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New study on relationships has some good news for single people

Single people have it rough in February.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the scramble to find Mr. or Mrs. Right — or even Right Now — is as hot as ever. To ring in the holiday alone — amid the showers of PDA, discounted couple’s meals, elaborate gifts, inevitable proposals, weddings and the endless photos on social media capturing it all — seems tantamount to turning on a giant neon “Loser” sign. Truthfully, those entrenched in singledom actually know that that’s far from the truth, but now there’s scientific evidence to support that idea!

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RELATED: Royal lovebirds Harry and Meghan have big plans for Valentine’s Day

According to the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,” even though marriage is seen as society’s happiest ending, single people have better relationships overall. The study published in 2015 stated that, “Single individuals are more likely to frequently stay in touch with, provide help to, and receive help from parents, siblings, neighbors and friends than the married.” The study showed that single men and women tended to have more social interactions with people and, therefore, had stronger bonds. You hear that! While married people have each other, the single folks have everyone else, and it’s seemingly creating more better, intertwined communities. Nice!

The researchers found that instead of pushing for more marriages, public policy “acknowledge the social constraints associated with marriage and recognize that single individuals have greater involvement with the broader community.”

According to Indy100, the study lead to a May 2017 TEDx talk with speaker Bella DePaulo. DePaulo, a doctor of psychology and author, raised the argument that the stories of married people were more likely to be told and promoted in the news, pop culture and even laws than those who are single. She then delved into the benefits of single life in society saying, “It’s the single people who have more friends…who are contributing to the life of their cities.” She concluded that happiness doesn’t come from marriage, and the single people tend to be “less lonely.”

RELATED: 10 things to do on Valentine’s Day if you’re single

“With so many big, important components of life available outside of marriage for both women and men, what’s left for people who want marriage to maintain its special place in our lives? One possibility is to insist that there is still one thing we single people can only get by marrying – and that is genuine happiness,” she said.

DePaulo continued, “Now we know that’s just not so. And we can all benefit from that. Married people, now that you know some of the secrets of a successful single life, feel free to steal them to add new shades of bliss to your lives. And single people, you know what to do: go out and live your single lives fully, joyfully, and unapologetically.”

It seems single people are going to be just fine even if no one sends them a dozen roses or a box of chocolates — and there’s plenty to do on their own.

After witnessing a DUI death, she found an unlikely career as a hard of hearing Uber driver

One night, Amy Barnes witnessed a child’s death at the hands of a drunk driver.

“It broke my heart to watch basically a… 4-year-old child die,” she said. “That did not need to happen.”

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So she took a job as an Uber driver to “drive at night hopefully to save drunk people’s lives.”

And she’s good at it. Barnes has a 4.84 rating with Uber, “which is good enough that I get VIP rides all the time.” But she’s far from your typical driver.

RELATED: When passion becomes profession: A motorcycle enthusiast and the custom bikes he builds

“I am a deaf and hard of hearing Uber driver,” she said.

Because of this, it’s sometimes a struggle for Barnes to understand her passengers. “So it might happen sometimes, you may say the same thing three times, four times, and I’m not hearing,” she said. “So when they’re on their fourth time, they start yelling, and I can’t do anything about it.”

“Passenger communication with the deaf and hard of hearing I would say is the biggest obstacle,” she added.

Barnes’ hearing loss is “right in the range where people speak.” She was raised orally, meaning that she was encouraged to listen to recordings of her own voice, then learn to speak proper English from that. While she can talk normally, her voice doesn’t sound like a typical hearing person’s voice. And that has an unfortunate side effect.

“To be honest, people believe all the time that I’m drunk, so I’m forever basically always having to say, ‘I’m not drunk,'” she said. “But Uber, they know, they know that the deaf and hard of hearing, they sometimes have problems with the voice.”

RELATED: Shoe shines with passion, polish, and a touch of soul

Uber’s understanding of her situation is one of many reasons why Barnes loves her job.

“Driving for Uber is one of the very few jobs that I can do and truly feel free to be myself,” she said.

And she has a message for people who don’t believe that deaf and hard of hearing drivers can do a good job:

“The deaf people, they have a very hard time applying for work. So I ask that we be accepted into society just the same as speaking people, because we’re not deaf and dumb. We can do the job. We just want to live.”

Table for two: Waffle House offers romantic dinner for Valentine's Day

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.

>> Read more trending news

Waffle House? 

“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 to host romantic Valentine’s Day dinner

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, if Bert’s ChiliAlice’s Iced Tea and Waffle House’s traditional fare of eggs, bacon, ham, sausage and hash browns make you dewy-eyed and sentimental, now is the time to make reservations.

. 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.

WATCH: Choir students sing national anthem from all floors of Kentucky hotel, wowing guests

A man woke up to a lot of commotion in the lobby of a Hyatt Regency in Louisville, Kentucky, days ago, but when he realized that the “noise” was actually a stunning rendition of the national anthem, he made sure to have his camera rolling.

>> Watch the video here

>> On No players knelt during the Super Bowl national anthem

Garrett Mager soon learned that the Kentucky State Choir Finals were to explain for all of the youthful voices collected in one place.

He said that he witnessed a “proud #American moment tonight” when he heard the performance live, and it seems many others who watched Mager’s video agreed.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Not only has the video been shared more than 600,000 times since Wednesday, Feb. 7, it’s also been watched more than 24 million times.

>> Read more trending news 

“Had a proud #American moment tonight. Woke up in my hotel hearing a lot of noise outside in the lobby. I went out and found this. The Kentucky State Choir Finals schools are all staying at my hotel,” Mager wrote on Facebook. “They decided to sing the National Anthem together on every single floor. #Amazing.”

The comments on Facebook were overwhelmingly positive, with many saying the performance brought tears to their eyes and gave them chills.

>> On Pink nails National Anthem despite flu diagnosis

Others echoed Mager’s thoughts, saying they were proud to be an American.

WKYT reported that the performance is an annual tradition and that more than 650 students took part.

Ginger Zee of 'Good Morning America' welcomes baby boy

Congratulations are in order for “Good Morning America’s” Ginger Zee, who just welcomed her second child – a baby boy – with husband Ben Aaron.

>> On Omarosa goes to war with Robin Roberts after being called out on live TV

The meteorologist gave fans a first look at her bundle of joy Saturday when she shared a photo of her newborn’s feet.

“8lbs 7oz, 21.5,'” she captioned the post, adding three blue heart emojis.

>> See the post here

>> On Ginger Zee revealed the startling amount of weight she lost during 'Dancing with the Stars'

On Friday evening, just one day after appearing at the Red Dress / Go Red For Women Fashion Show in New York City, Zee announced the news on Twitter with a photo of her oldest son Adrian, writing, “Scrubbed in, delivered a healthy baby boy and got a cookie to celebrate. It’s been a good day.”

>> See the post here

Zee announced her pregnancy in August while she was delivering the national weather forecast.

>> Read more trending news 

“This is the breaking news part. There’s a lesser-known visual phenomenon that’s about to happen on our maps only for the next five months,” she teased viewers at the time while the southwest and southeast portions of the country were highlighted on the screen behind her. “These areas are going to have a shadow from my belly because I’m pregnant.”

On Thursday, her “GMA” costars threw her an on-air baby shower to celebrate and to shower the happy mom with lots of love.

Internet cat community mourns death of Oskar the Blind Cat

Oskar the Blind Cat, who touched and entertained people around the world, has died. He was six years old.

Oskar’s death was sudden, his owners reported Monday on their social media channels. The cause of death was likely heart failure. Oskar showed no signs of illness before his death. 

>> Read more trending news 

Oskar was born in May 2011 on a farm in Iowa. He was born with a severe form of microphthalmia, a genetic condition which prevented his eyes from fully developing. Oskar was adopted the same year by Mick and Bethany Szydlowski, a couple in Nebraska who began to chronicle life with a blind cat on social media. The couple have another cat, Klaus, a former stray who quickly became Oskar's sidekick. A YouTube video of Oskar playing with the air from a hair dryer went viral, launching him into internet stardom.

In addition to sharing the antics of Oskar and Klaus, the Szydlowskis use social media to promote adoptions of special needs animals across the country. The couple and both cats moved to Seattle in 2012.An outpouring of condolences from other internet cat celebrities and their owners followed the news of his death.

It started as a business meeting, but it quickly became so much more

When Henna first sat across from Andrew at dinner, she was expecting to knock out all the pre-production details of her upcoming college cooking show. Henna’s eye’s were glued to the menu; there were so many dishes that she wanted to recreate.

While Henna got excited over the menu selection, Andrew just couldn’t help but get inspired by her enthusiam. Andrew was also a student interested in film production. When Henna asked for his help, there was no way he could say no.

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“When I had this idea for a college cooking show, I knew I needed help on the production side. I knew Andy was great with filming and directing, so I sent him an email asking if would help bring my idea to life. He was immediately on board. I asked Andy to get dinner with me to go over details and to scout the restaurant as a potential shooting spot. I asked Andy to meet me there. The dinner went so incredibly well. It truly didn’t feel like a business meeting.”

The food was delicious, the conversation flowed flawlessly, and their connection was instant. About halfway through the dinner, Andrew made the executive decision that this was no longer a business meeting; it was now a date. He was falling for Henna, and falling fast.

“Henna was so wonderful to be around. Her personality was magnetic, and her excitement was contagious. She was smart, beautiful, and was determined to make her dreams a reality… I knew she was something special within the first five minutes of sitting down with her. I knew I wanted to work with her, but I also knew that I wanted to date her. I couldn’t let my dream girl just walk away.”

The two business partners started dating shortly after and haven’t stopped since. Their hit college TV show, “The Skillet,” gained them instant stardom on campus and brought them closer than ever.

Henna explained how their connection with food was more than just their first TV show; it was and still is, the foundation of their relationship.

“Growing up in New Delhi, America was an entirely new experience, and as funny as it sounds, food really helped me embrace the America culture. I have found that no matter who you are or where you’re from, food can bring people together. So the fact the Andy and I have such a strong connection to food is huge. Food hasn’t just brought us together, it also brought Andy closer to my family and my culture. I am very close to my family, and we are all very tightly knit in my Indian culture.  Food helped me introduce Andy to what was important to me, and he immediately became invested.”

It only took Andrew six months to realize that he was head over heels in love with Henna. As the years passed, the couple grew closer and more invested in one another. They were best friends, business partners, and the couple that brings out envy in others.

READ MORE: All of Rare’s heartwarming love stories

When they were ready to take their relationship to the next level, they knew they wanted both of their families to be appropriately represented in their celebration of marriage. Andy explained that he was thrilled to not just have a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony, but to have an Indian wedding celebration as well.

“The pictures are beautiful, but our wedding day was even more incredible. We truly got to represent both of our families with the two ceremonies. One of my favorite parts of the day was my entrance. So traditionally, the man would ride up on a horse. Well, it started to get a little complicated when you start incorporating a horse, so we made a few changes. We ended up renting a really cool white Mustang convertible, and I showed up blasting Bollywood music. Get it? It worked just fine.”

As the couple entered their married life, they found it harder and harder to spend time together. Andy works normal work hours in video production, while Henna finds herself working odd hours as a journalist with CNN. The time they spend together is special and something they have learned to cherish.

In their journey to balance their work lives and their social lives, they found themselves on rooftops time and time again. This elevation addicted couple started to document their rooftop adventures, and that’s how their very popular Instagram page came to be.

“When Andy and I started this, we never thought it would take off the way it has. It started as something special for just the two of us, and now we are inspiring thousands of people to get up and get out. When we’re on Atlanta rooftops, we’re spending time together and also enjoying wonderful food. It’s another beautiful thing that we get to do together. The things that initially brought us together continue to bring us together.”

People with depression are more likely to use certain words — here’s how they express themselves

How a person talks and types can tell you a lot about their mental health.

» RELATED: 5 signs you should ask your doctor about depression

According to new research published in the journal “Clinical Psychological Science,” certain language may help identify whether someone is suffering from depression.

For their study, the researchers conducted a computerized text analysis of 63 internet forums including more than 6,400 members in total.

>> Read more trending news 

They hypothesized that individuals in “anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation” forums would have a “more black and white view of the world,” study author Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi wrote in an academic article. The researchers believed this view of the world would manifest itself in absolutist language, using words such as "always," “nothing” or “completely.”

» RELATED: When love isn’t enough: A daughter’s suicide leaves a grieving father searching for answers

When compared to 19 control forums, Al-Mosaiwi wrote that that the prevalence of such absolutist words was approximately 50 percent greater in anxiety and depression forums, and approximately 80 percent greater for suicidal ideation forums.

In addition to absolutist language, the scientists found that those with symptoms of depression used significantly more first person singular pronouns, such as “me,” “myself” and “I.” They used significantly fewer second and third person pronouns − “they,” “them” or “she.”

» RELATED: The suicide rate for teen girls is the highest it’s been in 40 years — Is social media to blame? 

“This pattern of pronoun use suggests people with depression are more focused on themselves, and less connected with others,” Al-Mosaiwi wrote. “Researchers have reported that pronouns are actually more reliable in identifying depression than negative emotion words.”

That doesn’t mean everyone who uses the language associated with depression is actually depressed. Researchers note it’s how you feel over time that determines whether you are suffering.

But the new findings are a testament to using machine learning to help identify mental health problems. According to Al-Mosaiwi, researchers have already started using computerization to study specific subcategories of perfectionism, self-esteem issues and social anxiety.

» RELATED: Perfectionism is a major issue for millennials and their mental health, study says 

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, and it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Additionally, approximately 800,000 people die of suicide each year −that’s one person every 40 seconds. In the U.S., between 1999 and 2014, the suicide rate rose by 24 percent. And according to recent data released Thursday by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

More resources:

Suicide prevention resources for parents, guardians and families

Suicide prevention resources for teens

Suicide prevention resources for survivors of suicide loss

More resources and programs at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Atlanta Mood Support: DBSA Metro Atlanta

He put his music career behind to take care of the city’s stray cats

Sterling Davis was preparing to go on tour with rapper Tech N9ne when he picked up a temporary job at an animal shelter — and found his calling.

“I could work, that could be a job, dealing with cats?” he said. “Yeah, I’m good.”

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He quit his music career and became the Trap King, someone who captures feral cats, spays and neuters them, and either takes them to shelters or returns them to their colonies.

RELATED: One bad drawing and a small French Bulldog helped this artist overcome homelessness

Davis practices TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return). He also educates subdivisions and apartment complexes on how to safely and harmlessly trap stray cats.

Some of the cats he picks up are taken to Java Cats Cafe in Atlanta, where customers can enjoy delicious coffee while playing with cats, all of which are available for adoption.

Trap King is a nonprofit; Davis makes no money for TNR or education initiatives. Instead, he sells Trap King merchandise to raise funds for surgeries and other procedures the cats need.

Needless to say, money is not behind Davis’ career choice. It’s love. He loves cats, and he loves making a difference.

“You don’t lose no cool points for compassion,” he said. “I think we need more men — not just black men, but men period — in animal rescue and dealing with cats.”

“I still get women, women still like me,” he added with a laugh. “Nothing wrong with chasing tail!”

To support the Trap King’s work, visit his Ink to the People page.

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