My mom used to say that watching TV would “rot your brain.” While I think she was probably right (fun fact: moms are always right), on occasion TV and movies can teach us a thing or two about our relationships. Here are ten relationship lessons that the writers at ScienceofRelationships.com have culled from TV shows and movies like Twilight, Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory and many others:
1. Expose Yourself, Get Liked
In this case, “expose” means that you should be in close proximity so that the person sees you and can interact with you (so please keep your pants on). On How I Met Your Mother, Barney describes this idea in his “Mermaid Theory.” Read more here.
In case you missed any of them, here are our Valentine's Day related-articles from the last couple of weeks. If you're single or in a relationships, we hope you have a great day!
- Science-Approved Valentine's Day Cards
- Chinese Valentine’s Day: A Sign of China’s Rising Love Culture
- How Do Same-Sex Couples View Valentine’s Day?
- On Valentine Street, Chivalry Isn’t Dead
- Bad Valentine’s Day Gifts: Do They Hurt Your Relationship?
- Warning! Valentine’s Day May Be Hazardous for Your Relationship’s Health
- The Sense(s) of Attraction
- To the Love of My Life: Motivations for Gift-Giving on Valentine’s Day
- Give the Gift of Simultaneous Orgasm This Valentine’s Day
- How Do You Announce Your Love on Valentine’s Day?
- Beyond Sex Organs: 11 Meaningful Facts about Single People
- The Perfect Valentine’s Day Date: Keep it Warm and Heavy
- Beware of Claims about Single People that Come from Online Dating Services
- She Said/He Said: What to Get Your Partner for Valentine’s Day
- Valentine’s Day Gifts: Pleasure or Obligation?
- Valentine’s Day: A Chance to Make You and Your Relationship Better
- Sexy in Red? Not So Fast!
- Dr. Bella DePaulo on Bad Advice for Singles on Valentine's Day
- Sweets for My Sweet?
- Valentine’s Day Cards through the Lens of Science
What should you do to get ready for Valentine’s Day? According to YourTango, you should delete your ex-partner from your Facebook friends list. They have even designated a day for doing it; February 13th is Break Up With Your Ex Day, and this means deleting, blocking, untagging, and unfollowing your ex from Facebook and other social media.
Wanna talk about your love life? People in China do. For the past year, I’ve been living in Shenzhen and working on a collection of true stories about love and marriage experiences since the rise of Communist China. Far from being viewed positively, romantic love often generates suspicion among the older generations and confusion among the young. This brief Valentine’s Day story, told to me by a charming twenty-two year old Buddhist woman, illuminates the clash of old and new ideas about love:
“The first time a boy kissed me, I was fifteen, and it was Valentine’s Day. He pretended to have a school question to ask, but instead he declared that he liked me. He pressed a rose into my hand, which I tried to refuse, stammering that I didn’t like him at all. I turned to go, but he pulled me close and kissed me! I wrestled my arm away and raced into my house, very flustered. After that, I hated him, thinking he was a morally rotten boy. I had never seen anybody kiss or hug in my hometown, not even married people, and nobody said, “I love you” either. I just wanted to cultivate friendships and avoid loving anyone, so I never talked to that boy again. If people in my hometown ever kissed like young lovers do in the cities, everyone would think they were degenerates, even today.”
As far as mainstream holidays go, Valentine’s Day is perhaps the most heteronormative of all. From greeting cards and gifts, to television shows and movies, society inundates us with messages that Valentine’s Day is an occasion to celebrate monogamous, heterosexual relationships. It’s a day when men buy flowers, chocolates, and (for the more adventuresome) frilly panties for their ladies before having a candlelight dinner punctuated by kisses and declarations of love and fidelity. So on a day when almost everything seems to be about “devoted husbands” and their “beloved wives,” what are gays and lesbians supposed to do?
Researchers examined whether subtle reminders of love increase men’s willingness to help. Men who had been approached by a woman asking for directions to Valentine Street were willing to help a different woman retrieve her cell phone from “thieves”, helping her almost 37% of the time. Men asked for directions to Martin Street only helped 20% of the time. The simple mention of “Valentine” unconsciously motivated men to behave in a more chivalrous manner.
Lamy, L., Fischer-Lokou, J., & Guéguen, N. (2010). Valentine Street promotes chivalrous helping. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 69, 169-172.
Now that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, you may be worried about picking out the perfect gift for your partner. Is it something he will like? Will she be disappointed by your efforts? And how is a partner’s response to your Valentine's Day gift related to thoughts about the future of your relationship?
Valentine’s Day typically serves as a time to show appreciation for that special someone in our lives or as an opportunity to take a relationship to the next level. It’s a time to celebrate love in all of its forms. But can Valentine’s Day be a dangerous time for the health of your relationship?
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, Americans spend upwards of $10 billion on for Valentine’s Day. And in true Valentine’s Day fashion, most of the adults surveyed were expecting to purchase candy, flowers, and/or a nice evening out for their partners. If you are one of those who celebrate Valentine’s Day, you might be thinking that these behaviors sound pretty familiar. The smell of roses and cologne will fill the air. Succulent wine and chocolate will dance on our tongues. We will go out dressed in our very best. Valentine’s Day truly is a day to indulge in some relational hedonism. But is the Valentine’s Day feel-goodery helpful for our relationships, or have we merely bought into a big consumer ploy? Although the answer to this question might be a matter of opinion, some research suggests that sensual pleasures – many of those that are heightened on Valentine’s Day – actually have a lot to do with feelings of attraction and relational health.
Prior to entering my current academic career, I was a counselor and worked with families, couples, and individuals struggling with drug addictions. I really enjoyed helping people address challenging situations in their lives, set goals, and develop plans of action to make meaningful changes in their work, habits, and relationships. Although counseling was very rewarding to me, I also loved research—which precipitated my career change.
Recently, I have combined my research and counseling interests. In addition to my Adventures in Dating column, where I apply relationship science to my personal dating life, I have also really enjoyed answering questions submitted by our readers—primarily because it reminds me of what I miss about counseling—helping others. This has led me to start coaching people about their intimate relationships.
We've dug deep into our archives looking for an article that relates to this card, and this is best we could do...
Our design team has be rolled out a series of original ScienceOfRelationships.com Valentine's Day cards, so if you haven't found the perfect one for your partner yet, we've got you covered.
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