Ant & Lisa McPartlin: nowmagazine.co.uk
By: Sharon Jayson - USA TODAYSteve Bull
and his wife, Allison Ackerman, can't count the number of times they've been told they make a cute couple. James and Katrina Vong can't escape being mistaken for brother and sister. Sharon Young says her resemblance to now-husband Ben Young was so strong, people told her they should get together.
"We were going to the same church, and there were people who were very interested to have the two of us date," says Young, 32, of Cincinnati. "They'd say, 'You would look really good together and would have cute kids' — before we were dating."
Everybody knows romantic partners who look as if they belong together. But just why people are sometimes drawn to look-alikes isn't necessarily coincidence. It's fodder for research that spans subjects from evolution to psychology to attraction and mating preferences, to try to explain why some people may unconsciously seek out partners with similar features.
"When you have a face that looks more like you, you tend to trust it more and think it looks more cooperative," says Tony Little, a research fellow in psychology at the University of Stirling in Scotland. He is among a small group of researchers studying the role of the human face in mating choices.
Research by psychologist R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign used digitally morphed photos of a subject's face and a stranger's face; he found that morphed faces were more attractive to subjects when their own face was included. The experiment was part of a study he co-wrote in 2010 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
"I do think there's an innate tendency for people, myself included, to be attracted to people who look like them. There's a familiarness to it," says Sharon Young, a college administrator.
A new dating website called Find Your FaceMate even uses facial-recognition software to suggest pairings. The official launch is July 10, says founder Christina Bloom of New York. But although facial attraction may ignite a relationship, it takes more to keep it going, she says.
Jessie King, 26, of St. Augustine, Fla., says she and boyfriend Jeff Cagle, 32, are both blond.
"People like to see similars together," says King, a health educator. "We get comments like: 'You guys are cute together. You look like a good couple.' "
Redheads Heather and Tony Capraro, 41 and 49, of Concord, N.H., both were married before, but not to look-alikes. "When we're out, people think we're brother and sister," he says.
Jim Rock, 41, a lawyer from Holladay, Utah, says his wife, Grace Rock, 36, "has six siblings but looks more like me than them."
Debra Lieberman, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., says Freud was wrong about people being unconsciously attracted to their opposite-sex parent; humans have evolved sophisticated inbreeding avoidance systems and develop strong aversions toward those seen as a close genetic relative.
She believes it's more about "the similarity someone else has to the template that I built up of what counts as a healthy male. It might come from what my father looks like and any other males I was around quite frequently growing up."
James and Katrina Vong, 31 and 32, are federal employees stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. He's Cambodian and she's Filipino, but "sometimes we get weird looks when we hold hands because our resemblance seems more like siblings," he says.
Bull and Ackerman, 33 and 32, of Evanston, Ill., met in college; they noticed their resemblance but dated others, too. "Before Allison," he says, "I dated somebody 4-foot-11 and brunette." -------------Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/story/2012-06-18/lookalikes-attract/55720994/1
The link below is to an article by my cousin, Monica Gabriel, who writes for Verily Magazine. The article discusses how texting is affecting dating in our culture. Particularly, it discusses the emotionally addictive nature that the overuse of texting can engender. I hope you enjoy it, take care and God bless!http://issuu.com/verilymag/docs/teaser/43#share
Published on Apr 4, 2012 by insidenikerunning
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We all want love. Our sole desire on our hearts regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity is love. To love and be loved. But this love is not the love that the world promises or even propagates on the media. This love can not be obtained by any object, or even any friend or family member. Even the most romantic human relationship with the most amazing gentleman will not satisfy your heart in this way. Often times, people will go to extremes or pursue dating relationships with other people in search for this type of love. But the end result, if we are truly honest with ourselves, is always disappointment and frustration. Because this love that our hearts yearn for is a sustainable, unconditional love that transcends our heart to God. Christ is the center of this Love and He is the only one who can fill the void. So, I challenge you this summer to settle your hearts and rest in Him. If you are in a dating relationship or single, try a dating fast. Remove yourself from the dating process for a while to reclaim your heart, body, and soul. Whether you use this time to heal and/or grow, spend your summer pursuing Him and giving Him the space to transform you. Fall in love with Christ and allow Him to show you your beauty. Make the decision this summer to do something for yourself--something that will change your life! Decide to say 'yes' to God and fast from the dating world.
After all, making sound decisions is based on a mind that is sound on God (Romans 12:2). The only way to reach this point is to purposely and forcefully pursue God over all other things. The irony of a sound mind is you have to eliminate noise. The only ‘sound’ needs to be from God. In order to have a sound mind a person has to eliminate noise (distraction) and allow a fine tuned ‘sound’ from the Holy Spirit into our mind. The only way to have a fine tuned sound and not a noise is through practice and focus, just ask any musician. A dating fast allows you to practice and focus on the sounds that God has for you. What is He saying to your heart? Be still and listen!
Recently, I wrote a book for women on this topic. For more information about this book or the benefits of a dating fast, please check out the following website, http://web.me.com/slbec6/Katherine_Becker/home.html
or email me at email@example.com.
Photography by Kim Anderson
Upon interviewing subscribers at CatholicPeople.com for their best dating advice, the following 5 themes have been revealed:
People have varying degrees of faith, you should be aware of this when discussing religion-based topics. Your date may or may not enjoy talking about some of the theological ideas you have, so be sensitive to their faith. If you feel as though things are not going as well as you like, try changing the topic, or even better, ask for their opinions. This way, you know their views, and can feel more comfortable discussing your thoughts without it sounding like a lecture.
The best way to have great conversation with your companion is to talk about what you know. Do not pretend to be an expert on something you are not familiar with. You are giving your date a false impression of you, which is never a good thing, especially when your relationship could be founded on a false view, which is not a good way to begin your Catholic dating life. Always give your date "you", that is, be yourself and talk about things you are familiar with. It will give your date the chance to make an honest decision about you, which is how the best relationships start out. Feel free to ask questions to your date about their interests, and you may find something in common that could be used to have a second date, such as a sporting event or dinner at a restaurant that you have both been wanting to try out.
The biggest source of an uncomfortable time during a date is when someone is pressuring the other. This could be asking for another date, something to eat, a movie to see, etc.. It is never a good way to get what you want. If you would like to see a specific movie, suggest it, and if your date has a different thought, possibly offer to see their movie in exchange for seeing yours at a later date. This allows for a second date, almost guaranteed as long as your date shares the same interests. Just remember to be yourself and you will feel more comfortable during your date, and find greater success in Catholic dating.
4) The Golden Rule - The key to dating
If you are unfamiliar with this rule, it is "Treat Others As You Would Want to be Treated," and is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when you are looking for a lasting relationship. You want somebody with the same interests as yourself, and the best way to find somebody like this is to treat them as you treat yourself. If you are compatible, it will show rather quickly, and you can start enjoying Catholic dating more.
This relates to the following tip, as you do not want to treat somebody differently, as it could lead to compatibility problems once you become closer as a couple. So, always treat your date as you would treat yourself, and you will find a meaningful relationship with all the qualities in a companion that you are looking for.
5) Don't Force a Relationship
If you really like your companion, but don't think they feel the same way, it is very important to talk to them about how you are feeling. You should not have to make a relationship to work by changing yourself or being somebody you are not. If the relationship was meant to last, it will last and you should not have to be untrue to yourself. Many people try to make a relationship improve by changing their opinions or views on a topic so their significant other will accept them. This is not a good way to start out Catholic dating, and you should definately discuss your feelings as a couple to see where you both stand. There is someone out there for you, if it's not your current mate, you may need to find someone who better fits you.
To find out more, visit: http://www.catholicpeople.com/successful-catholic-dating.
With today being Mother's Day, I thought that I would share an article that I found about the vocation of motherhood. May all mothers be blessed in a special way today. May God's grace fill them with His peace, mercy, and love! :)
*****The vocation of motherhood is a call to sanctity just as a vocation to the priesthood or religious life is. While it is true as St. Paul says, the married person does not have a heart reserved for singular devotion to God, caring for husband and children is in itself a path to holiness. The number of saints who were mothers is too many to enumerate. However, the fact that the Blessed Mother lived and sanctified this vocation is enough to demonstrate its greatness.
Motherhood is neither a right nor a decision. Rather it is a gift bestowed by the Author of Life on those whom He chooses to bless. This is something all too often forgotten in our era of science, technology and planning of parenthood. Motherhood is certainly not a vocation without trials, tribulation or suffering. This is evident to every mother from the very beginning in the sacrifice of her body that she makes during pregnancy and the agony of childbirth. Yet, this suffering pales in comparison to the joy a new child brings. (Or at least shrinks a little once it is past!) In a like manner, the vocation of motherhood offers a uniquely designed road to sanctification beset with roses and thorns along the way. However the glory and happiness offered at the end of the journey far outweighs the difficulties of the path.
As Catholic mothers, we are called to witness to the world how the vocation of motherhood is a gift. We are called to a paradoxical life which the world does not understand. It is through humility, sacrifice, and the complete emptying out of oneself that true greatness is found. Motherhood is not a vocation of awards and recognition. It is often a hidden life, with only God truly knowing and appreciating all the love and work that goes into each day. The very nature of motherhood develops the virtue of humility by the constant requirement to put needs of others first. (There are few things in life more humbling than changing another's diaper!) In reality, by her example, love, and constant giving, a mother is helping God form the character of a new soul. She is raising a new saint for Heaven.
Jesus says "Whatever you do for the least of my brethren, you do unto me." Every mother needs to recall from time to time that in the constant demand to meet the needs of her family, she is fulfilling this service to Jesus Himself. She must also remember to take time for herself. For if she gives without ever being replenished, the ultimate end is burnout. A mother needs some quiet time for herself every day for spiritual reflection, pursuing her own interests, emotional recharging, or simply for peace and quiet! Taking time to be grateful and allowing her husband and children to give back to her is the source of a mother's seemingly tireless bounty of love.
Another method in which the Lord calls us to holiness though motherhood is the special way in which we can come to know Him as only parents can. In knowing Him more deeply we may love Him more completely. By allowing us to participate with Him in creation, we begin to understand the paternity of God in a very small and veiled manner. By our own experience as parents, we can come to understand the love of God in an entirely new fashion. Most of us find it difficult to imagine a love more powerful than the love of a parent for child. Yet this love dissipates when compared to the love which God has for each and every one of us. In our dealings with our own children, we are reminded that we are in fact the children of God. As such, sometimes we are disciplined, asked to do thing we don't understand, and don't get immediate gratification of all our desires. From a child's perspective we may feel God is unfair or unjust, but when we reflect upon our own role as parents, we can glimpse that everything Our Lord decides for us is decided with love and our own best interest in mind. Parents have the ability to grasp this concept greater than anyone else.
God ordained a mission for each of us and mapped out the path for us to fulfill it from all eternity. He knew us before we existed and as the bible so tenderly puts it, "knit" us in our mother's womb. The path He designed for each of our sanctifications is different from that which He devised for anyone else. In conclusion, though a mother may not have the time or ability to spend endless hours in contemplative union with God, she need not feel that she is incapable of achieving greatness in the eyes of Our Lord. Rather, Our Lord is capable of achieving greatness in her, especially in the ordinariness of her life. This is the secret of St. Therese - not finding holiness in accomplishing monumental feats, but finding monumental holiness in the love attached to the simplest and smallest incidences of life. In this may every mother find true joy in her vocation.
To find out more, visit: http://www.revolutionoflove.com/mamas/articles/motherhood/motherhood_gwen.html
By: Anthony Buono
- Catholic Lane
The highlight of every child’s Easter basket is the chocolate bunny. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. I don’t know about you, but I have always preferred the solid chocolate bunny over the hollow bunny. What an utter disappointment to bite into that ear and have it shatter chocolate crumbs all over. Half the fun is the struggle to work your teeth through that solid mass of chocolate.
The hollow bunny looks just like a solid bunny. But it has no substance. Unless it’s labelled, there’s no way to tell if it’s hollow or solid until you experience it.
Dating frustrations are much like this experience of the hollow versus solid bunny. You’re on a date with someone who is attractive and seems great, but then you discover that he is not what you expected. Perhaps he is not as spiritual as he claims to be. Perhaps she is shallow and superficial. Perhaps he is overly self-centered and wrapped up in his own concerns. Perhaps she can’t have an interesting conversation.
One of the most common complaints I have heard over the years from Catholics about the people they’ve dated is that they were not what they seemed. They encountered a hollow bunny.
A person, for the most part, can’t help who he is in many ways. And the substance of another is often a subjective matter. Someone uninteresting to you, for example, can be fascinating to another. It’s a matter of being evenly yoked: properly suited for each other.
But some aspects of the hollow bunnies most certainly can be helped. It’s fundamentally deceiving, for example, to present yourself as a practicing Catholic, and then behave in ways contrary to Christian virtue. A solid bunny strives to live the faith they profess, and is considerate and respectful of the person he is dating in the name of that same faith.
Fortunately, that lack of substance is usually presented early on, and you can thank God that you found this out quickly so you don’t waste your time.
Putting aside the obvious ways to determine if you are with a hollow bunny, what about when it’s not so obvious? Some people you date and build a relationship with seem so solid. They are very outgoing, funny, talkative, charming, fun, interesting, cultured, and very serious about their faith. It seems they have it all. Or do they?
How many of us have dated someone like this only to find out that you still feel there is something lacking or missing in the relationship? But how can that be? Are you being too picky? Asking for too much?
Remember, the hollow bunny is not obviously hollow, and in fact, it can pass for a solid bunny without a problem. So this person is going to be attractive in every way. And that attraction is going to be a distraction from what is really important for a long lasting relationship with you.
With YOU! It’s about you, not the other. YOU have to be the one who keeps focused on what is really important to you. For solid bunnies, what’s really important is deep friendship with a consistent connection that keeps both of you exploring the person of the other.
A hollow bunny and a solid bunny would have a difficult life together. The hollow bunny will know it’s not solid and will keep trying to be what it can never be. And the solid bunny will tolerate the hollow bunny, knowing all the while the hollow bunny cannot satisfy, no matter what either of them do. This is why two people who have seemingly great qualities can still have a relationship that is rocky or comes to an end.
There are all kinds of reasons a solid bunny will stay with a hollow bunny. Physical attraction can trump conversation. Having someone fun to do things with can trump true friendship. Wanting to get married, have children, or some other goal-oriented motive can trump patience in getting to know each other as a person well.
Hollow bunnies are attractive people. But they should be with other hollow bunnies. Solid bunnies might be distracted for a time, but they eventually realize the person he is with is a hollow bunny. It’s best to make this determination during the dating process so that the love that is declared and exchanged is real and has a solid foundation.
Sadly, too many solid bunnies are prone to make three mistakes:
1) Believe everyone they meet are hollow bunnies and decide he has to settle on this type of person because his chances of finding another person of similar substance is unlikely.
2) Believe he can make a life with a hollow bunny, sacrificing what he needs as a person.
3) Attempt to become a hollow bunny in order to get along better with the person he is with, or believe he can change the hollow bunny into a solid bunny like them.
To settle on a hollow bunny is self-deception. You’re basically saying that who you are is unimportant. True love starts with your real self, and connects with another real person. The worst thing you can do is change who you are for another person.
We are who we are. Fighting against our own nature, our own personhood, our own interests, talents, attractions, etc., is a futile exercise. The cornerstone of love is the ability to mutually give of yourself.
Finding a suitable partner means uniting two hearts as one, based on a friendship that develops until you can’t imagine life without the other. As you date, pay close attention to how you become friends, and how you share that friendship. If you have substance together, you have much to share, and much to give. Go for a solid person who can build a solid life of love with you.
To find out more, visit: http://catholiclane.com/dating-solid-bunny-vs-hollow-bunny/
By: John Fischer and Brooke Heischmidt
Long-distance relationships are tricky, but lots of people find themselves in one these days. This is often because one or both people involved are too smitten to be thinking clearly, which leads me to my own relationship.
Just kidding. (But seriously…) Brooke and I have been thinking at least somewhat clearly from the beginning of our relationship, which has been long-distance for our seven months together. In our search for how to build a great relationship, I stumbled across a book by Matthew Kelly called “The Seven Levels of Intimacy.” It has some general good thoughts about the anatomy of relationships, but one chapter was particularly useful. It is entitled, “Why People Don’t Have Great Relationships.”
He argued, among other things, that people don’t have great relationships because they don’t clearly define what makes a relationship great. That made a lot of sense to us. How can you have a great relationship if you don’t even know what one looks like?
So we made a list. Both of us, separately, wrote down a number of ingredients that we thought would be included in the kind of great relationship that we both want to have, and then later we shared our lists and talked about
them. Below is our list. Please feel free to look it over and steal whatever you want, but we both would encourage you to come up with your own list. One of the reasons this was so good for us as a couple was because of the
conversation and thought that came out of it which gave insight into what was important to the other person. We each spent about a week thinking it over before we shared, and that led to a very fruitful discussion.
We continue to add things or change things as we progress, but it is kind of our little relationship constitution. We look it over from time to time, and it helps us be reminded of the high ideals that we have set for ourselves.
Here is our list; but, again, we encouarage you to create your own. Please let us know if you give it a try. We certainly want to learn from you too!
Ingredients for a GREAT relationship:
*Common goal - to help each other become saints (do this through growing in virtues)*
- Don't take ourselves too seriously
- Always love our Lord Jesus more than each other, and look to Him for our deepest fulfillment
- Each need to take care of ourselves and our own legitimate needs - then we have more to offer the other
- Assume the best of the other (seek understanding before judgment or frustration)
- Always speak well of the other in public - we're on the same team and we have each others' backs
- Each needs individual friends - one person can't fulfill you
- Openness and honesty
- Continue to seek ways to improve relationship (books, role models, etc.)
- Learn about the opposite sex (how they're wired) - it won't fix everything, but will help us understand each other
- Don’t be afraid to tell the other something they don't want to hear if they need to hear it
-Both make sacrifices – give and receive love from the other
- Fun!…with friends and alone
- Communicate needs… what the other can do to help keep the relationship strong
- Accountability: prayer, purity, striving for excellence, etc.
-Ask the Holy Spirit to guide!
-Pray together often (this must follow a natural progression: at meals, going to Mass together, saying a rosary… there’s no specific time line for this, but remember emotional chastity/prudence!.. more on this topic to come)
Posted by: Ben Rahimi
Hello everyone! So, I was surfing the digital waves of the internet when I came across this article on flirting at Chastity.com. The issue of flirting is an interesting topic that has been around since guys and girls first laid eyes on each other. I think this article does a good job addressing the topic, what do you think?
“When you decide firmly to lead a clean life, Chastity will not be a burden on you: it will be a crown of triumph.”
-St. Josemaria Escriva
Flirting means different things for different age groups. When I was in second grade, if I liked a girl, I would throw a rock at her. (Fortunately for women, I have made some progress in this area.)
When we matured to the fourth grade, things got more sophisticated: a girl would ask her friend to pass a note to a boy, inviting him to check the appropriate box if he was interested in her. By sixth grade the tactics were more refined, and a girl might have her friend “accidentally” shove her into a cute boy as they walked out of class. This is all amusing, but by junior high the girls leave the notes behind as they start to realize what interests guys. This is when flirting can become a problem.
The basic definition of flirt is to tease or toy with another; to pay romantic attention to someone without serious intentions. To the degree that one is being impure or dishonest, flirting is wrong. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with letting another person know you are attracted to him. The problem comes when you lead him on for the sake of amusement or to boost your self esteem, usually while causing him to have impure thoughts or desires.
If you are attracted to another, be pure and honest in your dealings with him, and the Lord will bless your friendship. There is nothing wrong with being playful with the person and going out of your way to meet him. Just make sure integrity motivates your tactics. If you are an affectionate girl, be careful about how you express this. A guy might perceive your affection as a hint that you want him to do more with you. This is because affection usually does not come naturally for guys. It is out of the ordinary, and so the guy may associate it with something sexual.
The best approach is to make your intentions for purity clear, and make sure that your words, your actions, and your outfits convey the same message. Also consider this: Lots of guys will date a flirt, but who wants to marry one? If a girl is flirty toward me, what reason do I have to think that she is not flirting with other guys? A girl is much more attractive if she does not flutter around trying to get attention.
One reason a girl may be a flirt is because she wants to be loved. The attention might soothe a wounded self-esteem, but in the end it is like trying to survive on a diet of cotton candy: it tastes sweet but leaves her malnourished. Before a woman can love a man fully, she must realize that only God can completely satisfy her deepest desires for love. Until then she’ll be looking to guys to fulfill her, instead of looking to God to help her to love them. When a young woman sits still long enough to hear God and when she sees with her heart how he looks at her with love, she recognizes the lewd comments and looks from various guys as nothing more than counterfeit love.
As Mother Teresa often said, “Stay close to Jesus. He loves you.” By the side of Christ a woman finds her independence. When she stands beside Christ, and he reveals her worth to her, she no longer depends on the approval of random guys to build her self-worth.
Check out this clip...
Think about that last quote that this little boy said, “I love you, but I don’t like you all the time.”
This may seem a little harsh, but think about that statement. Now this child probably is not thinking about this statement very deeply, but as I have reflected on it, I find that his statement is very true in my life.
I am getting married in about 3 months and I can honestly say that I love my fiancé, but I do not like him all the time, and you know what I am okay with that. If I liked him all the time, then something would be off and one of us would not be being honest with one another. If I liked him all the time, that would mean he would always be doing what I wanted, always catering to my needs, always being perfect. However, as a member of the human race, a fallen and sinful race, he is not perfect and neither am I. I do not always want things that are good for me, or do things that are correct. Moreover, often when we come across those times where we do not like each other, we recognize in ourselves or in the other person, their imperfectness. Now that sounds somewhat depressing, but in reality, it is so good!
As we prepare for marriage, we have taken the time to learn and grow with one another. We have come to understand that through out commitment to one another, a goal throughout our marriage will be to get the other person to heaven. If we were liking each other all the time, we wouldn’t be challenging each other to be better, to strive for more than we already are.
So we don’t always like each other, but we do always love each other. You do not have to like someone to love them. Take a brother, sister, or a parent as an example. They can really bother and annoy you a lot, but you love them still, despite that dislike of them at times. The same applies to romantic relationships. This is not to say that just because you do not like the person you should keep on dating them or even marry them, but this does mean that when difficult times arise and arguments come up it doesn’t mean something is terribly wrong. All relationships have rough patches, but the couples that work through them and improve are better for them. Difficult times may mean that you’re relationship is growing deeper and you should embrace those opportunities and change as necessary. On the other hand, it may mean the relationship is not meant to be, which is okay too. You can’t trick love into happening or mold people into the perfect person, but we can always change to improve ourselves, and we can always challenge people to be better. When can always love people, without liking them all the time :)