Relationships

How music gets you in the mood

"Like peacock feathers, music is used by humans to attract mates and we've been writing love songs for centuries," said music psychologist Dr Sandra Garrido of the University of Western Sydney.

Given these days we have access to such an unprecedented range of music styles, as part of ABC Classic FM's celebration of the music of passion and heartbreak, we're asking: can science help you decide what music will get you in the mood?

Love, audibility

Whether they are a man or a woman, the best way to find out if the object of your crush returns your affections is probably just to talk to them.

But in judging whether there's a spark between you, what they are saying may not be as important as how they say it.

Dr Marina Kalashnikova, a speech and language researcher at the University of Western Sydney, said research had shown people's voices "carry a lot of information" about their feelings towards the person they're conversing with.

The things we sacrifice to make a relationship work

Most of us will never be faced with such a dilemma, but many will make sacrifices for love.

Anya left behind her family and everything she knew after meeting Duncan at Glasgow University.

Anya, a pseudonym adopted for clandestine communication with Duncan, grew up in a strict religious family in Glasgow.

"A relationship based on love was just not an option in my life. Or so I thought," she told the BBC.

Meeting Duncan changed everything.

"I had never realised how trapped I was."

Anya resolved to leave home and pursue the relationship.

Good or bad, why are first loves so unforgettable

Either way, most people have vivid memories of their first serious relationship, Deakin University associate professor of psychology Gery Karantzas said.

"One thing that makes memories so vivid for us is the amount of emotion that is experienced during the creation of that memory," he told ABC Radio Melbourne's Ali Moore.

Relasensip blong yu i olraet ?

Wan gud road blong talem everiwan, vaelens, fraet mo sumisen i no wan gud wei blong kasem hapines.

Dating after the death of a partner

When Sophie Townsend, a widowed mother-of-two, began to navigate the trails of virtual matchmaking, she uncovered a weird world inhabited by faux feminists, shocking spellers, and a meat-loving "vegan" who refused to eat during a dinner date as he'd just devoured a banana.

A few years had passed since her husband's death when friends of the Sydney-based author and creative audio specialist, started urging her to "get back out there".

"Compared to 'out there' I kind of quite like 'in here'," she said.

Would you pay a stranger to dump your partner for you?

That's exactly what 28-year-old Trevor Meyers did.

"I felt like it was easier for someone else to take care of an awkward situation like a break-up," says Trevor, who lives in Canada.

He has used the services of a company called The Breakup Shop more than once to end relationships.

You can choose to pay a stranger to send a text, email or good old-fashioned letter to the person you are breaking up with. Or they can call your soon-to-be-ex to tell them it's over.

More people than ever before are single — and that's a good thing

Today, the number of single adults in the US — and many other nations around the world — is unprecedented.

And the numbers don't just say people are staying single longer before settling down.

More are staying single for life.

Why we need each other — the power of shared experience

It's a feeling that can be heightened, if the person is someone we admire or look up to, or someone in the public eye.

Why is it so powerful to admit we are vulnerable and to see that vulnerability reflected in others?

And when others share their experience, what is it about the human psyche that draws us in to wanting to know more?

When actor Angelina Jolie revealed that she was carrying the breast and ovarian cancer gene which had claimed the life of her mother, people around the world were moved by her honesty and openness.

Is it worth staying in a relationship for your kids

For couples with kids, it's not always that black and white.

But is staying for the children gifting them a nuclear family or a sacrifice that does more harm than good?

Relationships Australia counsellor Fiona Bennett says couples with children often try harder to save their relationship than those without.

"They can feel it's in the best interest for the children in terms of security, stability and good time with both parents," Ms Bennett says.