Monday, February 28, 2011

The things we do for love

The question isn't whether I've done stupid things in the name of love.

A more appropriate inquiry: What's the STUPIDEST thing I've done in the name of love?

Ah, yes...we certainly have options, most of which involve me traveling miles out of my way to buy gifts that were either ignored or entirely unappreciated. (Current boyfriend excluded, of course.)

This CNN article emphasizes how love can make us stupid. An excerpt:

The fact of the matter is, you can't make yourself stop wanting to do stupid things when you are caught in the grip of new love or old love for that matter, any more than you can make yourself stop wanting cheesecake, or a cigarette, or a martini, or anything else that tempts you.

But you can stop doing the things that make you look and feel like an idiot, with a little help.

You can stop the compulsive voicemail and e-mail-checking, the constant texting, and the Facebook stalking. You can stop yourself from Googling his name (again). You can shut out all those premature thoughts of what your wedding will be like, and what you'll name your children. And when you're wondering on your second date if she has fallen in love with you yet, you can stop yourself from asking her.

I agree: Many of the crazy things we do at a relationship's onset are unnecessary.

Yet at the same time, a certain level of craziness -- provided it doesn't involve stalking or bridal magazines -- also lays the foundation for the memories you'll fondly recall as your relationship progresses.

After my boyfriend and I went on our first major vacation together, I remember arriving home and channeling my inner crazy during a phone call with my mom. I told her about my awkward moments during the trip and held back tears while saying, "I don't know if he even likes me!"

Nearly four years have passed since that moment. Last weekend we performed our usual Saturday night routine: grilled steak and some quality TV time. It wasn't anything monumental, but one thing seemed clear.

"Yes, he likes me."

Or he's just a really good liar. Haha.

Monday power anthem

Today's tune provides the perfect backdrop for post-Oscars fashion analysis.

Tired of listening to your friends imitate Joan Rivers? Avoid the office water cooler by voting in our online fashion poll.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Is sex addiction a real disease?

That's the central question raised in this interesting piece from Time magazine. An excerpt:

In the 20th century, we changed our thinking about alcoholism: what was once a moral weakness came to be understood as an illness resulting in large part from genetics. Sexual acting out seems different, though. Is excessive lust really just another biochemical accident?

In recent years, I've listened to a handful of acquaintances attribute breakups to a partner's battle with sex addiction. Women describe the scenario in terms of a medical ailment interfering with an otherwise stable relationship.

On some level, it's a cultural shift: Just a few years ago, many of those women would attribute their relationship's flaws to their own weaknesses.

Now, though the breakup is just disturbing, it's a result of somebody else's biochemistry.

Here's a question from the aforementioned article's headline:

Is sex addiction a real disease or an excuse for men to cheat?

Cats and dating

Here's some research suggesting cats prefer female owners.

Sorry, guys.

Have one cat? Cute. Two felines? No problem. Three? Borderline. Anything above the three-cat threshold often puts you at risk for some sort of social stigma, regardless of your pets' cuteness.

We've all heard stories about the proverbial "crazy cat lady." Male cat fans generate their own stereotypes, usually involving loneliness and/or a fear of commitment.

Which dater has LESS social stigma: a cat-obsessed man or cat-obsessed woman?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stay-at-home girlfriend

Immediately after college, things were simple. All my female friends in their 20s had jobs. It blinded me to any other possible lifestyles.

But then my friends started getting married, having kids and quitting their jobs. And enjoying it.

Many of my female friends are still working. But our conversations often turn toward NOT working -- this is, whether or not we'd enjoy it. Here's my go-to answer: "I'd like staying home at first, but eventually I'd get bored."

I feel like that's what I'm supposed to say.

Those conversations crossed my mind upon finding this essay: "How to survive as a SAHG (stay-at-home girlfriend)."

At times, the piece seems like a satire. The writer includes many cringe-worthy references to keeping her boyfriend happy (having dinner ready when he gets home, cleaning the house).

But if you ignore the antiquated gender roles, the essay to some extent reflects current economic realities. The writer's husband didn't suddenly offer to subsidize her so she could quit her job.

No, she was left jobless after her corporate gig was outsourced.

It's a different scenario than someone who deliberately decides to sit back and live on her significant other's income. The writer closes the essay by saying she intends to eventually have her own career.

So the essay's tone, as divisive as it sounds, might simply be an attempt to make the best of a bad situation.


(Thanks to the always amazing Lizzie for directing me to the link that inspired this post.)

Two beds, one relationship?

Today's nightlife column is about how incompatible sleep habits can ruin on a relationship. I'm largely writing from personal experience.

When changes to my boyfriend’s work schedule recently made him change his daily wake-up time to 6 a.m., I never imagined it would wreck havoc on our relationship.

That is, until his new early bedtime left me -- a natural night owl -- watching infomercials alone during the late-night hours we’d usually spend together.

Of course, when matters of attraction are involved, you rarely view sleep solely as a health necessity.

If your partner won’t stay awake for another movie, it’s certainly a reflection of your desirability, right?

To make matters worse, sleep isn’t conducive to compromise.

Need proof? Nearly 1 in 4 American couples report sleeping in separate beds, according to National Sleep Foundation research cited in the Chicago Tribune.

Share your tips for surviving conflicting sleep habits in a relationship.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Men won't grow up?

Are male 20-somethings living an extended adolescence?

That's the question surrounding an essay that recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It's adapted from an upcoming book, "Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys."

An excerpt:

It's been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills.

The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing.

Agree or disagree?

(via Double X)

Breakup notifier on Facebook

I've kept many people on my roster of Facebook friends solely to monitor their seemingly inevitable breakups.

You know the type: the people whose romantic status updates you check on a daily basis. Sigh. It's such a time-consuming process.

There has to be an easier way, right?

Enter Breakup Notifier, a tool that informs you of changes to your friends' romantic statuses on Facebook. Breakup Notifier is geared toward people who want to know when the objects of their affection are back on the market.

Confession time: Would you use it?

(via Jezebel)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oscars 2011: Dressing as a couple

Among my favorite college memories: participating on a competitive speech team. We recited material in a variety of categories, including duos.

The duo category involved two people performing material together. I remember it vividly, mainly because of its fashion implications.

Naturally, competitors who were dating often gravitated toward the duo category. To impress the judges -- while looking pretty dang cute -- they often took pride in coordinating their outfits. For example, the guy would wear a tie that matched the color of his female partner's power suit.

I haven't forgotten the tendency, and it still underscores an important question:

Once you've escaped the pressure of high school proms and speech tournaments, are there still occasions when you need to dress "as a couple"?

The idea seems totally antiquated, but I'm sure red carpet coverage during Sunday's Oscars will include categories for best- and worst-dressed couples.

Sure, celebrities are judged on a slightly different scale than the rest of us, but even "real people" enter a point in relationships when you realized you're being evaluated as a couple rather than two individuals.

And yes, I still swoon at red carpet utterances like "we're both wearing Armani."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Table for four

Research recently revealed something shocking: Having friends is good for your relationship.

Total surprise, right?

But we're not talking about just any friends. The key lies in finding good "couple friends," according to this article.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

The biggest challenge often exists in finding people who are on the same relationship wavelength as you and your partner.

There's nothing more annoying than sitting down on a "couple date" and having your friends shove the virtues of parenthood down your unmarried throat. Trust me, I've been there.

What's more, it's hard to actively search for couple friends without being mistaken for swingers. Awkward.

Here, YourTango offers four ideas for finding couple friends. Also, you can try friend-seeker websites like Kupple. (My favorite thing about Kupple? The bold-print warning: "Not a Swingers site.")

Any additional suggestions?

Monday power anthem

Let's pay homage to Lady Gaga's pre-egg hatching, pre-Madonna knockoff days.

Seize the day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What's in a name?

Check out these cute little charts based on research about the most "sexually active and inactive" male and female names. Warning: It's not a good day to be named Edward or Dorothy.

The Edward thing sort of surprised me, given Edward Cullen's popularity.

Research aside, I'm interested: When it comes to first impressions, does a date's name factor into your overall assessment of his/her desirability?

I'd say "no," with some exceptions:

1. A date who has the same name as my dad or brother

2. A date who has the same name as one of my exes

3. A date with a name so unusual that it can't be ignored


(via TresSugar)

Civil union status on Facebook

Not satisfied with "it's complicated"? Fear no more.

The Associated Press reports Facebook has added civil unions and domestic partnerships to its list of ways to describe your relationship status.


Even when I'm in a relationship, I never specify my relationship status on Facebook. I don't list myself as "single," either. It's just...nothing.

Is that weird? If it makes things any better, my boyfriend doesn't specify a relationship status, either.

I don't have a specific reason for avoiding the Facebook relationship game, aside from the shame that would come with changing my status back to "single" in the event of a breakup.

If I was engaged or married, I'd definitely specify a status. Anything prior to that just seems too informal to announce on Facebook.

Anyone else feel the same way?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love me? Leave a message

It's one of my biggest relationship pet peeves: "One missed call."

Few qualities anger me more than a tendency to call, miss me and not leave a message. I see the missed call -- sans voicemail -- and ask a variety of questions: "If you didn't need to leave a message, why did you call in the first place? Am I still supposed to call back?"

With no offense to my boyfriend, I often encounter situations like this when I miss his call after work. He doesn't leave a message.

Then, I go home to learn he's playing poker -- possibly a three-hour commitment. Later in the night, I'll inevitably complain about how I wish he'd asked me before hitting the poker table.

His response: "Well, I called you."

Yeah, but you didn't leave a message, which makes the entire phone call invalid.

Memories of that kind of frustration entered my mind when I read this etiquette piece: "Is it ever OK to leave voicemail anymore?"

I understand the drawbacks of voicemail messages: They're often unnecessarily long, easily to accidentally delete and just plain awkward.

So I guess my problem with the whole "one missed call" thing isn't so much that it doesn't include a voicemail message, but more so that it doesn't include ANY KIND of message.

Weigh in with your thoughts on voicemail, missed calls and general phone etiquette issues.

Valentine's Day, part 2?

In this week's column, I advocate a second Valentine's Day.

Don't hate me. Well, at least listen to my reasons before you hate me.

It’s not a totally radical idea.

In Japan, women give men chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Men return the gesture on White Day, held on March 14.

The U.S. doesn’t have White Day, but let’s not forget about the socially impaired cousin of Valentine’s Day: Sweetest Day.

If you haven’t heard of Sweetest Day, you’re probably not alone. The holiday, a mini version of Valentine’s Day held in October, seems to have its biggest fan following in the Midwest.

One of the major weaknesses surrounding Valentine's Day is the pressure that comes with having only one designated calendar day a year to mark your love. If you’re in a relationship on Feb. 14, everything’s cool. If you’re single, you’re stressed.

Widespread national acceptance of Sweetest Day -- or even White Day -- would make Valentine’s Day a little more palatable.

Male readers, I know what you’re thinking: “This is Sonya’s worst idea ever. I can’t believe she’s actually suggesting I endure the pain and social judgment of Valentine’s Day twice.”

Not so fast.

If we had something like White Day, guys, you’d be guaranteed gifts in exchange for all the stress induced by arranging flower deliveries.

It’s kind of growing on you, right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kissing is boring?

Strangely, I received a Valentine's Day present from my college.

It wasn't roses. Instead, the alumni office e-mailed me this video of alums from my college kissing.

Fortunately, I got through the entire video without spotting any former crushes. Trust me, that was for the best. I wasn't in the mood for the jealousy that comes with endless discussions of "he married HER?!?"

Anyway, in the 90 percent of cases when I'm not jealous, I swoon while watching people exchange a peck on the cheek.

But I have limits.

Consider this Thai couple, who recently set a world record by kissing for 46 hours. That doesn't even sound fun.


On a scary note...

I was justifiably alarmed when this story pitch recently invaded my inbox:

BABIES. Maybe you’re thinking of having one. There might even be one inside you right now, draining nutrients from your system via a tube growing from its midsection. Or maybe you’ve already got one around the house, somewhere, and you’re responsible for its continued survival. You’re saddled with a helpless being whom you’ve agreed to house and feed and love with all your heart for the rest of your life, more or less.

Turns out the publicist was simply promoting this book.

But still...the phrase "draining nutrients from your system" is always a little unsettling, right?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cohabitation contracts

Would you get a prenup with your partner...before marriage?

SavvySugar has an interesting post about cohabitation contracts -- legal documents that couples sign upon moving in together.

The case for cohabitation contracts is simple: It's important to protect your stuff.

The drawback? It's a little unsettling to involve lawyers in your relationship before you're even married. What's more, the legal fees surrounding the process might not be worthwhile when you and your partner are both broke 20-somethings.

No, honey, I will not sign away access to my unstable checking account.

Weigh in: Would you sign a cohabitation contract?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Watch this video

WRBL reporter Alison Flowers did a great job on "A Hard Look at Love," a special piece that aired on Valentine's Day. As an added bonus, I'm interviewed in the video. Fame!

Valentine's Day 2011 final thoughts

Pretty soon, it'll all be over.

People who celebrate Valentine's Day will enjoy their romantic dinners. People who oppose the holiday will breathe a sigh of relief.

As I type this blog post, I've had a great Valentine's Day. If I get out of the office in time to buy some chocolate-covered strawberries, my day will be complete.

I agree with this writer's assertion: Couples who hate Valentine's Day are often more annoying than single people who hate Valentine's Day.

An excerpt from the Slate article:

I'm talking about the couples who say they are "above" Valentine's Day. You know what I'm talking about: those who sniff, "We think our love should be celebrated every day" or "I don't need Hallmark to remind me that I love my wife." They make a big deal out of not making a big deal out of Valentine's Day.

Throughout Valentine's Day, I saw tons of Facebook updates with lines like, "My husband and I hate Valentine's Day! We celebrate our love 365 days a year!"

Is that really true? I mean, how many people pause to celebrate their most important relationships EVERY DAY?

If you honestly celebrate your love every day...go ahead and complain. But otherwise, take a cue from the rest of us and succumb to silly traditions.

You might like it.

How to survive Valentine's Day

So...the big day has arrived!

Right now you're either elated, depressed or too hyped up on conversation hearts to feel any real emotions. Mmm.

The key to surviving Valentine's Day lies in remembering that the holiday is just one day. Temporary relationship bliss hardly guarantees a successful romantic future. Likewise, it's possible to "fail" Valentine's Day and still be a good couple.

That said...let's stop the anti-Valentine's Day rants, OK?

Not everyone has to bask in shades of pink and red today. But I'm sick of all the Facebook status updates directing so much anger to the holiday. Tone it down, please.

I'm hardly a hopeless romantic. Still, there's something nice about taking one day to appreciate your most important relationships.

Especially since tomorrow might be a different story.

Friday, February 11, 2011

When will you celebrate Valentine's Day?

I started this year's Valentine's festivities Friday afternoon. Alan and I had a special lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants, the Rivermill Cafe. The meal also included my favorite dessert, deep-fried strawberries (pictured above).

For clarity's sake, I'll note the meal was not my boyfriend's attempt to sweep me off my feet.

No, it was me saying, "We're celebrating Valentine's Day this year. I'll pay for a nice lunch Friday and you can buy a special dinner Monday. Also, I'm getting you a gift and I'd really like you to get something for me, too."

It doesn't fit traditional romantic ideals. But I've learned that in relationships, having a successful Valentine's Day often begins with realizing your partner isn't a mind-reader.

If you're in a relationship, will you have Valentine's Day dinner this weekend or Monday night?

(Looking for a Sunday Valentine's brunch? Here's a good idea. Also, catch your weekend nightlife lineup on Sara's blog.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why you're single

The Village Voice directs an interesting essay to New York's single women. The headline includes this conclusion: "It's not them. It's you."

Though a Double X writer has concerns about the piece, I think it addresses some valid points.

Consider this excerpt about how an abundance of options has to some extent paralyzed us:

Options: Those are exciting. So we want all the options, bigger and better and faster and shinier, or taller or sexier or stronger or smarter, and yet somehow also different and completely our own. We want the tippy-top of what we can get—why shouldn't we? And we want to push those boundaries.

Later in the essay, the writer continues:

But I'd argue that it's not about being picky. It's about having all of these options, and not knowing how to choose from among them, or whether we even want to. It's about the years of being told we can have it all, and suddenly being deeply afraid to admit that that house of cards has been a sham all along because no one really gets to have it all.


Need Thursday plans?

My colleague Sara reminds us of a pretty cool Thursday happy hour this week. The Columbus Contemporaries, a group geared toward 20- and 30-somethings, hosts an event at The Loft beginning at 6 p.m. Learn more here.

Barbie and Ken back together?

Confession: I'm obsessed with rumors that Barbie and Ken might get back together for Valentine's Day.

The pair broke up in 2004. Now, they've hinted at a potential reconciliation. Fans can even vote on the couple's future. (Right now, the barometer is dangerously close to "give him a chance!")

In today's column, I discuss why I oppose the rekindled romance. I'll avoid speculation about a Ken & Ben romance.

My issue isn’t so much the potential Barbie/Ken reconciliation itself, but rather its timing. I’m worried Barbie's romantic opinion has changed mainly because she wants a Valentine.

As the holiday approaches, many daters embrace an urge to idealize past relationships.

We forget about the fights and red flags just long enough to believe one night of roses and chocolate can resuscitate a dead relationship.

This Valentine’s Day, resist the tendency to find a date solely for the sake of having a date.

Because the quality of your dream house or dream vacation won’t matter if you’re not satisfied with the quality of your partner.

Are you listening, Barbie?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Platonic Valentines

I don't regard Valentine's Day strictly as a romantic holiday. My dad usually gives me a Valentine's gift, and I often give my close female friends candy on Feb. 14.

But I have limits when it comes to expressions of "platonic" Valentine's affection.

Case in point: This Wall Street Journal article, which describes a tendency to give your "work spouse" a Valentine's Day gift.

I disapprove.

I've never been too keen on the whole "work spouse" idea. The term describes "co-workers with close relationships," according to the aforementioned WSJ piece.

It's one thing to have a work friend. But I'd be pretty mad if my boyfriend went behind my back and took the time to buy a Valentine's Day gift for a co-worker.

That's the REAL reason we work in the same office.

Smother me on Valentine's Day

Have you made a Valentine's Day dinner reservation yet? If you still need ideas, check out our roundup of some local dining options.

One very elegant omission: Many Waffle House restaurants in Columbus will offer candlelight dinners on Valentine's Day, according to this press release.

Smother me, baby.

If you don't want to brave the local restaurant scene on Feb. 14, I'll refer you again to Dawn's excellent collection of recipes.

Here's one more: Engagement Chicken. Married women like Dawn don't need it, but I have no shame in embracing a recipe that allegedly leads men to propose.

Weigh in: Will you dine out or cook at home on Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What men want

Dawn's recent blog post spurred an interesting discussion on the Ledger's Facebook page: Do men want Valentine's Day gifts?

Some comments pointed to the importance of a home-cooked meal, which led Dawn to write another blog post with some recipe suggestions.

Then, I received the results of a survey on modern romance from Glamour magazine and Ralph Lauren Romance.

Among the findings? "The No. 1 thing men want to receive for Valentines Day is to hear 'I love you.'"

Really? I worry about applying this conclusion to new relationships.

If you've never dropped the "L" word before, is it really a good idea to say it for the first time on Valentine's Day?

I vote no, but maybe I'm wrong.

Singles Awareness Day

Chances are, you've heard discussions of a Singles Awareness Day party scheduled within the next few days.

In the last few years, the holiday has gained prominence as the antithesis to Valentine's Day. Singles Awareness Day is often celebrated on Feb. 14, but can also be celebrated on Feb. 13 or 15, according to Wikipedia.

I've spent more Valentine's Days single than coupled, but I've never been a fan of anti-Valentine's parties.

Here's my beef: People call Valentine's Day a Hallmark holiday, some arbitrary calendar date that doesn't warrant celebration.

But then, by hosting anti-love parties on or around Feb. 14, the same people imply that the date warrants some kind of recognition.

Does that make sense?

If you're single on Valentine's Day, do you host an anti-Valentine's Day party or just wait for the holiday to be over?

(If you're single, check out Psychology Today's awesome Living Single blog. Also, read my colleague Sara Pauff's blog post about movies for single people to watch on Valentine's Day.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The "U" word

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, it's time to think about why you're not married. Right?

Try offering this romantic line during Valentine's Day dinner: "Honey, if you don't propose to me soon, we're breaking up."

Sound silly?

MyDaily has an article about ultimatums -- as in, when to give them. An excerpt:

The key word is "threat," says Jim Duzak, the Attorney at Love. "If it's a man who's on the receiving end, he's going to feel under attack," he says, "and men go into defense mode when they're attacked, which tends to shift the attention away from the issue at hand and back at the woman."

Would you ever give an ultimatum?

The aforementioned article is informative, but my favorite part is a reader's comment:

If a guy doesnt marry you after more then a yr and a half he's using you and waiting for someone better. Throw the bum out.. You are living like a prostitute in sin...and if u die in even one of those sins unforgiven you will go to hell. Don't be a stooge.


Halftime show Super Bowl 2011 video

Last night's halftime show is today's power anthem.

Did you like it? I posted that question on the Ledger's Facebook page and was surprised to receive nearly 50 responses.

Comments ranged from "BEST one EVER!!!!!" to "I wasn't watching, because the SuperBowl is just an over-inflated pile of crap that America feels compelled to watch every year without a good explanation."

Where do you stand?

Friday, February 4, 2011

The ring didn't mean a thing

While swimming in a sea of Valentine's Day story pitches, I found the results of a recent marriage proposal survey conducted by Men's Health and

Among the findings?

One in 4 brides wished their proposal was more romantic, more original and personal or more private.


I've watched some women get engaged and then complain about how their guy proposed. I think the tendency is a little tacky, especially when they're complaining in the company of female friends desperate to get engaged.

If you're a male reader -- and you're not too embarrassed to visit The Knot -- check out this list of 50 romantic ways to propose.

Valentine's Day dining options

It's 5 p.m. on Valentine's Day. You're brainstorming romantic dining options. Does Olive Garden cross your mind?

According to research based on Internet search terms, many people might say yes.

I got an e-mail from Everspark Interactive, a search engine optimization company. They say the following nine search queries were classified as "volcanic" from the hours of 2-6 p.m. on Feb. 14 of 2010 and 2009. Here are the queries, listed in no particular order:

1. Olive Garden
2. Red Lobster
3. Applebee's
4. Outback
5. Outback Steakhouse
6. Outback Steakhouse coupons
7. Outback Steakhouse menu
8. Chili's
9. Macaroni Grill

I've always imagined an intimate local bistro as the ideal setting for a romantic dinner. But maybe there's no shame in having Valentine's Day dinner at a chain restaurant.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Break Up With Your Ex Day

Ready to delete all those old text messages?

A relationship website has declared Feb. 13 "Break Up With Your Ex Day." It consists of burying all remnants of you exes. That means unfollowing your ex on social networking sites and deleting his/her number from your phone.

Of course, a lot of people will likely argue the measures are too extreme.

But often, really "getting over" someone requires completely cutting off all forms of contact.

Will you participate?

Independent women, needy men?

That headline is somewhat of an exaggeration, but it underscores one of the major talking points from a survey recently addressed in USA Today.

Here's an excerpt from the results of the survey, which focused on single Americans:

Data show men are quicker to fall in love and more likely than women to want children: 54% of men say they have experienced love at first sight, compared with 44% of women; among singles without children under 18, more men (24%) than women (15%) say they want children.

And, across every age group, women want more independence than men in their relationships: 77% of women say having their personal space is "very important," vs. 58% for men; 78% of women say the same about having their own interests and hobbies (vs. 64% for men).

Weigh in: Are women really more independent than men in their relationships?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mistress Day

I wish you could see all the story pitches I've received as Valentine's Day approaches. I'll try to post the best selections as the holiday approaches.

Beginning with this one, pasted directly from my e-mail inbox:

Do you know what holiday arrives right before the most (forced) romantic day of the year? February 13th marks the lesser-observed "Mistress Day," the day that straying boyfriends and husbands set aside for the "other woman."

Still looking for a hot date for the weekend? Leading dating website is offering a “Sugar Daddy Concierge” service for busy men who want a sugar baby, but who don’t have the time to look. The Sugar Daddy Concierge hand-picks interested women based on that member’s specific desires, taking the guess work out of the sugar dating decision-making process.

And now you know.

Exercise and dating

Sorry for Tuesday's lack of posts. I was manning the Ledger's online chat during the manhunt. Catch up on the situation here.

So far it seems like today isn't as chaotic in the newsroom. Famous last words, right?

Anyway, in an attempt to start yet another "normal" day, I'll refer you to a Wall Street Journal article with this creative headline: "A workout ate my marriage."

It suggests an intense exercise regimen can sometimes jeopardize a romantic relationship for two main reasons.

First, intense exercise is, well, intense. It often requires 5 a.m. wakeup calls and early bedtimes. Date someone who loves working out and he/she will often prefer treadmill time over happy hour.

Then, there's another concern. The WSJ notes:

If one partner gets a new, buff appearance and a new circle of buff acquaintances, romantic possibilities can open up—and give the other spouse good reason to feel insecure about his or her own physique.

Obviously, the ideal setup is to find a partner who shares your passion for exercise. But that's easier said than done.

I absolutely love exercising. If there was a job that consisted of being on a treadmill all day, I'd do it. I'm especially proud of my ability to get my boyfriend to run a half-marathon.

Never underestimate the power of bribery.

(Note: There's a pretty cool 5K and 10K on Saturday in downtown Columbus. Click here for details.)