Valentine's Day sucks for plenty of people, admittedly. But it may suck that bit more for those who have recently been cheated on. According to a survey by AffairRecovery.com, an online infidelity network with more than 2,000 members (yes, such a site exists!), the impact of a romantic holiday post-affair can't be underestimated.
And if the numbers of new members at Ashley Madison—what the Huffington Post calls "the notorious social network for people looking to cheat on their spouse"—are anything to go by, business is at its best by 15 February. So much for romance starting at home!
"That first Valentine's Day after an affair presents a dilemma for all individuals recovering from a betrayal," says Rick Reynolds, President and Founder of AffairRecovery.com. "What was once an opportunity to do something special for your mate, a way of saying I love you, is transformed into a burning reminder of what happened ... Not many Valentine's cards are written that express regret for cheating on your partner."
So how are you to deal on February 14 if you are a cheater or cheated? Do you gift or not?
Of the 425 individuals surveyed, 30 per cent of the unfaithful claim the "uncertainty of how to act is the hardest part."
Apparently for the betrayed, it takes an average of 2.7 years before Valentine's regains any former meaning or enjoyment. Dang all those comedies! It seems people are still romantic at heart, after all.
If you happen to be one of unfortunate whose V-day has been ambushed by an affair, consider these (abridged) coping strategies by AffairRecovery.com:
Think you might cheat? Here are some sure signs that an infidelity may be on your horizon.
If you've been cheated on, does Valentine's come with a particularly nasty sting? Or is just another day with a lot of flowers and corny commercialism thrown in?
So I told myself it wouldn't happen but here I am, writing another Buzz post about her pop's majesty Beyoncé. While the world (or at least those who cared) were largely divided about whether her Superbowl half-time show was the bomb or simply bombed, there is now no doubt as to who has succeeded Madge for the diva throne. Seems in the aftermath, Be's publicist approached photo wire service Getty to tear down a series of unflattering images of the star during her grand football performance.
Call me crazy right now, but I would say having a few rotten pictures in circulation when the cameras never stop clicking is something of an occupation hazard for celebrities of Beyoncé's status. Not so. While I kinda get Kanye West respectfully requesting that Getty do away with its photos of him a skirt, I also think he shouldna worn one if he didn't want his picture taken.
And though Kanye got his wish granted, Beyoncé's less flattering shots are still out there in cyberspace for all to see. Should a celebrity have control over every single photo taken of them? Even Madonna, who has taken to Instagram posting silly pictures of herself, doesn't take herself this seriously.
An article on Gawker cites another example of Beyoncé's publicist trying to get Buzzfeed to trash pics they posted under the heading, "The 33 Fiercest Moments From Beyoncé's Halftime Show."
While the request was polite, I wonder just how much of a control freak Be must be to try to get a handle on all the gazillion images of her on the web.
Role models aren't perfect. They don't have perfect lives or perfect hair (all the time). They are real people, trying their damnedest to be good. They are perfectly flawed.
As some commenters on Gawker point out, Beyoncé's fiercest pictures are a credit to her, not necessary an insult, since they show her working her ass off during that performance. They represent gritty realism at its finest. That's what garners respect, not airbrushed make believe.
Do you think these photos should stick, or should her B-ness be able to withdraw any image of herself in which she doesn't look Cover Girl flawless?
Got a gym bunny or a couch potato at home? According to a U.S. study reported in the CBC, sperm count depends upon which group your man belongs to. Those who exercise for 15 or more hours a week have a significantly, as in 73 per cent, higher sperm count than those who work up a sweat for fewer than five hours a week.
"In this population of healthy men, higher moderate-to-vigorous activity and less TV watching were significantly associated with higher total sperm count," said Harvard School of Public Health's assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology, Jorge Chavarro. "Our findings suggest that a more physically active lifestyle may improve semen quality."
Perk up your ears, guys. It may save you a trip to the fertility clinic. Chavarro and his team's results, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, measured sperm samples of 189 men between 18-22 years old against physical activity levels, diet and TV viewing.
While none of the young guys had worryingly low sperm counts, the study illustrates that regularly engaging in moderate to strenuous exercise increases "serum testosterone" which is involved in sperm production.
Even though the sample was small, its findings deserve more attention. However, as with all things, scientists caution against too much exercise, which can actually hinder sperm production.
"My advice would be everything in moderation—and that includes time in the gym as well as watching TV (or perhaps both at the same time!)," said Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield.
Here are a few other surprising sperm killers.