

Why do you think couples drift apart? If you’ve been in a long-term relationship before, did something cause your relationship to break down?

Realistic Rom Com #1: It’s Complicated

Realistic Rom Com #2: The Change-Up

Realistic Rom Com #3: This Is 40

Realistic Rom Com #4: Crazy Stupid Love

Realistic Rom Com #5: I Give It A Year

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?