Valentine’s Day Story Ideas from Wake Forest University
Newswise — As Valentine’s Day approaches and people’s thoughts turn to love and romance, Wake Forest University professors are available to talk about the following related topics:
How do I <3 thee? Digital expressions of love – Americans are expressing love electronically these days. It means more frequency, but also less privacy and potentially more fleeting messages. Laura Aull, an assistant professor of English who teaches a course on written communication in a digital age, says “available” used to mean whether someone was single. But now “available” in dating also means being connected by text, Facebook status or comments, Twitter, blog posts, Instagram and more 24/7. “There is a new expectation of availability to answer a text, comment on a status or like a photo, at any hour of the day, to the point where a delay in response might be seen as damaging to the relationship,” Aull says.
Love does not mean he’ll take out the trash — “If you love me, you would remember to take out the trash.” What some pose as a ‘love test’ is really a better measure of personality, says Lara Kammrath, an assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest University who studies romantic relationships. She says people who do not have conscientiousness as a personality trait find it difficult to follow through on repetitive tasks, even when they are madly in love. Love motivates people to do amazing things for their beloved in the moment, but treating some tasks – remembering to call every day, doing the dishes, arriving on time – as indicators of love can lead to the wrong conclusion. Kammrath’s research shows it is not impossible to change habits for love, but it is extremely difficult. So, don’t let a loved one off the hook, but there’s no need to say, “he loves me not,” if he forgets to do the dishes.
Parents, teens, romance and relationships — Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for parents to think about what they want their sons to know about love and to challenge some of the stereotypes that might encourage teenage boys to focus more on sex than relationships, says Andrew Smiler, a visiting assistant professor of psychology and author Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male. According to his research, young men who value relationships, not just sex, are the norm, Smiler says. So parents need to do their part to counteract the sex-obsessed image reinforced in movies like “American Pie” and “Superbad,” and in TV shows like “How I Met Your Mother.”
About Wake Forest University: Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at www.wfu.edu.