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There's no doubt that Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year, and while that suits festive enthusiasts down to the ground, it can make it difficult for people who mourn their late loved ones all the more deeply at Christmas.

Tapping into this over the weekend, Twitter user, Rachael Prior, posted a message which ultimately initiated a heartfelt thread on the subject of love and loss.

"Nowhere and no time do I miss my dad more acutely than in the men’s department of M&S at Christmas," she wrote in a post which has been liked almost 12,000 times since Saturday.

Rachael's candour set in motion a discussion which gave the grieving a chance to remember their own loved ones by telling fellow followers how and when they remember their friends and family members.

It makes for emotional reading, but there's a lot to be said for the warmth born of the impromptu discussion.

Take a look here…

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Happy to be single? You're not alone. 

A new survey has shown that more women are happy and content with being independent individuals than men. 

Retail analysts Mintel found that two thirds of single women are more than happy being without an other half. 

Image result for single ladies

The same could not be said for men to the same extent. 

Just under half of men surveyed said they were happy being alone, according to The Irish Sun. 

If you're looking for love on Tinder, look away now. 

Their study also found that that 70pc of singles are not actively search for a bae, and haven't been focusing on their love lives at all in the last year, according to The Daily Mail.

So careers, friends and family seem to come before love for those in the survey. 

However, around 40pc of adults worry about being forever alone (us too hun) and this figure rises in young adults. 

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Husband of the Year award, we have found you a major contender. 

Robbie Tripp is an activist and author, and happens to be married to sensational lifestyle blogger Sarah Tripp, better known by her Instagram moniker Sassy Red Lipstick. 

Taking to Instagram, he shared a completely touching open letter about his love of his wife's curves. 

 

A post shared by ROBBIE TRIPP™ (@tripp) on

'I love this woman and her curvy body. As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to girls on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, girls that the average (basic) bro might refer to as "chubby" or even "fat,"' he began the post.

'Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalises women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean) I realised how many men have bought into that lie.'

'For me, there is nothing sexier than this woman right here: thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc.'

'Her shape and size won't be the one featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan but it's the one featured in my life and in my heart. There's nothing sexier to me than a woman who is both curvy and confident; this gorgeous girl I married fills out every inch of her jeans and is still the most beautiful one in the room.'

'Guys, rethink what society has told you that you should desire. A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character.'

Tugging at the heartstrings of a nation even further, Robbie goes on to remind women that they absolutely do not need to conform to stringent societal beauty ideals in order to find the love of their lives.

'She's real. She has beautiful stretch marks on her hips and cute little dimples on her booty. Girls, don't ever fool yourself by thinking you have to fit a certain mold to be loved and appreciated.'

'There is a guy out there who is going to celebrate you for exactly who you are, someone who will love you like I love my Sarah.'

No we're not crying, you are. 

Robbie posted another snap to his Instagram, gushing about the positive attention his post has received. 

'It's been incredible to see the reaction from my simple post celebrating my wife and her body. So much positivity and love have come from it,' he said. 

As well as being partner goals, Robbie has seriously reminded us that beauty standards are purely dictatorial, and that real beauty is subjective.

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Bad news for anyone born in 1991 – according to this Chinese magazine, you'll struggle to find love.

The state-owned publication, caused a stir online after making the claim that people born in the year of the sheep are destined for a lifetime of bad luck in the romance department.

See, in Beijing, many of the older population still believe in the old Chinese custom of matching two families based on their personalities, social class and even the Chinese zodiac – all of which were reflected in the answers given in a recent interview by Phoenix Weekly.

The magazine asked a number of parents living in Beijing what it was like to try to set their sons and daughters up with a potential love interest, and concluded that for those born in 1991, “life is not good -no children even if other conditions are appropriate.”

One interviewee even said, "No people whose Chinese Zodiac is a sheep."

The article sparked huge backlash on Weibo, with many users taking offence at the comments made about the year of the sheep. 

"My mother is a sheep, my girlfriend is also a sheep… this superstition is nonsense, sheep have the best temperament,” one man said.

So, if your birthday does happen to fall in 1991, all hope is not lost.

In fact, according to Chinese astrologer, Master George Tang, those born in the year of the sheep are “refined, cunning, aesthetic, perceptive, charming, serene and sensitive.”

You got this! 

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People can be divided by being cat lovers or dog lovers.

And while we love our pets with all our hearts, can the same be said for them?

A new study has found which species loves their owners more, and the findings are pretty interesting.

Orange Tabby Cat Beside Fawn Short-coated Puppy

The study was conducted as part of the BBC Two show Cats V. Dogs, and saw researchers measure the amount of oxytocin – a.k.a. the love hormone – in the two animals when they interacted with their owners.

Dr Paul Zak, who led the research measured the oxytocin levels ten minutes before a play session, and then again immediately afterwards.

"We have pretty good evidence that dogs actually love their humans. A couple of small-scale studies have shown that when owners interact with their dogs, the human and their dog appear to release oxytocin," Dr Paul said.

White Orange and Gray Tabby Cat Lying on Gray Textile

"It’s one of the chemical measures of love in mammals. Humans produce the hormone in our brains when we care about someone.

"For example, when we see our spouse or child the levels in our bloodstream typically rise by 40-60 per cent.”

And while it has been proven that dogs have immense affection for us, can the same be said for cats?

Person in Brown Cable Knife Sweater Holding White and Black Puppy

Well, the research found that oxytocin levels in dogs increased by an average of 57.2 per cent after playing with their owners, and the average increase in cats rose by… erm,12 per cent.

“It shows these dogs really care about their owners. It was also a nice surprise to discover that cats produce any at all. At least some of the time, cats seem to bond with their owners."

Well, at least cat levels rose a little bit…

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Well, this is going to be interesting…

Jedward are taking part in a new MTV series called Single AF in the hopes to find love.

The pair have just been confirmed for the show, which will also include Marnie Simpson from Geordie Shore and Farrah Abraham from 16 and Pregnant.

In the promo video, Jedward say they want people who accept them for who they are.

"We're looking for cool, spontaneous people. Someone who accepts us for all that we are, is up for a good time and shows us their personality 100 per cent."

The lads are looking for people to get in contact with the show for a chance to go on a date with them.

We're guessing it's going to be a double date, so it's definitely going to fun to watch.

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A woman has fallen in love in Lidl, but the man got away.

The unknown woman had been shopping in the supermarket in Deansgrange yesterday, when she noticed a man behind her in the queue.

She let the man in front of her in the line, and said that they spoke for a minute before he left the store.

And now she wants to find him.

Posted on Twitter by Rachel Kavanagh, the message was first shared in an admin group on Facebook, and Rachel thinks more people need to know about it.

The screen-shot message said: "Were you in Lidl, Deansgrange today, Tuesday 13th June at approx 2:15 (sic).

"You purchased cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and water? I'm the lady that let you ahead of me in the queue & we exchanged a few words," she wrote.

"I wish I'd had the courage to find out if you were single without coming across as completely deranged.

"If you know who this man is, please get in touch with Admin (sic)," the noted ended.

We'd love if these two Lidl shoppers found their way to each other!

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First comes love, second comes marriage, third comes… you get the drift.

But what about all the stuff that comes before love? The butterflies, the awkward dates, the 'so, what are we?' discussion.

There's a whole relationship to be had before those three little words become part of the equation and saying them for the first time is a major milestone.

So, how do you know the right time to say 'I love you'?

Well, one woman recently posed the dilemma in an online forum saying: “I think my new boyfriend wants to say it but doesn’t want me to not say it back, so he seems to be saying it in a jokey way or a roundabout way recently.”

She went on to say that she and her boyfriend had been “official” for two months and they have been dating for around four or five in total.

The woman then asked others to share their experiences in an effort to get a greater understanding of her own situation.

While most people agreed you couldn't possibly fall in love with someone right off the bat, some women revealed they had done just that.

One woman told her boyfriend she loved him after “about a week or two”, and are still together 11 years later.

Another confessed her feelings after just three weeks and revealed that she and her partner have now been together for five years and are due to get married this Autumn.

She added, “There’s no magic date because each couple is unique and special and will do it at different times. Enjoy the moment when it happens.”

According to The Independent, this advice is also echoed by psychologists, with Dr Aaron Ben-Zeév explaining that there is no precise formula for the right time to say 'I love you', but rather you should say it whenever you feel it.

So, if you've been waiting for the right time to confess your feelings, we're sorry to inform you that there is none.

Do it now. Don't be afraid!

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Nightclub love can be an… interesting game.

It went from teen discos and 'meet me mate, yeah?' attitudes, to finding romance in the chipper on the way home.

Not your average fairytale, but what else are we supposed to do?

Image result for mcgowans

Well, if your anything like this person, and feel like your crush is slipping away, just pop her a note in the middle of the night to clear things up.

The infamous McGowans took to Facebook this morning to share a note that one of their cleaners found.

They captioned the post: "Cleaners found this earlier. I wonder did he/she go home with them? I'd be tempted for the grub alone."

And what exactly did the note say? You're all going to love it:

"If you come home with me I'll promise you won't regret it. I have Netflix and pizzas in the freezer and my ma will probably make us breakfast in the morning."

Can there be a better chat up line?

Since this morning, the post has received more than 1500 likes on Facebook.

We're not optimistic though, since the note was found in the bar. Did the recipient say no? Did they lose the note? Did their ma make them breakfast this morning?

We're dying to find out what happened.

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Fried chicken is basically one of the best comfort foods there is out there.

Our tastebuds are just tingling thinking about it.

And it turns out, the delish cripsy-ness is the way to our hearts too.

Brown Fried Chicken Wings on White Serving Paper during Daytime

Confused? So we were, but there's a pretty legit explanation for the findings.

A new dating app in the US, Hinge, surveyed 8,000 users and asked what kind of first date would lead to a second.

Of course, the most popular first date is going out for drinks, with 37 per cent saying it would lead to a second date.

However, 24 per cent claimed that if the date included fried chicken, they would definitely be up for a round two.

Trip to KFC, anyone? You might find the love of your life there.

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Breaking up is hard to do, and there is no other term for it other than it completely, totally sucks.

Whether you were broken up with or you had to do the breaking up, moving on can be tough no matter how the relationship met its demise.

While we may just want to bury our heads in a bucket of ice cream and vegetate in front on Netflix, there is apparently a new way to speed up the healing process of a broken heart. 

According to science, there is a breakup trick that will help you get over your ex-lover much faster. 

Apparently, just thinking that you are over them makes you over them. Here's how it works. 

A research team from the University of Colorado Boulder ran tests on participants who had recently experienced a ‘romantic rejection,’ and half were given a placebo feel good drug to see how they coped with the feelings. 

The participants were studied in a brain imaging lab while recalling details of their breakup while staring at a picture of their ex. Intense.

The half of the group which were given the 'feel good' placebo drug wer more over their previous relationship than those who weren't.

So it seems that just telling yourself that you're okay is half the battle. 

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Look, sometimes we just don't think straight when we're around someone we fancy.

We've twirled our hair only for strands of it to fall out, tried to be sophisticated only for us to tumble on the ground, and we're sure most of us know all about getting that little bit too tipsy in front of your crush only to wake up the next morning with the ultimate fear.

*Shivers*

But, 'Gatsbying' is a new term for something we've been doing since the Bebo days.

Image result for embarrassing girl gif

Have you ever shared a picture online, with the sole purpose that your crush will notice it and see how amazingly smart and gorgeous you are?

We're not even going to try to deny it, we've all done it.

According to Mashable, the trend has been coined 'Gatsbying' after the main character in the book The Great Gatsby.

Image result for duck face gif

"Posting a Snapchat to your story and then waiting for that one specific person to watch it, is the modern day equivalent of Gatsby throwing elaborate parties seeking Daisy's attention," wrote a Reddit user named Cupcake-Warrior.

At least we have a name for it now!

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

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