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Honest trumps fun.

An Australian study of 147 heterosexual couples (average age male 44, female 41) examined how similarities and differences between partners in various types of risk-taking correlated to love and liking in the relationship. Ethical similarity was most important for the relationship, but similar attitudes toward health and toward gambling also proved important. (Differences in risk orientation toward social, recreation, and investment issues were not related to love/liking.) Overall, the researchers conclude, "In long-term romantic relationships, 'honest and reliable' has higher priority than 'adventurous and fun.'"
Fall farmer's markets for mingling.

Meeting people can be easy as you mingle among the stalls at a farmer's market because there are so many reasons to start a conversation. What is this vegetable? Do you know any good recipes for [whatever item of produce you're looking at]? If the market includes a spot for breakfast or lunch, have a meal and use the opportunity to chat with more people. Even if you don't meet anyone "interesting," you'll be sharpening your meeting-people skills -- and maybe improving your diet!
Marriage and divorce are both awful.

"The problem with marriage, gay or straight, is that it is way too easy to get married and painfully difficult to get divorced," writes Creators Syndicate columnist Susan Estrich. "You can get married in a minute. The fee is minimal. The fore-thought required is non-existent. . . What's worse is that most people aren't in their right minds when they're going through a divorce. They're emotional, not rational. They want to get even or get back, or they're so guilty they want to give up, which they then regret, leading them to want to get back what they gave up."
Relationship-building dates.
A newspaper column invited readers to contribute "date" ideas for couples -- ideas focused on strengthening the relationship rather than on the getting-acquainted of early dating. Here are some of their suggestions: Gourmet cooking classes. Shooting pool. Painting pottery. Dance lessons. Horseback riding. Early morning hike followed by breakfast.
Christie won't marry again, she says.
Following the recent bitter divorce that ended her fourth marriage, model Christie Brinkley told the "New York Post," "I've got my sweet freedom!" After winning sole custody of her children and of numerous properties, she said, "I'm not going to marry again. I know too much about the marriage laws and divorce laws. Getting married again would not be a very intelligent thing to do."
Dog-lover groups let pets and owners socialize.
Recently the Associated Press carried a story on social groups forming especially so that dog owners and their pets can get out together with others for activities such as hikes. "There's dog people and non-dog people," says a member, so the group provides one way to screen potential dates. Still, most participants are women (about 70%). Web sites that promote socializing among pet owners,, Or set up your own local group through sites such
Build your acquaintance network.
A Stanford study found that you are more likely to get new information and ideas (and contacts) from your acquaintances than from your friends. Your friends "insulate" you because you probably already share a lot in common.
How to waste money.
Says Arthur Gish, author of "Beyond the Rat Race," "We buy things we do not need to impress people we do not like."
"When you're not blonde and thin, you come up with a personality real quick." Kathy Najimy, actress.

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