Couples looking for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day don’t need to book a table at a fancy, high-priced restaurant. For the 11th year, Waffle House is taking reservations.
“I would kill you if you took me there for Valentine’s Day,” my wife said, narrowing her eyes and casting them toward the living room couch.
OK, it’s not for everyone, but Waffle House takes its Valentine’s Day dinners seriously. At 170 locations across 17 states across the Northeast, South, Midwest and as far west as Texas, Waffle House will dress up its restaurants with candlelights, tablecloths and flowers.
"A perfect Valentine's dinner consists of soft music, great food and a welcoming atmosphere," Walt Ehmer, Waffle House CEO, said in a news release. "And we have all three waiting for those who are ready."
Waffle House began its Valentine’s Day tradition in 2008 at its location in Johns Creek, Georgia. Ehmer said the concept is growing every year.
“It’s really a bucket-list experience,” he said in the release.
. So, go ahead and scrap the box of chocolates you were planning on buying, make a reservation at Waffle House, and serve your sweetheart Papa Joe’s pork chop, Bert’s Chili, or the cheesesteak omelet of their dreams.
Here is the full list of locations.
And though online dating has received its fair share of bad press with accusations of fueling hook-up culture, stories of scam artists and of first dates gone wrong, new research shows online dating has influenced the nature of society in some positive ways.
For their study, economics professors Josue Ortega at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom and Philipp Hergovich at the University of Vienna in Austria examined how online dating has changed the racial diversity of society.
The authors hypothesized that internet dating services may be a driving force behind stronger marriages, interracial partnerships and a primary way for people to connect with those outside their social circles.
“Understanding the evolution of interracial marriage is an important problem, for intermarriage is widely considered a measure of social distance in our societies,” the authors told MIT Technology Review.
They created a simulated model network of men and women of different racial backgrounds in which everyone wants to marry a person of the opposite sex, but can only marry someone with whom they have a connection.
The model is a reflection of society, which Ortega and Hergovich said is essentially “a web of interlinked nodes.”
According to the professors, most people are connected to close friends and family (and some others) with about 100 nodes. And changing the network, like building new highways, can completely change how the network functions, they said.
“Our model predicts nearly complete racial integration upon the emergence of online dating, even if the number of partners that individuals meet from newly formed ties is small,” Ortega and Hergovich told MIT Technology Review.
They then compared the model results with the rates of interracial marriage in the U.S.
Since the 1967 Loving v. Virginia U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized marriage across racial lines, intermarriage has increased steadily, according to the Pew Research Center.
In 2015, Pew found that 1 in 6 American newlyweds (17 percent) married a person of a different race or ethnicity. In 1967, only 3 percent did.
“It is intriguing that shortly after the introduction of the first dating websites in 1995, like Match.com, the percentage of new marriages created by interracial couples increased rapidly,” they said.
But it’s possible that, as MIT Technology Review noted, the reduction in the percentage of white Americans was a contributing factor in the rise of interracial marriages in the U.S.
Still, research authors said the change in the population’s composition can’t fully explain the huge increase in intermarriage.
Overall, according to Pew research, more and more American adults (approximately 39 percent in 2015) say interracial marriage is generally good for American society.
In 2010, 24 percent of American adults said it was a positive trend.
The professors’ model also predicted that marriages established online are more robust and less likely to end in divorce, a hypothesis backed by previous research from the University of Florida in 2013.
The pre-published version of the study is available online at arxiv.org and is currently undergoing its full peer-review process.
Though many Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds are filled with announcements of engagements, weddings, pregnancies and the like, one former couple decided to shake things up, showing either a flair for the dramatic or a good sense of humor.
>> Read more trending stories
Harrison Bach and his ex-girlfriend, identified only as Jackie, broke up in 2015 after the high school sweethearts dated for more than three years.
The two decided to reunite the next year for a unique project: a photo shoot in honor of their breakup.
"I see my friends who are in relationships doing really nice professional photography photo shoots," Bach told Mashable. "I had the idea of doing the same thing in the same setting, but post-relationship, in a different way."
"It was really just an ironic project to take the same photos people take when they're happy in a relationship, but when it's over and everyone's bummed out," he told Cosmopolitan.
Bach, 22, said the shoot felt unnatural at first because the two were "faking" their emotions. But before long, "it ended up being really real emotions and we got kind of sad," he said.
"Taking those pictures felt like slipping right back into our relationship -- the good and bad," Jackie told Mashable. "Looking at them now, I am reminded of everything about him I fell in love with."
The solemn shots of the pair quickly gained attention online.
My buddy from wmu took "break up photos" ?? Like they broke up. And took photos pic.twitter.com/4G4HnagVeH— (((William Depew))) (@williamwdepew) February 21, 2017
<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/couple-has-break-up-photo-shoot/embed?header=none&border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/couple-has-break-up-photo-shoot.js?header=none&border=false"></script> [View the story "Couple has break up photo shoot" on Storify]
A woman who wrote an apology letter to her ex-boyfriend should have proofread it before sending it to him.
Nick Lutz, the recipient of the letter, edited the letter with a red pen in the same way an English teacher would grade an essay.
Citing problems including the length of the introduction, repetition, spelling errors and the quality of her handwriting, Lutz's red pen made notations throughout the letter.
Lutz noted that the writer used "useless filling sentences," "lackadaisical handwriting" and lack of detail.
BBC News reported that the University of Central Florida student gave the letter a D-minus grade.When your ex writes you an apology letter so you grade it to send it back pic.twitter.com/MczdjcCiil — Nick Lutz (@NickLutz12) February 17, 2017
Unfortunately for the writer, Lutz's biggest critique seemed to be lack of proof and reasoning to back up her statement that she did not cheat on him.
"Long intro, short conclusion, strong hypothesis but nothing to back it up," Lutz wrote. "Details are important. If you want to be believed, back it up with proof ... Need to stop contradicting your own story and pick a side."
The grade was 61 points out of 100.
But he did offer her a chance to revise the letter for partial credit.
"While this gesture is appreciated, I would prefer details over statements," Lutz wrote. "Revision for half credit will be accepted. Good luck."
Photos of the letter were liked more than 300,000 times fewer than four days.
Other readers on Twitter were quick to point out more possible point deductions.
Brianna Chambers with the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.
Have you been caught watching “Stranger Things” or “The Walking Dead” episodes ahead of your significant other? You’re not alone.
>> Read more trending stories
A new Neflix study found that 46 percent of couples who use the streaming service have “cheated” on their significant other by doing just that.
To come up with the results, data was collected through 30,267 responses to a SurveyMonkey survey. Analysts further balanced the sample by age and gender to represent an adult online population who watch streaming shows as a couple in more than 20 countries.
Analysts found that the number of “cheaters” has tripled since 2013. And according to the study, 60 percent of consumers said they would cheat even more if they could get away with it.
And the “once a cheater, always a cheater” rule applies, too. According to the study, 81 percent of cheaters are repeat offenders. Forty-four percent have cheating more than three times.
Though it happens all over the world, Brazil and Mexico are the most guilty. Streaming couples in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland are the most loyal.
And the top temptations, according to the study, included “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad,” “American Horror Story,” “House of Cards,” “Orange Is The New Black,” “Narcos” and “Stranger Things.”
The Netflix infographic below illustrates the most common cheating motivations and behaviors:
<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/netflix-watchers-likely-to-cheat-on-each-other/embed?header=none&border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/netflix-watchers-likely-to-cheat-on-each-other.js?header=none&border=false"></script> [View the story "Netflix watchers likely to cheat on each other" on Storify]
One California man wants to "make dating great again" with a Trump-themed dating website.
Trump Singles is a not-quite-new, but suddenly ignore-at-your-own-peril dating site is aimed squarely at supporters of the president-elect.
Founder David Goss launched the site in May 2016 for "like minded" people with the same political views.
"Sometimes it's tough to date when you're a Trump supporter, so we're making it easier to find each other," Goss said on Fox & Friends in June 2016. "The Trump Single is just a fun-loving person. We just have our views and when we stick to them and we're proud of them and we're not willing to give up on them just to date somebody."
On Friday, Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.
According to TMZ, the cost of membership at TrumpSingles.com has skyrocketed from $5 to $19.95 per month.
A quick perusal of the registration portion of TrumpSingles.com turns up pretty much the usual dating site questions related to looks, interests and smoking and drinking habits. Nothing specifically Trump-related, although the site's motto is "Making Dating Great Again." So you kind of know what you're getting into right from the start.
That's way better than we can say for most fixups.
In an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post, one woman said that Donald Trump's election "stole (her) desire to look for a partner."
>> Read more trending stories
The op-ed discussed the woman's life as a single mother and promising dates that she had been on in the last few months.
"In August, I went on six dates in one week. I had decided that I was ready to look for a partner," Stephanie Land wrote. "Of the six first dates I had in August, two men seemed promising ... But two weeks later, the election happened."
Land wrote that after Election Day, her interest in finding a life partner wasn't as important as it had been in previous months. She said she was less hopeful and wanted to focus on her family.
"Once it was clear that Donald Trump would be president instead of Hillary Clinton, I felt sick to my stomach," Land wrote. "I wanted to gather my children in bed with me and cling to them like we would if thunder and lightning were raging outside, with winds high enough that the power might go out. The world felt that precarious to me."
Land wrote that she had to explain the election results to her children after having told them that Clinton would win.
"My oldest (child) came out of her room the next morning to show me the money the Tooth Fairy had left her. She'd unexpectedly had to have a tooth pulled and so bravely went through it that I said, 'Just think: You'll always remember the day you got a tooth pulled with the day we elected our first female president,'" Land wrote. "When I told her Trump had won, she protested: 'But Mom. You said Hillary was going to win.'"
Land, who said that she had begun to date a man regularly, said her "urge to cling to (her) family ... didn't mesh well with continuing to date the man."
So she ended the relationship.
"He was too new, too unfamiliar," Land wrote. "My focus had to be on my community of friends that are my family. I need to fiercely love the people close to me instead of learning to love someone new. To reach out to others could weaken the bonds that hold my family together.
"I've lost the desire to attempt the courtship phase. The future is uncertain. I am not the optimistic person I was on the morning of Nov. 8, wearing a T-shirt with 'Nasty Woman' written inside a red heart. It makes me want to cry thinking of that (and) of seeing my oldest in the shirt I bought her in Washington, D.C., that says 'Future President.'"
Read more at The Washington Post.
Samira Wiley, the actress who played Litchfield inmate Poussey Washington on Netflix's original drama "Orange Is the New Black," recently got engaged to another key contributor to the show.
Lauren Morelli, an "OITNB" writer and producer, proposed to Wiley on Tuesday.
Wiley posted a photo of the couple on Instagram with a simple caption: "Yes." She flashed her ring finger with the new addition.
Yes. A photo posted by Samira Wiley (@whododatlikedat) on Oct 4, 2016 at 9:08am PDT
Morelli, who was previously married to long-term boyfriend and fellow television writer Steve Basilone, said she started questioning her sexuality while writing for the show. She came to the realization that she was gay, and she and Basilone got a divorce in 2014. The two reportedly split amicably, and Morelli appeared on one of Basilone's podcasts in 2016.
"I am now out to my family, my friends and most of my co-workers on 'Orange,'" Morelli wrote in an essay for Mic. "Now, when I am in the writers' room or on set, I no longer feel like I am stuck in the middle of two truths. I belong because my own narrative fits in alongside the fictional stories that we are telling on the show: stories of people finding themselves, of difficult paths and of redemption."
After her divorce, Morelli began dating Wiley, who she met on set.
"I went through it all on set: I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen," Morelli wrote. "And now ... it feels liberating and appropriate to live my life in front of ('OITNB' fans)."
Went through old pictures to try to find one that would show how happy and proud I am to be gay. This comes pretty close. A photo posted by Lauren Morelli (@lomorelli) on Jun 12, 2016 at 6:10pm PDT
A small gesture went a long way for a Pittsburgh woman who had recently gone through a breakup.
Christina Grady's fiancé had just broken up with her, and she needed to find a new place to live. Grady was in the process of buying new furniture when her credit card was shut off because of possible suspicious activity.
>> Read more trending stories
She called her credit card company, Capital One, to resolve the issue.
"And it was what she said and how she said it. I just knew she needed a hug in that moment," said the Capital One employee, identified only as Tonya.
Tonya, who is based in Virginia, couldn't give Grady a hug. Instead, she did something else to help the woman.
After unfreezing Grady's account, Tonya gave her 4,500 free miles so she could take a vacation.
"She was like, 'Girl, I am giving you 4,500 free miles. Go on vacation. Take so many pictures of yourself all happy and post them all over that Instagram,'" Grady wrote on Facebook.
Tonya also sent Grady flowers, which she received five days later.
"My ex (texted me and said), 'Someone sent you flowers to my house,'" Grady wrote. "'Who would be so bold?,' I think. He let me pick them up while he was at work. I open the card, (and it's from) Tonya KYY-905 (from) Capital One! She sent me flowers! To my ex fiancé's house in a sealed card!"
"I wanted to do something extra special to help brighten her day," Tonya told WTVR-TV.
Grady took to Facebook to thank the woman, whom she knew only as Tonya KYY-905, Tonya's employee ID.
"Tonya KKY-905, you are a genius and a role model to women looking out for women," Grady said in the Facebook post.
Grady's post went viral and was posted on various news sites.
Grady called Tonya back to thank her and tell her that she had changed her perspective on life.
"I feel like it meant more to me that it made her so happy and it that it really perked her up," Tonya told WTVR-TV. "It just changed her whole attitude."
Tonya said she is the grateful one, and she has a message for Christina: "I'm so happy that you're happy, but truly, you have made a mark on me that will never be erased."
OMG, best story ever... My Capital One card got shut off for suspicious activity when I started to send furniture to a...Posted by Christina Grady on Wednesday, September 14, 2016
One of Beyoncé's most well-known lyrics might be: "If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it."
>> Read more trending stories
The 35-year-old singer stopped her concert in St. Louis on Saturday during the popular song "Single Ladies" to allow a concertgoer to do just that -- put a ring on it.
"I think (there's) somebody I need to bring on the stage," Beyoncé said during the song, prompting unsuspecting fans to scream in the hopes that they'd be chosen to join her.
"Is it you?" she teased, pointing to one audience member. "Is it you?" she asked, pointing to another.
Before long, a man joined Beyonce and her two dancers onstage, and she handed him the microphone.
The man, John Silver, walked toward Ashley Everett, Beyoncé's lead dancer and dance captain, and embraced her.
"I feel like it's only right to come out here in front of my hometown and show you guys what the epitome of a young woman looks like," Silver told the crowd. "I know that you think don't I express my love to you in front of everybody, so I feel like what better time than now to do it in front of (a crowd of people)? ... Will you marry me?"
The couple embraced before being congratulated by Beyoncé.
A photo posted by Ashley Everett (@ashleycmeverett) on Sep 11, 2016 at 10:04am PDT
"Let's see if you can do the choreography after that," she said.
Everett, who took a few moments to collect herself, got back into formation and finished the choreography to "Single Ladies," flashing her new ring while doing the movements.
According to her website, Everett, who dropped out of Julliard to dance on tour with Beyoncé, has danced with the singer for the last 8 years and has also shared the stage with Robin Thicke, Usher, Ciara, Ne-Yo, LaToya Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Tina Turner.
In honor of this years #VMAs another throwback from #2013 #blurredlines with @robinthicke @pharrell & who can forget @mileycyrus in this performance A photo posted by Ashley Everett (@ashleycmeverett) on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:59am PDT <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>
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