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February 15, 2012

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day?

Filed under: News — posted by Chris @ 10:41 am

drake-martinet-mashable-infographic

The most heart-warming — and geekiest — internet proposal yesterday had to be the mashable employee who proposed to his girlfriend via infographic. If you loved that story like we did, check out DVICE’s rundown of 5 nerdy ways geeks are popping the question as well as their earlier Top 10 geeky proposals of 2011.

June 17, 2011

Does Facebook hurt relationships?

Filed under: News — posted by Chris @ 8:36 am

From All Facebook:

Last year, more Facebook users changed their status to single than in a relationship — 24 percent versus 31 percent.

That juicy tidbit counts among many that lie in this infographic on how Facebook affects our relationships, rendered by our friends at Online Dating University.

Only three out of every five users show their relationship statuses at all, and such listings appear more frequently among Facebookers in the U.S., South Africa, Iceland, the U.K. and Canada.

Facebook and Relationships
Collaboration between All Facebook and Online Dating University

February 15, 2011

The day after

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 1:42 pm

“Was going to kiss my wife goodbye this morning, but then I thought, ‘Screw that, Valentines Day was YESTERDAY.’”

Your friend and ours, Christian Finnegan

Hah! See, it’s funny ’cause it’s NOT TRUE!

Anyway, BG is recovering from the big day, and gearing up for the EVEN BIGGER DAY, so I’ll leave you with that, and these:

1. Fascinating, and VERY IMPORTANT, in today’s Times: Report Details Sabotage of Birth Control.

2. Fascinating, and NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT: American Idol Hopefuls Julie Zorrilla and Casey Abrams: High School Prom Dates!

There you go. Hope yesterday was great — and today is even better!

February 1, 2011

The Bachelorette: Tasmania

Filed under: News, media — posted by Breakup Girl @ 1:04 pm

Chloe of Feministing, hilariously, on Tasmania’s (!) first female premier:

Lara Giddings was the youngest person ever elected to Australian parliament, winning her seat when she was just 23 years old…This week, she became the first woman to be sworn in as Premier of the state of Tasmania, after serving for two and a half years as the state’s second ever female Deputy Premier. This means that in addition to having its first woman Prime Minister, Australia now has a woman at the helm in three of our seven states. Which is all well and good…but…[l]et’s talk about what really matters: does she have a strong manly husband and lots and lots of babies to offset the unpleasant fact that she is a woman with power? The answer is no. She does not. She is 38, unmarried, childless and OH MY GOD FREAK OUT.

Further reading: “Leftist Lara Giddings Still Looking for Mr. Right.” And:

Clearly, this situation must be rectified immediately. If you are an eligible man who would like to marry, impregnate and raise children with the Premier of Tasmania, please consider applying for the position of Validator of Lara Giddings’s Existence. The ideal candidate will be manly enough to prove beyond doubt that the leader of Tasmania is not a lesbian, but not manly enough to prevent the newspapers from mocking him for being less powerful than his ball-busting wife.

Spot on, mate.

January 5, 2011

Real-life superhero breaks up…

Filed under: News, Superheroes, Treats, pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:47 am

…Seattle carjacking!

No wonder Colin always sounds so tired.

More back story here.

December 8, 2010

Assange, those wacky Swedes, & “sex by surprise”?

Filed under: News, blogs, issues — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:53 pm

What she said (emphasis added):

Whether withdrawal of consent is what actually happened here is impossible to tell, so I’m not suggesting that Assange is a rapist or that these charges are 100% definitely on-point; I have no idea. But neither do the commentators who are saying that Assange did nothing more than have sex without a condom. And it’s important to counter the “haha sex by surprise those crazy Swedes” media narrative with the fact that actually, non-consensual sex is assault and should be recognized as such by law. Consenting to one kind of sexual act doesn’t mean that you consent to anything else your partner wants to do; if it’s agreed that the only kind of sex we’re having is with a condom, then it does remove an element of consent to have sex without a condom with only one partner’s knowledge. To use another example, if you and your partner agree that you can penetrate her, it doesn’t necessarily follow that she has the green light to penetrate you whenever and however.

I’m not particularly interested in debating What Assange Did or Whether Assange Is A Rapist, and I’d appreciate it if we could steer clear of that in the comments section. Rather, I’m interested in pushing back on the primary media narrative about this case, which is that women lie and exaggerate about rape, and will call even the littlest thing — a broken condom! — rape if they’re permitted to under a too-liberal feminist legal system. In fact, there are lots of good reasons to support consent-based sexual assault laws, and to recognize that consent goes far beyond “yes you can put that in here now.” It’s a shame that the shoddy, sensationalist reporting on this case have muddied those waters.

There.

November 24, 2010

Relationship violence: the Amber factor

Filed under: News, Psychology, issues, media, pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:59 am

Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood has dealt quite a few blows, physical and emotional, to her oafish fiance-ish, Gary Shipley. This we know — cameras were rolling! — and this we cannot excuse. But this example has, like many before it, provoked the question: is female-on-male violence on the rise?

Today at Salon.com, BG’s alter ego tackles the answer. And suggests, in the process, that it’s not the most helpful question to be asking in the first place. In short: females have always been violent, towards men and otherwise. Specific DOJ data points show that when it comes to certain types of intimate partner violence, rates of certain types of aggression can be equal or mutual between men and women. (And neither is to be justified.) But: men are far more likely to put their female partners in the hospital, and men are far more likely to commit the ongoing, deeply damaging form of abuse known as battery, or even domestic terrorism.

That is not to say MEN SUCK; WOMEN WIN THE VICTIM PRIZE. Not at all. It’s to say that false equivalence between male and female violence is unhelpful and un-illuminating, possibly even damaging to all victims. As Lynn writes: “But when it comes to pop culture and public discourse, [female violence] needs to be discussed on its own face and in its own context, with its own set of causes and implications, not as a game of one-upmanship.”

Read the rest here. And if you — female or male — feel at all unsafe in your relationship, please click here.

November 18, 2010

Brady Bunch 2.0: today’s “blended” families

Filed under: News, issues — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:01 am

Today’s New York Times featured a lengthy article about how today’s mix-and-rematch post-divorce parents with kids make it work: not by marrying and moving everyone, and Ann B. Davis as Alice, into the same ranch house at 1164 Morning Glory Circle, but…close. As a means of preserving their own semi-independence, and sparing the kids an extra intrusion, they’re moving — well, into different ranches on the same circle, say. Or even: same house; different floors, different doors.

In the articles first example, the triple-hyphenate Curtis-Hetfield-Petrini household (two divorced parents, now each others’ partners; three kids among them), for instance, lucked into a two-family town house in Brooklyn. My initial crabby thought: “Well, of course it works great for them. They have a ’sleek bamboo kitchen.’”

But (a) no fair, as we all know that when it comes to discord, creature comforts are more often cause than antidote, and (b)  the article goes on to describe many types of blendy families in many shapes, forms, places, and real estates. And the broadest points are well-taken. First, the economic reality of a post-Carol world:

…What’s really driving the practice of committed couples with children living in separate abodes, [said Susan Stewart, a sociologist at Iowa State University who studies how families form and change over time], “is that middle- and upper-income women have their own money and independence. They are working, and can live on their own.”

And — most important — this, also from Stewart:

“The complexity of families is the real story. Family life is not what it was. The divorce rate” — roughly half of all first marriages still end in divorce — “has been high and stable since the 1980s. The majority of these people go on to marry or cohabit. Then there’s the change in custody patterns, with more and more fathers desiring more time with their children, if not full or shared custody. The traditional family — the married-couple-biological-children family — is in the minority.”

November 10, 2010

Love is a lot like a drug

Filed under: News, Psychology — posted by Kristine @ 10:58 am

When scientists — arguably the most logical of humans — try to make sense of love, interesting things are bound to happen. As Albert Einstein concluded: “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” (No one’s ruled out inertia, entropy, or nuclear fusion.) Traditionally, of course — metaphorically or otherwise — we trace the origin of love to our hearts. Thankfully, though, Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue suggests that our head has something to do with it, too — and not just when it’s over our heels.

In the new study “The Neuroimaging of Love,” Ortigue reveals that “12 areas of the brain work in tandem to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopression.” Basically, “falling in love can elicit not only the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but also affects intellectual areas of the brain.” Apparently, when it comes to love, we can go from zero to sixty in 1/5th of a second — meaning that euphoria can enter our system as quickly, if not faster, than a controlled substance.

So falling in love is like being on cocaine. It happens real fast, you’re on this crazy high — and then you come down. Interestingly enough, cocaine was once an ingredient in Coca Cola. Coca Cola was first introduced as a patent medicine “for all that ails you.” Since cocaine isn’t legal and has long been removed from Coca Cola, maybe all we need is love?

Dr. Sean Mackey, chair of the pain management division of Stanford University, might agree. Writing recently in Time, Alice Park explores Mackey’s research into to what degree love might “influence how we experience physical pain.” Mackey discovered that when people who reported being in the first stages of “new and passionate love”  were shown pictures of their various pumpkins and pookies, they could withstand greater amounts of pain — even more so than when occupied by mental tests or when shown photos of equally attractive friends.

While I am all for love as a potential wonder-drug, one of my questions is: why only romantic love? Would throwing a different kind of love — say parent/child — into the pain equation garner the same results? Isn’t that love just as mind-altering? Nope, turns out. Well, not in the same way.

Ortigue’s study found that the reason parent-child love would likely not have the same effects on pain is that different parts of the brain are stimulated by different kinds of love: “Passionate love is sparked by the reward part of the brain, and also associative cognitive brain areas that have higher-order cognitive functions, such as body image.”

Parent-child love wouldn’t reduce pain physically because it doesn’t stimulate the reward center. However, that’s not to say that a parent wouldn’t be able to endure more pain should their child be in danger. In essence, Mackey’s study is strengthened by Ortigue’s assertion that the brain releases chemicals akin to cocaine to stimulate romantic love, because like cocaine, love works back and forth with the brain as it heightens certain things and dulls others. Love engages “our very deep, old and primitive reptilian system that involves basic needs, wants, and cravings.”

Since romantic love allows us to withstand more pain, perhaps it is the reason humans survive. While the end of love can hurt, to the point of making people lovesick, the euphoria of being in love keeps us coming back, much like cocaine keeps an addict coming back — all ensuring that we continue the species. From an evolutionary standpoint, the emergence of romantic love in humans may be all about survival of the fittest – rewarding us for the formation of potentially strong alliances with our mates and, as shown by Mackey allowing us to withstand greater amounts of pain, which from a primitive standpoint would have been useful in a fight with that mastodon.

Be thankful. Biology is looking out for us in more ways than one.

November 9, 2010

Huffington Post adds divorce section

Filed under: Celebrities, News, blogs, media, pop culture — posted by Mia @ 2:20 pm

Arianna Huffington introduces a new section, HuffPo Divorce:

“I’ve always thought that, as a country, we do a lousy job of addressing how we can do divorce differently — and better. Especially when there are children involved. That’s why I’m so excited about the launch of HuffPost Divorce.”

Anything that can help families cope with divorce is a good thing. Better still, a considered collection of personal, legal, practical, and psychological pieces that approach and elucidate divorce in the myriad ways… now that sounds really kinda awesome! Inspired by Nora Ephron, fleshed out by family law professionals, essays and advice, and authors of topical books.

It’s almost impossible not to feel a tiny tad jaded, thinking about divorce-affected people as a publishing niche, but that’s exactly what we are. Half the population! I wonder if this is the beginning of more like this.

Meanwhile, I welcome the story and information sharing that may well become a resource for one of life’s most changing events. As a person who went through a starter marriage in her twenties, and who is a child of divorce herself (actually, once I counted and there have been no fewer than 12 divorces in my immediate family) I’d love to dip in now and again to say, find ways to manage doubled parental visiting guilt and the impending holidays!

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