Oh boy. The United Kingdom is getting a little touchy-feely with its taxpayer dollars.
A new campaign – sponsored by the Department of Education (who else?) – suggests small pieces of advice, dubbed “love nuggets,” for married and long-term couples looking to keep their relationships from ending in divorce or separation.
The program – which is being led by a charity called OnePlusOne and a few other family-oriented organizations – is sponsored by almost £3 million (current exchange rates puts that at just over $5 million U.S. dollars), according to a number of media reports in British news outlets.
The idea behind the campaign, according to the web site, is that the breakdown of couples and families is expensive and costs the state a whole lot of money. So, in order to help strengthen the bonds of matrimony (and coupledom), the Love Nuggets campaign offers a number of pieces of advice to help couples stay connected. The suggestions come from the public, but they are screened to ensure nothing naughty gets posted. Phew.
Here are a few:
- “He surprised me by picking out my favourite horror movies and getting lots of munchies for a movie night in together.”
- “My husband brings me breakfast in bed on a Saturday morning.”
- “My wife always gives me a big hug when I get in from work.”
- “We make each other cross words or give each other a book for long journeys.
I’m not making this up. But, I could: Can I get someone to pay me £3 million to write these “brilliant” pieces of advice?
You can see all the “love nuggets” at once, or spin the handy spinner on the home page to get three random suggestions for spicing up your relationship.
While I can appreciate the assistance for keeping your love life healthy and happy (wait, isn’t that what couples’ therapy or Cosmopolitan magazine is for?), this is a bit too far – and too much money – for a government that could be spending that money on actual education.
Anyone that’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows there are times when it can get dull. You’re busy dealing with work, family, children, life and paying attention to your spouse can unfortunately fall pretty far down on the list. But most of the criticism of this government-sponsored web site includes the notion that most people know the small acts of kindness they could show their partners – it’s the tricky, deeper issues such as finances or the pressures of raising children that can have the more devastating effects on a relationship. Pretending these “love nuggets” are a solution to the more serious issues facing couples today is just (as they say in Britain) mental.