For women like me, postponing the menopause would be a blessing | Sonia Sodha

Scientific advances that prolong fertility can only be a benefit to many would-be mothers Let us imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where male fertility dropped off a cliff by the time men hit their mid 40s, leaving a group of men who wanted to have children but couldnt. When would science have produced a fix? I am going to hazard a guess that it would have been quite some time ago. But it has taken until 2019 for a fledgling treatment to delay the menopause by up to 20 years to be offered to women, even though the idea has been around for treatment involves removing and freezing a small piece of ovarian tissue from …

Why are thirtysomethings lonely? Because society doesnt value friendship | Arwa Mahdawi

Social media has been made the scapegoat for millennials reporting loneliness, but the cultural primacy in adulthood of career and family has much to answer for, writes Arwa Mahdawi Millennials arent just the poorest generation; they are also the loneliest. According to data from YouGov, while digital habits undoubtedly affect mental health, research hasnt provided conclusive answers regarding the relationship between the two. When it comes to loneliness, I have a feeling that the culprit isnt so much technology as the fact that many millennials are in their 30s, which is a natural time for friendship dynamics to change: people start focusing on advancing their careers and building families rather than socialising with pals. It feels as if we are …

Sunbathing topless should be a pleasure we can all enjoy | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Its sad that younger women are covering up on the beach for fear of harassment, says Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett According to sexual liberation movement. For me and other women growing up in a culture of British discomfort with all things bodily, these confident French women in Cannes or St Tropez seemed glamorous and worldly. A teenage obsession with French cinema helped me to discover the work of Franois Ozon; in come to seem change the rules in Malmo in 2009). After all, the chair of the citys sports and recreation committee wryly noted, many men have larger breasts than women. More recently, cultural and political movement is called during the recent heatwave after they were asked to cover …

Lena Dunham on Love Island: I’m asking the same question they do can you love after hurt?

When the writer and director arrived in Wales to shoot a new drama, she was nursing a broken heart and romantic ideas of British life. Then she discovered the reality soap opera… As I planned my summer in Wales, my head filled with visions of romance, I supposed Id do what the heroines of novels did when they crossed the pond for a new life: go to the shore to take the healing air. Meet a man and move into his stunning manor, possibly watched over by a sinister housemaid. Scurry through cobblestoned streets and into dusty bookshops, furtively pulling up the hood of my cloak. Go to a banquet and dance to piano music in a great hall. Taste …

Wheres the advice for men on how to propose? | Daisy Buchanan

Asking for a womans hand in marriage is traditional, but without guidelines too many men are coming a cropper, says columnist and features writer Daisy Buchanan The greatest curse of womanhood is also its biggest blessing. If youre a woman, its easy to find strong opinions and instructions that will inform you exactly how you are expected to conduct yourself during any given occasion. Plenty of the advice is useless, contradictory and mad, but if you want to live a peaceful, uneventful and rather dull life as a woman in the 21st century, you can get by if you use the following terms as broad instructions: Dont make a scene and midi dresses. Men, on the other hand hoo boy. …

Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up and six other ways dating has changed

A new study has found that online dating is now the dominant way heterosexual people find romantic partners. What else can we learn? For future generations, the question: How did you and Grandad meet?, will be answered with: Tinder, obviously. Within eight years, the internet has become the dominant way heterosexual couples meet. The latest Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) “How Couples Meet” chart, updated July 2019pic.twitter.com/Gjvh2ZqTqs 34% in 1990 to 20% in the most recent data; other routes to relationships, such as meeting through work, family and neighbours, have also declined. At first glance of the graph, it looks as if the number of couples meeting at a bar or restaurant has gone up, but thats only because they met online …

How we met: He had a reputation for playing the field. He sounded really dodgy

Amanda Woodard, 56, is a journalist and Clive Hopkins, 60, is a screenwriter and teacher. They have been together for 23 years and live in Sydney Amanda and Clive had been hearing about each other for about 10 years before they met. We had mutual friends and I would always hear about Clive doing this or that, Clive on the picket line or Clive cheating on some girl, she says, and Clive laughs. Clive had a reputation for not sticking with girlfriends very long and just playing the field, so I wasnt keen to meet him at all. He sounded really dodgy. I would hear wonderful things about you, he says. That youd had lives in London and Barcelona, that …

Im 34 and still a virgin. Whats wrong with me?

More reality, less fantasy, will help you understand who you are and what you really want, says Annalisa Barbieri I am a 34-year-old virgin. This wouldnt be such a big issue were it not for the inevitability of heartbreak. Every now and then, I fall in love with someone often at work and I become infatuated before I know them properly. There is always a big conversation in which I admit to my feelings and she says she doesnt feel that way at all. Then Im heartbroken for about four months. These feelings are purely romantic and I never fantasise about having sex with any of the women. I think I might be asexual but I cant be sure, given …

Falling in love is the worlds best natural high | Hannah Jane Parkinson

Romantic love is a hormonal rush that screws you up. It is basically awful and yet also the best experience there is If you search online for falling in love, the first result returned is: What are the symptoms of falling in love? Symptoms. Because what is falling in love if not our brains and bodies riddled with all-encompassing, uncontrollable sensations? Can love be diagnosed? Yes, pretty much, according to Freud. And there is a genuine condition known as broken-heart syndrome, if things head west. Falling in love and being in love are different things. Its falling in love that really screws you up. It is falling in love that leads one to play songs on repeat platitudinous, cloying numbers, …

Don’t hate the Instagram engagement stunt ‘branded’ love began long ago | Arwa Mahdawi

Viral videos posted by social media influencers has drawn a lot of ie, but many traditional rites of romance are based on ad campaigns Surprise! We live in influencer hell Dearly beloved, we are assembled here today to witness a heartwarming story of modern #love. I hope youve got tissues at the ready because its guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. The story starts in New York with a glamorous heterosexual couple: Marissa Casey Fuchs and Gabriel Grossman. Fuchs is a director of brand partnerships at Goop and a fashion influencer with almost 200,000 followers; Grossman is an investment banker. (Please dont immediately hate them because of their jobs, wait a few paragraphs and hate them because of …

Chinese wedding photos – a picture essay

Pre-wedding photo sessions have become big business in China, as couples demand lavish mementoes of their big day in advance. Gone are the days when couples would be satisfied with a single black and white photo to commemorate their wedding China. A couple pose at the 27 Rome Brand photo studio The busy streets of Wuhan (left) and Beijing are backdrops to photos In the main touristic spots in different cities across China, it is easy to see couples having their pre-wedding photoshoots, which become the must-have for every Chinese couple before their marriage. Unlike western weddings, where couples usually have their photos taken on their wedding day, for Chinese people it is quite popular to have their day-long photo …

My ex was charming but critical. Now Ive lost all my confidence | Dear Mariella

Work out why you were so susceptible to him and pursue only what appeals to you, says Mariella Frostrup The dilemma Im a woman in my early 30s and six months ago I was dumped. Our relationship was long distance, developed quickly and was the most intense of my life. He is 10 years my senior and is a unique, charismatic, charming man who makes a good impression on everyone. In private, however, he could be unkind, judgmental and emotionally distant. He could also be demanding, controlling and critical. During our relationship he pushed me to enter his world of ideas, books, films and art. If I didnt show enough interest, he would become disappointed and irritable. He would often …

Hair raising! The return of the perm

The trend responsible for some of the 80s most memorable barnets is back. But fear not the modern look is less Deirdre Barlow, more a tumble of soft waves It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody wants the opposite of the hair they have. Those with bountiful curls are wont to straighten them to a crisp, while the rest of us crimp and twist, chasing waves via diffusers, tongs, curl creams and, lately, perms. Thats right, the trend responsible for some of the 80s most memorable dos is making a return to the terror of many who are still scarred by their own perm-disasters. But fear not: the perm, which for many still conjures images of Neighbours-era Kylie Minogue, …

Wish you werent here? How to survive your first holiday as a couple

A first break can put a new romance under strain, or worse. To improve the chances of returning with the relationship intact, try following these ground rules I have lost luggage, I have slept on airport floors and in budget backpacker hostels, I have weathered flight cancellations, food poisoning and days of unbroken rain. Yet my worst-ever holiday, a weekend away with my boyfriend, went entirely to plan. We had been seeing each other for a few months, and this was our first trip together. But removed from our usual contexts (in bed, or watching TV, or watching TV in bed), we realised too late that we had nothing to say to each other. At one point we parked our …

We are not gay, but we secretly kiss and sleep in the same bed | Dear Mariella

You dont need to define your sexuality, Mariella Frostrup tells a confused man, but you do need to stop second-guessing your lovers motives and start working out what you want The dilemma I am a 30-year-old man and I had, until last year, identified as a straight man. One night, after an office dinner party, I went to my colleagues flat. We were good mates then, but nothing more. We are both architects and I went to see some of his latest work. He offered me a drink and we ended up getting drunk. He is slightly older and also identifies as heterosexual. (He is really good looking but, mysteriously, has been single for many years.) We drank too much …