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Those of a nervous disposition might be better off buying chocolates. Özgür Mülazımoğlu

Perfume could be the riskiest gift you’ll ever buy

When it comes to making careful plans to impress that significant other, certain things can seem like musts. Classy restaurant – check. Romantic atmosphere – check. Best suit or little black dress – check…
It’s time for lovers to exchange images of the organ really responsible for their emotions on Valentine’s Day. Emil Jeyaratnam/The Conversation

Darling, I love you … from the bottom of my brain

In William Shakespeare’s comedy Merchant of Venice, the play’s heroine Portia sings: Tell me where is fancy bred, Or in the heart or in the head. If you look at Valentine’s Day cards, it’s clear fancy…
Bits of the self have historically been an emotional aide memoire. Cristiana Gasparotto

Dear Valentine, take another little piece of my heart, or hair

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us will think about sharing a token of our affection. The ubiquitous card is often teamed with a staple of the season: chocolate, perfume or flowers. These gifts…
Playing with the affections of the heart can be tricky on Valentine’s Day. Flickr/tanakawho

Dealing with love, romance and rejection on Valentine’s Day

Take care lovers, wherever you are, as Valentine’s Day is soon upon us. Whether you’re in a relationship or want to be in a relationship, research over a number of years shows that February 14 can be a…
Spenser

Why MOOCs will fail – they’re not dating sites

One of my Phd students is studying how parents make decisions about education for their children (you can participate in his survey here). We economists treat this as a problem of investment under uncertainty…
The ancient philosophers knew the perils of expecting other people to complete us emotionally. Candybox Images/Shutterstock

Love problems? There’s a pill for that, but Plato offers a wiser cure

We take pills and potions for everything from a bad back to depression. Why shouldn’t we adopt the same approach to love and the miseries it may cause? Oxford ethicist Brian Earp has proposed that we should…
Celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced a split after 10 years of marriage. EPA/Britta Pedersen & Jose Coelho

The science of romance – can we predict a breakup?

Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin seemed to have the perfect marriage until their “conscious uncoupling” earlier this year. Was the split destined to happen? What…
Bless ‘em. (That’s an order.) The Yorck Project

Modern day ‘Cinderella law’ has roots in Georgian Britain

A newly proposed “Cinderella law” seeks to make parents’ “emotional abuse” of their children a criminal offence in England and Wales. Under it, parents who deliberately ignore children, subject them to…
Some psychological theories can help us understand why some people stick with rough relationships and try to ride out the storm. Sean Davis

All you need is love: the psychology of romance

Thousands of couples will celebrate a day of romance this week, while many single people will hope for their own one. But what makes a relationship last? And what makes one couple crumble while another…
Love is still a modern goal, and its connection with individual freedom, agency and autonomy makes it a difficult idea to reject. Peetje2

Does same-sex marriage necessarily mean ‘radical love’?

Earlier this year, Byron Bay mayor Simon Richardson announced that he wants his council to pass a motion recognising same-sex marriage and to set up a “love park”. That the theme of the park is love rather…

Where do you find love in the brain?

A new study has discovered that love and desire activate specific but related areas in the brain. Researchers analysed the…
Love and neurochemistry go hand in hand. brianwiese

I love you (and that’s not the dopamine talking)

You know the feeling: your heart’s beating faster, your pupils dilate, your palms are sweaty, and you’ve got a belly-full of butterflies. You’re in love and, yes, you’re “all shook up”. The euphoria of…

A Platonic relationship? Not quite

Instead of advocating a form of love that does not involve physical intimacy as is widely believed, the ancient Greek thinker…

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