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“Growing up in a family centered on public service, the idea that one should take what they have and give back in some way was always just part of my childhood and what I thought I would do,” says Lauren Bush Lauren.

In times where many close their eyes to the screaming needs of the poor and vulnerable, only very few humanitarians have made it a commitment to never cease to burn with the unending desire to give back to less-privileged population in the society. These ones are the reasons why we can be certain that the rain will never cease to fall on both the well-endowed and the needy.  

Amongst these many humanitarians is Lauren Bush Lauren a daughter of Neil Bush and Sharon Bush (née Smith), a granddaughter of former President George H. W. Bush and niece of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Lauren is a mother of two, an entrepreneur, model, fashion designer and philanthropist. She is also the CEO of the FEED Project which she co-founded with her father-in-law Ralph Lauren to fight child hunger. 

After debating joining the Peace Corps, Lauren decided to take a different route. “I really wanted a way to rally my peers in the fight to end hunger—which does feel like this massive, overwhelming world issue,” she says. “At the same time, I loved fashion and design. So FEED really came out of this passion and interest in design, married with a way for folks to engage in this very overwhelming issue of world hunger and give back in a very tangible way.”

Today, Lauren presides over the altruistic empire of FEED. From an array of tasteful totes to the successful FEED Suppers, the organization offers a mirepoix of options to engage in the fight against the global hunger crisis. Every FEED product has a number on it, and that number signifies the amount of meals you’re able to donate, or kids you’re able to feed, when you make that purchase. She recently celebrated the company’s 100 million-meal goal and its 10th anniversary as a wonderful milestone. “For me, that was definitely a reflection moment of feeling so grateful that people have rallied behind FEED as a concept, and as a product company, in order to have that large an impact,” she says.

Lauren’s philanthropic journey first began with a U.N. World Food Programme trip to Guatemala when she was just 19 years old. Today, the same program is a main beneficiary of FEED. “It felt like such an easy, amazing, life-changing program that needed, and obviously still needs, a lot more support,” she remembers. “For me it really began with that firsthand experience of traveling around the world as a student. That really opened my eyes to the issues of poverty and hunger,” Lauren says, noting that approximately 795 million people around the world are hungry. “They literally don’t know where the next meal is coming from,” she says, clearly emotional. “You hear these sorts of crazy statistics, but going and being able to travel and meet with these families and commun ities and children and see that reality firsthand opened my eyes and my heart to that issue of hunger specifically. And from that experience, I wanted to do anything I could to help give back and especially help provide meals and nutrition to kids.”

Lauren notes that FEED helps the hungry both abroad and here closer to home with Feeding America as its partner in the U.S. “Every country is different and community is different—has different challenges,” she says. Lauren explains that in 62 of the poorest countries around the world, children are going to school and are given a free school lunch (a very basic kind of nutrient-rich porridge supplemented locally with whatever the community can provide or whatever the school garden can grow).

”It’s this kind of essential meal that kids rely on, and the reason kids are going to school, and are sent to school, often in places where dire poverty exists. So it’s just this awesome program, because not only is it getting kids fed and nourished, but it’s really giving them an opportunity to go to school and an incentive for kids to stay in school.” Current initiatives include work with Feeding America, No Kid Hungry and funding primarily home-grown school meals through the World Food Programme to encourage buying locally from farmers and feed locally in schools. “It stays a lot more sustainable, and you’re helping even more people because you’re supporting these farmers and their families, as well as being able to get food to school children,” she says.

Seeing children playing and laughing, engaged in school and with a better chance at a life to break out of the poverty cycle, is what makes this newly minted second-time mom happiest. “I took my first trip since becoming a mother last summer, and it was all the more emotional to see moms with their babies, who care so much about their kids and wanting the best for their kids, to have, at the very least, enough food to eat and proper nutrition and not being able to provide that,” she says of witnessing those heartbreaking moments. “Even here in America, it’s a struggle for so many. So I think it really has hit home, the work of FEED, all the more since becoming a mom.”

Source: Hamptons

Being a teenager can be tough. There are changes taking place in your body and brain that can affect how you learn, think, and behave. And if you are facing tough or stressful situations, it is normal to have emotional ups and downs.

But if you have been overwhelmingly sad for a long time (a few weeks to months) and you’re not able to concentrate or do the things you usually enjoy; you may want to talk to a trusted adult about depression.

Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. 

What Is Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a medical illness that can interfere with your ability to handle your daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or managing your school work. Depression is common but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious. Treatment may be needed for someone to feel better. Depression can happen at any age, but often symptoms begin in the teens or early 20s or 30s. It can occur along with other mental disorders, substance abuse, and other health conditions.

Symptoms

Teen depression signs and symptoms include a change from the teenager’s previous attitude and behavior that can cause significant distress and problems at school or home, in social activities, or in other areas of life.

Depression symptoms can vary in severity, but changes in your teen’s emotions and behaviour may include the examples below.

Signs of Depression

Sadness is something we all experience. It is a normal reaction to a loss or a setback, but it usually passes with a little time. Depression is different.

If you are wondering if you may have depression, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Do you constantly feel sad, anxious, or even “empty,” like you feel nothing?
  • Do you feel hopeless or like everything is going wrong?
  • Do you feel like you’re worthless or helpless? Do you feel guilty about things?
  • Do you feel irritable much of the time?
  • Do you find yourself spending more time alone and withdrawing from friends and family?
  • Are your grades dropping?
  • Have you lost interest or pleasure in activities and hobbies that you used to enjoy?
  • Have your eating or sleeping habits changed (eating or sleeping more than usual or less than usual)?
  • Do you have aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or stomach problems without a clear cause?
  • Do you ever think about dying or suicide? Have you ever tried to harm yourself?

Causes

It’s not known exactly what causes depression, but a variety of issues may be involved. These include:

  • Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that carry signals to other parts of your brain and body. When these chemicals are abnormal or impaired, the function of nerve receptors and nerve systems changes, leading to depression.
  • Hormones. Changes in the body’s balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression.
  • Inherited traits. Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives — such as a parent or grandparent — also have the condition.
  • Early childhood trauma. Traumatic events during childhood, such as physical or emotional abuse, or loss of a parent, may cause changes in the brain that make a person more susceptible to depression.
  • Learned patterns of negative thinking. Teen depression may be linked to learning to feel helpless — rather than learning to feel capable of finding solutions for life’s challenges.

Risk factors

Many factors increase the risk of developing or triggering teen depression, including:

 

  • Having issues that negatively impact self-esteem, such as obesity, peer problems, long-term bullying or academic problems
  • Having been the victim or witness of violence, such as physical or sexual abuse
  • Having other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, anorexia or bulimia
  • Having a learning disability or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Having ongoing pain or a chronic physical illness such as cancer, diabetes or asthma
  • Having certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem or being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Abusing alcohol, nicotine or other drugs
  • Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in an unsupportive environment

 

Family history and issues with family or others may also increase your teenager’s risk of depression, such as:

  • Having a parent, grandparent or other blood relative with depression, bipolar disorder or alcohol use problems
  • Having a family member who died by suicide
  • Having a dysfunctional family and family conflict
  • Having experienced recent stressful life events, such as parental divorce, parental military service or the death of a loved one

Complications

Untreated depression can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your teenager’s life. Complications related to teen depression may include, for example:

Alcohol and drug misuse; Academic problems; Family conflicts and relationship difficulties; Involvement with the juvenile justice system; Suicide attempts or suicide.

Prevention

There’s no sure way to prevent depression. However, these strategies may help. Encourage your teenager to:

 

  • Take steps to control stress, increase resilience and boost self-esteem to help handle issues when they arise
  • Reach out for friendship and social support, especially in times of crisis
  • Get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem to help prevent depression from worsening
  • Maintain ongoing treatment, if recommended, even after symptoms let up, to help prevent a relapse of depression symptoms
  • What’s normal and what’s not

When to see a doctor

If depression signs and symptoms continue, begin to interfere in your teen’s life, or cause you to have concerns about suicide or your teen’s safety, talk to a doctor or a mental health professional trained to work with adolescents. Your teen’s family doctor or pediatrician is a good place to start. Or your teen’s school may recommend someone.

Depression symptoms likely won’t get better on their own — and they may get worse or lead to other problems if untreated. Depressed teenagers may be at risk of suicide, even if signs and symptoms don’t appear to be severe.

If you’re a teen and you think you may be depressed — or you have a friend who may be depressed — don’t wait to get help. Talk to a health care provider such as your doctor or school nurse. Share your concerns with a parent, a close friend, a spiritual leader, a teacher or someone else you trust.

When to get emergency help

Suicide is often associated with depression. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call your local emergency number immediately.

Also consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:

  • Call your mental health professional.
  • Seek help from your primary care doctor or other health care provider.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.
  • If a loved one or friend is in danger of attempting suicide or has made an attempt:
  • Make sure someone stays with that person.
  • Call your local emergency number immediately.
  • Or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Never ignore comments or concerns about suicide. Always take action to get help.

Why can’t you just ‘snap out’ of depression?

Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to “snap out of it,” “just be positive,” or “you can be happier if you just try harder.” But depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. Most people with depression need treatment to get better.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between ups and downs that are just part of being a teenager and teen depression. Talk with your teen. Try to determine whether he or she seems capable of managing challenging feelings, or if life seems overwhelming.

Vivian O.

Extracts from

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/parents-guide-to-teen-depression.htm

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/teen-depression/index.shtml

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, beating up, etc.), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic abuse. 

The dictionary describes domestic violence as violence committed in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. In this article, we’ll be looking at domestic violence in marriage. There are different types of abuse that could arise leading to domestic violence in marriage.

Types of Abuse:

  • Control.
  • Physical Abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse.
  • Emotional Abuse & Intimidation.
  • Isolation.
  • Verbal Abuse: Coercion, Threats, & Blame.
  • Using Male Privilege.
  • Economic Abuse.

One major or popular cause of family violence includes deeply held beliefs about masculinity. Perpetrators tend to blame other people, alcohol or circumstances for their violent outbursts. Perpetrators often minimize, blame others, justify or deny their use of violence or the impact of their violence.

Below is an illustration to describe domestic violence via a real-life narrative.  Angela (names have been changed) in her early thirties narrates a story of her experience, which demonstrates the different types of abuse I have listed above.

“My husband became a complete stranger when I became pregnant for our first child. His attitude towards me became very condescending. He became distant, uncaring and insensitive to my condition. He refused to register me for antenatal care as he claimed it was too expensive suggested I should give birth at home as women far younger than me did.  Out of desperation, I resorted to taking herbs which I gathered from friends as my parents were very far off from me. The herbs as prepared by a local midwife sustained me until I got to my ninth month, when I resolved to return home as my husband’s absence and neglect had gotten to me at this point.

My mother knew nothing of my situation and received me without complaints. She nurtured and cared for me the best way she could and even got me to a hospital. Unfortunately, I was rejected at the hospital for being late but then after some persuasion from my mum and other patients, I was allowed to register at a very high price. To cut the long story short, the baby didn’t survive. I was under too much pressure which affected the baby and it couldn’t survive it. My husband did not only fail to visit me but also hesitated with the excuse that he had no money. I was so ashamed especially when people started asking questions. All I could do was cover up for him to avoid raising suspicion.”  

This story demonstrates a different phase of domestic violence. It doesn’t say that there’s any form of hitting, beating or physical violence. The woman in the story suffered emotional or psychological violence. Her husband caused her emotional abuse using control, intimidation, isolation, and possibly verbal abuse considering that he was always drunk and keeps late nights. 

Domestic violence does not have to be physical abuse only because some men feel that because they do not hit women, every other form of abuse doesn’t count. In fact the worst form of abuse is the one that affects one’s psych (the mind). It’s more dangerous and can lead to depression and eventually suicide if not properly managed. 

The effects that the domestic violence had in the health of the fetus in the story was that the baby had a delay in prenatal care, and the risk for low birth weight had gone up. 

There are recommendable solutions to any form of domestic violence. Reporting to the authorities is one way but the reporting could be risky (depending on the kind of domestic violence in question). It could even distort a victim who already had safety plans established. This could cause the victim to make drastic decisions that could increase the possibility of danger. But one positive thing about mandatory reporting laws is that they can increase the detection and documentation of the abuse done to the victim. It can also help the investigation of the perpetrator. It can improve the data evidence on domestic violence as well. Also, knowing about the domestic abuse a patient is going through can help his/her doctor find better ways to assist the patient. Mandatory reporting can hold the perpetrator responsible for the injuries of the victim. Another effective way is to refer the victims to help within the community; a church or a community leader, an elder or even a friend. These people should be sworn to secrecy; they should be able to keep their victim’s information private monitoring and carrying out private investigations until justice has been served. 

The whole idea of creating domestic violence awareness is to reduce the risks in the nearest future while also correcting the ills already existing. It is also intended to give hope to those affected; it is intended to help victims find solutions and most importantly to avoid future occurrences. 

  Vivy K.

(Story from a radio program, Anambra state 2018)

By Miracle Nwankwo

After Nepal faced a disastrous earthquake that claimed the lives of nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000, the country suffered a huge loss that led to new beginnings for many individuals.

But in a little place in Kathmandu of Nepal existed a beautiful home called the Butterfly Home, a home for peculiar kind of children whose parents have been held bound behind the four walls of Nepal prison yards. They were picked up from these prisons away from their inmate parent to this home.

The owner of this home is a young Nepali social worker Pushpa Basnet founder of the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) the academic arm of the foundation.

Pushpa was still an undergraduate when the burden to establish a home for the children of prisoners which she often met during her social work service to the prison yards, filled her heart.

Even when her world came crashing after the disastrous earthquake that consumed Nepal, Pushpa refused to throw away this vision because she had nurtured these children as her own and having to end the journey of a lifetime humanitarian service was a no way for her.

Having carried these children away from their biological parents with a promise to give them a hope, she has dedicated her life to a successful future for them.

Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is a non-profit organization, for children of prisoners, giving them quality education and a normal childhood outside the four walls of the prison and it is located in Kathmandu, Nepal.

As a social worker, Pushpa visited a lot of prison yards during her undergraduate years and was shocked to discover that many children grow up behind bars with their imprisoned parents.

At the sight of the children, she was always heartbroken and she thought of any solution to help in any way she could. When Pushpa was only 21 she raised money and launched Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in 2005, providing daycare program for children. However, it was still not enough, the children needed a home so that they could erase the shambled ideologies about life that was created as a result of their parent’s imprisonment and having to grow up around that predicament.

By 2007, she established a residential home for the children to live outside the prison and under her care. 

She became the savior of many convicts in Nepali prison who would now rest safely knowing that their children are safe and in the care of a loving heart.

The Early Childhood Development Center rescues both children behind bars throughout urban and rural regions.

Pushpa also ensures that the children go to visit their parents during holidays because she is also concerned about the relationship between them and their parents. 

While she thought about these children she was also thinking of ways to engage their parents, then in 2009, she came up with an amazing programme for these inmate parents. The programme was under the sponsorship of ChangeFusion Nepal and entails coaching the parents to make handicrafts inside the cell.

The core aim of her initiative is to make the female prisoners and also former inmates to be involved in income generating activities that will enable them to sustain their livelihood and contribute towards raising their children. 

For many Nepali convicts, they feel indebted to this human savior who has not only brought them hope but has also succeeded in making life worth living.

On this account, her effort has been hugely recognized and commended both in Nepal and outside the country, she has also received supports as well as fund-raise from local and international organizations.

Pushpa received the CNN Hero Award for 2012 and in 2016.

Beauty is the illumination of your soul.” John O’Donohue

“Outer beauty attracts but inner beauty captivates.” Kate Angell

“Outer beauty is a gift; Inner beauty is an accomplishment.” Randi G. Fine

“Take care of your inner, spiritual beauty. That will reflect in your face.” Dolores Del 

We can go on and on and still not run out of quotes on INNER BEAUTY.

There is one resounding truth about all these wise sayings though; and it is that  we must embrace our inner beauty.

Singer and songwriter, Natasha Khan popularly known as Bat for Lashes recently made a comment in her interview on Evening Standard where she spoke on the Pressures women face. She said, “I’m realizing that beauty isn’t skin deep. It can be when you’re young but when you get older you have to really make sure your essence is vital and alive, that you’re a beautiful person on the inside too because that is what shines through.

Talking about embracing one’s inner beauty may seem cliché but it has really got so much attachment to everything we do; it’s visible to everyone we meet and honestly reflects our true personality. Keeping a good look on the outside isn’t enough; you also got to work on a pleasing inner you. 

Will you like some tips on how to embrace your inner beauty? 

If you are an employee, being the best employee is a great way to show your inner beauty.

 If you are a student, being an attentive one would be a start and then making your teachers, school and parents proud is a show of inner beauty. As a wife, being a respectful woman, a good mum and an upright woman is a good show of inner beauty and the list goes on and on.

Whatever your status, it is important to note that the world will have a taste of you someday, sometime, someplace, and you don’t want to show ugly  because ugly lies deep in the bone, beauty will fade but ugly holds its own.

 Therefore, create and cultivate an inner beauty that will touch lives and leave a mark wherever you go. Develop such beauty that will never fade. It is not a day’s work but with determination and consistency you will gradually develop the real beauty, the type that never fades-Your Inner Beauty.

Vivy K.

Sources quoted

Rio {extract from http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/inner-beauty-quotes/}  

https://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/bat-for-lashes-im-taking-lessons-in-ageing-from-amazing-women-a4220276.html}

Perpetual hunger and starvation will never cease in the world until people realise that love is meant to be dispersed. This reality is yet to eat deep into the world but a number of persons have already begun to run with this mindset. 

Speaking of those with this unique mindset, Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling once said “I have grown up in love, it would be a wonderful thing if I could give love and care to those who are ill.”

These are not just mere words put together to create an emotional feeling but an expression of a burning desire which is already being expressed through acts of goodwill. Lin Chi-ling is the only celebrity who made it to Forbes Magazine’s list of 40 Asian “Heroes of Philanthropy” for 2018. Her emergence on the list was hinged on her selfless donations to help humanity including building homes for the less fortunate.

According to Forbes, it had been looking for individual philanthropists who gave from their own personal fortune, not through company funds, and out of the 40 Asians chosen, Lin Chi-ling stood out as one of the persons who gave their personal funds.

Chi-ling was born on the 29 November 1974 in Taipei, Taiwan, she had her early education at Taipei Municipal Zhongzheng Junior High School. She later attended Bishop Strachan School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and then attended the University of Toronto.

After graduating from the university, Lin returned to Taiwan to pursue a career in fine art in order to get a position at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Unfortunately, she was not given because she did not have a postgraduate degree in the field. However, when she was 15 years she was discovered by model talent scout Lin Chien-huan. So she continued to model part-time before leaving the industry and working as an administrative assistant for the Fubon Cultural and Educational Foundation. In 2000, Lin left Fubon and spent three months studying in Japan, then returned to Taiwan and modeling, with Catwalk Production House.

She was invited to model in a television advertisement in Hong Kong in 2002, which blew the internet and attracted attention and interest on Chi-ling. In 2003, a notable television producer Ge Hongfu offered Chi-ling a position as hostess of a fashion program on Shanghai Oriental Television. In 2004, she starred in a broad series of advertisements in Taiwan that included big giant building-size posters, billboards, and television commercials. And in a twinkle of an eye, rose to the top of the industry and became an instant celebrity model. Her rise to fame initiated a Taiwanese craze for supermodels, an effect commentators named “The Lin Chi-ling Phenomenon” 

Her popularity grew throughout the rest of 2004, as she began modeling in Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese advertisements, and continued when she began doing Japanese advertisements in 2005. From 2004 to 2006, Chi-ling served as Taiwan’s goodwill ambassador to the Japan Tourism Association. She has had numerous roles in television over her time as a model, being the host of TVBS-G LA Mode News, TVBS-G Fashion Track, the Golden Melody Awards and the Top Chinese Music Chart Awards in 2005.

After a long period of time of engaging in showbiz, the Taiwanese charity angel has now dedicating part of her life to giving back to society. In 2011, she established a charity organization called the Chiling Charity Foundation which supports child welfare through its provision of access to quality education and medication.

According to Forbes, Lin has given at least US$3.2 million (NT$98.8 million) for charity purposes. About half went to disadvantaged children or emergency relief projects in Taiwan, with Lin auctioning off her used wardrobe and selling charity calendars to raise the funds. she has donated the other half of the total to China’s Nest-Building Fund to build dormitories for schoolchildren in remote parts of the country, Forbes reported. Recently, she told the media about her intentions to build more dormitories.

She claims to be imprinting a mark that will continue to exist after she is gone which was inspired from the words of a cancer-stricken friend, who asked her, “How would you like to be remembered after you’re gone?”

In our previous article on the love bite segment, we shared an article on office romance which we promised to conclude. This week we have found eight important recipes for keeping a healthy office romance.

Kindly read below eight Golden Rules to Keeping a Healthy and Perfect Office Romance drawn from Good&Co’s.

Expect Attention -If you loathe the limelight, or tend to worry a lot about what people think, it may be best to keep romance for your private life. Word will get around, and people will talk, no matter how discreet you are. Good&Co’s research suggests that this aspect of office romance might be especially challenging for women, who tend to be more self-effacing and private than men. Similarly, older employees may be more discomforted by gossip than younger ones – workers of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation tend to be more reserved and self-possessed than their millennial colleagues.

Maintain a Balance – Workplace romance has the potential to improve job satisfaction, but it can have the opposite effect on productivity if people become distracted by the mingling of their personal and professional lives. Millennials  who according to Good&Co’s research tend as a group to be a little more easily distracted and spontaneous than their older colleagues, may find it especially difficult to keep their attention on their work when love is in the air. Men in general may also find this challenging, as they tend to be less conscientious overall than women and may have more difficulty balancing their personal and professional responsibilities.

Have Complementary Goals- Couples can make highly effective workplace teams, if they keep their eyes on the prize – but not if they’re competing for the same prize. Not everyone likes the idea of being one of a ‘power couple’, but at the very least you should ensure that you both have equal opportunities to pursue your career path, and that you aren’t stepping on each other’s toes to do it. Men, who tend to be more aggressively competitive than women, may find it especially challenging to balance their own ambitions with supporting the goals of their partner. Talking openly about your respective career plans, and what to do if they should conflict with one another, is a better strategy than wrestling secretly with your conscience. If the relationship leads to long-term cohabitation and/or marriage, however, scheming against each other is entirely to be expected, and perfectly normal

Respect Office Policy – An office relationship may not be killed by one or both parties losing their jobs, but it certainly will no longer qualify as a workplace relationship. Knowing your organization’s policy, and being transparent and clear about your relationship, may seem unromantic, but it could save a lot of problems in future. Older employees, who tend to be more straight-talking, less tolerant of ambiguity, and more respectful of the rules than their younger colleagues, are likely to find it easier to tow this particular line.

Respect Your Coworkers –Especially important if you’re involved with the boss(!), as we have seen, not everyone is comfortable about couples in the workplace. New couples in the ‘honeymoon period’ often have the habit of forgetting that the world around them exists! As well as keeping up with your responsibilities, ensure that your colleagues have no reason to resent your relationship. Be aware of their feelings, be discreet but not secretive, and remember that not everyone is comfortable around public displays of affection! Women, who tend to be more open to others’ perspectives, and less domineering than men, may find this it easier than men to keep their non-romantic workplace relationships stable.

Respect Each Other (especially if it goes wrong). Friendships often blossom into relationships; when relationships wither, however, the odds of the reverse happening are not good. A bad breakup can be soul-destroying; suffering through one at work, with all your dirty laundry on full display, could be career-destroying. Being open and honest with each other, keeping things amicable, and keeping as much of your private life out of the workplace as possible can all help to reduce the fallout if the worst happens. The same holds true for more minor fights and disagreements – don’t turn your personal spat into an all-out office war! Keep your laundry in the basket; don’t run down your tainted lover to colleagues or ask them to take sides at work.

Don’t Abuse Your Power –(or allow your partner to abuse theirs). As we have seen, one of the clearest themes to emerge from research into office romances is how risky it can be to date the boss. This doesn’t mean that true love can’t blossom between people at different levels of an organization – as the poem says, love is love, in beggars and in kings. If you do find yourself contemplating a relationship with a large power difference, it might not be possible to avoid the ramifications, but you can at least be aware of them, and discuss them transparently with your partner. Consider whether they are practical solutions which would suit you both, such as one of you transferring to another team or department – the less closely your jobs are connected, the less likely it is that your relationship will incur risks for the junior partner (so to speak).

While fairness and mutual respect are important in any relationship, they are absolutely crucial in this situation. The less senior person has the same right to pursue their ambitions and succeed in their career as the more senior; if the relationship is putting their job at risk, it could easily lead to frustration and resentment. If you are in the more senior role, ensure that you are sensitive to, and appreciate, that your partner is paying a price for being in a relationship with you – not only in terms of their career progression, but in the reactions of their coworkers. Dating the boss can be lonely. If you are in the more junior role, be prepared to deal with the attitudes of peers and superiors alike. Be open with your partner about these challenges, and how you feel about them; communication is key.

So, there you have it – Good&Co’s golden rules for successful office romance! Boiled down, they’re really the same as in any relationship – be respectful, be honest, be fair, and maintain a good work/life balance. With this in mind, the pros of office relationships can outweigh the potential negative consequences.

And there’s one more advantage to office romance: even when it falls on a weekday, like this year – you always get to be with your honey on Valentine’s Day.

By Good&Co’s