DNA Tattoos Are Available For The Brave Couples Out There | 12.12.17
While matching tattoos may be a signifier for a strong relationship, there is a new trend that may just challenge those couples. The New York Times went in depth on “DNA tattoos,” which are exactly what you think they are. You can now have a significant other or special person’s DNA tattooed into your skin.
It is now entirely possible to have the tattoo ink be imbued with someone’s DNA. This trend has been previously known in underground artist circles as “morbid ink.” Refinery29 explains, “Everence, a powdery substance, is synthesized from a sample of DNA — like from the inside of someone’s mouth, carbonized hair, or cremated ashes, for example.” DNA can be mailed to Patrick Duffy’s Endeavor Life Sciences, a company that specializes in DNA tattoos.
It is reported to be safe since the DNA does not enter into the skin and enter the immune system. There is still the same risk that comes with having a tattoo, as recognized by the FDA. Another factor to consider is cost. DNA tattoos come to $675, which comes with the kit to collect the DNA.
People are still gauging interest as to if the trend will really take off. For now, only a limited amount of companies are investing and pre-orders are being taken.
The Artificial Version Of The “Love Hormone” Is Unhealthy | 12.07.17
Blaming biology for one’s feelings is a valid excuse. Trying to imitate it, though, may cause extra complications. The “love hormone,” also known as oxytocin, is released during lactation and orgasms. When oxytocin is released, it creates the warm fuzzy feelings we all know when we’re in love. Studies have even showed that when it’s released, we put more trust in humans who are with us. Thanks to new developments, scientists have also come up with an artificial version of this hormone.
This artificial version developed by scientists is an attempt to explore how oxytocin works naturally. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this fake version. Like most drugs, there will be biological side effects. Scientists see it as a solution for social anxiety, people with trust issues, and personality disorders or autism.
When created, the artificial drug was intended to last longer than the natural version. It does, however, cause uterine cells to contract. Unlike the real oxytocin, the artificial oxytocin does not cause as much cardiovascular issues.
LIke most new inventions, the artificial oxytocin is surrounded with skepticism in regards to its effectiveness. It doesn’t exactly prevent a significant other from having wandering eyes. It can, however, make us more envious and bigoted when it comes to our attachments to the people we “love” caused by the drug. We have yet to step into the universe of “artificial biological love,” but when we get there, it depends on whether the downsides outweigh the benefits.
Holidating: The Odds of Hooking Up During The Holidays | 12.05.17
As we’ve previously blogged, it may be the most optimal time of the year to set the record of your relationships straight and finally ask the question: “What are we?” The holidays bring about the fuzzy feeling inside of either wanting to be completely alone or cuddled next to someone. Then again, being home for the holidays can warrant the need for a casual hookup. The mobile analytics company, StartApp, put together a survey of the odds people have of hooking up with someone this time of year.
Millions of people will be travelling back to their hometowns this time of year, and so it turns out that the best odds for catching a hookup back home is in Maine. For heterosexual relationships, the top five states with an equal amount of balance of men and women using dating apps are followed by Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Iowa. The bottom five steps with an uneven balance of those using dating apps are Alaska, New Jersey, California, Washington, and New York.
The statistics showed that Nebraska and Maryland are the states with the best chances for meeting people. StartApp also looked at the dating pool of the East Coast versus the West Coast. California had twice as many dating app users as New York. When zoomed in on individual cities, San Francisco was the best city for finding well-rounded connections.
These are the statistics and odds, but it is still up on an individual basis on whether or not hooking up in the hometown is still even a wise decision.
Here Are The Best And Worst Places To Be Single | 11.28.17
We’ve found one more thing to blame being single on, and it’s location. Apparently, according to a new survey from WalletHub, it’s about looking in the right places. This new research collected information and found the best and worst cities for single people.
With more than 45 percent of the U.S. adult population single, some cities are bound to have residents who are also looking for a partner. On the West Coast, you’ll have more luck. Three of the top five best cities for singles are in California. San Francisco turns out to be the best city in the U.S. for being single. Although it’s a super pricey city, it landed as one of the weakest in terms of economics. Los Angeles and San Diego also landed in the top five, with Denver in the fourth spot.
On the East Coast, Atlanta landed in second place, and New York City gets first as the best place for recreational activities and overall fun. Of course, living in a place that is not super expensive allows for more activities and things to do with a date. Burlington, Vt. is the most affordable city for single people, but ranked in the bottom ten for recreation and fun.
One city can never have it all anyway. The survey analyzed 182 cities overall and ranked gender balances, so it wouldn’t cater too much to queer singles. As far as having fun is concerned, the most populated cities still dominate, so might as well have fun being single there.
Women Are Happier When They’re Single | 11.21.17
Relationships, particularly with men, take hard work. As women, we don’t want to be taking on more work than we already have. According to a new study, women are actually happier when they’re single mostly because of just how much effort relationships require.
The data analysts at Mintel found that 61 percent of single women are happy versus the 49 percent of single men who like being single. It also found that 75 percent of those single women have not actively pursued any relationships in a year, as opposed to 65 percent of single men. These statistics were stronger with women as they got older, especially over the age of 45.
The main reason for this result is the workload tied to relationships. This also means that it’s the women who put in the work in the relationship. According to The Telegraph, women are the ones in heterosexual relationships who take on more emotional and household work. They are also the ones most likely to solve any problems or arguments within the relationship.
Professor Emily Grundy at the University of Essex also told The Telegraph that women are much better at being single than men. Grundy said, “Women tend to be better at having alternative social networks and other confidantes whereas men tend to rely quite heavily on their wives for that and have fewer other social ties.”
Then again, there’s the flip side. As much as being single is less work, could all the hard work be actually worth it? I’m still waiting to find out.
It’s Time To Talk Relationship Expectations | 11.16.17
It’s that time of year when the temperature drops and being outside is barely an option. With the weather being a large predictor on our feelings, it’s important to know who we’ll be staying indoors with. One clinical graduate student, Kayla Knopp, at the University of Denver found in her studies on relationships and commitment that now is the ideal time to have that “what are we” conversation.
Delaying the conversation about each partner’s expectations can cause harm and hurt feelings, particularly when it cuts close to the holiday season. Knopp says, “it’s really unlikely that partners are going to automatically agree about all their expectations without actually talking through them.”
Going into a relationship, each partner normally makes assumptions what the other person means to them. That doesn’t mean you’re psychic. The holiday season and the cold weather can often cause a shift in feelings and being around family can cause emotional highs. With all the family events and gift exchanging, not knowing the status and expectations of a relationship can cause confusion and tension.
It should really be a year-round discussion but people still remain hesitant about being clear. Esther Boykin, a relationship therapist, told Refinery29 that it’s important to know what your partner wants. “There’s also an opportunity to be more vulnerable by going beyond, ‘here’s what I want or don’t want,’ and beginning to talk about why things matter to you,” Boykin said.
C’mon guys. Before the temperature really drops, it’s best to have a talk.
Americans Think This is How Love is Supposed to Feel | 11.07.17
While Americans disagree on many things, one study found that most Americans agree on how love should feel…or at least, how they think love is supposed to feel. You may agree with this majority if you also think love is about the little things in life. The study also found that actions speak louder than words.
Saeideh Heshmati, the postdoctoral research scholar at Penn State who conducted the study, published her research to gain more insight into how love affects people. Here’s what she found. People believe that the small romantic gestures cumulatively add up to be how love should feel. To feel loved, people want everything from small acts of compassion to cuddling.
On the other side of the spectrum, people felt the least loved with controlling gestures, such as wanting to know where the other person is at all times. “We found that behavioral actions—rather than purely verbal expressions—triggered more consensus as indicators of love. For example, more people agreed that a child snuggling with them was more loving than someone simply saying, ‘I love you,'” Heshmati said. How a person acts toward someone says a lot more than verbal communication.
The study gathered 495 Americans and gave them 60 different scenarios in which each person was to say if they felt love in each scenario or not. Some situations included being greeted by a pet, feeling close to nature, and being controlled by a partner.
The results also considered the culture in which love is defined. For Americans, controlling and seemingly possessive behavior is a turn-off, while in other countries, this may be seen as a sign of caring. While the study found what American culture thinks of love, Heshmati admits that the feeling of love is still on an individual basis.
Here Are The Worst Clothing Turn-Offs On Dating Profiles | 11.02.17
The thing with online dating is that everything must be presented clearly. At a moment’s glance, people are going to decide your fate and dating potential. Besides looking for what two people both like, the dating app, Hater, finds common ground in what two people don’t like. The app took a survey and it found out what the worst things men and women see on profiles are.
The survey compartmentalized the turn-offs based on age group and gender. Starting with teenage girls, an instant turn-off is wearing New Balance sneakers. For 20-something women, fedoras were the most hated. Women in their 30s hated music festival fashion, women in their 40s hated skinny ties, and for those in their 50s, the worst were jogger pants. The common ground for women of all generations seemed to be articles of clothing.
When it came to teenage boys, turtlenecks were the worst. For 20-something men, it was henna tattoos. Men in their 30s hated the dog filter on Snapchat, men in their 40s hated leopard prints, and then men in their 50s were not a fan of too much makeup. Everything seems to be a little bit more vague.
All of the data gathered was based on the taste of the app’s users. This may be a guide of what not to do in your dating profile, but also to just keep a profile that’s true to who you are anyway.
The Average Long-Distance Relationship Costs This Much | 10.30.17
Love isn’t cheap. We’ve taken a look at just how expensive it is to be single in New York and how much it is to be in a relationship, and that’s all just financial costs. When it comes to love living far away, the relationship comes at a high price, too. The average long distance relationship was found to cost at least $3,696 a year, compared to $2,600 for couples who lived near each other.
In the United States, there are about 14 million couples who date long distance, and 58 percent of single people say they would be open to having one. StatisticBrain also reported that the average couple lives 125 miles apart and sees each other in real life once a month. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the high financial cost of a long distance relationship.
You have to add up the price of gas, flights (average cost is $508), and then the actual date (average cost is $50). Three in four engaged couples has been in a long distance relationship, with only sometimes ever working out. The New York Post wrote, “The average couple living more than three hours apart will break up in four and a half months while those living closer together will last about six months.”
Justin Garcia, a scientific advisor to Match.com, advised that the best way to make it work long distance is to set up a plan and timeline for when the couple plans to live together in one place. Not knowing what the future will hold makes it hard to know how much to invest in a relationship, but like all kinds of relationships, it all comes with the risk.
With More Long-Distance Relationships, There Are More Ways To Fight | 10.26.17
Like we’ve seen last week, technology has brought us together and less apart, at least when it comes to most relationships. Divorce rates are going down and more people in different social circles are getting together. With technology, however, comes an increase in long-distance relationships, which means we’re coming up with new ways of having a fight. About 7 million couples are long-distance and the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships says that that number is on the rise.
Not only are more couples pursuing long-distance relationships, but nowadays, there is a higher success rate for them. Just like couples who live near each other, the main factors that have kept these couples together are commitment and communication. The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy noted that the “attitudes about the prospects of one’s relationship” also factored into the success of a long-distance couple.
Science of Us noted that with the rise of long-distance comes a new method of communication, ergo a new way of having a fight. It becomes harder to air out one’s grievances when the main form of communication is through the phone, text or email. This method, however, allows the couple to think about what they tell their partner, especially when it’s through text or email. Couples are more likely to say something mean in the heat of the moment.
What comes with these modes of communication is the option to hang up or stop talking. It’s best, as the writer Rebecca Renner mentioned, to use the “space to your advantage.” You’re already apart, so give the argument some space to cool off. Then when it is time, come face to face through video calls or FaceTime. Communication, together or long-distance, is always the key to success.
Men Don’t Think Emotional Infidelity Is Cheating | 10.24.17
About 20 percent of couples have, at some point, experienced infidelity. Cheating seems to be more common than it should be, but the definition of “cheating” becomes questioned when it comes to emotional infidelity. A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology recently found that men do not find emotional cheating to be as bad as having sex with someone who isn’t their partner.
It turns out that affairs of the heart don’t matter as much to most men. Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, the co-author of the study, wrote, “Many… do not see [emotional cheating] as infidelity at all, since they did not have sex with the other woman.” He adds that men in heterosexual relationships do not understand how hard emotional infidelity is for women.
The study goes on to say that men don’t understand how these emotional affairs could be wrong. When confronted by their partners for cheating emotionally, men do not try as hard to make up for it as much as if they would be caught having sex with someone else. They seem to see it as less threatening to a relationship.
For women in these heterosexual relationships, the jealousy felt from emotional affairs could be traced to evolutionary biology, since any threat to a relationship is a threat to a parental or lifelong investment in the partner. The emotional investment in someone is still the most threatening for women than for men.
Online Dating Brings Divorce Rates Down | 10.19.17
Not all hope is lost when it comes to online dating. With dating apps having been around for a considerable amount of time now, researchers have been able to spot trends on how modern dating is affecting the future. Some of the results included how modern online dating culture is bringing divorce rates down.
Economics professors at the University of Vienna in Austria found that the rise of creating relationships that started online has brought stronger bonds between partners. People are beginning to interact with people who would not normally be within their social circles. They also found that currently, more than one-third of marriages were relationships that began online.
With online dating being the second most popular way to meet a potential partner, interracial relationships among heterosexual partners have also seen a rise. With same-sex couples, the amount of partners who met online has soared considerably. This method of meeting people places second to meeting at a bar or restaurant for all couples, which is still on a rise. Other results found that meeting through family members, at work, or through mutual friends has gone down and continues to trend downward.
Even better, online dating has made happier couples. The researchers of the study wrote, “Our model predicts that, on average, marriages created when online dating becomes available last longer than those created in societies without this technology.” While young people today may not be prone to marriage as much as previous generations, this study shows that if they do, they’ll more likely to have a happy marriage.
Here’s How Long The Average Millennial Relationship Lasts | 10.12.17
It’s not rare to have one of those on-again, off-again relationships. This has been my relationship with food, clothes and especially social media. When it comes to short-lived relationships with people, it’s not that new either. Research shows that the lifespan of an average relationship for someone in their twenties is about 4.2 years.
Lasting just about four years, this amount of time is cumulative and not a consecutive four years. It’s common for 20-somethings to have a relationship with one person that consists of make-ups and break-ups. Now that we know this, VICE turned to psychologist, Dr. Stephanie Boisvert, to find out why. It turns out that the span of our romantic relationships can be dependent on how many friends we had in school.
Long before we were able to process the idea of being in a relationship, the amount of people we interacted in our school days is a factor in our future. People who had poor relationships during this time are more likely to have difficulty pursuing and maintaining romantic relationships as a 20-something. Dr. Boisvert explained, “Those who’ve had negative experiences with their peers growing up – social withdrawal and less peer likability – often moved into the romantic sphere much later.”
Dr. Boisvert also found that people who had long, healthy adult relationships also got along well with their family and friends. Similarly, having a wholesome social circle in our younger years counts toward how we behave to our partners as an adult. To be real, 4.2 years is a pretty fair number for millennials, and after all, we’ve always got our thirties to look forward to.
Sleeping Apart Can Help A Relationship | 10.10.17
We’ve reported before that being in a relationship can cause some sleeping problems, and that there are correlations between a bad night’s sleep and the end of a relationship. The relationship between sleep and your partner doesn’t end there. It turns out that sleeping in separate beds can help your relationship more than hurt it.
The National Sleep Foundation found that one in four couples sleep in separate beds or rooms. New research found that it’s not necessarily a loss of intimacy that can lead to separate sleeping. Some couples just need to have their good night’s sleep. After all, waking up well rested can be better off for the couple.
A physician at the American Sleep Association, Dr. Neil Klein told NBC News, “Sleeping in separate beds, while not very romantic, does offer some potential benefits to sleepers — especially if one of the bed partners is disruptive.” Couples may have different preferences when it comes to sleeping. Some prefer a certain temperature while their partner may not, and bedtimes may vary for both.
Having a disrupted sleep can subconsciously affect people’s behavior towards their partner. Dr. Joseph Cilona, a psychologist, said, “Blaming or holding someone accountable for something that is out of their control can cause serious conflict in a relationship and result in anger, resentment and general dissatisfaction.”
NBC News reported that “not sleeping together doesn’t mean ‘not sleeping together.’” People like to sleep the way they do, and disrupting that one night’s peace and quiet can take a long-term toll on the relationship.
One Psychologist Says We Need To Lower Our Standards | 10.05.17
It’s common to have a list. They’re the key points that a person has to hit before we even consider them as a potential partner. Keeping high standards for who we want to be with should be okay, but according to one psychologist’s new book, we expect too much and that’s not good.
Eli Finkel, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, has a new book called The All-or-Nothing Marriage, where he argues that on top of loving our partner, we expect them to help us grow and be better people. It’s hard enough to have a partner who is willing to keep up a household, finances and love us ‘til death do us part, but Finkel says we’re putting much more pressure than there should be.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Finkel cites the changes in modern marriage saying, “The main change has been that we’ve added, on top of the expectation that we’re going to love and cherish our spouse, the expectation that our spouse will help us grow.” Trying to have these goals for a partner is unrealistic to find.
Finkel continues, “There’s no reason why it has to be the same person who plays both of those roles.” He recommends that we shouldn’t think of lowering our expectations as “settling.” It would be making a relationship better and put less pressure on success.
Americans More Likely To Trust Internet Than Significant Other | 10.03.17
It’s the age of the Internet, and it seems that we are welcoming it with open arms more than we do to new lovers. We’ve all been in that position of screaming our feelings into the depths of the Internet instead of, perhaps, entrusting our personal information to a significant other. Oh, is it just me? Nope, because new research shows that Americans are more open to sharing personal details to a faceless online entity than to a partner.
The survey consisted of 2,000 participants and results found that it takes Americans an average of 20 seconds to determine if an email is not a scam, 28 seconds to analyze a website if it’s safe to fill out a form, and 31 seconds to analyze if the website is safe enough to enter credit card information. This is all compared to them taking an average of two and a half dates before exposing their full name to a stranger. After all, a full name can reveal anything and everything with a quick Google search.
When it comes to dating, 43 percent were willing to share some personal details to a potential partner but it will take some time before doing so. From the survey, an average of three dates were needed just to reveal a birth date. When it came time for disclosing a home address, it took an average of four dates, and six and a half before disclosing salary to a date. Of those surveyed, an average of 24 percent have had their information stolen online and 1 in 5 has had their computers hacked. Still, it is easier to trust spilling out personal information to an online source instead of to a person.
It Works For Women To Date Less Attractive Men | 09.26.17
It turns out that dating the frog might pay off more than dating the prince, says the New York Post. A new study showed that relationships proved to be more successful when women dated a partner who was less attractive than them. There were many links made between people’s motivations in the relationship and their partner’s attractiveness.
A person’s physical features and willingness to diet all depend on the social environment, especially their partner’s levels of attractiveness. Women with more attractive partners had higher motivations for dieting while women with less attractive partners had lower motivations. Women with less attractive partners, however, were happier since their husbands seemed to compensate through kindness, housework and sexual favors, according to the New York Post.
The study was conducted among 223 newlywed American couples who assessed their motivations for dieting and then photographed to be objectively rated on their bodies’ attractiveness. According to the researchers, the partners’ attractiveness directly influenced only the women’s behaviors.
Tania Reynolds, a student at FSU researching the study, said that in order to create a better relationship with these results, it is important to focus “on the ways they are a good romantic partner outside of attractiveness and emphasizing those strengths: ‘I really value you because you’re a kind, smart and supportive partner.’”
Here’s Where The Most Sexually Satisfied Couples In America Live | 09.21.17
There’s something about Kentucky. In a survey conducted by Lovely, a sex toy and app for couples, people across the country were asked about their sexual satisfaction, and it turns out that on average, America scores 70 points out of 100. It passes, but it’s no high grade. Kentucky, however, did earn top scores with 90 points out of 100.
Participants included 432 couples, including 12 gay couples, to find out each state’s favorable sexual position and sexual satisfaction. The most popular sexual position is missionary, with ten states picking it as their top favorite. Other details found in the survey included that most Americans have sex on a Sunday and the average encounter lasts twelve minutes.
Another correlation found in the survey is that most couples who had the shortest sexual encounter had some of the highest rates of sexual satisfaction. It should be noted that the CEO of Lovely, Jakub Konik, the company that conducted this survey also used the company’s app and toy for analysis.
Survey Says, App Users Aren’t Looking For “Friends With Benefits” | 09.19.17
There are different kinds of romantic connections and interests that are layered and go on at once. Whether it’s casually hooking up or finding a romantic partner, it’s all a risk to be taken that may or may not ultimately lead to a broken heart. At the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, a new study showed that the “friends with benefits” kind of relationship is not the most sought after connection after all.
It found that 34 percent of Americans use dating apps to look for love, and out of those, just 9 percent use the apps to seek out casual sex without the romance factor. Then there are the 18 percent that looked to the app for long-term relationships, while coincidentally the same amount of people were looking for a short-term. Those short-term relationships were defined as casually dating but not willing to go for the long haul.
Eleven percent were looking for a one night stand, and 12 percent just wanted to sext or chat casually. Amanda Gesselman, the researcher of the study, says, “Friends with benefits usually comes from being friends first, so you might have an attraction to someone that you are friends with first or that is in your friends circle, and then it becomes sexual after some event or talking about it. But I think that people are less likely to consider that with someone that they don’t already know or that there’s no prior familiarity with.”
The study was thorough in its results, which found what men and women look for in mostly heterosexual relationships found on dating apps. More men relied on technology for sex education more than women did, 4 percent to 1 percent, respectively. There is still a lot to be learned from the collected data, but turns out, people are still pretty reliant on technology for seeking out connections either way.
New Yorkers Are Most Likely To Have A Side Piece | 09.13.17
Some good and bad news for our New York City readers. Time Out’s annual City Index came out and New York City ranked fourth on the “most fun cities,” with Chicago taking first. This may or may not have a correlation with the statistic that New Yorkers are the residents most likely to have a side piece.
The one ranking that New Yorkers came out on top was with the percentage of those surveyed who thought it was okay to date multiple people at once. The survey showed that 33% said it was okay to have a side piece while in a relationship.
One of the major factors that made up the City Index rankings was the dating scene. The somber statistics for New Yorkers are as follows: 4% believe that it’s easy to find love in New York and 3% found the dating scene to be just fine.
This same City Index survey even included the likelihood of New Yorkers to call in after a night out, which again, could be correlated to their likelihood to having a side piece. More than any other American city, New York scored highest to not show for work after drinking the night before. If it wasn’t known before, it’s safe to say to beware of New Yorkers.
Virtual Reality Dates Are Now A Thing | 08.31.17
If the idea of going on a blind date in a public area such as a coffee shop or cafe is repulsive, it is now completely possible to go on a date in space. First, you’re going to have to acquire some virtual reality goggles and then find someone else who is willing to do the same. Dating in a virtual reality space is now a thing, and Conde Nast Entertainment has decided to film the entire experiment.
The web series, Virtually Dating, launched on Facebook Watch last Wednesday, where people are set up on blind dates and dressed in straps and buckles and goggles to go through the “simulation.” The two strangers were scanned and made into “Sims”-like avatars where they would interact with each other in the virtual space. It started just like any other dating show with the two introducing themselves to us and what they look for in a partner.
The show takes “modern dating” on a virtual level as the two only interact through the simulated reality and never see each other physically or touch each other the entire time. They were then asked at the end of the “date” if they would like to see each other again. In the first episode, the couple John and Shelby, decide to go on a second date. It seems like virtual chemistry is not at all lost.
Not only can dating take place in any location that the operating system is capable of simulating, but the people don’t even have to be in the space as humans. They can turn into dragons, donkeys, or other animate objects. This is just the beginning of a whole new set of problems and ways to be dumped, not just in actual reality.
The Truth About Butterflies In Your Stomach | 08.29.17
It’s the kind of feeling we’ve been conditioned to feel when we’re falling in love. When the butterflies appear in your stomach, there’s no denying that we’ve caught feelings. While we may think that that funny feeling in the pit of our stomach is a sign of romance, it’s really our body’s biological way of saying, “Run!”
The kind of response that our bodies give us when encountering an unusual situation (for example, seeing a crush) is really just the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Our instincts fall into place and it is our bodies that refer to the “fight or flight response.” As humans, it is our innate instinct to survive, and so the ANS activates when something anxiety-inducing occurs. One of the most anxious feelings come from seeing someone we may have caught feelings for.
You see that person across the room, and boom. Your adrenaline starts pumping and blood rushes towards your gut, which causes the sensation of “butterflies” in your stomach. It’s really just your body telling us to run for your life. Jean Fitzpatrick, LP, tells Refinery29 that the trigger to those feelings is different for every person. “You really need to take it in context,” she says. “Sometimes the person we choose [as a partner] is someone who zeros in on traits that we need to work on,” Fitzpatrick says. “So you may be recognizing that negative trait in another person, which is what’s causing that anxiety.”
For some, the feelings of anxiety may be caused from seeing a person they are scared to talk to. Then there are others, as Fitzpatrick mentions, where those butterflies only happen because seeing that person can cause stress. Either way, those butterflies may have been a good thing once, but like always, our bodies just want the best for us.
She Was Ghosted By Him, Then She Became His Boss | 08.24.17
Imagine being with a guy for three years, living with him for two of them, then leaving for a family trip only to come back to an empty home and the realization that you’ve just been ghosted. Now, this same guy has landed himself into an unfortunate situation, but without the shame of the Internet to drag him for looking for advice. Turns out, the woman in this story is his new boss.
Ever so often, social media can dig up a fun story that will hit us pretty hard in a good way and inevitably go viral. One advice column on “Ask a Manager” caught the eyes of the Internet when a man sought advice for how to proceed as his ex-girlfriend that he ghosted is going to be his new boss.
According to his question, the relationship wasn’t working out as they both had different expectations from this relationship. He wrote, “Over the Christmas break, while she was visiting her family, I simply moved out and left the country. I took advantage of the fact that I accepted a job in another country and did not tell her about it. I simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama.” In an attempt to avoid said drama, he just walked into some more.
The story got even better when he revealed his true dilemma: when the new boss at his job had a familiar description to his ex-girlfriend, and of course, it was. He wrote, “I have no idea what to do and how to deal with this mess.” Meanwhile, the rest of the Internet found a glimmer of joy in his irresponsibility. Obviously, he shouldn’t have ghosted her in the first place. Yet, this may just be the best revenge a woman can ask for.
A High Credit Score Is Now The Sexiest Trait | 08.22.17
Last week, we covered how couples are staying in relationships in order to keep a stable financial life. This week, we’ve got more news on the relationship between your finances and ability to keep a partner. Turns out, in a new study, a high credit score is now one of the most appealing traits on dating sites.
Two years ago, one study showed that people with higher credit scores were more likely to pursue a romantic relationship within the next year. This new study conducted by Discover Financial Services and Match Media Group, revealed that “financial responsibility” became the supreme quality that 69 percent of people were looking for in a partner. This quality surpassed even sense of humor (67%), attractiveness (51%), ambition (50%), courage (42%) and modesty (49%).
Apparently, the ability to take responsibility of your funds is now the hottest trait in a partner, beating “being cute” by 18 percent. No more pictures of looking hot in a nice ride or posing at the gym could beat the look of a high credit score. Helen Fisher of the Kinsey Institute said, “You’re not only managing your money, you’re managing your family, your friends. You’re kind of a managing person. It says a lot more about you than a fancy car.”
When looking online for a potential long-term relationship, this kind of responsible financial responsibility is telling for how the relationship will look. Both partners are able to be financially independent, giving them the freedom to maintain and nurture the relationship without worrying about finances, so they say. One paper conducted by the Federal Reserve even suggested that dating someone with a similar credit score will increase odds of that relationship succeeding. Of course, money isn’t the only thing, and many times, could be a source of a relationship strain. Still, numbers don’t lie. People are finding that 801 score pretty sexy.
Supportive Partners Lead To Pursuing Challenging Opportunities | 08.17.17
Research often presents us with the negativity that comes with our social interactions, or lack thereof, and how it is linked to choices we make. One study at Carnegie Mellon University chose to counter that argument and focus on the positive aspects in the relationship between our social lives and decision making. The research found that having supportive partners ultimately leads to taking more challenging risks and growing from those experiences.
Having a partner in life affects the decisions we make, especially when those decisions affect both partners’ lives. Brooke Feeney, who led the study, said, “We found support for the idea that the choices people make at these specific decision points—such as pursuing a work opportunity or seeking out new friends—matter a lot for their long-term well-being.”
The study consisted of 163 couples who were asked to sit together in a lab and asked if they would rather complete a simple puzzle or compete for a prize by giving a speech. The couples were recorded debating the decision of what they will choose. Those with supportive spouses were more likely to choose to compete for a prize while those with more doubtful partners would stick with the puzzle.
As for what this means in the long term, those partners who gave the speech came back and reflected on their overall well-being as part of the study. Those couples who did give the speech were reported to have more experience in personal growth and happiness, which the leaders of the study have linked to the support from their partners. Feeney continues, “Significant others can help you thrive through embracing life opportunities. Or they can hinder your ability to thrive by making it less likely that you’ll pursue opportunities for growth.”
Couples Stay In Unhappy Relationships To Afford Buying A House | 08.15.17
Owning a home is a rite of passage that we’re often raised thinking is the standard of being an adult. Previous generations have talked us into believing how easy it was to get married, buy a house and have kids. As times change and society and culture make it harder for us to reach those “standards,” a report shows that it is costing us our happiness. New research shows that people are deciding to stay in unhappy relationships in order to afford buying a house.
It’s growing increasingly impossible for today’s 20-somethings to even think about buying a house in the near future as rent prices have been growing as well. L&C Mortgages reported that one in 10 people would stay in their relationships if it meant that they would be able to buy a house. Splitting the cost of mortgage has always been a cheaper option, which would be easier if the two people are a couple. Within this survey, results showed that 44 percent of couples stuck around for a year longer with their partner if it had not been for the idea of buying a house together was an option.
There are 40 percent in the survey who are currently in relationships because of this option. These figures are expected to rise by 7 percent in the next five years. Our wellbeing and happiness, however, has been taking a large toll. Not everyone wants to stay in those relationships but most feel that they have to in order to live financially comfortable.
Rising house prices and the ability to afford them has been a disproportionate trend as of late that is not likely to change anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean that our emotional wellbeing has to take the plunge. These minimal options we’re often faced with are now affecting dating and relationships. In the long run, it’s our own mental health that should be a priority before the consideration of home sweet home.
Research Confirms That Tinder Is Lowering People’s Self-Esteem | 08.10.17
While that feeling of seeing empty messages and no matches on Tinder today may seem unique and we’re the only person who has that problem, new research shows that we’re not alone. Now we got the confirmation that swiping Tinder all day may not be as healthy as we want it to be.
The new study found that people who use Tinder are more likely to develop body dissatisfaction and low levels of self-esteem than those who don’t use it. Researchers found that a large factor in getting matches on Tinder is how people look, which may lead to people thinking that is the main reason they are or aren’t getting any matches. This kind of assumption-based thinking seems to take a toll on people’s self-esteem.
Jessica Strubel is the lead researcher of the project at the University of Rhode Island and studies the relationship between low self-esteem and body image in relation to Tinder. Strubel has previously released a study revealing that men who used Tinder had self-esteem issues more than those who didn’t use the app.
This new study collected information from college-age users consisting of 700 females and 150 males, and the results confirmed that study that Strubel released previously. Seventeen percent of those surveyed used Tinder and they were the ones more likely to compare themselves to others based on images and feel negatively towards themselves.
Strubel notes that the results do not mean that people should stop using Tinder, as it is part of the new dating culture we all live in. She says, “But we can’t deny what the science says: There are some psychological ramifications to this.” It is important to remember that photos are just photos and that no apps should be a form of seeking self-validation. We’ll just have to keep swiping then.
Tinder Reimbursed A Woman’s Flight Because Of Her Date | 08.08.17
The sorrows and sadness that may come with the tribulations of online dating may convince us to completely abandon the Tinder scene. There may just be one exception, though, as one woman just got reimbursed by the dating app for missing her flight so that she could spend an extra night with a Tinder date in Rome.
When travelling in foreign countries, it may difficult to meet people let alone to “date” someone, but it worked for Erin Kim, who wrote about her experiences doing just that with the help of Tinder. In her Medium blog post, she thanked the dating app by documenting the dates she went on while travelling across Europe. “Thank you for being there when I travel, and allowing me to meaningfully connect to cities through its romantic individuals,” she wrote.
She included one story about choosing to skip her flight to instead stay and enjoy another romantic night with a Tinder date in Rome. Missing her flight ended up costing Kim $400, but luckily a month after she wrote the story, Tinder read all about it. The dating app wrote up a response to the story which offered to reimburse her for the missed flight. According to Kim’s Twitter account, she took the payment.
There are some good things to come from nonstop swiping on Tinder.
Married People Are Just As Unhealthy As Singles | 08.01.17
Just when we thought that health was another good reason to abandon the single life, new research proposes that that may not be true. It was often suggested that married people have healthier lives than those living without a partner. The Social Science Quarterly released a study this month showing that the health gap is coming to a close.
In the study, marriages were compared for people born between 1955 and 1984, and found that their health deteriorated over time. The sociology researcher at Ohio State University, Dmitry Tumin, found that health benefits were only likely to be seen if the partnership lasted more than 10 years. He also stated that any kind of benefits to this effect were seen in women in the younger generation.
The single people in the younger age group who participated in the study didn’t have much of a health difference than those in their age group who were married. Like most things connected with “modern dating,” it has to do with the generational perceptions and cultural influence of the meaning of marriage and being single. There just isn’t as much of a stigma to being single as there was in previous years in addition to people getting married later in life.
Tumin tells Refinery29 that the research “may reflect demographic and cultural trends that have undermined the protective effects of marriage.” While people are less likely to get married sooner and rely on a marriage for social or economic benefits, they are spending less money on their own. Tumin even suggests that marriage may be a source of conflict for today’s generation as work-family conflict has risen in the past decade.
Any health benefits that may correlate with marriage may be marred by the socioeconomic status of the people who choose to get married. Marriage is on the decline for people of a lower socioeconomic status, while those who do get married are affluent and may already be healthier regardless of relationship status.
There is no longer any justifiable reason to believe that being single is a life of doom. Research proves it once again.
The Real Reason 20-Somethings Are More Likely To Cheat | 07.28.17
If you think that by the time you’ve reached your twenties, people in relationships will more likely be faithful and responsible, this new research may be a wake-up call. Turns out, there’s a scientific reason as to why 20-somethings are more likely to cheat more than any other age group. A study published this week from the Journal of Sex Research reported that millennials are cheating as a side effect of growing up and discovering their needs.
At the University of Tennessee, a study of 104 people—the average age being 22 and mostly heterosexual—found that 76 percent of the group had cheated on their partners. The people in the survey who were unfaithful claimed that they did so because of a lack of intimacy in the relationship. One participant, a 24-year-old man, claimed that he had been “neglected emotionally” and that the woman he was cheating with would “always make herself available.”
Researchers wanted to dig deep into the lives of 20-somethings mainly because this stage of life is about experimentation and discovery. There is a need to be independent as an adult and simultaneously interdependent in a relationship that there may be an inclination to cheat as a way to meet those “developmental needs.”
Intimacy is often a need that is discovered and dependent on in this early adult stage of life. The research points out that a lack of this intimacy would lead young people to look for it elsewhere. While most of the respondents cited unmet needs as a reason for cheating, 40 percent of the respondents had other reasons, including being under the influence of alcohol, attraction to someone else, and the excitement that comes with infidelity.
One 23-year-old woman said, “The comfort and consistency of a regular boyfriend was not for me. It was more exciting to be intimate with someone in that moment overseas.” So why not just tell their partner instead of going behind their back? The researchers focused mainly on the reasons for cheating as a result of development and age. While one of the conductors of the research claimed that cheating at this age is completely normal, it should be noted that breaking up is as well. It would be more advisable to do just that.
More People Over 65 Are Getting Divorced & Finding Love…Again | 07.25.17
Marriage is not just an increasingly unappealing concept for millennials anymore. Divorces and second marriages have been on the rise for people over age 65 during the past couple of years. While research has showed us that the idea of marriage is on the decline for 20-somethings, the new culture has been applied not just to the younger generation, but also the old.
In the UK, the Office for National Statistics gathered new data that people over age 65 are getting more divorces and/or marrying. This can be attributed to longer life expectancies and the concept of monogamy becoming less long-term in culture.
It has been known that while marriage is on the decline, older people are now less reliant on marriage than ever before. Divorce rates for couples over the age of 65 are on the rise by 46 percent in the last decade. This also goes in accordance with marriages for those over age 65, even though most of these marriages are not their first. The strikingly larger increase for men over 65 marrying is also due to men’s inclination to marry much younger women.
With the research collected from UK, the overall divorce rate there has declined by 28 percent in the past decade among the entire population. The divorce rate for those over age 65, however, has stayed consistent, which is also attributed to a larger population of this generation. Men’s and women’s life expectancy rates have also improved by two years.
The culture heavily influenced by technology has not only been important for younger generations but including those over age 65. Between 2013 and 2015, the amount of people aged 55 to 64 who use online dating has doubled. Data collectors in the UK have speculated that it has become easier for older people to have access to dating. It’s no surprise that there has been an increase in the amount of dating sites dedicated to older people.
Most Couples Say “I Love You” After Three Months | 07.20.17
Three little words can make or break a relationship (saying them too quickly, too late or sometimes, not even at all. Most of the misery comes in the time before even saying the phrase and when. There are some who blurt it out and then there are those who feel it just when it’s “right.” One survey in the U.K. found that among 18-25 year olds, it took most of them three months to say “I love you” in a relationship.
This majority of 22 percent in the survey was among 3,947 people who were asked how long it took before they say those three words. Three months was the most common, with 14 percent for people who took six months to say it. Then there was the brave 13 percent of people who confess their love for their partner within the first month. In this same survey, 3 percent took more than a year and another 2 percent, more than two years.
Still, there is no “perfect” and average time for people to say “I love you,” thus putting pressure on partners to hurry up with those words. Milestones in relationships are crucial, but being compared to the average time could be a strain. Match conducted a survey in 2016 of these little milestones, like when couples go public on Facebook, which takes an average of five months.
Out of the 2,000 people in this survey, there were 31 percent who would kiss their partner right at the beginning, while 34 percent would wait about two weeks before holding hands. For sex, 27 percent waited a week or two, while 23 percent waited a month. Judging by these surveys, six months seems to be average time for couples to start hitting those milestones. No need to panic though. It’s all at your own pace.
Being In A Relationship Can Cause Sleeping Problems | 07.18.17
There are many ways to disturb a good night’s sleep, just as there are many ways to ruin a good relationship. Research shows that the two can be correlated since studies have revealed that sleep problems can eventually ruin a relationship. This can be applied the other way as well when sleeping next to a partner.
Everyone just wants to sleep, but ultimately, the problems usually arise when sharing a bed with someone else. A study from 2007 reported that almost half of participants have been woken up at some point by their partners in the middle of the night. This disturbance of our sleep is something that most people choose to deal with instead of the alternative of not having their partner in bed.
The method of keeping with a restless sleeping partner in bed can eventually cause relationship problems due to a lack of sleep on the other partner’s part. While people may have good intentions to allow the other person to sleep, they may be depriving themselves of a healthy rest. Sleep deprivation has been proven to make people less empathetic to their partners, affect their sense of humor, and have unclear decision-making skills.
Wendy Troxel, a clinical psychologist, told Science of Us, “It’s definitely true that sleep problems can cause relationship distress,” but also “more maritally satisfied couples were more likely to be in sync at night.” When a couple is more compatible with a steady relationship, there will less likely be problems caused by sleep deprivation.
The article also states, “Still, even for more run-of-the-mill sleep-related problems, it can be helpful to treat them as a proxy for relationship troubles.” While there may be problems that arise within the relationship, a good night’s rest is still important.
First Impressions Are Basically Inaccurate | 07.13.17
The first few seconds of meeting someone really makes or break a person’s impression. At least, that’s what we assume. First impressions, as we are told, are everything, but once again, we’ve got research debunking that entire myth. While looking a certain way or sharing the best photos of ourselves online may be a crucial factor in our social lives, those first few seconds of introduction really change people’s perceptions of ourselves.
Alex Todorov, a psychology professor at Princeton, conducted research as to why more often than not, first impressions are entirely wrong. As someone who studies human interaction, he recently published his first book, Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions, which uncovers how we tend to prejudge people in the first few seconds we meet them. He spoke with Vice to further explain how we can be wrong about someone just by looking at their face. “It’s obviously a complex story,” he explained, “but the reason we trust first impressions automatically is that they feel right. The reason we’re often wrong is that these impressions are not accurate as inferences of character.”
Todorov explained that humans tend to assume that a happy looking face deems that person trustworthy while a gloomy face means an untrustworthy. A person’s facial expression is often not the most accurate indicator of someone’s intelligence or trustworthiness. When it comes to dating sites and posting photos, Todorov said we are often too quick to judge someone based on whatever feeling the person is trying to project. We may never end up chatting or talking to someone if we never initiated a conversation simply based on a snap judgement.
How we can prejudge someone is often more telling of our own faults and biases rather than those of the other person. Todorov said, “There’s evidence that we tend to like faces that are typical to us. But typical depends on where you’re from. Masculinity and femininity also affect first impressions, so you have to be aware of gender stereotypes.” He ends by saying that obviously if there are creepy and uncomfortable vibes, it’s still important to trust our instincts. Still, potential and talent may mostly be undervalued if judgement is based solely on one first impression.
Women Are Freezing Their Eggs Due To Lack Of “Educated Men” | 07.11.17
Egg-freezing isn’t happening just because women are putting their careers first. A new study claimed that more women are freezing their eggs because of a lack of available “educated men.” The researcher who conducted this study, which has yet to be released, rebuked the claim women are doing so because they are putting themselves first.
Apparently, it’s because there just aren’t enough educated men out there. Marcia Inhorn, a professor at Yale University, presented her research in Switzerland as to why “successful women” are opting to freeze their eggs. The anthropologists who conducted the study interviewed 150 women from eight IVF clinics in the U.S. and Israel.
Inhorn spoke with Broadly about the research saying, “It was clear early on but confirmed by the end of this study that the main reason this group of highly educated women were freezing their eggs, usually in their late 30s and early 40s, is that they had been unable to find a partner committed to, basically, marriage and family building with them.” This deficit in “uneducated men” is also attributed to the increasing gap between educated women and men.
There is a growing trend in more women getting higher education than men, another study claims. One example seen in the U.S. Census data found that in Washington, D.C. and Miami, there were more female than male college graduates, 86 to 49 percent respectively between the genders.
The authors of the IVF study also noted that most of the women interviewed were heterosexual women with plans on becoming married mothers. Inhorn found that the demographic disparity between the genders made women choose to wait for a partner instead.
Couples Are Signing Relationship Contracts (And They Work) | 07.06.17
Relationships, whether they be steady or otherwise, often are created from a feeling. There is a spark of something, sometimes love, that can trigger two people to begin dating. What stirs the pot is how can we define that “something.” It’s often difficult to find a tangible reason and timetable of a relationship being created, but this is why couples are trying relationship contracts.
These are not really wedding vows, but rather a more concrete way of sitting down with a partner and having a “define the relationship” talk. Mandy Len Cantron, author of How to Fall in Love with Anyone, penned an op-ed in the New York Times about how she and her partner created a contract to set down on paper what their relationship is. Many other couples are catching on. It is a signed, four-page, single spaced document that underscores all the negotiations made in a relationship that normally don’t get considered until the moment arrives. For example, who pays the bill or how long house guests can stay.
Bat Sheva Marcus of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality recommended that a contract like this can work, especially when it comes to sex. In an article with Business Insider, she said, “Like anything nice in your life, if you want something nice to happen, you’ve got to schedule it.” People are scheduling sex without even knowing they are doing it. The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia even claimed that couples who talk through big life decisions together are often happier and more successful in their relationships.
There is, however, the threat a contract would have on a healthy relationship. A piece of paper cannot make two people stay in love, said psychology professor, John Gottman. Still, having a more concrete understanding of what the relationship is to both people is important, whether or not a dotted line is present.
Online Dating Makes People Look Less Attractive Offline | 07.04.17
The perils of online dating, as evidenced by all the studies that come out about dating apps, can be hard to navigate. Sometimes apps can be good for you, and other times, you meet someone you didn’t expect to meet. There’s always time to swipe again. In fact, one new study found that dating apps can make people looks less attractive in real life.
It all has to do with the upside and downside of dating apps; there are just a seemingly unlimited number of swipes and options. By swiping and mentally rating every person who comes across your screen before actually meeting them, they become less attractive when offline.
A researcher at the University of Kansas set up three groups of online daters consisting of 65 men and 65 women, who are all self-identified heterosexuals. The results showed that after meeting someone who was thought to be attractive in their profile, the study showed their rate went down due to the several options waiting on their apps. In economics, this phenomenon is called “general evaluability theory,” in which there are so many options to choose from (in this case they are dates) that people don’t take enough time to consider their options.
The information that is readily available, like a profile photo, will be what is judged by the person looking for a date. Rather than considering anything else and getting to know every person, like dating in real life the old fashioned way, people react quickly and therefore, often get let down when meeting for an actual date. The study also showed that for people who date offline, people gave a higher rating of their dates’ attractiveness once they got to know them.
Jeffrey Hall, who led the research team for this study, recommended that people use a dating app for limited amounts of time and not swipe hundreds of people at a time. By taking the time to evaluate each person, there is less of a chance to meet someone who is less attractive to you.
Turns Out That If You Met Online, You’ll Kiss More | 06.29.17
Mark your calendars with red lipstick (or whichever color your lips prefer) for National Kissing Day on July 6. If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you’ll already know that June is the peak month for finding a match online and there are a few days left. EHarmony conducted some research, and it turns out that those who met online kiss more often than those couple who met in real life.
One of the studies conducted by eHarmony found that 73.26% of couples who met online kiss more frequently than the 58.66 percent who met in real life and kiss frequently. Out of 4,809 couples, 374 met online with an average of 4.57 kisses per day while the 4,434 other couples kiss 6 percent less frequently. On average, men and women kiss about the same amount of times per day with about 60 percent of them who do.
The other study, distributed via email statement, researched just how soon couples have their first kiss when they start dating. Turns out, the older a partner is, the more likely they are to kiss the other person sooner. The results were correlated by age, noting that men kiss 0.83 months sooner for every year they get older with women following with 0.79 months sooner. The couples in this study reported that if they met through the interwebs, they were more likely to kiss the other person sooner as well than if they had met offline.
First kisses are important in getting to feel chemistry. Meeting first online, a method where attraction first depends on looks, there is already an establishment of a physical attraction to each other. In traditional dating methods of meeting offline, as research shows, it may take longer for that first kiss to happen.
The First To Lash Out Has No Hope In The Relationship | 06.27.17
It’s a little more than fear that triggers the end of a relationship. At times when a breakup may seem like a way to deflect the pain of being broken up with, researchers have found that it is actually because a partner is losing hope. The need to protect our feelings and avoid that pain is a result of hopelessness in the relationship, even when it ends up hurting ourselves in the end.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business conducted a study on preemptive strikes based on fear was conducted. The professor leading the study, Nir Halevy, said, “Preemptive strikes often occur in situations in which both parties would rather not pull the trigger.” He found that there is more to these ends of relationships than just fear. There is a mixture of positive and negative feelings when it comes to being defensive, including anger, disgust, happiness and hope.
In his study about the triggers of breakups, he found that hopelessness was often the main feeling when it came to which person would initiate the breakup. The experiment he conducted is similar to a game of draw, where two players had 60 minutes to press a red “attack” button or choose not to. Of those who did press “attack,” 31% of the time people were feeling hopeful compared to 50% in the control group, 51% experienced happiness, and 49% experienced fear.
It’s all about looking to the future, just like in any situation when you’re analyzing a relationship. People either do or don’t feel hopeful or positive about where the relationship will be in the future. If there’s none, then a partner is more likely to lash out first. Halevy notes that philosopher Baruch Spinoza said hope and fear are codependent. If there’s nothing to fear, then there is no need for hope in the first place. The key is to still keep finding that hope, the one thing that leads to preemptive strikes.
Research Shows Open Relationships Aren’t That Satisfying | 06.22.17
Compatibility in relationships is important, and with that comes the question of whether or not you and a partner are sexually in-tune. As people have come to accept the option of open relationships, research from Europe shows that those who are in these open relationships are not as sexually satisfied. In March 2017, a survey taken among various European countries found that monogamous couples were more satisfied.
A Berlin-based research company, Dalia, questioned 1,885 people in monogamous relationships and found 82 percent sexually satisfied with their relationships. For married couples and those in legal partnerships, 80 percent were satisfied, whereas it was 71 percent for those in open relationships. The chart showed an increase in sexual dissatisfaction for those who are single and looking for a partner, with only 40 percent of them sexually fulfilled.
Overall, the survey comprised of 11,000 people and 28 countries in Europe, a continent with seemingly more liberal views on relationships. Only 2.5 percent of those surveyed were in open relationships. It turned out monogamous couples were still sexually happy with their partners. It found that, just like in the U.S., young people have more sex as well as couples who live together.
Other results from the survey included how men have an increase in sexual satisfaction as they get older while women remain stable. The highest peak in sexual satisfaction for both genders are reportedly from the ages 25 through 30. Spain proved to the most satisfied country with 40 percent approval, while Germany scored 38 percent and the U.K. and France hit a low of 29 percent approval. According to the results, it is a great time to be 27, living in Spain, and in a monogamous relationship. For the rest of us, we’ll keep looking.
Snapchat Group Finds Out They’re Dating The Same Guy | 06.20.17
Just a week ago, a group of seven women were unknowingly dating the same guy. Thanks to a Snapchat group that the guy accidentally created, they all got to know each other pretty well. On Friday, they all received a Snapchat text saying “Hey beautiful” and realized they were not the only woman dating this so-called “Nathan.”
Jesse, Justine and Charissa were three of the women in the Snapchat group and told BuzzFeed all about the story of how they got to know the guy and eventually each other. Charissa told BuzzFeed, “I figured he was an idiot and tried to message all of the girls and then accidentally sent it to everyone at the same time.”
Jesse met “Nathan” in grade school while Charissa and other women met him online through Tinder. True to form, “Nathan” eventually left the Snapchat group once he found out about the grave mistake he committed. The women then compared notes with each other and realized that they were all at some point sent the same dick pics.
They told BuzzFeed that “Nathan” made them believe they were in an exclusive relationship despite some of them not meeting him in real life. He even went as far as wanting to commit himself to each of them by meeting him in New York, and through the group chat, all the women found out about this empty promise as well. He would consistently disappear from their lives and come back in his typical “Hey beautiful” fashion.
While the groupchat turned out to be a foil to Nathan’s bad plan, all the women took joy in sending each other memes about their relationships. “At least you know he has great taste in girls!” Charissa said.
Introducing A New Dating App Without The Chatting | 06.15.17
No one likes to overthink an opening line, especially when it comes to dating. It’s summer. There’s no more patience for going in conversational loops just to get where you both want to go: a first date. A new dating app called First wants to do just that.
One of the main goals of the app is to eliminate those awkward beginnings of conversations just to find out that you’re both not interested in similar things. To skip that, the app goes straight into finding out what people’s interests and favorite activities are for first dates. There is the standard setup of choices for dates to choose from: a meal, museums, shows and others. From there, you can match with someone who’d like to do the same thing and schedule the date.
Since there is no space to converse on the app, First sets up guidelines on how to proceed once you’ve found someone with whom you’d like to do your selected activity. They advise to meet “in a public, well-populated place that is familiar to you [and] never at your home or apartment” and to “inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you’re going.” That seems standard.
There are still some road bumps to be found no matter how much you may hate chatting through an app. First deals with some of them, but not all. They’re able to kick out users who stand up their dates. There is also a feature to show you’d like to pay for the date, in order to avoid any confusion once the bill arrives and also avoid people who’d just like to go on dates for free food. While the app tries to deal with avoiding scammers on the app, some scammers are still notoriously persistent. At least getting to text at least once can fix that.
June Is Peak Casual Sex Season | 06.13.17
Welcome to peak casual sex season, the season of long, hot days marked perfectly with the comedown of colorful sunsets and cool nights. Any excuse to stay out a little longer. There’s something about this atmosphere makes everyone just as fickle as the weather. A report shows that this time of year marks the highest demand for one night stands.
Dating site, OkCupid, surveyed its 18 million users from 2013 to 2016 and found that there is a 17% increase in people looking for casual relationships from April to June. People tend to really get started on their summer flings in June with a striking 33 percent increase of people swiping right compared to other months. So you’re more likely to find someone looking for casual sex right now than any other time of year.
OkCupid data scientist Dale Markowitz suggests there are other reasons besides the heat that get people longing for summer flings. “More students, vacationers, interns and other travelers join OkCupid during this time,” he said. This causes an influx of people looking for relationships that will only last while they’re in their temporary location. Other factors could be more time spent outdoors and wearing less clothing and inhibitions.
Compare this to the winter months, AKA cuffing season. You’re a little more likely to find someone interested in a more long term relationship during winter. Data shows a 2 percent increase in people looking for a “long(ish) relationship” in cold months, January to March.
This doesn’t bode well for anyone actually looking for relationships right now. Be sure to steer clear of anyone simply looking for a hookup online, if you’re not into that. Summer flings could be fun. Make sure the other person knows that, too. Godspeed on your summer flings, my friends!
Bumble Opens Up A Physical Space To Meet Pp | 06.08.17
The whole point of going on a dating app is to eventually move on from texting to talking in real life. Bumble, the dating app in which women make the first move, is looking to accelerate that process by opening their first physical space in New York. The Hive, as it is called, is now the answer to people who complain that dating apps are superficial and only live online.
The first brick and mortar storefront for a dating app will be a month-long installation throughout June in New York City at 158 Mercer St., opened on Thursdays through Sundays at various times. The space is an effort by the female-led team of Bumble to further expand its business in getting people not just to date or hook-up, but to actually meet and network. It also seems to be another option for people to meet if the bar or club is just not their scene.
The lounge area, decked out in beehive themed decor, features a liquor bar and coffee shop for drinks to purchase. While the main purpose of Bumble is to get people to date, the Hive is prime for networking or just chilling out on the Bumble branded couches. Events related to dating, relationships, and female entrepreneurship will be hosted there throughout the month.
Whitney Wolfe, Bumble’s CEO, said that she hopes to extend Bumble beyond dating. This new physical space could just be another place to meet new people or otherwise get new followers if the whole dating thing doesn’t work out. As big as the city is, it’s just another sign that it’s still not easy meeting new people in real life.
The Perfect Time To Double Text | 06.06.17
At some point in the beginning of dating apps, double texting was sort of a taboo. In the vortex of cyber communication, we’re left to wonder why someone won’t reply to the first message we’ve sent. Maybe they missed the notification. Maybe they have no service. Maybe they’re not interested? Research has now calculated the most effective double text—which is after four hours.
Hinge, the dating app, has surveyed and researched its users and database to find out the sweet spot when it comes to sending that second text. While we may think we will come off as needy, double texts will actually improve the chances of the other person responding. Results show that we just have to be patient.
For the research project, Hinge defined double texting as sending a second message more than five minutes after the first message. It surveyed 300,000 of its users accounting for an equal number of men and women. Results showed that anyone who texted after more than four hours, they were more likely to get a response.
Even if you send a double text a week after the original message, you are still more likely to get an answer compared to if you left the conversation after the first message. Molly Fedick, editor-in-chief of the blog run by Hinge, pointed out that four hours is the perfect time because it gives the other person enough time to finish whatever they’re doing before thinking of a response.
When it comes to what kind of double text you’ll send, make sure to stay away from passive aggressive comments. Alluding to the other person not answering your text may lead you to get blocked or not get any response at all. That’s when you’ll come off as needy. Fedick also points out that rather than continuously waiting for an answer, it’s always best to suggest to meet face-to-face in the first place.
Why We Want Them Back When It’s Over | 06.01.17
Late night pondering and attachment to a person who has already left us isn’t unusual. It’s the hormones. A new study shows exactly why we feel closer to a partner when they already have one foot out of the relationship. Oxytocin is the hormone that makes all of us feel love and butterflies inside, but it can also be released in other situations.
Oxytocin will be released when there are perceived threats to a relationship, leading one person to feel more attached to the one who is leaving. While the hormone is most commonly known to be released in intimate situations, it is mostly related to the first stages of a relationship. The journal, Hormones and Behavior, shows research that it can also reappear at the end of a relationship.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of New Mexico published research that calls oxytocin the “crisis hormone.” It will occur when “cues of relationship vulnerability combine with emotional engagement in the relationship,” according to the study.
In the first study, 75 couples provided samples of their saliva before and after taking an open-ended questionnaire that measured how invested they were in their relationships. The second study featuring 148 people questioned how much they thought their partners were invested in their relationships. The results were both similar. The amount of oxytocin released were all dependent on each person’s investment in their partner.
The co-author of the study, Andreas Aarseth Kristoffersen, stated, “When people notice that their partner is showing less interest in their relationship than they are, the level of this relationship-building hormone increases.” Any oxytocin released in a relationship signifies some sort of bond that occurred, whether or not the relationship is over. The researchers argued that despite its presence in a relationship, the hormone doesn’t always mean that the relationship is going well.
Here’s How To Score A Second Date | 05.25.17
Sometimes things just don’t go right the first time, and that’s okay. That’s what the second date is for, if you’re so lucky. Hinge just conducted some research among its users in some of America’s most populous cities. Turns out, there are trends in what kinds of dates and specifically where they take place that will lead to you scoring a second date.
The report surveyed 8,000 members of the app in five cities as to what led to a successful date. In New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the best first date spot is going to the movies or seeing a show. The second most popular for each city was going to the park or bar, all leading to a second date.
If you need suggestions that are likely to lead you to a first date, going for drinks or coffee took first and second place, while sit-down meals that require planning, like a lunch or dinner, were not as successful. Now while you’re at drinks, which 37 percent of people thought was effective, Hinge also asked users what kind of drink or food would lead to another date. Bloody Marys and fried chicken both took first place in the drinks and food survey. Somehow, being vegan was also effective with 23 percent agreeing.
For those of you in NYC, Hinge even collected the spots that did and didn’t lead to any second dates. A date in Central Park, The Penrose, and Goodnight Sonny were rated most likely, while dates in The Belfry, Soho House and Pod 39 were rated otherwise. In LA, Sugarfish, Public School and Bandera were most likely, while Bodega, The Misfit and The Wellesbourne were not.
So now you know. Casual dates that don’t require that much of an effort or dress code, like going for drinks or a movie, tended to be rated high for users. Wine and tequila were also rated with pretty low chances for a second date, coming in at 23 and 20 percent, respectively. These are just users on Hinge, though, so these are just suggestions. Go for the tequila if you must.
Don’t Worry, Google Will Manage Your Relationships For You | 05.23.17
Send a birthday text. Reply to his email. Post a photo of a fun weekend spent together. All of this has to happen before getting actual work done. Google, of course, has come to realize just how emotionally and physically taxing it is to keep our social and romantic lives afloat. The solution, much like for many other things, is to let the robots handle it.
At this year’s I/O keynote, Google announced that it would like to develop artificial intelligence that will automatically share photos of you and your friends so that you don’t have to, because not posting them would make you “kind of a terrible person,” they said. With the new Google Photos, it can do just that. If you’d rather not think about replying to an email, then Google will do it for you. Google Inbox has already started rolling out its new program of automated suggested responses in Gmail.
Artificial intelligence meant to keep our social lives afloat isn’t exactly new. Facebook reminds us when our friends’ birthdays or major events are and if you’d like to upload any photos. That intelligence, though, is advancing. Google will make sure that my friends know that I’m still friends with them. I’m not mad at it. Then again, what if my friends are doing the same thing to me, sending automated Google responses to my heartfelt texts?
Photos and text replies and birthday wishes have become the new value in relationships that it was easy enough for Google to take advantage. There’s no changing what we value now, and if a computer will remind me to post a photo, I’m okay with it. Because if I consider the alternative, I’ll just be some social recluse who will be alone forever, which, to be honest, is something I can get used to.
Man Sues Woman For Bad First Date | 05.18.17
For some people, first dates are the worst. It is a stealthy process having to stay attentive to the person we’re with but also updating and texting our friends to let them know how it’s going. Next thing you know, you’re being sued. This happened to one woman in Texas after one bizarre first date aftermath.
The man she was with, Brandon Vezmar, 37, is suing her for texting on their first date during a showing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in 3D. He claimed that she was texting the whole time, and then left 15 minutes into the movie, leaving her date stranded at the movie theater. According to the American-Statesman, the woman is now being sued for $17.31, the exact price of the movie ticket.
When the Statesman reached out to the woman, she had no idea about this claim, calling it crazy. The man, on the other hand, called it a date from hell and that texting is “like one of my biggest pet peeves.” His petition to small claims court calls the woman’s behavior “a threat to civilized society.”
The woman responded, “I’m not a bad woman. I just went out on a date.” Just another glimpse into the life of modern dating.
These Are The Least & Most Expensive Cities To Look For Love | 05.16.17
It’s pretty much universally acknowledged that dating is no easy feat. Any single person’s bank statement would reflect that, too. Depending on how much you spend when it comes to going on dates, you definitely won’t have it as hard as the Swiss. Deutsche Bank recently calculated the cost of dating in cities around the world.
The calculation of a date consisted of cab rides, meals for two, drinks and movie tickets. The cost of a night out in Zurich came out on top with $195.90 for a date. Oslo and Tokyo came in second and third, respectively, with just over $160. The first American city to make the list is New York, which comes as no surprise. An average date night in New York comes at around $130.00. Some of the cheapest metropolitan cities on the list included Manila, Istanbul and Johannesburg.
To the bankers over at Deutsche Bank, the results of the research reflect each country’s currency strength, which is not only a signal to bankers but also to potential romancers. They also calculated the average cost of a night of “sin” relative to NYC, where it costs $63.10. That date would consist of five beers and two packs of cigarettes. Australian cities Melbourne and Sydney were pricier, while in the U.K., London and Dublin were relatively cheaper.
The city with a reasonably priced cost of dating ended up being Paris, one of the most romantic cities, which is good news. Need suggestions on how to keep costs low for dating? Marry young or right away and choose your dates carefully. Of course, all these calculations and suggestions were done by bankers at Deutsche Bank, so dater discretion is advised.
The Best Cities In America For Dating | 05.11.17
If you’re single and looking to pack your bags and leave the city, then it would be beneficial to keep in mind your dating prospects and ability to meet new people. In a survey conducted by Apartment List, people were asked, “How would you rate your current city or neighborhood for opportunities to date and make new friends?” Participants were made up mostly of people under 35 years old, with 24 percent men and 76 percent women.
The cities that came in the top 10 may be a surprise with how less metropolitan and large in population they may seem. Raleigh, N.C. came in first and San Antonio, Texas in second for cities with residents satisfied with the dating scene. Two-thirds of Raleigh’s residents had a positive outlook on their city. Other cities in Texas that made the top 10 were Austin and Houston. On the East Coast, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore also ranked.
Meanwhile, New York City came in last, but still in the top 10, despite its notoriety as a competitive dating scene with fast-paced living and smaller opportunities to foster relationships. The survey also noted that college cities tended to be ranked higher with more college-educated residents.
1. Raleigh, NC
2. San Antonio, TX
3. Boston, MA
4. Charlotte, NC
5. Washington, DC
6. Austin, TX
7. Baltimore, MD
8. Tampa, FL
9. Houston, TX
10. New York, NY
Overall, men tended to be more satisfied with dating opportunities than women, with 51 percent for men and 47% for women. Still, 22 percent of those surveyed had a negative outlook on the dating scene in their city. Cheers to those optimistic residents.
Having A Pet Makes You More Attractive | 05.09.17
For whatever reason, the ease of approaching a dog at the park rather than an attractive human being has been disproportionate for me. When I see two people interact because of their dogs sniffing each other, like a real life 101 Dalmatians situation, I’ll think logistically about how getting a dog would be more of an investment towards my nonexistent dating life. A new survey has even helped my cause, suggesting that people who have pets can make them seem more attractive.
A survey conducted by Petsies reported that they used a pool of 1,000 men and women and showed half of them photos of people with pets, and the other half saw photos of people without pets. They also measured their attraction to those people based on the type of animal they were holding.
People found that men who held puppies were 24 percent sexier and 13 percent more attractive, which explains why many a boy band photoshoot would famously include puppies for no reason other than it made them sexier. On the other hand, women holding animals did not have much of an impact on people’s perception of them. Medium dogs made women seem 7 percent more attractive and sexy.
Owning cats did not exactly help the cause as much as dogs did. Men were 3 to 4 percent more attractive or sexy if they owned a cat or kitten while women were 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent more attractive or sexy with a cat or kitten. While cats may have not done any favors on the charts, medium and large dogs were consistent for both men and women. They made men and women seem more trustworthy and loyal. The overall chart topper were puppies, with the highest marks overall. They easily get more Facebook likes and comments.
Note that puppies stay puppies for a short time. Soon they’ll grow to be large dogs, making you only 2 to 3 percent more attractive. If there’s anything I know about pets, it’s that getting a dog just to be more attractive to strangers isn’t exactly the best reason. At least, that—you know, in addition to my intense cat allergies—will be my excuse.
Cushioning Is The Latest Dating Trend Being Labeled As New | 05.04.17
There’s a new label being inducted into the lexicon of modern dating: “Cushioning.” Cushioning is the latest trend to hit the Internet because so many people have been doing it, it just needed a name. Cushioning is when you’ve got people in your DMs just in case your main piece doesn’t deliver in your romantic desires.
Just like every other dating trend with a label, this isn’t a new thing. If it were 1996, then it could easily be classified as “cheating.” When you’re unsure if the person you’re dating is committed or there is risk of the relationship going downhill, then that’s when the cushion steps in. An occasional flirty text with him or her here and there…just in case. That way if your main relationship does go sour, the blow won’t be as difficult when you know there is a line of people at your doorstep.
While keeping your options open may sound strategic and smart, it’s another unhealthy and selfish way to protect yourself. If one person is not committed to a relationship, then might as well not count on it at all. Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Rhodes told Bustle, “This would be what emotionally insecure people do and it’s not really a new phenomenon…You can’t really fall in love unless you are ready to get hurt. Cushioning is for people who are not ready for real love.” Cushioning could be just fine if you’re in the early stages of a main relationship, but it’s always best to talk it out if you’re feeling a way.
Maybe it’s a good thing to have all these labels of trends in modern dating. It could create negative connotations to moves that could eventually get people hurt. Then again, it’s also an easy way to refer to what you’re doing on social media. So far, we’ve got benching, ghosting, zombie-ing, and now cushioning. If you’d like to come up with the latest label, let us know and maybe we’ll forward it to Urban Dictionary to make it official.
It’s Possible To Be Addicted To Love | 05.02.17
It should come as no surprise that the feelings experienced when being in love are magical. It’s almost as if our mental state has been altered… almost like we’re on some kind of drug. This is what scientists have been discovering. Love may actually be addicting, and in an unhealthy way.
The symptoms of addiction—euphora, craving, independence, withdrawal and relapse—are all associated with being in love. The kind of benefits or high we get from being in this state reinforces us to find our “next fix,” creating a dependency on love. Brian Earp of Oxford University’s Centre for Neuroethics told New Scientist that there are many ethical factors when it comes to exactly defining the correlation between love and addiction. For example, how would a scientist define love? Earp says, “It gets complicated because people disagree on the correct theory of addiction, and people especially disagree about what we mean when we use the term ‘love.’”
Through a review of 64 studies on love taking place from 1956 and 2016, there has been evidence of two types of love and addiction. The first category involves people who desperately feel the need to be with someone, otherwise feelings of loneliness led them to crave the missing person, which could lead to stalking and obsession. According to Earp, this is a “narrow” form of love. In addiction, dopamine runs through the brain to push the person to search for more of the drug. A person with this kind of addiction will be more likely to pursue a person to fill that space right away.
The second category is more of a broad view and not entirely associated with addiction, per se. The rush and euphoria that comes with falling in love with someone new could lead to depression and grief when the relationship ends. Scientists note that this category is not negative since this does not have any damaging long-term effects. The addiction to love, however,has been a cause for people to stay in unhealthy relationships.
Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist at Einstein College of Medicine in New York, was one of the first to examine the correlation between love and addiction. She and her team have noted that romantic love was a part of human evolution for millions of years as a survival mechanism to bond together as a couple. While she doesn’t agree with categorizing love and addiction, it is helpful to take the broad view, as love is still always natural.
There Are Tell-Tale Signs You’re Dating A Narcissist | 04.27.17
It’s that moment, in retrospect, you thought you should have seen coming. The moment a budding relationship based on initial admiration and attraction for one another suddenly turns sour. A new study conducted at the University of Münster in Germany found that there is a point in time that can be determined as the downfall of a relationship with a narcissist.
Scientists have developed a theory that there are two specific traits that belong to narcissists: One that makes them good at getting into so many relationships, and the second that makes those relationships fail. The first is the “admiration” trait, which may have been the source of attraction towards the narcissist. They flaunt themselves with confidence and charm to satisfy their needs for attention. Those who contained high levels of this trait were more successful getting into relationships easily.
The second trait, “rivalry,” is where the tables turn and create that moment of regret. When a narcissist is in a relationship, their need for attention will lead them to exploiting their partner and being insensitive to their feelings as a way to make themselves feel safe. This creates problems for the potential of a long-term relationship. A comment that might have been appealing during courtship may suddenly seem like a hurtful gesture when in the relationship. This trait, according to researchers, is the “driving force behind strategies that pose risks to romantic relationship success.”
Narcissists tend to display a set of behaviors that make it easy to attract potential partners, but are not sources of strength in the long run. Scientists liken it to eating a chocolate cake. The initial attraction to its sweetness and deliciousness will eventually be a source of regret in the future. In the short term, a narcissist will get what they want and do it well, but that relationship will eventually be remembered as a time of bitterness.
Getting Over A Breakup At Bootcamp | 04.25.17
The methods of coping with a breakup differ for every heartbroken person. It could involve splurging on self-care or going for a rebound. Not that there are perfect ways to deal with the end of the relationship, but one way to do it may be at bootcamp. That’s what Amy Chan thought of when she created Renew, a retreat designed to mend broken hearts away from home.
Of course, while meditation and daily diets of quinoa can be done at home, the prospect of being triggered by a text or song on the radio is not possible at this breakup bootcamp. With a program designed to help people detach themselves from their past relationship and get in touch with themselves, Chan has created a business out of broken hearts. After the man she thought she would marry cheated with a coworker, she told Glamour that she spiraled into “depression, broke out in panic attacks, and had thoughts of suicide.” To help herself get over this pain, the business of Renew came to mind. She wanted to create a safe space for other people who were experiencing the same kind of aches.
The retreat’s mission centers on positivity, spirituality, and surrounding yourself constantly with their energy. It’s not cheap, though. Moving on using the help of Mother Nature and meditation costs $1500 for a room and $1000 for a shared room for a weekend on a farm in Hudson Valley, New York. The perks of the getaway include a psychology consultant, relationship coach, healthy meals, meditation, yoga, and alpaca petting. While every moment on the farm may look fit for Instagram, participants are required to check-in digital devices from the beginning.
Chan admits that starting this business is what really got her over her breakup. Renew allowed her to research deeper into the psychology of breakups and mourning, “but what really has helped me through my own breakups has been learning tools to self-soothe, reframe, and forgive, and how to channel negative energy into positive,” she said. These may be perfect words that nobody wants to hear right after a breakup when everything in life seems to be going wrong.
To Chan, breakups are an opportunity to grow and surround yourself with positive people. The idea of going on a retreat as a form of introspection post-breakup at least sounds ideal. While petting alpacas on a farm or sleeping in a yurt may not be a preferred method of moving on, it seems to have helped Chan cope while on a budget at home and distract herself enough to start a business.
The Right Amount Of Matches | 04.20.17
It has already become a universal fact that while we may want to feel like we’re the only person someone is talking to, we probably aren’t. We live in the age of dating where it has become acceptable to speak to multiple interests at once, but experts are now jumping in to suggest how many is too much. If you open your dating app, there may be many matches happening at once, but while you may be interested in only some, that may detract attention from other matches.
But how many is too many? Well, the truth is, it’s all up to you. Samantha Burns, a millennial dating expert, told Refinery29 that she encourages people to casually date as many people as possible, as long as you can give each person your full attention. Each person is different when it comes to the amount of matches one can handle. Burns does suggest that if you can barely remember which person you told a story to, that’s probably a sign that you need to let some people go.
Based on a Tinder survey conducted this year, there has been no correlation between wanting to settle down and whether or not someone will choose to date on- or offline. In fact, with those who date online, only nine percent will find it hard to be in a committed relationship due to the overwhelming choices in the online dating space. Meanwhile, 30 percent of men and 18 percent of women who choose not to use dating sites and apps will find it hard to be in a committed relationship for the same reason of wondering what else is out there.
Burns maintains that it would be ideal to limit the amount of people you will casually date to just three. By doing this, your attention won’t be diverted to so many others and you can keep track of which one has already heard your go-to date spiel.
Being Single Is Expensive | 04.18.17
Choosing to not spend another night home alone and, instead, finding someone to be a homebody with is an excruciating process. Unfortunately, until we find that special person, that process will involve dating. As all single people know, dating is getting expensive. In a new study conducted by Match surveying 5,500 unmarried Americans, the average single person spent $1,596 in 2016.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a populated city with plenty of choices, then the average gets higher. In Washington, D.C., a single person will spend $1,788, while New Yorkers will spend $2,069. This average brings together the cost of appearance (clothes, manicures, haircuts), dating membership fees, entrance fees and tabs.
When splitting the genders, men will spend an average of $1,855 while women average $1,423 yearly. Women, particularly millennials, have been increasingly splitting the bill on dates, with 78% of women in the survey expressing that they did not want to feel obligated or feel they owed the other person a second date. Half of the men in the survey believed they should pay for the date, while 36% of women agreed.
For many, this average is close to spending one month of rent. Dayana Yochim, a finance specialist, told the Washington Post that this average may not be that bad if your search for that special someone is a priority. In that case, consider this expense as more of an investment. Yochim speaks of other ways to lower the cost of dating, such as choosing to spend money on more experiences than things, which eventually provide more happiness in the end.
Love Potions Could Be Coming Sooner Than You Think | 04.12.17
Love potions are a recurring theme in fairy tales. As schoolchildren, Shakespearean fantasies fooled us into believing special elixirs could make you fall in love with the next person you see. In Aladdin, the genie could grant three wishes, but there was an exception to the rule: he couldn’t make someone fall in love with you. However, these fictional serums and supplements may soon become a reality. Within the next decade, neuroscientists could potentially develop drugs that can fool our minds into being in love with someone.
At Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, researchers have been looking into the neuroscience of love, which is already a complex thing to understand as someone who is simply looking for it. Scientists understand how the brain functions when someone is in love. They’ve seen that certain hormones are essential for long-term love, and oxytocin pops up in the brain of someone who is newly in love. Researcher and neuroethicist Anders Sandberg has found that these new romance pills can artificially recreate those functions in your brain.
Ideally, Sandberg says that two people in a relationship would take these drugs together to boost those initial feelings of attraction and romance. Essentially, two people have already established that they love each other, but would like to keep that spark going. The drugs would do just that.
Still, of course, there are many ethical concerns as to what kind of couples should take the love drugs. Should a couple whose marriage is on the rocks be able to take these drugs, or is it more ethical to let the relationship run its course and end naturally? Is it even a good idea to interfere with love in the first place? Some scientists argue that we already do interfere with love by trying to save a relationship through therapy or a forced romantic getaway.
According to Sandberg, a relationship already destined to be over couldn’t be saved by drugs anyway. These love drugs would be best for couples who are already solid and in love. While the ethical concerns of this “modern love potion” are hard to ignore, they certainly raise valid questions about our emotions and relationships.
Dating & Infidelity In The Swiping Culture | 04.05.17
With more choices comes more uncertainty. Tech has democratized the dating world and there’s no looking back. In his book Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari wrote that “you’re carrying a 24/7 singles bar in your pocket,” which impacts the way in which we approach dating. If we’ve got choices available, we wonder if our current relationship could be replaced in an instant swipe.
During a TED talk, anthropologist Helen Fisher and Esther Perel discussed with the ways in which tech has enhanced and detracted from human connection in the dating world. “The swiping culture lures us with infinite possibilities, but it also exerts a subtle tyranny,” Fisher said. There is a ready set of alternatives for the people we currently associate with. It’s just a matter of us wanting to trade in those people for a “better set”–and with our phones, there’s faster ways to do so. There’s a higher case of FOMO that would go around and the possibilities that could occur. But of course, there’s no such thing as FOMO if what you’ve got now is going well.
There’s also the opportunity to try to have it both ways. Tech has also affected infidelity and its ease of access. In Perel’s book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, she discusses the possibilities of pursuing other people all while sitting next to your partner in bed. The internet has made sex “accessible, affordable, and anonymous,” as the late researcher Al Cooper pointed out in his book Sex and the Internet.
By hiding behind a screen, the ability to be anonymous creates a false sense of bravery for people who stray to cheat. With social media, there are many ways to even interpret what cheating may be defined as. Is liking someone else’s photo on Instagram cheating? Is sending a direct message over Snapchat cheating? In a world where people’s value may be taken from social media, it’s harder to set strict definitions as to how infidelity can be pursued today.
Fisher and Perel also discuss the toll this can all take on our health. While dating and love have caused emotional stress before our generation, a lack of empathy can increase when we become so dependent on our phones for connection.
What It Means To Have A “Type” | 03.30.17
When scrolling through the mental Rolodex of those you’ve dated, it may be eerie to find that all your exes seem similar in some way. They may all have the same educational background, religious beliefs, level of attractiveness, or the ability to slide into DMs a certain way. A new study from UC Davis has found that people often date people that share similar physical or personality attributes.
When it comes to a person’s qualities, researchers found that it all usually comes down to location. Who someone dates largely depends on where they live. The people who live in a certain city tend to share similar educational backgrounds, religious beliefs, or values. It’s not just because people go for those specific qualities, but most of those who share these qualities tend to come from a certain geographical area which is pretty convenient.
The study’s author, Paul Eastwick, stated, “Do people have a type? Yes. But sometimes it reflects your personal desirability and sometimes it reflects where you live.” Their research looked at 1,000 heterosexual relationships and found that people’s past partners shared similar attributes. There was also a relationship not just with education or religion but also in the field of work or place of college that the people were in. “People were no more or less likely to select educated, intelligent, or religious partners,” Eastwick said. As far as physical attributes, people often seduce those that are just as attractive as them–as the saying goes, water seeks its own level.
Asking For Someone’s Phone Number Is Over | 03.24.17
The “phone number” is over.
We’ve come to the point in modern dating where asking for someone’s number is now considered passé. The days of exchanging numbers as the first step of communication are over.
These days, it’s more of an exchange of Twitter or Instagram handles. Afterall, “sliding into DMs” is a slick move that has already become part of our language with the advent of social media. David Marcus, who’s in charge of Facebook Messenger, predicted that the phone number would be one of the trends that would be over in 2016. People are more likely to initiate or keep up communication through liking Instagram photos or commenting on Facebook photos.
I don’t remember the last time that I wanted to speak on the phone with someone just to catch up. If I want to know how someone’s doing, I’ll check their tweets or Facebook or occasionally comment on what they’re up to. Research from 2015 showed that 62% of teens share their social media handle when they first meet someone. Eighty-three perfect of them also felt closer in their relationships with friends, if only superficially.
While getting someone’s number may give you a door for communication, it doesn’t give an open door to their life. With social media, anyone can search what anyone’s been up to without having to make a phone call. The constant updates also make it easy to maintain steady relationships with someone we may no longer be close with as before. It’s worth noting that the identity they portray online may be curated and not always be the truth.
Gone are the days of hopelessly waiting by the phone. Now, it’s all about refreshing our notifications to see if they even added you as they said they would.
How Do You Know You’ve Been Zombied | 03.21.17
By now, majority of us know what ghosting is, whether it’s happened to us or by us. But there’s a new act of pettiness in dating, rooted from ghosting, that’s being coined as “zombied.”
Say I’m casually texting someone and even arrange plans to meet. A few days go by, and no response. I double check the message to see if it was delivered, and it was. (Even worse, if the other person’s petty then the read receipts on.) A week later, I have willed myself to forget them–that is until…
Weeks or even months later, they text back. I’ve been zombied.
Getting zombied refers to past lovers or exes choosing to pop up in our DMs or texts at random times after ghosting, essentially coming back from the dead. Here’s evidence of a zombie making their round:
Ghosting or getting zombied are phenomenons that seem to be popping up even more so with DMs and texts being major forms of communication or flirting when dating. The other person could be feeling lonely or have seen your latest Instagram that reminded them of you.
While it may be best to ignore the zombie, it’s also important for them to be aware of their behavior. As dating coach Francesca Hogi said to the Washington Post, “I think it gives [people] permission to say: ‘Hey, the risk is very low. She’s not going to curse me out on the phone and hurt my feelings. She’s just going to ignore my text message.'” Word of advice: just because they want to talk to you, doesn’t give them the entitlement to re-enter your life.
Ideal Self Vs. True Self | 03.14.17
There’s no question that being in a relationship means being comfortable with the other person–being comfortable means being your true self. But, a new study suggests that while we may want to be our true (or authentic) self with our partner, being our ideal self makes for a more successful relationship.
A study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that the key to a healthy relationship is when partners are able to be their best selves around one another. A partnership is stronger when those involved are their most aspirational versions.
Researchers asked participants in the study about their “true selves,” “ideal selves,” and their relationships, and how often they put forward each version with a significant other. They then had to rate how comfortable they felt being their true self versus how “artificial” they felt. Overall, the participants who felt like their “ideal selves” around their partner also felt their relationship to be authentic compared to those who felt artificial.
Christian Jarrett, who directed this study, pointed out how the results were compatible with the “Michaelangelo phenomenon.” A partner in a relationship should always help the other person try to be their best self, just like how a sculptor would chip away parts of a stone to reveal the statue’s true form.
“This is the finding that we tend to make more progress toward our ideal selves when our partner has the same traits that we aspire to have ourselves, through encouragement or acting by example,” Jarrett writes. In a relationship, we’d all like to strive to be our best selves with or without the other person, but having a partner with those traits seems to help.
The Bad Side Of De-Friending | 03.02.17
It’s pretty clear that we may not know every single “friend” who pops up on our Facebook feed. To keep peace of mind or simply clean up our Facebook stream, those we don’t know are the first to go. When it comes to people we do know, it may be different. De-friending or unfollowing someone we may no longer be close with can have negative consequences, especially if our motive to unfollow is to signal to the person that you two are no longer “friends.”
Grainne Kirwan, psychologist in cyber-psychology, notes that unfollowing someone is a “hasty and emotion-based response to a stressful event, which may turn a difficult relationship phase into a non-salvageable one.” It may be a petty move to unfollow with the sole purpose of getting that person’s attention and wanting them to realize they’re no longer important or worth following. Doing this could prolong the feelings we were trying to avoid. Through social media, we’ve become so accustomed to knowing what everyone is doing and when and where, that suddenly losing that knowledge, especially about someone we care or once cared about, may be a shock.
Unfollowing causes us to over think about what they did or we did wrong, especially in break-ups or fights with friends. David Baker at Lancaster University says, “Blocking causes us to ruminate about what the other person might be doing, or how they might have reacted to us blocking them…This could increase the likelihood of us feeling depressed.”
While clicking “unfollow” on someone we were once close with may feel like sweet revenge, there are better ways to end the online relationship to avoid any negative consequences. Larry Rosen, who specializes in the psychology of technology, recommends mutually deciding to unfollow each other on social media. When a relationship ends on a sour note, more stress chemicals are released into our brain. Having a discussion as to why not to track each other’s lives on social media any longer may lead to better mental health.
Discussing why you’re unfollowing someone because of a broken relationship can save you further heartache. You won’t have to burn bridges because of a swift unfollow, and maybe there is an opportunity for a better relationship in the future. Open communication may lead to a healed heart and knowing you’ve said all you had to say.
Hire a Tinder Swiper | 02.21.17
While it is true that most millennials are tired of swiping left or right on Tinder (but are thoroughly addicted), it’s now possible to leave the swiping to someone else. There are now services available to users of matchmaking apps who would rather not spend time trying to swipe, but still want to find love. For a fee, you can now hire someone to swipe for you.
Available only in London for now, Fantastic Services is offering a new service where someone will go through customers’ Tinder apps and swipe to eliminate people who aren’t to the customers’ liking. The service will sit down with the customer to understand and learn their preferences in matches. These customers can then pay the service for a range of swipes from 500-5,000. The service also includes initiating and getting the conversation going.
If trusting another person to swipe for you isn’t good enough, then turn to math. Vice has reported on hackers who have made it possible to automatically find matches on Tinder and Happn using fixed algorithms. These hackers, mostly hetero men, have created algorithms that use facial recognition to find matches that the user would find attractive all based on previous likings. It would then send an automatic pickup line to all matches, which would then lead to a conversation conducted by a bot, essentially.
This algorithm makes it harder, especially for hetero women who already have to look out for bots and outright creepy messages on apps like Tinder and Happn. With a computer automatically determining a user’s preferences in people, it seems to be another form of subtle manipulation created by men’s specific hetero desires.
When matchmaking apps first appeared, the world was already in the palm of our hands and love could be more readily available. As these apps have evolved, so have its users’ mindsets; services and hackers could now be choosing people for us. Now I have to worry about being catfished by a robot.
Here’s How You’re Supposed To Say Sorry | 02.09.17
It’s easy to say sorry. We may do it an inordinate amount that the word loses its meaning. If we accidentally bump into a stranger, “sorry” may slip out of our mouth. When it comes to people we love, though, it isn’t always as easy. The New York Times recently reported on the right way to say sorry, because we all know how hard it is to admit we’ve done wrong.
Apologies are essential to our health. Holding a grudge or feeling bitter about someone does not exactly do our bodies and mental health any good. In the report, Jane E. Brody says, “a sincere apology can be powerful medicine with surprising value for the giver as well as the recipient.” Having the courage to apologize to someone is more difficult when we expect nothing in return, especially from someone we care about.
Psychologist, Dr. Harriet Lerner, notes that rationalizing after an apology is never going to work. It will not satisfy either party once the apology has been said. Having a “but” tacked on to the end completely negates the entire point. By extending the apology and inserting too much of our personal feelings, it will undo the apology. Don’t be passive aggressive when you’re looking for forgiveness. Dr. Lerner’s best advice is to keep it short.
Then there’s the half-hearted apology, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” By wording the apology in such way, the blame is then put on the victim; it’s as if the person in the wrong isn’t really sorry at all.
It’s also not the other person’s place to forgive the offender. Telling someone to forgive our wrongdoings right after apologizing is not ideal. Give it time. Everyone heals at their own pace. Besides, you may have to prove yourself worthy of forgiveness.
Dr. Lerner points out that it takes maturity to not be defensive. It’s not easy to admit defeat, no matter how much we thought we were right. Apologizing to someone makes us vulnerable and sometimes we won’t even be forgiven. When the tables have turned, we all know how good it feels to hear the words “I’m sorry.” – Jessica Jacolbe
We’re Tired Of Dating Apps, But We Aren’t Quitters | 02.07.17
Being single can mean restless nights reluctantly swiping right on our phones. The reason may be to find love, but one survey shows that logging on to dating apps has become a force of habit. Each year, Match releases the results of its Singles in America survey and the past year’s results show most people’s addiction to online dating.
Online dating is a tricky game that leads to a vicious cycle (kind of like love). It’s possible to reconcile from this addiction since dating apps are designed like games; swipe left if I don’t like, and right if I do. It takes a second, but the survey showed that dating apps aren’t giving us all the satisfaction we need. We’re tired of it. We have easy instant access to movies and food using our phones. Now, give me love! Stat!
The survey results show 15% of 5,509 people who are single are addicted to using dating apps. Millennials, especially, are 125% more likely to feel addicted to those apps than other generations. There isn’t any false hope in our era of “modern dating.” Last year, 40% of single people dated someone they met online while 24% met someone through a friend.
Our generation of millennials seem to burn out more quickly on dating apps than other generations. We are 65% more likely to consider ourselves lonely. Then there’s 22% who say that technology has made it more difficult to meet people in real life and have genuine connections. If technology may not be making our lives easier, then why are we still on it?
The survey results reveal a common case of FOMO. It showed that 57% of singles don’t want to miss out. Though it’s not like if we quit social media then we’re more likely to meet just as many people we would have online. People who dated using apps were 333% more likely to go on first dates.
Yes, we’re tired, but it looks like we’re not giving up. The mere thought of braving this scary new world alone for the rest of our lives is enough for us to keep opening those dreaded dating apps. – Jessica Jacolbe
Loneliness Is Hurting Us On A Deeper Level | 02.01.17
It is only human for us to want to feel a sense of belonging. Part of the reasons humans have lasted this long is because being part of groups is necessary for survival. However, there is a hidden epidemic that is spreading. Social isolation is becoming one of the biggest social risk factors, and it’s reaching toxic levels.
Loneliness is not just affecting people psychologically, but it is increasingly creating more biological effects. Just like after a breakup, being lonely can literally break our hearts. Social isolation is associated with high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as increasing the chance of dying by 26%.
At UCLA, genetics researcher Steve Cole, has been studying how loneliness can be detrimental to our health. Through a 14-participant study in 2007, Cole found out how being alone is affecting our bodies down to the cellular level. For people who felt lonely, genes that create a inflammatory responses are programmed to much higher levels. By being at higher levels, there is a great rate for other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and others.
The other discovery made by Cole is how blocks of genes are less likely to respond to viral infections. The body’s response to loneliness is the same as its response to other chronic stresses, such as low socioeconomic status or post-traumatic stress.
Social isolation is a vicious cycle where the more we’re prone to it, the more we seek it. The more lonely we are, the more likely we are to feel threatened by outside factors, and in turn, seek more isolation. – Jessica Jacolbe
Women Hate Valentine’s Day | 01.31.17
It’s true. Women hate Valentine’s Day.
Immediately after the Santa decorations and holiday lights are put back in boxes, the candy hearts and chocolate boxes are on the shelves. A sea of red and pink decorations signal Valentine’s Day is ashore. But it turns out, women aren’t exactly jumping for joy at the sight of cupid at the drugstore.
In a survey reported by Refinery29, 44% of women did not have any expectations or plans for Valentine’s Day. Of the women in relationships, 41% actually dread it. Isn’t a day that celebrates love a day to look forward to? It’s only natural to dread holidays or events that come with expectations on how to act or feel.
From ads we can’t avoid to our friends photos tagged “relationship goals,” there’s pressure on Valentine’s Day and how love should be looked perceived. Part of this comes from a very singular hetero-normative view of relationships in media and the way “peak love” should look on Valentine’s Day.
In the survey, 43% don’t really want to “shake it up” in the bedroom, while 35% of women are just looking forward to cuddling. Then there are 34% who just want to watch some TV.
The survey also points to another issue that women have with Valentine’s Day. Twenty-three percent hated having to shave their bodies for their partners while 11% wanted to skip the lingerie. Having to please a partner at the expense of personal desires just to show you love them shouldn’t be the point of Valentine’s Day.
There is more than one way to celebrate love, and more than one day to do so. If you choose to skip out on the expected festivities of the holiday, at least you’ll have plenty of women who agree with you. – Jessica Jacolbe
Revenge Is As Sweet As They Say | 01.27.17
There is an adrenaline rush in sending out a late-night text or sub-tweet, lashing out at someone who did you dirty. While a sense of accomplishment comes with garnering revenge, that quick spat of aggression really is as sweet as they say. As for the repercussions? They don’t match up to the temporary high of revenge, which has been scientifically proven in a new study in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
David Chester and C. Nathan DeWall found that in cases where people have felt ostracized or rejected, these feelings can lead to the need for an instant “mood repair” in whatever means possible. BPS Research Digest explained how Chester and DeWall’s research tested people’s response to rejection. In a study of 156 participants who were asked to write personal essays, one group received negative feedback that was conducted by the researchers. Those who received bad marks were encouraged to seek retaliation if they wanted by sticking pins into a voodoo doll. This act of aggression increased those participants’ moods and even rated a higher level of satisfaction than those who received good marks.
In a follow-up study, participants were given a placebo that they were told had side-effects wherein their moods could not be altered. They would then play a computer-based game that would result in the participants feeling ignored and rejected. In a chance to take revenge in the face of these results by sending loud blasts on other participants’ headphones, those who took the mood-stabilizing placebo did not enthusiastically do so. When told there would be no satisfaction after supposedly taking revenge, they decided it would be no use to be aggressive.
The researches prove that revenge indeed does make us a bit happier, if only for a minute. But when looking at our actions long-term, there isn’t much consideration; the relief of anger is not always healthy either. Chester and DeWall suggest that alternatives such as reflection and meditation may be better suited for our moods and well-being instead of sub-tweeting at 3 AM. (Or try to move on.) – Jessica Jacolbe
Fall Back In Love Using ‘Love Regulation’ | 01.25.17
The quick and immeasurable feeling of falling in love happens, and sometimes we ourselves aren’t even aware. According to a study done by Sandra J. E. Langeslag and Jan W. van Strien, people experience feelings of love uncontrollably, but there’s a way “to change the intensity of current feelings of romantic love” with the “use of behavioral and cognitive strategies.” If you feel as if the love in your relationship is dwindling or isn’t as great as it once was, this study suggests that it may be time to enforce “love regulation.” By regulating your love, you can enhance romance and help you fall more in love.
By doing the following techniques, you can intensify the love between you and your partner:
- Making small changes such as taking the time to say “I love you” before your partner leaves or when they arrive.
- Smile. Smiling can release dopamine that is naturally contagious enough to make your partner feel happy too.
- Thinking positive thoughts rather than focusing on your partner’s faults or flaws.
- Make an effort to spark intimacy and make both of you feel sexy.
- Don’t be petty. (Don’t be too petty.) No need to stress about that little thing he did that one time.
- Go on small adventures and do something new together. A lot is to be learned and appreciated about the other person when you’re both exploring something new.
- Just like at the beginning of the relationship, ask questions. Keep asking questions. Inquire and be curious about the other person and keep learning more about them.
In the study, it was found that people who had just broken up with their partner were able to benefit from controlling their feelings through love regulation. Those who conducted the study wanted to “focus on the intensity of infatuation and attachment” which often comes in to play in the beginning of a relationship and can help making it last. – Jessica Jacolbe
This Is Why It’s Hard To Get Over A Breakup | 01.19.17
Spending most of our time with someone, and almost sharing a life with them, is like no other. Being in a relationship affects our identity, how we behave, and the way our bodies react. Therefore when a relationship ends, it takes a toll on our life, and it seems as though the misery will never end. Unpacking everything that happened during the relationship affects our mental state and biological rhythms. As psychologist Grace Larson discovered, having studied the aftermath of breakups at the University of Arizona, there is no easy way to get over an ex. Larson put together a series of studies that examined the ways in which breakups are difficult to get over.
A couple essentially becomes a unit, where the people involved begin thinking in terms of “we.” One’s psychological boundaries become blurred with the other person’s and identities tend to merge. In a study done by Erica Slotter at Villanova University, students who broke up within a six-month period didn’t have such a clear sense of who they were immediately after. Larson notes, “over the remaining weeks in the study…the more confused they were about their identity, the more they showed signs of depression.”
Our health tends to take a hit after a breakup, not just in terms of consuming too much ice cream. Larson refers to a study done by David Sbarra and Cindy Hazan at the University of Arizona that showed that physical symptoms of a breakup are similar to that of an infant being separated from a caregiver, with those symptoms including “physical agitation, disrupted sleep, irregular appetite, and so on.” Tossing and turning at night isn’t just due to one’s own misery; sharing a bed with someone, or no longer sharing a bed with someone, affects our circadian rhythm.
Of course, more committed relationships are much harder to get over. Commitment is essential to any relationship, and as Larson writes, “feeling deeply attached to the person and automatically incorporating them into your thoughts about the future” can create conflict during a breakup. Giving up that relationship also means giving up plans on certain plans for the future. “This kind of large scale mental revision is confusing, draining, and difficult,” she continues. Satisfaction in one’s life immediately drops and affects our state of mind, post-breakup. It’s not easy, but Larson notes that having compassion for one’s self is key to not taking it as hard. – Jessica Jacolbe
The Myth of Romance Is Ruining Your Health | 01.13.17
The myth dates back to Greek mythology: Each one of us is missing our other half, and it’s our life’s mission to find the person who will complete us and make us whole. It’s not just a romantic line dating originally from Jerry Maguire. Or Cinderella. Or Plato’s Symposium. It has long been conditioned into our minds that romantic love is out there and must be found. One clinical tutor at the University of Hull, Susanne Vosmer, brings up the point that this myth may be affecting our health long-term.
With the evolution of dating, there became faster and easier ways to find validation virtually. If for only a minute, we can find a match that can feed into this myth that society has imparted on us. When it comes to the real world, however, people may find it harder to adapt to the reality of human emotion and love. Vosmer accounts for a rise in internet addictions and online infidelity.
Through having to deal with situations in our real life as opposed to our virtual lives, this search for ideal love has been linked to emotional stress and mental and physical health. Lovesickness has been documented as having physical symptoms that affect our well-being through obsessive thoughts about a desirable person or object. “Lovesickness is a disease that permeates medical literature since the time of Hippocrates, and may still have a place in modern medicine in the form of somatoform disorder, bipolar disorder, or erotomania,” Nancy Dzaja states, in the study. (Vosmer does note that there is an absence of long-term studies where people can be evaluated over time, but the myth of love we are meant to believe does “constitute our selves.”)
The concept of finding some type of romantic love that may not exist is bound to cause some type of stress, especially when it has been ingrained in our minds since we were able to comprehend what love is. However, even though it is a myth, we continue to believe in it. Vosmer argues that it is this fictional type of love we see in movies that affects us, and love and acts of love vary. To keep having happier and healthier lives, it may be this hope for love that keeps it going but not in striving for a universal and stereotypical happiness. – Jessica Jacolbe
Facebook Tracks When You Fall In Love (Online) | 01.10.17
Facebook may know our relationship status, or when we’re falling love, before we do. The company has revealed it can predict when two people will become “Facebook official” based on frequency of posts and status updates.
In the weeks leading up to a couple sharing publicly that they are in a relationship, Facebook tracks the courtship along the way. Let’s look at our quantifiable courtship in modern dating, shall we? All the data collected includes how many times a profile is visited by the other person, messages exchanged, posts shared on each other’s timelines, and online interactions.
By tracking this information, Facebook is able to follow the same trends in the 100 days before being official. “We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship,” Facebook says. Once they have become Facebook official, the number of posts fall presumably to spend more time together offline and the courtship has ended. During this time, status updates and interactions between the couple feature more positive words such as “love,” “nice,” and “happy.”
While the company claims that all its research is anonymized data, the consequences of doing so is still pretty creepy in the way it tracks our lives. When we may want to keep a relationship secret, our Facebook overlords know what is going on by being able to spot such trends. If it hasn’t already, Facebook can build databases tracking interactions and relationships to be able to target advertisements for us. One recommendation to prevent Facebook’s tracking of our lives is to lead the data off by doing random posts on other timelines and share false relationship statuses once in awhile. (Just make sure the person you’re tagging as being in a fake relationship with is in on it too.) – Jessica Jacolbe
Our Parents May Be To Blame As To Why Our Partners Drive Us Mad | 12.21.2016
It’s not that we’re trying to avoid trouble in relationships, it’s that we may be built to actively seek it out. “We believe we’re seeking happiness in love, but what we’re really after is familiarity,” philosopher Alain de Botton writes. While we do look for a partner who will make us happy, subconsciously we also look for someone who will frustrate us. Like many other things, it may be the fault of the parental figures from our childhood.
According to The School of Life, “In order to prove exciting and attractive, the partner we pick must re-evoke many of the feelings we once had among parental figures.” This doesn’t necessarily mean the happy aspects of childhood, but it also comes with the frustrating parts of love or how we perceived it.
Here are some lessons we learned from The School of Life as to why we seek partners who drive us mad:
- “These feelings, though they may include tenderness and satisfaction, are also likely to feature a more troubling range of emotions.”
- “We can find ourselves rejecting certain candidates in adulthood, not so much because they’re wrong as because they feel a little bit too right…they’re not going to make us suffer in the ways we need to suffer in order to feel that love is real.”
- “Occasionally a relationship pays tribute to a parent’s failings in a slightly different way. We act towards our partner as our parent once acted towards us…We may shout at their failures or complain of their inadequate performance in the eyes of the world.”
- “Just below the conscious radar, it is the failings that lure us in.”
- “It can be helpful to actively try to compare past and present. For example, reflect on how a parent made us feel and then audit how we often feel around a partner.”
- “A less dramatic but still hopeful strategy is to try to deal more successfully with our compulsions within an existing relationship.”
- “The failings we’re most attracted to become those we’re least set up to deal with.”
We don’t just inherit an attraction to the love we were surrounded by as a child, but also how we responded to that environment–this may include panic or terror or projection, and thus becomes the response in a relationship.
Rather than sulking or stay silent, it may help to encounter the situation and act responsibly by looking at ourselves. While our partners’ faults may be troubling, they may also be just as compelling.– Jessica Jacolbe
Uber Employees Are Allegedly Spying On Their Exes | 12.15.2016
While we may be in control of what we post on social media about ourselves, not all of our information that we don’t share may be safe after all. Uber employees have been reportedly using the driving service app to track down and spy on ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, and former spouses. Using the company’s “Heaven View” tool, former called “God View,” employees are able to track the movements and locations of customers. This has led employees to spy on “high-profile politicians, celebrities, and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees.” One investigator said that even Beyoncé was being tracked.
All this is according to a testimony by former forensic investigator, Samuel Ward Spangenberg, who is now suing Uber for alleging age discrimination and whistle-blower retaliation. After claiming that the company had plenty of security issues, he was fired 11 months later. Spangenberg’s court declaration stated that the company “did not have a regard for data protection…Uber collected data regarding every ride a user requested, their username, the location the ride was requested from, the name of the customer, and a myriad of other data that the user may or may not know they were providing to Uber by requesting a ride.”
The revelation of the “God View” tool used by employees was discovered in 2014 by BuzzFeed when an Uber general manager mentioned that he used it to track one reporter’s location. Even after a trip is done, Uber still collects a customer’s location information.
In a statement by Uber, the company says, “We have hundreds of security and privacy experts working around the clock to protect our data. This includes enforcing to authorized employees solely for purposes of their job responsibilities, and all potential violations are quickly and thoroughly investigated.” All of this has been happening without permission which is just one of Uber’s many ethical breaches. – Jessica Jacolbe
IKEA Wants To Solve Your Relationship Problems | 12.13.2016
IKEA may be the only place I have ever heard a couple argue about which shade of pink will go well with the living room walls and the couch. I heard them argue in the showroom, and by the time we all made it to checkout, they were madly in love again. It’s not always that a couple makes it to the checkout counter of IKEA with their relationship in tact, but IKEA wants to help–at least online. Their new campaign, “Retail Therapy,” aims to help its customers shop their way into a better relationship.
IKEA’s new ad campaign features the store’s most popular products renamed into Sweden’s most-Googled relationship questions. The corresponding product to the question is IKEA’s answer to your problem. If you’re “too shy to ask someone out,” try this apron and bake your relationship into existence. If your “girlfriend won’t do the dishes,” there’s always a dishwasher. If you want to find a way to “say I’m not interested,” here’s a garlic press. If “he doesn’t text you back,” then of course, he just hasn’t charged his phone; there’s a USB charger for that.
The ad agency that created this new campaign, Åkestam Holst, spent a year studying family dynamics in Sweden. They used IKEA to explore relationship longevity, divorce, and even father-daughter relationships. They then turned the Internet’s most troubling relationship questions into products.
People Will Stay In An Unhappy Relationship To Avoid Loss | 12.07.2016
No one likes to lose. Studies prove that we’d rather put more money on the table to avoid losing. This comes from our inherent aversion to losing in that there is more pain in a loss than there is pleasure in a gain. (Winning feels good, and losing sucks.) In economics, this is called the “sunk cost fallacy,” and psychologists have conducted a study that directly applies this fallacy to relationships.
Current Psychology conducted a study revealing that people are more likely to stay in an unhappy relationship despite it not being the best decision. In one hypothetical situation, people were asked if they would stay in an unhappy marriage or leave. The results show that most would stay in the relationship if there was plenty of money and effort invested into it, in other words, the sunk cost. In another hypothetical situation where time (length of the relationship) was the sunk cost, results show that people were more likely to stay if there was plenty of time invested into it.
It’s like if we watched a movie and fond out halfway through that it’s the most boring thing we’ve ever watched, but we stay anyway because we paid for the ticket, parking, and spent 30 minutes in the theater. In business, sunk cost fallacy is applied when there has been a large chunk of time and money invested in a project that it might as well be completed. It’s not the best choice, and it leaves us with less time, money, and happiness.
Whether in business or in love, plenty of emotion is involved in a decision which can create a loss of clarity in the process. By facing the facts that there has been a loss and admitting that there have been mistakes or poor investments can lead to a more stable mind in the next decision. One possible solution found in business is to pretend that overnight, someone sold your stock and replaced it with cash. The next morning, would you buy back the stock for the same price or spend the money elsewhere? In most cases, people would not buy the stock back. In relationships, it could help to sort out priorities and what comes first in personal happiness; to stay in the unhappy relationship or spend the time elsewhere. – Jessica Jacolbe
Your Next Relationship May Not Make You Happier | 11.30.2016
Moving on isn’t as easy as simply saying “on to the next one.” Whether weeks or months, when a relationship is over, there’s usually a mourning period. It feels as if every aspect of our lives is affected, and our happiness plummets. What keeps many of us going is the light at the end of the tunnel, or the light from the prospect of another relationship. Right? German psychiatrist Adelheid Kastner disagrees. She says the relationship we’re desperately trying to get over may have ruined our chances at finding happiness, because instead of letting go of our exes, we should be letting go of the “romantic ideals and fantasies” we believed in while in the relationship.
To understand why, we return to our favorite subject: modern dating. In the past, if there was someone who was at least open to marriage, then just that would make them the perfect person. Today, we’ve got a plethora of options to explore. We’ve got time to swipe right or left and be picky about who we want to spend most of our time with, perhaps even the rest of our lives.
However, Kastner says while we assume the next partner will make us happy, “it’s very possible you find anyone able to do that.” “These days, many people find it easier to separate from their partner than to separate from their romantic ideals and fantasies,” she says.
Kastner advises that a successful relationship would require adaptability. In order to make a relationship work, instead of quickly replacing our partner, the couple must work through those issues. There are still legitimate reasons to break-up though. She clarifies that the cause of a break-up should not be in finding happiness in the next partner, but rather be “happier” on one’s own. – Jessica Jacolbe
There’s “Typically” Some Commitment When Texting / 11.04.2016
At the intersection of technology and relationships is a void filled with anxiety.
The Journal of Sex Research released a study indicating how sexting can just about determine a relationship. When it comes to a person’s motive in sexting, they are either determined to pursue a close relationship or simply teasing the other person into having sex. (Sounds about right.)
A little summary:
“The study of 459 unmarried, heterosexual undergraduate students found that low levels of attachment avoidance and high levels of fear of negative evaluation were associated with sexting behaviors. In other words, sexting was more common among students who felt more secure in their relationship and also more common among students who were concerned with how their relationship partner evaluated them.”
With the rise of technology in modern dating though, sexting today could just be a form of foreplay, says Rob Weisskirch of California State University of Monterey Bay. In regards to the study, Weisskirch indicated that “Sexting typically occurs when there is some degree of commitment in a relationship.”
Weisskirch adds that sexting is completely normal now and part of a healthy modern relationship. A couple who sexts together, stays together. – Jessica Jacolbe
Love Remains The Same Despite Technology | 11.1.2016
Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who has long researched the evolution of human emotion, reveals in her TED Talk that love remains unchanged despite the introduction of technology. The systems in our brain in charge of mating and reproduction also control our emotions which have always been the same. Fisher says, “They lie in the most primitive parts of the brain, linked with energy, focus, craving, motivation, wanting and drive. In this case, the drive to win life’s greatest prize: a mating partner. They evolved over 4.4 million years ago among our first ancestors, and they’re not going to change if you swipe left or right on Tinder.”
The way we court and date, however, has evolved and interfered with how we acquire and understand love. We analyze emojis and constantly refresh our latest Instagram post to see if he, she, or they have liked it. But all this, according to Fisher, is actually not dramatically changing love itself.
As the Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com, she notes that dating sites shouldn’t be called “dating sites” at all but rather, “introducing sites.” Technology has changed the way we meet people, but when it comes down to finally seeing the person face to face, trying to impress or read them, that’s where it’s remained the same as the past 10,000 years.
With this new way of meeting people, comes the problem of “cognitive overload.” There are simply too many “mates” to choose from. When at one point in human history, people were limited to their own communities and friend groups, now we have access to thousands of people on our phones; this then increases our standards for what type of person we are looking for. Fisher has called this new form of courtship as “slow love.” For better or for worse, we are capable of finding someone who fulfills our specific wants and needs. “In an age where we have too many choices, we have very little fear of pregnancy and disease and we’ve got no feeling of shame for sex before marriage. I think people are taking their time to love,” Fisher points out.
Fisher goes on to say that we have entered into a marriage revolution, moving towards a society that values egalitarian relationships. Expectations of specific genders have shifted. It isn’t technology that hasn’t affected love so much as how women have entered the job market around the world. Women have become almost as equally as powerful as men, which is what changes the dynamic of modern love and relationships.
“Love and attachment will prevail, technology cannot change it…Any understanding of human relationships must take into account one of the most powerful determinants of human behavior: the unquenchable, adaptable and primordial human drive to love,” Fisher says. Best known as the expert on love, it is nice to hear Fisher say that is in fact still possible for love to exist “long term.” It’s also comforting to hear that a powerful force such as love has remained unchanged since the beginning of time. – Jessica Jacolbe
Here’s Why We Sulk In Relationships | 10.27.2016
At times, it seems as if love is one of the most highly misinterpreted languages. To really understand the language of love, it’s important to consider the psychology behind it. In relationships, silence can be one of the loudest modes of communication. There are times when sulking is disguised as the silent treatment. Sulking gets us nowhere and only increases frustration all around. So, why do we do it?
First, we don’t do it with just anybody, but with somebody. According to The School of Life, we believe a “true lover” will understand us intuitively and immediately. When proven wrong, we sulk. When looking at the psychology behind sulking in relationships, it turns out that the solution is, as always, communication.
Here are seven major keys we pulled from The School of Life in regards the psychology behind sulking:
- A common misconception in relationships is that “a lover understands us without needing to speak too much” which can “give rise to a hugely troubling dynamic.”
- “The view that a good lover must intuitively understand us is, over time, one of the most dangerous suppositions responsible for a catastrophic outbreak of sulking.”
- “We don’t just sulk with anyone. We reserve our sulks for people we believe should understand us but happen on a given occasion not to.”
- “We implicitly believe a true lover, someone really worthy of our affection, would naturally be able to read our intentions through our outer casing and into the caverns of our burned and pained souls.”
- “Part of becoming an adult must surely be to believe that we cannot fairly expect others to read our minds.”
- Having a healthy relationship with someone deviant of sulking requires “a lot of patiently articulated verbal indications of our desires and intentions.”
- “Even in very successful relationships, there’s only a tiny amount that a lover should ever be expected to know about their beloved without it having been explained in language.”
I’m constantly reminded of one of my favorite pieces of advice when it comes to love and relationships which is, “use your words.” Words matter. Share those feels, especially with someone you truly care about. – Jessica Jacolbe
Being Single Could Now Be Considered A Disability | 10.26.2016
Just when I thought being single would be detriment to my social life and personal well being, it turns out that it could also be considered a disability. The Telegraph reports that the World Health Organization is now classifying anyone without a sexual partner as infertile. “The lack of sexual relationships which could achieve conception, could be considered an equal disability,” Telegraph reports. That’s right: Being single could now be classified as a disability.
This new health standard set by the World Health Organization means medical equality when it comes to who may qualify for IVF treatment. People of any sexual orientation or relationship status will now be considered as high priority as families. In regards to access to alternative methods of reproduction, such as IVF treatment, this hasn’t always been the case. In the past, people who have struggled to conceive not because of medical reasons but because of lack of sexual relationships did not have have access to the public funds that support IVF treatment–that’s now changed.
When it comes to finding a plus one to weddings, being the third wheel at outings, or finding yourself too lonely when Netflix asks if you’re still watching, being single may just seem like an impairment to our egos based on societal standards. It is important to note, however, that the ADA defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” The new classification of infertility by the WHO, when it comes to a disability, creates new rights and equality to reproduce, which is a major part of life. – Jessica Jacolbe
Woman Caught Boyfriend Cheating Through Pokémon Go | 7.13.2016
As if constantly checking updates wasn’t already a distraction and spoiler of love lives, Pokémon Go now exists. Using the mobile game, one woman discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her.
Pokémon Go, released on July 5, is a virtual scavenger hunt that allows players to capture creatures (a.k.a pokémon) at various real-life locations. With the game doubling as a social network, every capture is then recorded due to a geolocation feature.
Evan Scribner’s (possibly now ex) girlfriend noticed that he, a Sunnyvale, Queens resident, had caught a pokémon “while at my ex’s house.” When Scribner didn’t have a good excuse as to why he was hunting for pokémon in his ex-girlfriend’s neighborhood, she left and “hasn’t contacted me back since then,” Scribner told the New York Post.
Not all hope is lost, though! Love seems to be budding elsewhere thanks to Pokémon Go. Some players have ended up going on dates while playing the game. “I’ve never met a stranger and felt so connected. It’s like you shared the same childhood,” one man told Wall Street Journal.
Now the question is, has our social lives changed for better or for worse? – Jessica Jacolbe
Restaurants Are Tired Of Your Tinder Dates | 6.20.2016
The hours spent asking introductory questions, including the relentless “why are you still single?” one, are crucial for a relationship, but still tiresome. But, you know who also finds those conversations exhausting? The owners of the restaurant you’re having them at.
The new age of dating has impacted the restaurant industry, and in a negative way. The Washington Post reports that your first date that seems to be going well is really not so great for business. With the advent of online dating, the dating routine has shifted. In the “classic era” of dating, a date may have consisted of a dinner and a movie. Remember that? Since then, it’s turned into a swift right swipe and drinks.
The most important thing you can do during drinks is talk, according to Helen Fisher, a Match advisor and biological anthropologist. This is, however, the worst thing you can do for the restaurant. While you’re busy gazing into each other’s eyes, dissecting what the other person is saying, the bartender is waiting for you to order your next drink or a meal. Restaurants rather you order a meal and then leave, in a reasonable time, to make room for more customers. On Tinder dates though, people seem to keep talking while still on their first beer from happy hour.
Chris McNeal of Bar Dupont has seen every type of Tinder date. He has seen couples stay an hour after closing time. There are the “non-closers” who keep drinking water after they’ve paid the bill. Then there are those who end up making out while other customers can’t help but stare.
Fast Company reports that Tinder generates over 1.3 million dates per week. This impacts the way restaurants work during happy hour and how their layout is designed. Some restaurants have installed more tables for two near the bar to make room for patrons who actually want to eat dinner and rack up a decent bill. Every table is a piece of real estate, so it may be best to pay your rent for the amount of time you plan on staying. –Jessica Jacolbe
A Woman Sends ‘Game of Thrones’ Spoilers To Cheating Ex-Boyfriend | 6.16.2016
Just how cold can revenge be served? If your ex cheated on you, then it’s the perfect time to test the limits. One woman was creative and found one way to get back at her cheating, now ex-boyfriend.
After becoming addicted to Game of Thrones through the suggestion of his ex-girlfriend, Reddit user, Khaleesiscorned, took to the website to find solace and advice for his recent troubles. Here’s what he had to say:
“TL;DR : I cheated on my ex during our relationship and she found out shortly after we broke up. She’s blocked me on everything, but briefly unblocks me every Monday to send me Game Of Thrones spoilers before I can watch. How can I get her to stop?”
The internet, however, felt no sympathy and praised the woman who left him. This tactic belongs in the playbook of a Game of Thrones character. –Jessica Jacolbe
Guys Are Seeking Reimbursement For Dates Via Venmo | 6.14.2016
“Who’s paying?” is an age old question that reaches back into the depths of chivalry, which is a dark past of wage inequality between the sexes. However, in this post-modern dating world, technology has added another operation to the already complicated dating equation.
Last month, the New York Post reported on how “cheap bros” are getting away with not paying for the entire date. The piece interviewed three young women who woke up one morning to find a Venmo payment request for a date from the night before.
It’s a pretty slick move, though of course greatly petty. Hitting “request” on the app and demanding your money doesn’t necessarily require previous communication, which the financial expert in the New York Post advises couples do. Communicating on Venmo has the premise of monetary demand which is not what I’d like to wake up to nor prompt my financial stress.
With chivalry sometimes comes the unwise assumption that in a heterosexual relationship, the guy may be earning more and will therefore pay for the date. As Alexandra Schwartz suggests in The New Yorker, the reason that a guy may seek reimbursement for a date is because he didn’t get his money’s worth.
Beginning my day by finding out a guy wants a reimbursement for last night’s date would only make me question if last night was a date or not. Who would’ve thought that thinking so would make me “old fashion.” –Jessica Jacolbe