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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10 Things Men Want Women To Know & Women Want Men To Know

Find Keep Love recently asked for your participation for a blog post on 10 Things Men Want Women To Know and Women Want Men To Know. Here’s the text from the original post:

All relationships improve with better communication, so let’s take the gloves off, and let the opposite sex know what we’re really thinking (completely anonymously, of course!). Ladies, what do you want men to know about, but never had the guts to say? What are we still not understanding that we should be?! And fellas, what do you want the ladies to know? Be open, be candid, and give them a sneak peek into what really goes on in the male mind.

10 Things Men Want Women To Know

Here are the top 10 responses from men about what they want women to know. Thanks to the contributors B.S., M.T., J.E., scottie89, and R.S.

  1. Men don’t always want to have sex on the first few dates. Well actually, to put it more accurately, we’re happy to wait a few dates to get to know each other before diving straight into the bedroom. If a man seems desperate for it/you, it (sex) might be all he wants you for. It’s fine if a sexual relationship is all you want, but if you want a real relationship with feelings, find a man who wants to get to know you first. If a man really likes you, he will wait (a reasonable amount of time!). We actually respect a woman who doesn’t give herself up so easily, but don’t make up silly rules like “I wait five dates (or three months or something else) before sleeping with someone.”
  2. Men have just as many emotions as women – we just deal with them alone or by ignoring them. When dealing with our feelings, we need our space and time with the boys, and most of the time, don’t need to communicate them verbally.
  3. Women don’t really need to spend so much time getting “pretty” for us – with the make-up and the multiple changes of dress. You look better with little to no make-up than with lots – most men really aren’t very superficial. And if you dress sexy – in a tight dress or with a large amount of cleavage – don’t then complain when you catch us staring!
  4. I go to the gym often and see some girls with make-up on and with nicely made-up hair. But you know what? A lot of guys find a girl working out, looking natural, with some sweat and in tight clothing is pretty damn sexy! And if we’re checking you out, we’re mostly looking at your body, not your make-up and hair.
  5. We really wish you’d get ready quicker. An hour getting ready is an hour of life you’re missing out on! Here’s proof: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2578041/Women-spend-3276-hours-getting-ready.html.
  6. Men are far less interested in looks than women think. We are visual creatures and look at aesthetically pleasing women, but any grown up man has looks fairly low down on his ideal partner list. Heterosexual men don’t pick beauty models (and the ones that do, I don’t think are grown up enough, or are extremely gorgeous themselves). Men in general like curves, bigger bums and breasts – probably because curvy figures appear healthier in relation to reproduction. We really don’t like stick-figured women or those who look like teenage boys. Sizes in the range 10-14 should be ideal for most men.
  7. Some ladies need to stop living in romantic fantasies. That a Ryan Gosling look-alike with a perfect body and lots of money is going to sweep them off their feet, with a perfect personality and perfect romanticism. No man is like that in real life – it is quite a lot of effort for us to be even moderately romantic. A lot of men do try in their own way, but we can’t live up to the fantastical expectations of this alternate reality. We also get confused by what you actually want: do you want a sexy, macho, manly man or a sensitive, romantic guy? You can’t have both.
  8. If men don’t have confidence in their opinions, or feel they’re at a stage in the relationship where they can be completely honest, they will say what they think are expected to say. This is especially true in regard to looks and the topic of whether or not we want commitment and/or kids.
  9. Emotional blackmail works, but it just isn’t cool. We concede arguments when you make them personal, but it doesn’t mean we don’t resent you afterwards for playing that card.
  10. You can please a man quite simply with good food and good sex. Fill our belly (the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!), and fulfill our sexual needs, and we’re all yours. And stroke our confidence and ego, especially in a sexual way, and you’ve got us locked in for good!

10 Things Women Want Men To Know

Here are the top 10 responses from women about what they want men to know. Thanks to the contributors Fart Hater, One Girl, E.H., D., and M.E.

  1. Body smells and noises are not funny, they don’t smell good and they’re one of the biggest turn-offs for a woman. My husband does them all the time then laughs like an excited schoolgirl at my reaction! Our bed is a sanctuary and I don’t like falling asleep in a dutch oven. But by far the worst are farts during sex. Just gross! I know it’s a normal bodily function, but have some etiquette, please!
  2. There are some simple toilet habits we’d love you men to learn – they really are simple, but some men just don’t get it. Firstly, putting the toilet seat down – it takes less than a second, and means that in the middle of the night we won’t sit down on a cold, sometimes urine-splattered rim. Next, if you happen to miss the bowl or splash around the edges, it shouldn’t be our job to clean it up. It isn’t nice to step in your wee, it smells and it stains. Finally, for number twos, there’s air freshener, a window and/or an extractor fan for a purpose and no-one other than you is proud of the smell. And if you leave skidmarks, please use the toilet brush.
  3. Don’t say what you think I want to hear, I want you to be honest and open with me, but also use some tact when doing so. You should also know the difference between big lies and little lies (your life depends on it!)
  4. Do not sit and watch me clean the house up from top to bottom, and then after I have spent hours doing it, ask me if I need any help! The same goes for when I’m making dinner.
  5. We don’t want to keep seeing pictures of your junk. We are not as visually stimulated as you, and penises aren’t that attractive, even when they’re erect. If we want to see, we’ll ask you – until then, keep it in your pants. “My name is John. Here’s a photo of my penis.” is not an acceptable introduction.
  6. When having sex and intimate moments, learn to read my body and my reactions, instead of fumbling around in the dark and just going for the kill! It takes a lot longer for a woman to hit a sexual high than a guy (despite what adult videos might show) and you need to realise this!
  7. Each woman’s body is different and remember that what may have worked in the bedroom for a previous partner might not work for me. Some women are more sensitive than others, some less so. Take your time reading your partner’s body to find out what she likes, but keep it interesting – mix it up a bit and don’t do the same thing over and over again.
  8. It’s nice to see a man’s emotional side every now and then, and to hear from you that you love and care for us. You can still be manly but affectionate, and caring and sensitive, and we won’t think any less of you. It’s also okay to cry occasionally! It’s part of being human.
  9. Romance is important, particularly after the first stages of dating. Too many men are romantic at first, and then lose it after a while (or stop trying?). We need our emotional side satisfied with love and affection. We love romantic surprises every now and then, so don’t be shy in giving them!
  10. Stay sexy for us. Take care of your appearance and try not to become too comfortable in the relationship. We do love you for who you are, but it is difficult to find someone attractive who has let themselves go – both weight-wise and in terms of their personal hygiene.

Do you have something else you really want the opposite sex to know? Leave a comment below, send us a message through our Facebook page, tweet us at @FindKeepLove or send an email via findkeeplove@gmail.com.

Dating Someone Similar Or Different – Opposites Attract?

In the last two posts in Part 1: Find Love, we saw that the first step to finding love is loving yourself (Love Yourself) and then looked at how to perform a self diagnosis to find out who you are and what you really want from a relationship/partner (Know Yourself & What You Really Want From A Partner). Following the same theme, in this post, we’ll look at dating someone similar to you in comparison to dating someone different to you and touch on the core foundation of successful relationships: the keys to long-term love.

If you happened to try out the previous self assessment task, you would have compared the characteristics that define you with the characteristics of your ideal partner. How many of these were similar? How many were different? There are a number of pros and cons for dating someone similar to you versus someone different to you. For starters, the former allows you to stay in your comfort zone, making you feel safe and balanced, whereas the latter might take you out of your comfort zone, which can be scary and make us feel vulnerable.

On the other hand, dating someone similar might see you fall into a rut of doing the same old things over and over again (making it harder to avoid falling into a relationship rut), but you can always do new things together (travel, take a class or course, explore new foods, and so on). However, with someone different, you could be trying and learning new things, and expanding your experiences and knowledge. They could provide a fresh and invigorating perspective on life (or at least show you that that particular thing is not right for you!), but it might mean more work and effort to get the same level of enjoyment out of the relationship.

I have friends and colleagues in long-term relationships at both ends of this spectrum, and I’ve seen that either of these can work well. We’re often advised by others that we should look for someone similar to ourselves, but there’s also the old adage that “opposites attract.” Sometimes opposites really do attract (and particularly when going on those first few dates, someone different can offer interesting conversation and new, exciting perspectives on life), but for long-term success with someone even moderately different, you must like or at least tolerate your potential mate’s differences – whether these are their beliefs, ideas, interests, activities, and so on.

This leads us to one of the keys to a successful long-term relationship: the sharing of common beliefs, goals or worldly ideas. This is hugely important, and can cover topics such as religion (or lack thereof), life/career goals, views on male-female roles/equality, marriage, morals, and so on. An additional factor that can play a role in successful relationships is that both partners have a similar level of experience (love/relationships, sex, life experience in general, etc.). Although perhaps it is not the level of experience itself that is critical, as this has happened in the past and cannot be changed, but the stage at which each partner is at in each of these areas with a view to the future. Love may transcend differences in personality, interests, and life experiences, but most likely not the more critical ones listed here. Do you respect and value this person’s views and opinions, their career, and do you appreciate their hobbies and interests (even if you don’t enjoy them particularly yourself)? In the end, personalities that complement and balance a relationship, rather than those that are the same or polar opposites, give the best opportunity for long-term relationship success.

How do you feel about dating someone similar to you versus someone different? What do you think are the keys to a successful relationship?

In the next post of Part 1: Find Love, we explore the dos and don’ts of a first date (First Date Dos and Don’ts).

Part 1: Find Love. Step 2. Know Yourself & What You Really Want From A Partner

In the last post, Step 1. Love Yourself, we went through the first step to finding love: learning to love yourself, and taking care of your appearance to feel confident and give you the best chance of making a good first impression. In this post, I’m going to help you perform a self diagnosis to find out who you are and what you really want from a relationship/partner. This isn’t just for singles either – anyone can apply the principles below.

Before you enter the big, scary world out there and start off on your journey to find love, it’s crucial that you have at least a good idea of what you’re looking for. When it comes to love, some people believe in fate, or a grand plan that will unfold when it unfolds, and some people believe you just need to be lucky. I believe in what the Roman philosopher Seneca once said, in that “luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

When you were younger, you probably played the love calculator game, where you calculate your ‘true love compatibility’ with someone based on a simple and cheesy algorithm. Now that we’re a little older (and hopefully wiser), most of us would like something a little bit more substantial.

The first thing you’ll need to do is grab a piece of paper and pen, and you’ll want to make a list with three columns (ME, THEM, and SCORE). In the first column of each list, under ME, write down all the good and bad things about yourself: the things that make up and define you as a person. If you’re struggling to think of things, you could try asking a friend – but only if 1) you are open to constructive criticism, and 2) have a good friend who you know will be honest and open with you. Otherwise, start by thinking about your emotions: are you energetic or lazy? Are you emotionally stable or are you on an emotional roller coaster?

To prompt your thinking a little more, try answering the following questions:

  • Are you conservative and uncomfortable with change or are you dynamic and embrace change?
  • Do you take risks or are you careful and cautious? A daredevil or prefer to play it safe?
  • Do you crave company the company of others (extrovert) or do you prefer to be alone (introvert)?
  • Are you romantic or are you realistic?
  • Are you a leader or a follower?
  • When making decisions, who comes first – the desires of others or of your own?
  • What is your coping strategy to deal with the world around you? Are you a curious intellect? Or do you find humour is a good coping mechanism?
  • Do you use the left side (logic, language, and analytical thinking) or the right side (expressive and creative tasks) of your brain more?
  • Are you religious or spiritual? How political are you?
  • Do you have children or do you want children in the future?

The questions above should be a good starting point, and try to be as detailed and exhaustive as possible – you’ll be surprised at what you come up with.

Now have a think about what you want from a partner and write a list in the THEM column. Try again to be as detailed and exhaustive as possible, and use the items you listed in your ME column as a starting point. You may like someone with the same trait as you (or, on the other hand, the thought may repulse you!). When you’ve written down a dozen or so items in each column of the list, write a score in the third column based on the following scoring system:

5 = Necessary
4 = Very important, but not necessary
3 = Important
2 = Not very important
1 = Doesn’t matter

Cross out any item that scores 1 or 2, and draw a big circle around all those items that scored 5 – these are the things you NEED from a prospective partner. Those remaining that are things that you WANT from a prospective partner.

Take your time over the next week to think about your list – often things bubble up from your subconscious mind when you’re least expecting it – and add things as they come to you. Cross things out, too, if they’re no longer applicable or if you’ve changed your mind. You might also find your ratings change as you think more about each item on your lists.

How do you assess what you want from a relationship/partner? What are your needs and wants from a prospective partner?

Now that you know what you want, the third step in finding love is to start looking, and you’ll find a few of the common places to start looking for love, and some of the pros and cons of each, in Step 3. (Where To Start) Looking For Love.

In the next post of Part 1: Find Love, I discuss dating someone similar to you in comparison to dating someone different to you and examine the core foundation of successful relationships (see Dating Someone Similar Or Different – Opposites Attract?).

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