Love  &  Sex

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    Do you ever wake up and immediately share your dreams with your significant other? If not, you may want to start making that a regular part of your morning routine. It turns out that men and women have very different nightmares. A study of nearly 10,000 dreams reported by 500 subjects reveal that women have nightmares about interpersonal conflict (fights and disagreements). Men most often have nightmares about natural disasters. Even more interesting, women usually have someone dealing with that conflict with them in their dreams. Men, on the other hand, are usually dealing with those fires and volcanoes alone.

    Of course, these are generalizations. Your nightmares, or your husband's, may be totally different. Still, these two kinds of nightmares say a lot about how differently men and women deal with stress -- and we can use that. Talking about those dreams could get you talking as a couple about difficult issues you'd otherwise have a hard time discussing.

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    How confused are we when it comes to our relationships? Well, according to this infographic on Americans' Weird Habits, we're more in love with our phones than each other, we're sleeping with cats and dogs, and we don't know when we're on a date. Oh wait -- I forgot the part about how we all have assigned seating in our homes. Are we really this messed up about our love lives?

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    When we found out that we were pregnant with my son (now 4), my husband and I became one of those “new parent” couples. We researched together, shopped together, and made every choice surrounding the arrival of our new baby together. I’m talking right on down to the discussion of which wipes would "represent" the Thompson household.

    We went with Pampers if you were wondering. If there were an Amazing Race-like show that somehow incorporated preparing for a new baby, we would have been all over that. We were a team.

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    It's crazy how being in a relationship with a person we don't trust can turn us into a low-rent version of Sherlock Holmes. Micro expressions could be the key to figuring out if your man is cheating. The only problem? They are almost impossible to detect. But you can find them -- I certainly did.

    On the surface, my ex-boyfriend was a dream. He was the kind of guy your dad would clap on the shoulder upon meeting, liking him instantly. He made my mom giggle like a schoolgirl. And my mom? So not the giggly type. Even my girlfriends were in his thrall. Me? Well, for the first year we were together, I just felt so lucky that this charismatic, secure, hunky dude picked me that I never thought to second guess his intentions.

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    First come loves, then comes...marriage? Not usually. Today most couples live together before they decide to tie the knot. They do this for all sorts of reasons, and while love might be one of them, others are a little well, less romantic..

    A study conducted by found that of the 27% of couples who moved in with their partner after dating for less than six months, only 7% would tell others to do the same. To state the obvious, that's because living with another person is challenging. If you are about to hand over your spare set of keys in perpetuity, here are some things you need to talk about if you want your relationship to survive.

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    You've found your soul mate, you've been together for a while, and you feel like you're ready to take it to the next level. Maybe even marriage -- eek! Is he the prefect life-long partner for you? Wouldn't we all love a crystal ball to show us exactly what to expect from a man in the future. I've known women who fretted over doubts all the way up to the altar who went on to enjoy long, fulfilling marriages. And I've known women who were 100 percent sure of their man only to find out they'd ignored some pretty important red flags along the way.

    The thing is, sometimes a red flag looks a little, well, gray. And chances are there might be something about your man that makes you wonder a little. But you kind of want to just give him a pass because you don't want to be hypercritical -- and because you really love him, dammit! Sometimes those little things can turn into a big deal later on. Here are 3 red flags you're better off facing right now, before you let things go any further.

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    It doesn't take a major scientific study -- or the Daily Mail -- to tell us first impressions matter on a first date. But guess what: You're about to get this newsflash anyway. According to a big survey of 2000 people by AXA, you have exactly 12 minutes to make an impression on a first date. Your moment of judgment is swift and fleeting, so you'd better get it right. Or else! You'll just have to go on another first date with someone else.

    If you want Cupid's arrows on your side, be sure to smile a lot, make eye contact, breathe out minty freshness, use a pleasant tone of voice, and wear a spiffy outfit. These all sound straight from the No Shit Files, but you'd be amazed how often people get them wrong. If, on the other hand, you are determined to torpedo your chance at love with Mr. New, be sure to have foul body odor, bad breath, swear a lot, dress like a hobo, and scowl. Or try any of these proven romance-killing gestures.

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    You're engaged -- congratulations! And you can't wait to share your exciting news with everyone. But how? With a hilariously brilliant video, or a beautifully engraved announcement, or writing it in the sky with an airplane? There are so many creative possibilities! Or you could just post a photo of your engagement ring on Facebook -- because that's what everyone's dying to see. 

    But before you make the big announcement, there's one thing you need to do. We talked with two wedding experts about the best way to announce your engagement, and they both gave the same advice for their number-one tip. This, ladies, is the most important thing you need to do when you announce your engagement.

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    If my sister's wedding has taught me anything, it's that IF I ever get married (yes, 'if'), I am going to do it at City Hall, invite no guests, and then go eat a sub afterward to celebrate. Because big weddings? They are insane. And when there are TWO of them for the same happy couple? They are even nuttier.

    Don't get me wrong! I'm my sister's maid of honor and I've had a blast doing it. But my sister's soon-to-be-in-laws are numerous and they alllll live in Chicago, whereas our smaller clan is located in Rhode Island. My sister and her fiance thought it would be the best plan to do a wedding in Rhode Island and then a second reception in Chicago for members of his family who couldn't make it. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Wrong. 

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    Let's talk yoga. No, not like magazine cover yoga, real person yoga.

    I'm a chubby girl. I'm not a born yogi by nature, one of those slender ballerina types who is so graceful it's kind of disgusting. That said, I love the rush I get from exercise...allll exercise. Yes, 'exercise' here includes doing the nasty. Mind your chakras, y'all -- it's about to get sexy up in here!

    Yoga leads to better sex. It makes sense! Yoga is all about existing in the moment. It's about being limber and present in your body. In other words, doing yoga = daaaayyyyum girl, check that swirl! I want that! And if I've got to log a few extra sessions being wobbling and sweaty and insecure alongside some Natalie Portman-type clone in exchange for the best sex of my life, I am totally okay with that.

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