OpenCritic Will Now Flag Games That Utilize Loot Boxes

Review aggregator OpenCritic announced that it will now begin notifying readers of any games that utilize “loot box” mechanics.

Citing titles like “Star Wars Battlefront II” and “Middle-earth: Shadow of War” as the inspiration behind taking a stand against these practices, OpenCritic has made the decision to denote when they’re available in-game. The team behind the website believes loot boxes are a “net-negative” for the industry as a whole. Loot boxes have been a hotly-contested subject within the game industry following negative backlash after a very messy “Star Wars Battlefront II” situation where players believed the game was “greedy,” asking them to pay additional funds into a game they had already purchased for content they believed should already be in the base title.

“Loot boxes prey on human’s generally poor ability to accurately understand and internalize probabilities, especially at the extremes. Rather than offer in-game items directly, loot boxes are used to mask the underlying cost of extremely attractive items,” the OpenCritic announcement reads, along with other rationalization of what the organization feels is detrimental about randomization and other “gambling”-like mechanics.

OpenCritic looks at metrics like unknown, random rewards, monetization, and encouraged usage of items to determine whether or not a game utilizes loot boxes. Games found to be using said items will be flagged within OpenCritic with a bright orange banner seen on the top of the page beneath the title’s OpenCritic Rating, Top Critic Average, and Critics Recommend badges.

“It’s our mission to help gamers make informed decisions when considering a purchase or download. We feel that informing consumers about the presence of loot boxes is a key part of our mission,” wrote OpenCritic on its official blog.

The changes have gone into effect and can be seen across the site as of Tuesday.

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Bradley Cooper’s Reaction To His Best Director Oscars Snub Will Make You So Sad

Somebody needs to give Bradley Cooper a nice big bear hug. The man is wicked talented — as we all fully well know from watching A Star Is Born — but it seems like he’s having a tough time when it comes to a particular Oscars nomination he didn’t receive. Honestly, Bradley Cooper’s reaction to his Best Director Oscars snub is proof that the man needs to take it easier on himself. Didn’t anyone tell him that he’s been nominated for a handful of other incredible awards?

During a Q&A at Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the PlayStation Theater in New York City, the 44-year-old star and filmmaker revealed his reaction to not being nominated in the 2019 Oscars Best Director category for his work on A Star Is Born.

"I was embarrassed," he recalled. "I was at a coffee shop in New York City and looked down at my phone and Nicole [Caruso, his publicist] has told me congratulations and said what we had been nominated for," Cooper said, according to People. "They didn’t even give me the bad news."

Bradley. Bradley! You’ve been nominated for three awards — Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. You should be proud of your achievements, not focus on the noms you didn’t receive!

Poor, sweet Bradley. There, there.

He continued, telling Winfrey, "I was embarrassed because I felt I hadn’t done my job."

Considering A Star Is Born has received eight Academy Award nominations (alongside Cooper’s three nominations), I’d say the cast and crew (and definitely the director) have done a pretty good job, no?

Plus, A Star Is Born was Cooper’s directorial debut, so if I’m being honest, I’d say it’s pretty damn incredible that the film itself got so many nominations. The nominations for Best Director went to Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), and Adam McKay (Vice), so even though Cooper didn’t make the cut, I’m still excited to see who will ultimately win (sorry, Bradley).

Cooper also revealed the best advice that his co-star Lady Gaga (who plays Ally in A Star Is Born) gave to him. "She said, ‘Don’t try to sing it.’ It was the best direction. It’s like acting, I’m actually talking."

Slightly jealous that Gaga is not only absurdly talented and beautiful, but apparently, she’s also very wise for her years. But of course, this is Gaga we’re talking about, and she can really do no wrong.

Speaking of Gaga, she herself scored two Oscar nominations: one for Actress In A Leading Role for A Star Is Born, and one for Music (Original Song) for "Shallow" alongside Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt.

Many fans are wondering whether Bradley Cooper will sing "Shallow" with Lady Gaga at the Oscars, which he confirmed by telling E!, "I think we’re gonna sing it, yeah." And, you know, a tweet directly from The Academy on Twitter confirming the news didn’t hurt either.

On Feb. 1, The Academy took to Twitter, writing, "Cooper. Gaga. "Shallow." #Oscars," which clearly leaves no confusion about the upcoming performance.

The Oscars are set to air on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. EST, so until then, just keep practicing "Shallow" karaoke-style in the shower. You might not sound like Gaga, but that’s OK. I’m sure your neighbors don’t mind at all.

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Papa John’s’ Heart-Shaped Pizza For Valentine’s Day 2019 Is A Tasty Display Of Affection

There are very few things in this world that show your love quite like a pizza pie, unless, of course, it’s a pizza pie that’s molded into the shape of a heart. And if you think you might be looking to show the love of your life just how much you appreciate them on the most romantic day of the year, Papa John’s’ heart-shaped pizza for Valentine’s Day 2019 is totally where it’s at. For real, though, it’s the tastiest (and cheesiest) display of affection that I quite literally crave all day, everyday.

Whether you’re looking for ways to woo your boo or if you simply want to kick back to get in on some #SelfLovin’ on Feb. 14, look no further than the one and only Papa John’s. The famous pizza chain will be selling its heart-shaped pies — once again — for a very limited time, between Wednesday, Feb. 7, and Wednesday, Feb. 14, according to Papa John’s. And lucky for you, they will be widely available at all Papa John’s restaurants nationwide. I’m so down.

Anyway, if you think you might be interested in getting one of these this Valentine’s Day, you can order your heart-shaped pizza by phone, on the Papa John’s website, on the Papa John’s app, through their Facebook page, or simply by asking Alexa, according to the pizza chain. A one-topping heart-shaped pie on its own will cost you $11, and you can add a Double Chocolate Brownie for $4 more, coming out to $16. Throw in a sexy bottle of wine from your bar cart and it’s the culinary date of my dreams. It’s all up to you, babe.

Wow y’all how good does that look? There is absolutely nothing I love more than cheese and chocolate… especially if I’m gorging on both in the same meal. I am speechless.

Anyway, if you don’t happen to have a Papa John’s restaurant in your neighborhood, don’t fret — you’re not totally SOL. In fact, you’ll also be able to get your hands on a heart-shaped pie at California Pizza Kitchen this V-Day, too. The fast food chain praised for their thin-crust pies will be selling their version of heart-shaped pizzas between Wednesday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 17. They will be available for both dine-in and take-out at participating locations. Keep in mind, however, that it will not be available if you decide to order through a third-party delivery service. So bottom line: Seamless and Postmates definitely will not be an option.

Maybe you’re using the day of love to propose to the person you love, or you might be trying to impress that cute guy or gal from your psych class. There’s also a chance — on the other hand — that you’re looking to simply stay in with your cat and eat to your heart’s content. Either way, Papa John’s heart-shaped pie is a total classic staple of every Valentine’s Day celebration, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to make the day of love perfectly cheesy.

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The best baby swing to entertain baby and soothe them to sleep

But once they realise it will entertain and soothe baby (and give them a chance to take a shower or prepare dinner) the baby swing quickly moves from the ‘optional’ to the ‘essential’ category.

Below we’ve rounded up our pick of the best baby swings to suit a range of budgets and styles, selected using our own expertise as well as chosen based on top reviews.

Babies often need a rocking motion to fall asleep, and the sooner you can get them to understand that a parental embrace is not the only place they should be snoozing, the better.

This is why baby swings are so handy: they rock the baby to sleep, entertain little one with music and toys and give parents some much-needed time to do household chores or have a break for 10 minutes.

Baby swings are most useful in the first few months of a baby’s life, but some can accommodate babies up to a year.

Some baby swings can be on the pricy side (over £100), so if you really want one, putting one of the best baby swings on your baby-gift wish list isn’t a bad idea.

Now, if only these baby swings came in more adult sizes, we would never need to bother with yoga again.

Best 2-in-1

  • Ingenuity Candler ConvertMe Swing-2-Seat, £64.99 at Smyths Toys – buy here

This swing has five speeds, plays eight melodies and three soothing nature sounds and converts from classic swing to vibrating bouncer for play or sleep.

A toy bar helps with entertaining little one. Parents like how quiet it is – it runs on magnets rather than motors – and they appreciate the compact shape, which folds up so it’s portable.

Best features

  • Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle ‘N Swing, £264.99  at Amazon – buy here 

If you’ve got the space and budget (it’s a US import), this is the king of the swings.

It has six speed settings – the Smart Swing technology adjusts accordingly to baby’s weight without requiring a push – a seat that rotates to three different positions, two cradle settings and a spinning mobile with bird and reflective mirror.

It also plays 16 songs and two nature sounds.

The best bit? It comes with a plug so you don’t constantly need to keep changing batteries.

Best hi-tech

  • 4moms mamaRoo 4.0 Rocker/Bouncer, £239.98 at Amazon – buy here 

This baby swing is absolutely gorgeous in terms of design and its innovative approach mimics the motions that parents use to comfort their babies (car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, etc.).

It allows you to choose from five different speeds. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled so you can control everything from your phone. If you get tired of the four built-in sounds, connect it to your MP3 player and blast Hamilton instead.

Best jumping swing

The Original Jolly Jumper baby exerciser

  • The Original Jolly Jumper baby exerciser, £56.82 at Amazon – buy here

Slightly older babes who like to move will love this doorway swing. Secured in the harness, they can jump to their heart’s delight.

And you can sip a tea on the sofa and pat yourself on the back for your superior parenting skills.

Best value

  • Graco Baby Delight Swing – Balancing Act, £29.99 at Smyths Toys – buy here

Five-point safety harness? Tick. Choice between two swing speeds? Tick. Three recline positions? Oh yeah.

This swing packs away easily and also comes with a toy bar for entertaining. Only suitable for younger babies.

Best all rounder

  • Fisher-Price Rainforest Take Along Swing, £66.94 at Amazon – buy here

A portable six-speed swing, this colourful, animal-themed Fisher-Price option has 10 songs, a couple of nature melodies, and can convert to a baby seat with soothing vibrations.

Parents like how chilled their babies are in it but warn that it drains batteries quickly.

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'The Pioneer Woman': This Is Ree Drummond's First Recipe Ever

It’s hard not to love The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Fans are drawn to her down-to-Earth approach and great cooking advice, which is what made her so popular over the past decade. Now Drummond has a Food Network show, lifestyle magazine, product collection at Walmart, Mercantile shop and restaurant, and cookbooks (obviously). Is there anything The Pioneer Woman can’t do?

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Makin' taquitos in a bright green shirt today on a brand new episode of The Pioneer Woman on @foodnetwork! But the show isn't about my shirt; It's about Bryce and Todd's quarterback training, which is waaay more fun to watch! They've been working on their throwing form while I could use a little help on my taquito form…but I just call them "rustic" and enjoy how tasty they are. Happy Saturday, and happy football!! Any good games happening on TV this weekend?

A post shared by Ree Drummond – Pioneer Woman (@thepioneerwoman) on

When Ree Drummond first started blogging in 2006, she wasn’t trying to become a television personality or any kind of internet celebrity. In fact, she didn’t even share recipes at first! In the early days of her blog, Drummond talked about farm life. But before long, she finally began sharing an integral part of her life – cooking – and it wasn’t long before her wise cooking advice and tasty recipes turned The Pioneer Woman into a national sensation.

There was no viral post that made The Pioneer Woman famous. Rather, she says it was a slow and steady process. Here’s how it all started.

What was Ree Drummond’s first recipe?

There is a bit of disagreement over what The Pioneer Woman’s first recipe was. She’s already shared that ‘How to Cook a Steak’ was her first official cooking skills post – and the best part is, it’s still totally relevant (and excellent) today.

The post used a step-by-step instruction method to instruct followers how to make steak taste perfect. Drummond uses Lawry’s and McCormick Lemon & Pepper Seasoning Salt to flavor the meat. Then she adds 1/4 stick of butter to the cast iron pan before putting the piece of steak in and cooking it. She also reveals how to get those coveted grill marks so your food can look as good as it tastes.

She originally shared her steak
cooking methods in 2007, but still stands by her technique now. Still, some
fans don’t believe this is her first recipe since it’s more about process, not
concocting a dish from scratch.

The Pioneer Woman lasagna recipe
is a classic

Those people who don’t count the steak as Ree Drummond’s first recipe inevitably speak about her amazing lasagna, which is appropriately called, “The Best Lasagna Ever.” The recipe was first published in June 2007 and people loved it because it was easy for anyone to make.

As Drummond explained, “You don’t have to hunt down fresh basil or buffalo mozzarella or Parmigiano-Reggiano or handmade sausage from an Italian mama in old Napoli. Anyone can make this, anywhere, anytime.”

The recipe is a bit different from traditional lasagna because it uses hot breakfast sausage in addition to ground beef to add a little spicy kick. Also, Drummond includes cottage cheese in place of ricotta. She claims this makes the whole dish creamier and you won’t notice the difference in taste.

Overall, this recipe is a
huge hit with The Pioneer Woman’s fan base. It may not be “the one” that made
her famous, but taken together with all her other hits, it’s all part of total
package.

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Best vegan shoes for women: our pick of the most stylish cruelty free, faux leather and animal friendly pairs

There has never been so many vegans in the world, with social media assisting the hype, even fashion brands are getting on that ethical wave.

In 2018 alone Versace, Gucci, John Galliano, DKNY and Chanel all stopped using fur – the industry is slowly building more of a conscience. Although, it’s smaller brands that seem to be championing vegan shoes.

Even if you’re not buying leather or suede, some shoes are made with animal-derived glue that comes from connective tissue or bones. So what shoes are even vegan?

Fear not. We’ve searched far and wide for you, because animal-friendly shoes can still be beautiful. In fact, their beauty goes beyond aesthetics, infused with goodwill.

Even if you’re not a vegan, we have shoes that you’ll love. Maybe you’re just doing #veganuary and want to look the part.

Best plimsoles

Who knew that classic Vans were 100% vegan?

The Vans Authentic isn’t just for skaters – it’s everyone’s go-to plimsole. Ideal for the thriving logomania trends with trademark branding on the back of each shoe and mini flag labels.

You can live in these because they’re uber comfy, have a firm grip sole, oh and go with anything from joggers to jeans.

We chose black for its versatility, but there are six other great colours too.

  • £52 from Vans – buy here

Best fashion shoes

These leopard-print trainers from Schuh prove veganism isn’t boring.

It’s not only the bold pattern that makes a statement, these shoes have a striking 3.5cm platform.

The only thing taken from animals to create this shoe is the leopard-inspired print. So chuck these on guilt-free with some black jeans and bring out your wild side.

  • £30 from Schuh – buy here

Best sandals

Although these vegan designs are fuelling Birkenstock’s hippie reputation, everyone should own a pair – they’re the comfiest shoe known to man. 

The Arizona two strap sandal has a branded adjustable strap, rubber sole and a padded EVA footbed crafting an orthopedic fit.

Vegan-friendly has never looked so stylish – these colour block beauties would look great with a matching green tracksuit. Khaki on khaki is goals.

  • £26.95 from Office – buy here

Best espadrilles

Another comfy staple: espadrilles. And these Toms are, you guessed it, vegan.

In a washed black, these shoes have a rustic rope-wrapped sole and an elasticated V-cut that makes them super easy to slip on and off.

Inspired by the beautiful Florida Keys, these are fishing boat shoes that are made for sunny days. Add lots of linen and you’ll bring summer with you wherever you go.

  • £44 from Toms – buy here

Best biker boots

These Vegan 1460 Eye Boots by Dr Martens look like something from outer space.

Upholding the legendary brand’s reputation, the synthetic, animal-friendly materials are high quality – made with Goodyear welt, the upper and sole are heat sealed and sewn together.

The vibrant pearl chrome colourway will stand out for all the right reasons. Wear them with all black and they’ll really pop!

  • £120 from Office – buy here

Best chelsea boots

Marks and Spencer launched a range of vegan shoes earlier this year – our favourite are these chic faux-leather Chelsea boots.

Set on a comfortable block heels, they have elasticated inserts and insolia Flex® technology that keeps your feet in a healthy position at all times.

Brown Chelsea boots are a classic go-to for everyday wear – slip into these with skinny jeans and a baggy jumper.

  • £29.50 from Marks and Spencer – buy here

Best stilettos

NAK stands for No Animals being Killed: a fabulous slogan for a guilt-free online shop. We love these black stilettos.

From the classic court silhouette to the elegantly pointed toe, you really can’t go wrong with a sleek black pair of heels. The NAK leather weighs a third less than animal leather – these are a lightweight staple, ideal for jet-setting.

You can rock this versatile shade with any colour suit from the boardroom to your fave boujee restuarant. They’ll have you feeling fierce and flawless.

  • £260 from Nak Fashion – buy here

Best trainers

Get on the chunky trainer wave with these white flat-forms from M&S’ vegan-friendly range.

Fitted with Insolia Flex® technology, they’re fashionable, supportive and super comfy.

Keep these extra-white to finesse the trend properly and rock them with a velour tracksuit for a real on-trend noughties get-up.

  • £35 from Marks and Spencer – buy here

This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.

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Bella Hadid Strips Down for the New Michael Kors Campaign

If you’re a fan of the Michael Kors MK logo, then you are going to love the brand’s Spring 2019 collection. It’s filled with accessories emblazoned with the brand’s initials, from denim backpacks to platform sneakers to plush towels. The corresponding campaign features model Bella Hadid in the safari-inspired collection — right down to a pair of camouflage undies.

In the video, you’ll see the 22-year-old model effortlessly leaping through the air while managing to balance two Michael Kors bags around her neck, a backpack over her shoulders, a fanny pack around her waist, and a box bag in her right hand — proving everyone who has ever said modeling was easy wrong.Her moves showing off the clothes are just as impressive. At the end of the clip you’ll see Hadid holding a backbend in a camouflage bodysuit (very Crocodile Hunter-chic mixed with urban glam).

“The atmosphere on set is so much fun,” Hadid exclusively tells InStyle.com “You know we blast music, Michael’s cheering, David’s shooting, and it’s very upbeat and fast.” As far as nailing all of those acrobatic moves, Hadid credits her athletic background. “Horseback riding really helped me with modeling,” Hadid explains. “It helped with my posture, having long legs, putting your hands exactly in the right place — all of the things my mother would teach me growing up.”

RELATED: This Is How Michael Kors Throws a Dinner Party

Kors was so impressed with Hadid’s moves on set that he joked that she would make a great contestant on Dancing With the Stars. “I’m not going to say she would do it,” Kors says. “But she would win. She doesn’t need coaching at all — no one moves like that.” Well, who knows if we’ll be able to see Hadid cutting a rug on Dancing With the Stars anytime soon, but at least we can hit play on the campaign video below.

Speed, energy, optimism: @BellaHadid headlines our new Spring 2019 MICHAEL #MichaelKors campaign shot by @DavidSimsOfficial. 🎶: Move Ya Body – Nina Sky

A post shared by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

 

“It’s optimistic. It’s all about movement. It’s all about speed. It’s about having a good time,” Kors explains. “I think a lot of fashion can be very serious and sad. And we had fun shooting it. In today’s world, girls like Bella don’t stop moving.”

If you want to star in your own version of the Michael Kors campaign and you’re in the New York City area, stop by Dolby Soho at 477 Broadway in New York City on February 6 for an immersive experience.

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Film Review: ‘The Prodigy’

If we’ve learned anything from movies like “The Omen,” “The Bad Seed,” and “The Good Son,” it’s that kids can be little demons. Director Nicholas McCarthy’s “The Prodigy” takes that concept a bit further, positing that children have the ability to carry the past lives of demonic, sociopathic souls and act on their deranged feelings. At least that’s what we glean from a brief “Nightline” clip about reincarnation shown in the film — which is possibly the clever inspiration for Jeff Buhler’s screenplay. While it lacks gripping, nail-biting tension, the unnerving horror that underscores the family drama brings it to life.

Minutes after a ruthless serial killer (Paul Fauteux) is shot to death in Ohio, a baby boy is born to a loving married couple in nearby Pennsylvania. Sarah (Taylor Schilling) and John Blume (Peter Mooney) have sacrificed a lot to bring their boy Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) into the world, calling him their “miracle” child. And their unconditional love doesn’t stop once he begins to demonstrate disturbing behavior.

Miles shows extreme intelligence, rapidly blazing through development milestones and test placement exams. But alarming traits manifest after he turns eight. He sets a trap in the basement to maim his babysitter (Elisa Moolecherry). He suffers from night terrors, sleep-talking in Hungarian and flailing around in bed. He also clobbers a schoolmate with a wrench when he doesn’t get his way. This garners the attention of reincarnation expert Dr. Arthur Jacobson (Colm Feore), who might as well be named “Dr. Exposition” since he’s saddled with dispensing most of it. He advises Sarah that a dark presence is piggybacking on her son’s life-force. To get it out, they must determine who is causing this pain and uncover his motives. It becomes a race against time to figure out how to save poor Miles.

But much of the mystery McCarthy and Buhler attempt to craft is rendered moot following that opening scene in which they showed a female victim escaping from the serial killer’s home and his subsequent demise. We’re ahead of the Blumes in that regard. We know what the evil soul’s motives are and we know it’ll never be satiated. What we don’t know is if — or how — it can be defeated. That said, Sarah devises a plan that, while ludicrous, befits a character stuck in an impossible situation.

As the narrative swerves into familiar territory, Schilling and Scott’s performances offer some relief. The actress capably channels her Lee Remick-inspired role, infusing the caring, devoted matriarch with vulnerability and verisimilitude. The push-pull of Sarah’s anguished inner conflict feels palpable thanks to her restrained work. But it’s young Scott who wows with his handling of the sudden dramatic shifts and nuanced facets of his character’s duality. He doesn’t just change his facial expressions, but his entire physicality. That’s a feat even for a seasoned adult, such as James McAvoy in “Glass” and “Split,” let alone a child actor. Scott succeeds in taunting us, making us eagerly await his mischievous, murderous exploits. Though some might be disappointed that Miles’ salty language is noticeably dubbed, Scott’s abilities are impressive nonetheless.

Setting the narrative primarily in the changing seasons from fall to winter adds subtle layers, reinforcing the shifting nature of the tortured young man’s personality. McCarthy and DP Bridger Nielson craft a distinctive aesthetic via a subdued, cool palette of blue and gray tones. They hold back from stylizing much of the imagery, but pepper in a few striking shots: Miles removes his skeleton face paint in front of a mirror, literally reflecting his dual psyches; Miles is framed against chinoiserie wallpaper, suggesting another persona lurking in the background. With jump scares blessedly kept to a minimum, composer Joseph Bishara’s signature sour strings weave innocuously into the film’s fabric. The resulting feeling is prickly, chilly, and disquieting.

Film Review: 'The Prodigy'

Reviewed AMC Burbank 16, Los Angeles, Feb. 5, 2019. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 100 MIN.

Production:An Orion Pictures release and presentation of a Vinson Films production, in association with XYZ Films.. Producers: Tripp Vinson and Tara Farney. Executive producers: Nick Spicer, Jeff Buhler, Lisa Zambri, Daniel Bekerman.

Crew:Director: Nicholas McCarthy. Screenplay: Jeff Buhler. Camera (color, widescreen): Bridger Nielson. Editors: Tom Elkins, Brian Ufberg. Music: Joseph Bishara

With:Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Peter Mooney, Colm Feore.

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If You’re Unhappy In Your Relationship, You’ll Notice These 4 Things About Yourself

Whether your coworker totally screwed you over or your roommates ate all your Greek yogurt, feeling your feelings is a part of being human — even the not-so-nice ones. If you’ve been dating someone for a while or you’re seeing someone new, but it has started to feel a little off, it’s not always easy to tell whether you’re unhappy in your relationship or perhaps just having a bad day. But when you’re frequently frustrated with your boo and you keep canceling date night to spend time with your friends, it’s natural to wonder if your relationship is what’s making you unhappy.

"Rough patches are a part of the relationship. Our partners, like us, go throw so many changes over the course of a relationship," Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Host of ‘The Kurre and Klapow Show,’ tells Elite Daily. "We need to be careful not to attribute changes in the nature of the relationship, our emotions, or their emotions, to falling out of love."

Relationships of all kinds change over time, and with them our priorities, goal, and emotions’ ebb and flow, too. But if you’re starting to suspect your romantic relationship is causing you to feel a little low, Dr. Klapow shares four things you may notice about yourself.

1You’re Starting To Dodge Your Boo

Maybe you leave them on read during the day or you fib and say you’re busy when really you’re watching the 1968 Barbra Streisand classic, "Funny Girl" in your jammies and eating your roommates’ Thai leftovers.

"You avoid your partner," Dr. Klapow says. "You’re not arguing or appear mad, but rather you are doing more and more things on your own. You check in less with your partner, less discussion — you simply go at it alone,"

Independence is a beautiful thing. And being in a romantic partnership doesn’t mean you can’t do things on your own. But if you notice you’d rather always be alone than with your boo, it may be time for a check in.

2You’re Taking More Time For Yourself

A partnership doesn’t need to mean completely reworking your busy schedule around someone else. And maintaining your own life within a romantic relationship can be a super important practice. But if you seem to be boxing them out with plans they aren’t invited to, it may mean you need some space.

"You may feel generally happy and are cordial to your partner but you just seem to be packing your schedule with more activities," Dr. Klapow says. "It may be more work, more time with friends, or others, just more time without your partner."

Being unhappy within a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean being unhappy with your partner as a person. You may totally love who they are and what they bring to the earth, but if you notice you’re feeling less eager to include them in your plans, it may mean you may need to take some more time for yourself.

3You’re Feeling Some Distance

According to Dr. Klapow, a growing distance can be a relationship red flag. If you’re noticing a pretty big emotional gap, it may be time to check in wit your boo about how you’re both feeling.

"When there feels to be a misfit, a distance that despite our efforts to come together is growing farther apart, it is possible that the relationship has indeed come to a point of no return," Dr. Klapow says.

Of course, Dr. Klapow also states that distance in relationships can be salvageable if you and your boo both feel eager to be close again. Having open conversations and being intentional to listen to your partner when they express their feelings can be good steps in bridging a relationship gap.

4You Realize Other People Are Still Making You Happy

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re unhappy with your partner or if you’re just in kind of a funk. If you notice feeling less cheerful around your partner but still seem to be in good spirits around other people, it may be a sign you’re not super happy in your relationship.

"You seem to get much more joy from interacting with others," Dr. Klapow says. "It may be friends, it may be co-workers, but you notice that your happiness comes with others versus your partner."

If other people and things are still bringing you joy, it may be time to check in with your partner about how your relationship is making you feel.

Feeling unhappy in a relationship doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner anymore or even that you’re bound to breakup. Romantic comedies may end with sunsets and Champagne, but IRL, "happily ever after" means establishing boundaries, opening lines of communication, mutual respect and willingness to compromise. If you’re thinking your relationship is making you feel blue, try talking to your partner about how you’re feeling. Regardless of the natural ebb and flow of relationships, you deserve to be happy in your life. And that is something that never changes.

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What does the Poundland engagement ring look like and why are they so popular?

We explain what it looks like and what it is made from.

What does the Poundland engagement ring look like?

The “Bling Ring” jewellery comes in a variety of colours and placements.

You can get four different rings, two are diamond-like, one is red and one is a light blue.

The red stone is heart-shaped and set on a silver-coloured band.

The blue stone is almond-shaped and is set on a silver-coloured band.

Both of the diamond-like stones are shaped in a circle and one is set on a gold-coloured band and the other is set on a silver-coloured band.

And guess what – they all cost just £1.

Why are they so popular?

The budget company said it has sold 20,000 engagement rings within a week of releasing the product in January.

Poundland said it released the rings so they could be a “placeholder” to give people a chance to propose "before they need to invest in the real rock".

They added: "These are beautiful placeholder rings because we know they'll want to buy their own.

"We're looking forward to the Poundland proposal becoming the way it's done.

"Our bling ring is setting the scene for the real deal."

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