Some Reasons Being Single on Valentine’s Day Is Actually the Best

When February 14th comes along, if you don’t have a significant other, you usually feel the pressure to find a date, because nothing’s worse than spending Valentine’s Day alone, right?WRONG. As awesome as it is to have an SO on the most romantic day of the year to do all the exceptionally romantic things couples do, there are definitely many, many advantages to being single too.

1. Your wallet won’t suffer for love. You know that if you were in a relationship with someone you really cared about, the money you’d end up spending on a romantic dinner and gift would totally be worth it (despite your aching bank account). Still, you can’t help being grateful you don’t have to spend all that money and can save it for something you really want, like concert tix to YOUR fave band.

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2. You don’t have to stress about planning some massively romantic gesture for bae. The truth is, trying to plan an elaborate date that blows all your other dates out of the water is really hard — not to mention, intimidating. How do you even know for sure they’ll like what you’ve planned? And why is it so expensive?

3. You won’t be disappointed when, inevitably, your big, special date isn’t all that romantic irl. Everyone sets their expectations waaaaay to high for their Valentine’s Day and as a result, end up trying to force the romance and emotion, which just ends up feeling awkward and, well, forced. The date always ends up being extraordinarily boring. But since you’re single, you don’t have to worry about feeling underwhelmed and then having to hide your disappointment so bae’s feelings won’t be hurt.

4. All your fave candy will be on sale, and you can buy as much as you want for yourself. If you have a significant other on February 14th, when all the Valentine’s Day candies go on sale, you’ll feel like you shouldn’t buy any of it for yourself because that’s your SO’s job on this special day. Whereas if you’re single, Valentine’s Day candy is just plain old chocolate that’s on sale and you don’t feel any type of way about buying a bunch of it for a fraction of the price.

5. And you don’t have to share your Valentine’s Day candy with anyone. Since you don’t have an SO, you don’t have to share your candy, or let bae eat the caramel peanut butter chocolate you really wanted from your heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates just because it’s Valentine’s Day.

6. You can do WHATEVER you want to do. When you’re single, February 14th is just another day of the year. You don’t have any obligation to go to some fancy-schmancy restaurant while trying extra hard to be romantic. You can just spend the day doing what you love to do: binge-watching Netflix while laying comfortably in bed.

7. And you’ll have more free time. Let’s be honest: Valentine’s Day isn’t a one day commitment. With all the extra effort you have to put into getting the perfect gift and planning the perfect love-dovey night out with bae, you can end up spending weeks planning for the big day. But if you don’t have a bae, you can spend all that time doing something else, like writing the next bestselling YA novel!

8. You can watch whatever movie YOU want. You won’t have to go through the hassle of seeing if bae likes the movie you want to watch and, if not, what it is they’d rather watch instead. The back and forth of picking a movie is totally eliminated and you can just cuddle under your favorite blanket and watch The Notebook like you’ve been planning on doing all day without having to worry about anybody else.

9. You can have a low-pressure date with your girls. There’s no point in getting yourself down about not having a date on Valentine’s Day when you have other single friends who you can have an awesome Galentine’s day with. We promise, sharing a pepperoni pizza with your besties while you bake brownies and binge-watch Pretty Little Liars will be just as awesome as any elaborate, high-pressure Valentine’s Day date you would have had if you had an SO.
10. You can meet someone new ON Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air! What better time to start a brand new romance with the guy standing in front of you at Starbucks, or the cute cashier at your fave bookstore? Valentine’s Day is the perf excuse to be extra bold and ask them for their number, or to chat up your crush at a party. Not knowing what amazingness the day will bring is just as exciting as any romantic date.

Some Attractive Traits That Are More Important Than Beauty

As some of you have probably noticed, I really enjoy reading about the science and psychology of this thing called love. So I’m digging the chapter on sex and relationships in Yale psychologist Paul Bloom’s new book, How Pleasure Works: Why We Like What We Like. In that section, the question he poses is: Why do we like whom we like?

Well, folks, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that, yes, we humans like beauty. It seems we’re born with this preference, because studies done on wee babies found that even they like to look at pictures of pretty people better than the not-so-pretty. The baby research also seems to indicate that while cultural norms and socialization do have some influence on whom we find beautiful, we’re born with many of our beauty preferences.

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Here’s the good news:

1. We like to look at healthy people.

A lot of what babies — and the rest of us — find beautiful are physical indications of good health. We like unblemished skin, clear eyes, nice teeth, shining hair. So simply by doing things like eating your fruits and veggies, working out, and getting enough sleep, you can do a lot for yourself in terms of looking hot. Other things that might help: visiting a dermatologist, using teeth-whitening gel, using a shower filter to take the toxins out of your water and get better-looking hair. Why is it such a turn-on when someone looks fit? It’s an evolutionary biology thing: A healthy-looking person is likely to produce a healthy kid.

2. We like people who are familiar to us more than those who are not.

That’s true even when the familiar people are less attractive than the newcomers. To get a better sense of what I’m talking about, let me tell you about a cool study. Researchers asked a team of women to attend different classes at the University of Pittsburgh. The women never spoke in the classes, and the number of lectures they attended varied; some went to 5, others to 10, others to 15, and so on. Some went to none. When the term was over, the “real” students were asked to rate the attractiveness of the women. Those who were judged most attractive were the ones who went to 15 classes. Least attractive? Yep: The women who’d never been to a single class. As Bloom points out, this is just one study — but it underscores a bunch of other studies that have found proof of the “mere exposure” effect. (This may also help to explain why I get hit on in the gym a lot. I’m always there, so the guys are used to me.)

3. We like people who are smiling.

Bloom cites a study that found smiling is an important factor in whether or not we’ll find a face attractive. And in an interview I did a little while back with the author of a book about the science of sex, she told me that a woman’s beauty doesn’t have that much to do with whether or not a man will approach her at a bar. Rather, the important thing is how much a woman seems to be flirting — smiling, making eye contact, and flipping her hair.

4. We like kindness.

Bloom notes that “in the largest study ever of human mate preferences, looking at people in 37 cultures, the most important factor for both men and women is kindness.” That’s sweet, isn’t it? (So I guess I was wrong when I worried that nice girls finish last.)

Guys, do you like hearing this stuff? I do.

Anyway, enjoy the weekend. And hey, will somebody set me up on a date? Swing by my Facebook page if you think you have a ringer. I need a little excitement!

Information About 5 Characteristics That Make A Strong Woman Sexy

I used to joke that I wanted to date a weak woman — a woman who couldn’t make her mind up and liked being told what to do. I’d always get my way, see my friends often, and have complete control the TV remote.

In reality, weak women are not attractive. I guess I’ve been surrounded by strong women my whole life: my grandmother was a matriarch of the family with only a high school education. She was the ultimate “mother” figure-strongly opinionated, clever, funny, and tender.

My mom attended University of Maryland Medical School with a pioneer class including very few women. My older sister won two national championships at University of Virginia in lacrosse, and my little sister was Vice President of her PR company before I got my first promotion.

One night at a family dinner, my cousin quipped that my brother-in-law who had recently married in to our family, joined a “slightly matriarchal” family.

It’s true: in my family things seem to be run by the women. Just before we sat down to dinner, my aunt was complaining that my uncle had a habit of disappearing at the worst time — in this case right before we were about to sit down to dinner. The women in our family literally shepherd the men.

Since our “matriarchal” conversation, I composed a list of what makes a strong woman. Take a look:
Intelligence

I believe everyone is blessed with some form of intelligence-whether it’s “traditional” book smarts, or athletic intelligence (the ability to understand angles and physical movement, space), creative smarts, or “street smarts” — in the dating world, a sharp woman knows when a guy is playing her, and/or expects more from a guy.
Honesty

It’s sometimes easier to lie than it is to be honest about everything. Honesty is the number one thing I look for in a woman. It’s endearing, and it makes it easier for me to trust her.
Ambition

There are many forms of ambition — a lawyer works hard, but so does a stay-at-home mom (believe me, I’ve seen how hard my sister works). Drive and hard work are admirable…and two things I wish I did better.
Passion

Passion goes along with ambition, but it also adds to personality. The women in my family are a toxic mix of Italian and Irish and it makes them passionate about their points of view and the things they love. If a woman doesn’t have a passionate love for a type of music or food, it makes her appear to have a weak personality. Passion is also linked to loyalty.
The Power to Say “No”

When the ex comes back that she shouldn’t be with, she can say “no.” She can say “no” to bad influences. She does whatever she wants to do whenever she wants to do it, and it’s her decision and no one else’s.