We're brought up and encouraged to explore our own individualities, to forge our own opinions, to make our own judgements on the world, and yet, even in this day and age, we're often discouraged when we genuinely want to explore our own routes.
Some predict that marriage will soon be a thing of the past, and people will no longer see the need to legally bind themselves together. I find this unlikely. Most people don't marry because they fundamentally believe in the institution of marriage itself, they marry because it's the most socially acceptable way to 'keep someone'.
Planning a wedding can be a massive undertaking and making sure all the details come together on your big day can be quite challenging. Some people hire a planner, others want to take complete control, and others have a mother (in-law) who likes to call the shots.
If you buy a car, it has usually been serviced so it runs wonderfully smoothly for a while. And we so enjoy it when our car drives effortlessly. When it develops a problem, a fault, which the things we use do, we take it to the garage where an expert fixes it
You will make mistakes no doubt about that. You will say things and do things with your child in the room that you wish you hadn't. Then you will spend time worrying that you have somehow permanently damaged him/her.
With one week to go before the due date of our first child, my husband and I have been walking round in a haze of fear and exhilaration. We regularly turn and gaze at each other with slightly frightened, portentous expressions, before one of us breaks the spell by saying: "Thank God we went to Thailand."
Many of us get stuck in a rut after a break-up and find it hard to move forward. It can be hard to get over someone when they are constantly in your thoughts. Confidence and self-esteem always take a hit when it's not your choice to end the relationship and hiding away can be a good way of avoiding having to face up to this.
The reasoning behind taking a sabbatical is that it provides a breathing space to reflect on your life, what your relationship means to you, ponder the good and the bad, really consider what it is you want. But are there other ways of reaching that same level of insight and awareness?
Long term health conditions such as dementia, cancer and depression affect 15 million of us in the UK today, making up the bulk of increasing demand on the NHS. With our most cherished institution struggling to meet the costs, it is clear we need to find new and different ways of preventing and managing ill health.
Women are, and always have been, reluctant to masturbate. In fact, a wealth of research has consistently confirmed that masturbation is the biggest difference in sexual behavior between men and women.
My friend had tried contacting the British Embassy to find out whether there was anything we residents and long-stayers should worry about, but got put through to the Foreign Office in London. The person on the other end asked what she could tell them, since she was the one on the ground.
The hard reality is that for the many people who do the walking away, breaking out and living alone is often safer than the culture of abuse that came before it. Exposure to an antagonistic or rejecting 'close' relationship has a negative impact on physical and mental wellbeing, which is a fact that has been well researched and documented.
These days, however, people don't want to give up their Wednesdays or Thursdays either - these being the preferred evenings for socialising or working late. The first date has therefore been loaded into the front end of the week - along with the rest of life's administration.
It is important to learn from ones mistakes. My Blackberry was like my first husband. It was the wrong decision from day one. I should have gone with an iPhone (and the redheaded hockey player who wore his dark side much closer to the surface).
The International Day of Happiness will be more than just a fun celebration, it will also help to remind us all that the world is a better place when we connect with and care about the people around us.
From hormone-driven first loves, to long-term partnered 20-somethings, to the newly wedded and those well-into matrimony; we've all witnessed at least one of the above cross that oh-so-fickle faithful line, leaving loyalty far behind.