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The holidays can make you feel pretty miserable about your single status, but fear not, because science has some good news for you.

Apparently, unmarried women are actually happier than those who are married. The Guardian stated that unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup ever.

This is according to behavioural science professor Paul Dolan.

He even claimed that unmarried women will live longer than their married peers.

The happiness expert said, “We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.”

He explained that marriage helped men calm down, however, women didn’t benefit as much. Marred men take fewer risks and even live longer.

“She, on the other hand, has to put up with that, and dies sooner than if she never married. The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children,” he added.

So, if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps about your bare engagement finger then cheer up because it turns out being unmarried is actually way better than we expected.

However, if Ryan Gosling was to turn up and pop the question, we’d have to take one for the team and say yes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SHEmazing! (@shemazingie) on

Sorry, science.

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So, love it or hate it, there's no denying that The Notebook has earned its reputation as one of the most romantic movies of all time.

And even though it has become one of the ultimate Valentine's Day clichés, we're not sure we'll ever get bored of the young couple's rollercoaster romance.

But, while Noah and Allie might seem like the ultimate couple goals, relationship experts aren't buying it.

According to Stylist, a group of romantic experts recently sat down with Time Out to discuss some of the best and worst romantic films of all time.

The list was surprising to say the least, but perhaps The Notebook was the most puzzling choice of all.

We know what you're thinking. How could a romantic expert of all people decide that this was a bad film?

Well, according to psychotherapist, Gupreet Singh, Nicolas Sparks' story is actually too perfect.

He explained: “Noah restores a house for Allie. He writes letter after letter waiting for her. They die holding hands. Talk about idealised love! If you believe in it you start to think: I shouldn’t settle for less.”

“But most average couples are nothing like that. We are humans, we are fallible. Love is imperfect because we are.”

Now, we're not saying he hasn't got a point, but isn't it nice to fantasise every once in a while?

The Notebook was never meant to be a factual retelling of true events, but instead a fictional account of love at its best and at its worst – and in that sense, we think it did a pretty good job.

Sure, most of us probably won't find anyone willing to send us handwritten letters every day for a year, but it's nice to see that this kind of true love really does exist – even if it is just up on the big screen.

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Dating in your twenties is a dangerous game. Whether you're looking for a passionate fling, or something a little more serious, chances are you're going to get hurt pretty bad at some point.

Well, a new study has revealed why twenty-somethings struggle when it comes to staying faithful to their partners, and the answer is so cliché it almost hurts – we're just trying to find ourselves.

Yep. Turns out we're as predictable as the plot twist in a Hugh Grant film, and we hate being tied down at that pivotal point in our lives.

The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, surveyed 104 adults with an average age of 22, who all admitted to cheating in the last six months.

To make them feel a little better about themselves and encourage total honesty throughout the survey, participants were given a paragraph to read about how common cheating is.

They were then questioned about their current and past relationships, had their attachment to their current partners analysed and were asked to explain the ins and outs of how they cheated.

Interestingly, most participants did not try to make excuses for being unfaithful, but rather explained that they did it for reasons related to independence and interdependence.

Most felt as though their relationship was holding them back from new experiences and stopped them from reaching their full potential as an adult.

When it came to issues related to interdependence, many participants said their current partner was not fulfilling their need for intimacy, they felt lonely, or they didn't have enough in common.

The study's authors said: "Because emerging adulthood is thought to be a time of exploration and experimentation, it is possible that engaging in infidelity is a path through which individuals seek to meet their developmental needs for independence and interdependence and promote their individual development." 

Basically young people cheat because they have no idea who they are or what they want, apparently.

Others reasons cited by participants included boredom and excitement as well as being under the influence of alcohol – *eye-roll*

So, go out and find yourself, but just try not to hurt anyone during the process. 

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There are many things we’d like to forget about our teenage years; the emo phase, the streaky tan, the concealer covered lips, the cringey duck face poses and most of all- your first crush.

Whether it was the boy who lived down the street or Disney’s ‘It Boy’ of the time Zac Efron, we all had our fair share of playground and popstar crushes.

There are many we’d like to forget, especially ones whose names will forever be scribbled in the back of our geography copies.

We develop crushes from quite a young age, the average being aged 12, but we can’t help but wonder why we feel this way.

What causes the butterflies in our stomachs, the glint in our eye when we spot them in town, the feeling of frustration when we don’t hear from them and that elation when we do?

We spoke to psychologist Rachel Tomlinson about catching feels, feeling smitten and the impact it all has on our mind.

First things first, why on earth do we fall for people? We all understand just how complicated and stressful dating and relationships can be, so why does our mind crave affection like there’s no tomorrow?

“We have these feelings because humans are social creatures and we are driven to try and form relationships with other people.

“We want relationships and crave them. These relationships keep us safe, both mentally and physically and having reciprocal and positive relationships is good for our health and stress levels,” Rachel explained.

We all want to find the Harry to our Meghan, the Miley to our Liam and the Beyoncé to our Jay-Z, but it isn’t as straightforward as we wish it was.

We fret about what to wear for that first date, we panic about coming across as too eager or whether we are making a good impression.

We beat ourselves up when they don’t respond to us, we worry about winning them over or if they’re ‘the one’.

The impact it has on our mind is pretty intense at times. 

“Having strong, mutually beneficial relationships (including romantic ones) make us feel good and give us a sense of social connection which is healthy. However, issues can arise when relationships end or crushes aren’t reciprocated.

“If people have recently become single or are experiencing overwhelming feelings of love and lust that aren’t returned it can result in stress, lowered immunity, poor physical and potentially exacerbate mental health issues,” she stressed.

We all want a significant other, crush or lover to feel the same as we do. We crave that attention, love and desire like a cup of coffee at 6 am on a Monday morning.

“Your brain responds to this attraction by signalling the release of chemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. These are feel-good chemicals and people can experience excitement, excess physical energy (including heart racing, sweaty palms etc) and giddy/joyful feelings,” Rachel continued.

Testosterone and oestrogen are also released and we feel lust.

This combination of chemicals gives us a rush like no other, but they can become addictive. “People often find that they crave the presence of their crush to get more of those feelings, resulting in (sometimes) quite obsessive thought patterns. Having a crush can feel as though your brain and body have been hijacked by this new love (or lust).”

It’s a natural feeling that has been built into our minds for generations and generations. Your 85-year-old granny once got butterflies at a dance in the 1950s. Your mam definitely swooned over Rob Lowe during the 1980s. Your big brother definitely shed secret tears when his childhood crush went to the debs with his best friend. Your co-worker certainly worries about what to wear on that all too important first date. The guy sitting next to you on the bus no doubt gets butterflies when bumping into his college love after years apart.

It’s a feeling we’re all going to have to get used to because as Emily Dickinson once said ‘the heart want what it wants or else it does not care.'

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Look, it's not a pleasant situation for anyone.

You're single for like a million years, then you happened to magically stumble upon someone who –  at first – seems to tick every box.

Plus he's so pleasant to look at that it hurts and basically you can't believe your luck.

''It's finally happened,'' you proudly tell the gals over G&T's. ''He seems to good to be true, tbh.''

And bam! there's your first clue – if it seems to good to be true, it usually is. 

I've had three relationships in my 24 years, plus a few shorter dalliances and I genuinely never bought the whole excusing-someone's-trash-behaviour-because-you-fancy-the-arse-off-them thing. 

Or maybe I've been lucky to have never gotten tangled up with a narcissist before…whatever. 

But, oh boy, it happens. 

Doesn't the quote go like- "people tell you who they are in the beginning, you just choose not to listen.''

But if you want to avoid heartbreak a few weeks/months down the line, then listen up: if you see more than one of these red flags listed below – run. 

They're non-negotiable, just like your self-respect.

1.  He shows signs of controlling behaviour.

You'll probably read that and say ''omg, obvs! I wouldn't put up with that, no way'', but it can be extremely subtle.

And if they're seasoned at it, it can happen almost without you noticing the first few times – or worse, noticing it and letting it slide.

Warning phrases can be anything to telling you he doesn't like you wearing your hair a certain way/a lot of make-up to ordering for you in restaurants and putting you down in the the pub in front of your mates. 

Don't fall into questioning your self-worth. 

2. He's mean with money 

If he's tight with money, he will be mean in other ways – with his time, his affection, his words.

It just shows bad character and you don't need to voluntarily associate yourself with someone like that. 

3. His actions don't match his words 

Who doesn't love to be told they look fab?

The problem here is when the person you're dating is saying all the right things but in the next breath he's giving you unprompted stories about his ex/past sex life or ogling another person in the bar.

The word for this is: fake. 

 

4. He passes comments on other women/people in general 

I mean, I'm laughing as I type this, this should be a shut-and-close-case of ''he's a sh*thead, what are you doing with him?'' BUT, here me out.

It's early, early days with someone and he says something rude and you're shocked and you pull them up on it, fine, ok. It's when the actions become repeated and they become the norm.

My advice then? He's not a good person, and not worth your precious time. 

5. Something just feels ''off''

This is the worst one. Because it's not tangible.

If you're battling paranoia in the beginning, it won't probably won't get better.

Your gut can tell when something's not right. We might ignore the uneasy feeling in our stomachs, but it's there for a reason. 

Basically, if you're holding back a bit, it's more than likely because you've picked up on energy that he's giving out  – that's what you ''can't put your finger on.''  

Look, you know if someone is genuinely good for you or not. 

I read this the other day and it struck a chord with me; ''No amount of physical attraction or good sex is worth clinging to someone who does not make you feel at peace with yourself.'' 

And to that we say hear, f*cking hear. 

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Discovering your other half has cheated on you has to be one of the most soul-destroying experiences a person can endure.

Even though it should never be considered a reflection on you, it undoubtedly leads most of us to question ourselves, our self-worth and our impression of other people.

So far, so hideous, right? Well, according to scientists, the experience isn't ALL bad, and actually helps the injured parties in more ways than we can ever imagine when we're crying ourselves to sleep and forgetting to wash our hair.

In a study conducted by Binghamton University in conjunction with University College London, researchers asked more than 5,500 participants to assess the repercussions of failed relationships and the outcome of infidelity.

According to the researchers' findings, women who have been cheated on tend to develop higher levels of emotional intelligence.

Commenting on this, research associate Craig Morris said: "Most women who have lost a mate to another women report a 'silver lining' of higher mating intelligence."

"What this means, in their words, is that they are more attuned to cues of infidelity in a future mate, more aware of how other women interact with their mate, have more self confidence and more self-awareness, and independence in general," he concluded.

In the words of Kelis, might trick me once, I won't let you trick me twice…

 

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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 were 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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While we love our romantic partners dearly, there are few things in life we cherish as much as spending time with our best friend.

From those times we laugh so much it hurts to those difficult moments when they're a shoulder to cry on, our BFFs are absolute gems.

There's nothing like just hanging out with our bestie for the evening, listening to music or drinking wine or talking about literally anything under the sun.

It's no wonder, then, that a recent survey shows that just over 50 percent of UK women said they feel closer to their best friend than their husband.

The 1,517 survey respondents gave a number of reasons for why they prefer their BFF to their significant other, with communication playing an especially big role.

57 percent of women who prefer their best friend to their husband said that it was because they can talk to their favourite gal pal about everything, Metro reports.

The research by Champneys also showed that 45 percent of women prefer their bestie because she listens to them more.

As well, 44 percent said that they could tell their best friend things that they didn't feel they could tell their partner.

When it comes to enjoying indulgent pleasures, 30 percent of the 1,517 women polled said they'd rather spend a boozy brunch with their mates than their partner.

Men are also apparently missing out on the spa days, with 54 percent of the respondents said they'd prefer to spend a pampering session with their pals than with their husband.

With those results in mind, we weren't surprised to hear that 60 percent of women reported that their all-female social gatherings would be better if men didn't intrude at all.

So here's to our BFFs – they've seen us through the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly.

 

How do you feel about the survey's results?

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Christmas is an expensive time of year. We have yet to start our Christmas shopping yet, but the list seems never-ending. We need to buy a gift for our sister, best friend, work wife, parents and even the dog.

Oh and don’t forget about bae.

Or maybe you could if you plan on being guilty of the cheapest dating trend.

Scrooging is a dating trend that’s growing in popularity and it is not pleasant.

Ever get dumped just before Christmas and wonder what went wrong? Things seemed all fine and dandy and then bam! You’re single again and hoping to God you can get a refund on the surprise weekend away you booked as a gift to beau.

Well, according to Metro, scrooging is essentially dumping your other half so you don’t have to buy them a Christmas present.

Yes, you read that right.

Apparently, one in ten are guilty of this dating trend and men are more likely to do it. Not surprised, to be honest.

Relationship expert for EHarmony, Rachael Lloyd, told Metro, “We know that relationships can often become less of a priority in the run up to Christmas. It’s also a time when dating significantly slows down. 

“However, it seems particularly miserly to end a relationship simply to avoid buying your partner a present and indicates that you weren’t ready for a romantic commitment in the first place.”

Staying single just seems like a much easier option.

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If you’re sick of seeing loved-up couples this Christmas and think being single at this time of year totally sucks, just remember, the pair that just passed you have probably put that day’s festive-based argument on pause to keep up appearances for the public.

That 'perfect' couple have most likely had more than one argument over whose family they should spend Christmas with, whose group of friends they’ll go out with over New Years and who forgot that Christmas Eve was meant to be Christmas movie night and organised a night on the beer instead.

Here are just five reasons why being single at Christmas is a major win

1. You don’t have to worry about hiding your hungover face in front of the in-laws.

"No, I’m fine. I always look this green and clammy."

2. You don’t have to spend hours traipsing through ‘boy’ shops looking for an Xbox game you’re certain you got him for this birthday.

"What’s Fortnite? Actually, I don't care. Just give it to me."

3. You save a LOT of money not having to shell out for generic gift sets for his side of the family.

"Lavender talc? That’ll do his nana…again."

4. You don’t have to sit through charades with your boyfriend’s uncle who constantly calls you by his ex-girlfriend’s name.

"No, don’t worry! Laura…Áine… sorry, they’re really similar."

5. You don’t have to prime your family on all the ‘Not To Be Discussed’ topics before he calls around.

"No, you can’t laugh at what happened in Ayia Napa. He doesn’t even know you know."

Seriously, is that stress-fest worth it just for a New Year's Eve kiss?

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Shifting a co-worker at the office Christmas party might seem like one of the biggest clichés going, new research has shown that it could signal the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship.

Drinks are flowing, the office is closed and for one night a year, all inhibitions go out the window.

Maybe it's that guy from finance you've been eyeing up since he told you your hair looked nice one day, or perhaps all that wine will make you see you work husband/wife in a whole new light – either way, it's pretty likely you'll fall into someone's arms at the end of the night.

In fact, according to a recent study conducted by Instantprint, almost half of all office workers will have some kind of work related romance this festive season.

What's more, 53 percent of those who end up sharing a sneaky shift will end up being in long-term relationships, with one-third of those couples staying together for over a year.

The study also shows that those who work in HR are the most nervous about going to work the day after the Christmas party – though they were also shown to be the ones most likely to get “embarrassingly drunk,” so we're guessing that those go hand-in-hand, really.

Oh, and if you are looking for love this festive season, set your sight on that ride in IT – apparently they're the most likely to kiss someone.

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We've all been there.

As a young, free singleton you promised yourself you'd never use pet names for your future partner – after all, no one wants to be that couple.  

Just hearing your friends refer to their other halves as "babe", "sweetheart" or "honey" was cringey enough to make you swear off romance for the rest of your life, but then all of a sudden, life throws you a curveball and you end up with a "babe" all of your own. 

Slowly but surely the inside jokes and doting nicknames will creep their way into the relationship, and bam – you're just like every loved-up couple you've ever rolled your eyes at. 

So, why does romance turn us all into mushy, baby-talking, doe-eyed softies? 

Well, according to science, it likely stems from our parents.  

“Baby talk is used really extensively, including cross-culturally, by mothers around the world,” Florida State University neuroanthropologist Professor Dean Falk told Broadly.

“It exists for language acquisition in infants, and it also expresses love and facilitates bonding between the mother and the infant."

She believes that couples use pet names for each other because it brings them back to their childhood memories and first love – their mum. 

And while this all might sound a bit Freudian, it's actually one of the most natural ways to bond with a partner. 

So, if you've got a "baby", "chicken" or even a "darling" in your life, chances are you're onto a winner. 

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