The world’s most romantic cities

There are so many magnificent cities in the world, but how do you identify the most romantic ones? The ones that have the most breathtaking views, romantic history, first-date venues, and marriage rates? Based on an analysis of all these factors, this article outlines some top cities for loving couples.

1.      Paris, France

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There’s unlimited romance in Paris, France. As a couple, you’ll have no shortage of fun things to do – from catching a show at the Moulin Rouge to smooching under the Eiffel Tower. You can even cruise or walk along Seine River while holding hands and talking the night away with your significant other. Indeed, Paris is full of love. The immense backdrops of romance perhaps played a key part for the city to be awarded its nickname – The City of Light.

2.      Sydney, Australia

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Sydney boasts stunning beaches, world-class wineries, and a bustling nightlife just a stone’s throw away. The city ranks highly among the most romantic metropolitans worldwide. It’s vibrant and you’ll never run out of things to do as a couple.

3.      Venice, Italy

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A Gondola ride through canals, a walk down a hidden bridge, or a stroll down the piazzas makes Venice the perfect city for some romance. The ancient setting of this Italian town is nothing short of magnificent, and you’ll definitely enjoy views that’ll stick to your mind for years. If you’re looking to get lost in Europe for a few days or weeks, Venice is the place to be.

4.      Kyoto, Japan

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When it comes to some memorable romance, the land of the robots doesn’t lag behind. Japan’s city of Kyoto boasts tranquility, history, and fantastic cherry blossoms throughout spring. From the city’s elaborate gardens to quaint tea houses, you’ll enjoy the best Asia has to offer right here.

5.      Bruges, Belgium

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Bruges is one of the most picturesque cities not only in Europe but also around the world. You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a fairytale walking with your loved one on a Bruges street. You can take a memorable boat ride through one of the city’s numerous canals, or enjoy some charming time in one of its age-defiant venues.

6.      Buenos Aires, Argentina

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The Argentine capital of Buenos Aires is a world-class hotspot for romance. What really makes this city special is its nightlife. You’ll find incredible night clubs and restaurants that stay packed till 8am the next day. If you’re looking to have some busy night fun with a loved one, bring them to Buenos Aires. There are lots of benches for couples to sit and kiss throughout the city.

7.      San Diego, California

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You probably didn’t expect San Diego to make it to this list of the most romantic cities in the world. The city boasts a laid back yet elegant vibe. For people who are looking for some nostalgic romance, this is definitely the place to be. The small coffee shops, sunny beaches, historic hotels and million-dollar views make San Diego a hub loving couples who’re looking to get lost for a couple of days.

I’d go on and on if I had to cover more of the world’s most romantic cities, but I’ll stop there for now. Nonetheless, the cities of Budapest in Hungary, Dubrovnik in Croatia and Florence in Italy are also worth a mention.

12 ingredients of a healthy loving relationship

Love is a truly incredible thing, and it sure makes the world go round. A relationship that’s filled with joy, love, and happiness is something nearly everyone desires. Unfortunately for many people, this is not the reality on the ground. We sometimes get into or stay in relationships that are not healthy. This might be because we are blinded by emotions – so much that the logical part of our brain has no room to be heard. But all the same, unhealthy relationships aren’t good for you today, tomorrow, or any other day for that matter. This article highlights the key ingredients of a healthy loving relationship. It can be seen as a compass against which you can gauge the ‘healthiness’ of your relationship.

1.      No attempt to control or ‘fix’ each other

If one of the parties in a loving relationship is a chronic procrastinator while the other works as hard as a bee, the hardworking person doesn’t try to push the other in a healthy loving relationship. Each person understands that there are differences that need to be respected. For that reason, no person tries to force the significant other to change this or that. The reality is that nobody really wants to be fixed, changed or controlled (more so when that’s unsolicited). If an individual truly has decided to change, they’ll ask for help on their own terms. Change never happens through force or nagging.

2.      Balance

Healthy loving relationships are balanced. This means that for decisions made as a couple, no one has more decision-making power than the other. Both partners have equally say and equal control over what decisions they make. They respect each other as unique human beings.

3.      Sense of individual responsibility

In any healthy loving relationship, both partners know that they are responsible for their own individual happiness. They aren’t fooled by the assumption that their significant other should be the source of all love, happiness, and fulfillment in their lives. Each partner understands that they should take charge of their own well-being and happiness. They are there for themselves first – but do not shy away from supporting and helping each other out.

4.      Proper conflict resolution

How couples address conflicts plays a very important role towards determining which direction the relationship heads. In a healthy loving relationship, conflict are dealt with head-on and then dropped. Just because there’s a conflict isn’t to say that it’s time to pack and move on. Ideally, conflicts should be seen as an opportunity to grow and learn. Both sides should openly reveal their feelings and honest views, in a respectful manner. Conflict should be a natural part of life, and both partners address conflicts earlier rather than repressing them and waiting to bring them back up later.

5.      Honest expressions

Partners in a healthy relationship are able to express feelings – both positive and negative – genuinely. They accept and respect each other’s feelings. They express one other’s true feelings to avoid potential conflicts later on.

6.      Selflessness

In a healthy loving relationship, both partners are willing to put the relationship before self.  They make it a point to consider their partners before making a decision. They just don’t go ahead and plan vacations on their own, without bringing it up with their significant other. They make room for their loved one and are open to working together as a unit.

7.      Agree to disagree

Partners in a healthy loving relationship agree to disagree. Differing viewpoints aren’t a source of conflict. They appreciate the fact that having differences in beliefs and opinions doesn’t have to mess things up.

8.      Appreciate true value of the relationship

In a happy loving relationship, both partners are loyal to each other and appreciate the value of the relationship. That means they are loyal to each other and are very willing to mitigate conflicts. They commit to the growth and lessons while working together as a couple, and overcome challenges as a team.

9.      Be together

Partners in a healthy relationship want to be together just for the sake of it. Some people remain in relationships because they need some kind of security (financial, emotional, physical, etc). But in a healthy loving relationship, the partners want to be together so they can live a genuine life with the other person. Security isn’t a key motivation for the relationship’s existence. The motivation is much bigger than that.

10. Friendliness

Put simply, relationships work much better when both parties are friendly with each other. This cushions the bumpy ride that people often experience in their relationships. That perhaps explains why people who are very friendly attract others who want to pursue long-lasting relationships. Partners in a great relationship will cheer up, smile, and have kind words to say to others.

11. Patience

People who lack patience will often fail their partners. Patience is a critical ingredient for a healthy and happy loving relationship. Partners who are doing great will be more patient with their significant others. Research has demonstrated that marriages that go through a great deal of turmoil, and then make it through, end up very strong. That perhaps just illustrates the point that patience wins. In contrast, partners who give up on relationships too early or because their loved one isn’t perfect often get the same deal (or worse) after they move on.

12. Grown up

Partners in a meaningful loving relationship have grown up. This doesn’t mean that they are able to act like adults; it means that they have recognized and resolved early childhood losses and traumas. They understand how such happenings affect their current behaviors, and are willing to spend the time to reflect on their past. They have broken ties with old patterns and identities and experienced a psychological shift from boy to man or girl to woman. And since they have grown up, they are less likely to enact childhood experiences in their current relationships. They understand that they have evolved as a person, and aren’t looking for a significant other to compensate for their weaknesses and shortcomings.

There are many other ingredients of healthy loving relationships, but the ones above are some of the most important. Take a step back and evaluate your relationship. Think about what characteristics you are already great at as a couple. What do you need to work on?

Strange psychological reasons why people fall in love

Maybe it’s destiny. Maybe it’s not.

But science says that love happens due to your hormones, how your parents look like, and what interests you. This article highlights some strange psychological reasons why people fall in love.

Being alike

When it comes to love, decades of research have demonstrated that the cliché ‘opposite attract’ is way off. Partners who are similar (in broad terms, e.g. personality), are more likely to feel the same! This makes it super easy for them to understand each other!

Resemblance to parent of opposite sex

According to David Perrett, a psychologist at St. Andrews University, people are often attracted to others who have eye color and hair that resembles their parents. The age range of the parents at their time of birth also plays a role. For instance, women who were born to parents over 30 years of age often are less impressed by the youth. They are more attracted to the age qualities in male faces.

The smell

When women are ovulating, they naturally preferred the smell of clothing from men who had higher testosterone levels. They also had a preference for men who had a strong jaw line. This is based on a study carried out by the University of Southern California.

Body language

Posture says more about a potential suitor than words do. People who keep their hands inside their pockets, and their shoulders bending inwards, send the message that they have no interest. On the other hand, standing in an open stance with your hands being part of the action is an expression of availability.

Voice level

Men’s voices go up when they are attracted to a potential mate, while women’s go down.

Height

Men who are tall happen to make more money. They also enjoy a significant advantage when it comes to dating. That’s according to a psychologist at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Thrilling activities

Doing something thrilling together is one of the weird psychological reasons why people fall in love. That’s why riding a roller coaster, doing bike rides or anything other exciting activity works great for first dates.

Where you live

When people live close to each other, this increases chances that they’ll feel closer to each other. This can be attributed to the numerous passive interactions that they make (e.g. passing each other in a hallway) which makes them feel more intimate. In psychological circles, this is referred to as mere exposure effect. It means that familiarity has a huge role to play towards attraction.

Beautiful home

We have all heard that women like men with nice cars. But this is also applicable for nice homes. A study demonstrated that men who were photographed in luxury apartments appeared more attractive to female subjects than those who were photographed in the standard apartment.

Smiling a lot

Swiss researchers found out that the intensity of a smile is often used to gauge the attractiveness of a face. Indeed, a happy expression on the face somewhat compensates for unattractiveness.

Why human decisions are emotional, not logical

We all make decisions on an everyday basis – from finances, time-management, who to love, and even who to do business with. Have you ever been in a situation where you presented the best possible offer to someone, but they just didn’t fall for it? You constructed the perfect argument, backed it up with the facts, in such a way that there was no other logical solution (or proposition). But still, the person making the decision didn’t think so – or so it seems.

When negotiators sit down to mediate a conflict and hammer a deal, they arm themselves with facts and attempt to use logic to sway decisions by involved parties. They reason that by piling up data to explain various sides of the situation, they can easily create a solution that’s irrefutable – so that the involved parties say yes!

But they’re doomed to fail. Why? Decision making isn’t logical, it’s emotional. And that’s backed up by the latest research in neuroscience.

Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, recently made a ground shaking discovery. He analyzed people who suffered damage in the region of the brain responsible for generating emotions. These people appeared to be very normal, only that they weren’t able to feel emotions. They also had something very peculiar in common – an inability to make decisions. They had no difficulties logically explaining what they were doing. But when it came to making decisions – even the simplest ones such as what to drink – it was very hard.

Based on this study, neuroscientists have realized that emotions play a major role when it comes to making decisions. Even when people are making what they believe to be logical decisions, the major decision point is always based on emotions. This finding has a profound impact not only on negotiators but also everyone else. Individuals who think that they can just build a case through reason alone are very likely to fail. Logic usually relies on opinions, assumptions and guesses. However, when negotiating something, you can never really assume that the other person will see things in the same way as you do.

It’s not a good idea to tell your opponent what’s best – or what to think. What you can do is help them discover for themselves. Discover what feels best and most beneficial to them. Everyone makes the final decision about anything based on self-interest, and that is emotional. It’s about what’s best for them and their side. This understanding has often been used by marketers and lots of other professionals. It also explains, to an extent, why people fall in love with the unlikeliest fellows. Despite what everyone else is thinking, they make the decision because they feel it’ll be the most advantageous thing to do for themselves.

10 Greatest Love Stories of All Time

Love is a mysterious feeling that knocks on your heart’s door without a warning and when you least expect it. It has puzzled greatest poets since the beginning of time. It comes in all forms and shapes. Want to hear the tales of immortal lovers? Read on.

1. Paris and Helena: Homer’s Iliad epic tells this story about a woman, so beautiful that her beauty launched a thousand ship. Helena wife of Spartan King Menelaus, for her Paris Prince of Troy, waged a war and destroyed a kingdom. Love kills.

2. Napoleon and Josephine: A love story about the marriage of interest and money. When Young Napoleon married older Josephine for her wealth, but they didn’t know that they were destined to each other, and fell madly in love. Centuries later still we remember. Love never dies.

3. Layla and Majnun: This love story is about the forbidden love between Majnun Layla, a poet turned mad because their parents refused to marry them, so he wrote immortal poetry for her that believe it or not people study it nowadays.

4. Romeo and Juliet: Of course, the impossible love story immortalized by Shakespeare in his writings. Each belongs to rival prominent clans. Their love was destined to doom, but that didn’t stop from love even in death.

5. Cleopatra and Mark Antony: A love story when politics meets passion and love at first sight. Another story immortalized by Shakespeare and played in theaters worldwide. A true love story of sacrifice and loyalty.

6. Pocahontas and John Smith: This is the stuff of legend. A legendary love story between two completely different worlds. An Englishman and the daughter of an Indian chief, that didn’t end well for both of them, well, ultimately they met again after so many years has passed.

7. Adam and Eve: The oldest love story on Earth between the first man and woman who fell from grace to suffer a life on earth. Facing the challenge together, they decided to start a new beginning and populate the entire world!

8. Duke and Duchess of Windsor: What a greater sacrifice for a man to give up the throne for the woman he loves? King Edward VIII of England did just that. In a love story that shook the whole world and shocked Britain.

9. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy: The seemingly incompatible lovers poor but the free woman, and wealthy but shy gentleman. A love story that took place in the pages of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” teaches us that love is above all.

10. Scheherazade and King Shahryar: A love story about a betrayed king and a woman who by telling him a new story every night could save her skin!

Do you believe in love? Personally, after reading all of these stories, I’m slowly beginning to believe in love myself! Love is real, these stories and more tells us more about true love. We just need to go out and practice.

Don’t you think?