Okay, I'm a total sucker for those self-help articles featured on various websites -- you know the ones, if it has a headline like any of these, I'm all over it:
"When it's OK to not be OK"
"How close is too close? When to draw the line"
"How to make anal sex more pleasurable"
and the latest gem from iVillage.com:
"Is your brain broken?"
One of the articles I recently read featured a list of "interesting" facts (some more interesting than others) about love. I had some pretty strong responses to a few of them, so I thought I'd share my impressions. Here you go:
1. Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don't.
This is a feel-good fact, I love it. I feel sorry for all the men who don't kiss their wives in the morning, and the wives too. Being in a boring, loveless relationship would be unbearable.
In related news, I'm hoping this little perk will help make up for all the cigarettes we smoke. Wait, does this count for those who are practically married, and does it work the same for the kissee as well as the kisser?
2. People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of the left (65 percent of people go to the right!)
Well, whatever. Missionary is the most popular position for intercourse, too, did you know that? Me, I mix it up.
3. When it comes to doing the deed early in the relationship, 78 percent of women would decline an intimate rendezvous if they had not shaved their legs or underarms.
Pretty much anybody I've ever slept with knows I'm a 22 percenter. Why pass up a prime opportunity just because of a little hair? What do you think, the guy is under the impression you're hairless, like one of those dogs? Believe me, he isn't looking as the stubble on your shins anyway.
4. Feminist women are more likely than other females to be in a romantic relationship.
But with whom?
5. Two-thirds of people report that they fall in love with someone they've known for some time vs. someone that they just met.
Well, no shit. At least give 'em time to give you a reason to fall in love.
6. There's a reason why office romances occur: The single biggest predictor of love is proximity.
Not in my case, I had to move nine hundred miles to bumfuck to get the real thing (totally worth it, by the way).
7. Falling in love can induce a calming effect on the body and mind and raises levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the lover's memory.
Certainly sounds nice, but I'm still waiting for this so-called memory improvement.
8. Love can also exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses — pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate.
Now that's more like it.
9. Brain scans show that people who view photos of a beloved experience an activation of the caudate — the part of the brain involving cravings.
True story, I've tried it. But who could blame me?
10. The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth.
...and thank God, because getting an appointment with the planner over there is just impossible! har har.
11. The "Love Detector" service from Korean cell phone operator KTF uses technology that is supposed to analyze voice patterns to see if a lover is speaking honestly and with affection. Users later receive an analysis of the conversation delivered through text message that breaks down the amount of affection, surprise, concentration and honesty of the other speaker.
Fucking shoot me now. This is the worst idea ever, second only to that shitty "party game" that my misguided friends broke out when we were all over at their house wasted a couple weeks ago. I don't remember what it was called, but it was one of those "getting to know you" question-answer games for couples that TM sagely referred to as, "Everything your partner does NOT want to hear, ever." What was your biggest problem in your last relationship and how has that carried over into your current relationship? WHAT? Yeah, great idea, let's get drunk and talk about your ex-girlfriend, that'll make you and me both feel fantastic. Maybe later you can ask me to lick it just like Karen did, and then I can mention how you make me feel insecure, just like when I was with Johnny. Afterwards we'll throw each others' belongings out into the yard. Great game, Hasbro, no other product has single-handedly ruined so many blossoming relationships.
12. Eleven percent of women have gone online and done research on a person they were dating or were about to meet, versus seven percent of men.
And the other eighty-nine percent are either total idiots or big, fat liars. Same for the supposed ninety-three percent of men who claimed they hadn't Googled somebody. Yeah fucking right. If you used the internet to get the date, I guarantee you looked for some info. on the person beyond their crappy Match.com profile -- you gonna tell me you didn't at least try and find them on Facebook or MySpace? I call bullshit on this one.
13. Couples' personalities converge over time to make partners more and more similar.
I don't know if I like this idea. I have seen how people develop their own "in-jokes" and start to laugh at the same things and enjoy similar activities, that's just natural. But I like to think that my personality -- the core of my being -- remains the same. If I'm with a guy for several years, I'll probably learn a lot, but I won't emerge from the relationship a completely different person.
14. The oldest known love song was written 4,000 years ago and comes from an area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Okay, this and the next one I'm gonna have to just take at face value and leave it at that.
15. The tradition of the diamond engagement ring comes from Archduke Maximillian of Austria who, in the 15th century, gave a diamond ring to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy.
. . .
16. Forty-three percent of women prefer their partners never sign "love" to a card unless they are ready for commitment.
I guess if you're the kind of person who over-analyzes the bejeez out of everything, or if you are so hollow and/or in need of affirmation that you are desperately searching for ANY sign that he's as into you as you are into him, then go ahead, employ rules like this. And know that you are never getting a card (or anything else) from that man again, after you have the "but you signed 'love, John'" discussion. What, you want him to sign it "sincerely" or "yours truly?"
"Oh look, he wrote 'yours truly,' he must mean that he's MINE." Yikes.
Realize that people rarely say exactly what they really mean, and that if we went around speaking solely in facts life would be dull and loveless and gray. And as a side note -- girls, stop trying so hard to snare a man, relax and enjoy yourself, it'll happen.
17. People who are newly in love produce decreased levels of the hormone serotonin — as low as levels seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps that's why it's so easy to feel obsessed when you're smitten.
I need more time to digest this. I'm not sure how I feel about either of these statements.
18. Philadelphia International Airport finished as the No. 1 best airport for making a love connection, according to an online survey.
If I had heard that three years ago, I'd have arranged to have a lot more layovers there, believe me.
19. According to mathematical theory, we should date a dozen people before choosing a long-term partner; that provides the best chance that you'll make a love match.
TM: "No problem."
20. A man's beard grows fastest when he anticipates sex.
TM says that's silly, he's always anticipating sex. If you aren't actually in the act, then you at least know there's some right around the corner.
I guess this little factoid applies more to people who aren't currently in live-in relationships, eh?
21. Every Valentine's Day, Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet took place, receives around 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
I'm not willing to delve into the collective psyche of the lunatics who are writing these letters. At least write a letter to someone who actually exists. Stalk a celebrity, they love that shit.
21. When we get dumped, for a period of time we love the person who rejected us even more, says Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and author of Why We Love. The brain regions that lit up when we were in a happy union continue to be active.
See, this is why you have to be the dumper, not the dumpee.
22. People telling the story of how they fell in love overwhelmingly believe the process is out of their control.
If you want to get technical, it is -- but not in the way they are alluding to. You're only in charge of one side of things; if the other person weren't holding up their end, you wouldn't have anyone to be in love with.
In all seriousness, I do understand where going with the "out of their control" business and it's all very romantic, but I have to say I think my and TM's relationship was pretty well orchestrated on both sides. Doesn't make it any less thrilling, I promise.
23. Familiarity breeds comfort and closeness … and romance.
Something about your farts reverberating off the tile. . .
24. One in five long-term love relationships began with one or both partners being involved with others.
25. One in eight couples married in the U.S. last year met online.
Hallelujah. Maybe someday I'll add this one to the list of useless facts on my "It's not so bad being weird, after all" banner.
"It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, '08" coming soon. . .