By analysing the language of popular magazines, TV shows and self-help books and by conducting interviews with men and women in different countries, scholars including Eva Illouz, Laura Kipnis and Frank Furedi have demonstrated clearly that our ideas about love are dominated by powerful political, economic and social forces. Together, these forces lead to the establishment of what we can call romantic regimes: systems of emotional conduct that affect how we speak about how we feel, determine 'normal' behaviours, and establish who is eligible for love – and who is not.
An illustrated guide. "Enjoy life with your bride or groom. Be aware, however, that you're never guaranteed a storybook ending. Someone who is likely to walk from a wedding may be afraid of commitment, and insecure in relationships. This could pose problems for your relationship."
There is no such thing as Everlasting Love. Apparently all we have are "micro-moments of positivity resonance." Deflating the Love Myth, just in time for Valentines Day? [more inside]
Ilana Gershon is a professor currently researching how people use the Internet to break up with their romantic partners, but before that she wrote an anthropological study about "strategic ignorance" in Samoan immigrant communities, all of which is just a complicated way of showing that she's the most unusually qualified person on the Internet to comment on the Manti Te'o hoax. (previously)
The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. (Probably SFW in itself, depending on your W - no naughty images - but links out may go to NSFW content) Holly Pervocracy (previously), a feminist sex blogger, revisits Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's classic but contentious Geek Social Fallacies (previously).
Sex and the College Girl, by Norah Johnson A view from an educated woman in the 1950s: "Two criticisms rise above the rest: people in college are promiscuous, for one thing, and, for another, they are getting married and having children too early. These are interesting observations because they contradict each other."
The Dumpster is "an interactive online visualization that attempts to depict a slice through the romantic lives of American teenagers. Using real postings extracted from millions of online blogs, visitors to the project can surf through tens of thousands of specific romantic relationships in which one person has "dumped" another." Launched yesterday at the Whitney. Frenetic social data browser with voyeuristic blog-sniffer available here
A Very Christian Proposal-via-Scavenger-Hunt in Starbuck's
Headquarters Hometown "The whole day was so much fun, and absolutely perfect. It meant so much to me that Sean included the people that were important in our lives. This really is the best engagement story I've ever heard - I'm overwhelmed that it is actually mine!"
Email as the new foreplay E-mail conversations between men and women have a way of turning flirtatious far more rapidly than do their telephonic equivalents. People are less inhibited in e-mail: It's why flameouts happen so quickly. One cannot temper anger or dismay with tone and body language (and those awful emoticons don't come close to substituting for the human face). It's easier to be brave when talking to a screen. Not that we MeFiers would know anything about flameouts.