Learn What Singles in America Are Saying About Dating, Sex and Relationships From Match.com

MatchOn February 8, Match.com presented its first Singles In America panel to announce the results from its 2014 Singles in America study. The event was hosted by Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, who was joined by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and other sex and relationship experts. This is the fourth year Match.com has done a comprehensive study of singles in the U.S., and as always, there were some surprising findings.

Stanger opened up the discussion by asking, “Who in the audience went on a first date and knew it was the one—so much so that you planned your future?” While none of the dating and relationship bloggers in the audience admitted that they had, Stanger said she’s done it a million times. And she is not alone.

According to the Singles in America study, 51 percent surveyed in America said they imagined a future together with someone on their first date. What is perhaps even more surprising is that men do it more often than women.

Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and chief scientific adviser to Match.com, felt the results made perfect sense. “Men are much more romantic than women are. They fall in love faster because they are so visual,” she said. “When they meet somebody that they really love, they want to bring them home to friends and family sooner. They want to move in sooner. Man have many more intimate conversations with their wives than women do with their husbands because women have intimate conversations with their girlfriends.”

Not sure who these husbands are having conversations with if their wives are chatting with their girlfriends—I think that’s more accurately called a monologue, but what do I know?

The panel was mixed as to whether the velocity of emotions that come with a man’s visual mindset gave their counterpart power.

“I do believe it’s about power, but what I’m searching for is equality.” Perez Hilton said of the very visual mindset of the gay male community.”

Leading sexpert and Bravo TV star Emily Morris said that while she loves her power, she felt that men’s visual mindset made them more fickle. A man might believe his Friday night date was the one…until he went out on his Saturday date.

Fisher disagreed. “I don’t think it’s about power—that’s a feminist thing that’s gotten into everyone’s head,” she said. “It’s about love and about trying to figure out, you know, who you’re going to spend your life, about who you’re going to spread your DNA into the next generation with.”

Another surprising study finding was that 59 percent of singles want to plan their first date together. Audience members and the panel agreed that the person who asks for the date should plan it. Stanger asked how this works.

“It’s entirely possible that they’re already beginning to negotiate who’s flexible, who’s dominating, who’s gonna play some sort of false impression of who they are,” said Fisher. “The first three minutes of meeting somebody are powerfully important for many, many reasons. The brain is constantly categorizing…”

In last year’s survey , the top two things dates were judged by were their teeth and grammar. This year, the top three were grammar, confidence and teeth. Respectively, they show youth and health, your psychological stability and your background.

Dinner reigned supreme for a first date activity. Stanger put it like this:

Drinks are an audition

Lunch is an interview

Coffee is cheap

And dinner is for romance

After a first date, 46 percent of men and 35 percent of women want there to be follow-up within 24 hours. Only 6 percent of men still abide by the 3-day rule. Fifty-one percent prefer a phone conversation, but texting is a close second.

Speaking of texting, ladies, put down your cell phones and breathe. Texting multiple times before the man replies is their biggest turn-off. And men, stop sending sexy photos—for women, that’s a big turn-off.

Statistics try to scare you into thinking that marriage-minded singles are a rare commodity these days. However, the Singles in America Study found 53 percent of singles want to get married, and a whopping 89 percent of singles believe you can still live happily ever after. And a big proportion of gay men and women also indicate they want to get married.

So where are people most likely to meet their last first date? You guessed it—online!

For more on singles, sex, dating and relationships, watch it here!

Live streaming video by Ustream**This is a sponsored post for Match.com**

How to Turn Your Online Flirting Into a Real Life Date

When Dating Online Turns to Real Life

Couple on a date, Src: Flickr/sblackley

When it comes to meeting dates online, there will always be an interim period where you get to know each other through messages before meeting up. This can be an exciting time, where every new email in your inbox can make your heart beat faster and you look forward to the next stage in the conversation. But what about when it comes time to meet? How do you turn your online flirting into a real life date? Here are five steps to lead you in the right direction.

1. Take it Slowly

There’s no need to rush. While you don’t want to spend too long going back and forth with messages, if you want to get to know your match a little better then feel free to wait. If the first meeting is awkward, you’ll be less likely to want to meet up again, so it may be better to wait until it feels right.

2. Don’t be Too Forward

Flirting online is all about keeping things light. You might have already discussed what you’re looking for in a relationship but using loaded words like ‘marriage’ or ‘motherhood’ may not be a good idea before you’ve even met. You’re looking to suss out the potential for a match, not commit yourself for life.

3. Ask for Their Personal Email

If you’ve been messaging each other for a while on a website such as eHarmony, and you’re getting impatient waiting for the next step, try asking for their personal email address. It’s a good first step towards a face-to-face meeting and it’s not too intimidating.

If they’re hesitant to give it, they may just be enjoying the attention without wanting to take things further.

An online dating success

An online dating success? Src: Flickr/adam_jones

4. Suggest a Relaxed First Date

When it comes to meeting up for the first time, you might both be feeling nervous about talking through the details. Try keeping things simple – if you have a favourite coffee shop or laid-back bar, ask your interest if they’ve heard of it and suggest meeting there for a drink. A relaxed, familiar atmosphere will help set the scene for a good first date.

5. Look for Partners Close By

If you’ve been messaging someone who lives far away, there may always be a reason why you can’t meet up. Long-distance relationships can blossom into long-term partnerships, but it’s hard to get things off the ground when you’d have to take a week off work to arrange to even meet them.

Try finding singles in your area by using online dating (click here to find out more) and you’ll be better placed for real-life encounters with potential matches.

**This is a sponsored post by eHarmony**

How Accurately Do You Describe Yourself In Your Online Dating Profile

DatingWithaKissWhile reading a bestselling thriller the other night, I came across the concept of the Cool Girl. The book Gone Girl describes a Cool Girl as the embodiment of the ideal women to certain men: Hot, intelligent, funny, sexually adventurous, not afraid to enjoy her food yet stays fit and slender, and feminine while still able to handle herself in a typical guy environment with beer, sports, poker and dirty jokes. A Cool Girl is understanding, never gets truly angry, and gives her man the freedom to do what he wants. The concept resonated with me so deeply because of all the online dating profiles, including mine, where women wind up describing themselves in some shape or another as a Cool Girl. It has me wondering: How accurately do you describe yourself in your online dating profile?

Find out if you’re getting it right in your online dating profile in my article at Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/how-accurately-do-you-describe-yourself-in-your-online-dating-profile-by-soloat30/

Post-Breakup: My Personal Formula For Moving Forward

breakupTo say I was completely unprepared for my recent breakup is an understatement. After 10 months together, just a couple months before we were planning to move into a new place, I was blindsided by something I felt, and still think, is a preposterous reason to end a relationship with someone who is your soulmate, someone you claim to love with all your being.

Impervious to my pleas to talk about resolving the issues, ignoring my apologies about something for which I wasn’t entirely sure what I was to blame, my sobs and shock turned to frustration and yes, a bit of anger. One of his own very good friends said he was foolish for letting something so trivial end something so powerful that he seemed to have been searching for all his life. If our relationship—something he had always described as so strong, special and sacred—wasn’t worth fighting for, then clearly it didn’t carry as much weight, or have as strong legs, as I thought it did.

After I spent time mourning, I decided that fighting the inevitable was pointless. I still knew who I was. I still knew what was important to me and what I wanted, both in a mate and from a relationship. If anything, the breakup emphasized how important certain things about communication and relating to your partner were to me that had been a little off-center with us.

So, to the surprise of family and friends who thought I was moving too quickly, I decided to re-activate my OkCupid account. To be completely honest, I first signed on to see if there was still hope—I was another year older, life had struck another blow, and I wasn’t even sure I would see anyone on there who would interest me enough to get to know.

I was surprised to realize I still attracted not only older men but significantly younger men too, divorced men with kids and men my age who have never been married, corporate businessmen and world-traveling teachers. I also realized that there were still so many interesting men out there to learn about and potentially meet, though I wasn’t in a rush to do the latter.

With the knowledge that there still were formalities of the break up to deal with—things to return to each other, letters of closure finally received and occasional pangs of “did this really actually happen?”—I knew I had to make some promises to myself. I wasn’t going to go just out with an ex who still has hope that we’ll eventually get back together seven years and a kid (his) later. Nor have a fling with a former FWB. And I wasn’t going to jump into a relationship with the first guy who I felt a great connection with, no matter how strong.

FootprintsThat’s where the 7×3 formula came along. They are relatively arbitrary numbers, 3 and 7, but I’ve called them my lucky numbers all my life. So here’s the deal: I have to go on dates with at least seven different guys before I make a final choice to pursue a relationship with any single one. Any contenders must be dated at least three times. No hanky-panky is allowed; kissing is welcome to assess chemistry.

So this week I agreed to a date with one of the fellows who has been writing me. He’s intelligent, socially conscious, thinks ahead, seems kind and has strong and influential women in his family. He’s a father of two young children, has lived all over the U.S., and he’s experienced some pretty cool things over his lifetime. I always looked forward to his emails, and while his looks didn’t make me swoon, I decided the personality attracted me enough to meet him.

In the meantime, another guy dramatically came on the scene. We rapidly exchanged long emails about our travels, teaching and our similar mindset about life and relationships at this point in time. He very quickly asked for my number, expressing desire to meet each other sooner than later. The day before date #1 with the other guy, Mr. Wanderlust asked if I wanted to go to a coffee house for a snack at the last minute. Going with the whim of the moment, I agreed.

Despite his admitted nerves, the date was non-stop conversation. We looked at travel photos and talked about whatever came to mind while we had dessert and tea, followed by a light dinner of wraps. He also really made me laugh—not from the absurdity or ridiculousness of what he said, but because he was sincerely funny. It was exciting to be around his energy and his enthusiasm for life—it didn’t hurt that he was very open about his interest in me, enough to ask for another date before this one ended.

Next day was the date with Mr. Left Wing (he’s the son of a radical feminist and is a proponent of radical social change). The night started off oddly as he attempted to psychoanalyze me, and I took his extreme mellow demeanor as a blasé attitude toward life in general. But soon our masks were off, and we were engaged in deep conversation about life-changing experiences. He revealed quite a bit more than I did, whereas with Mr. Wanderlust, I felt there was a much more even exchange. Yet I enjoyed our time together and was surprised by a goodnight kiss.

I’ve decided the new formula is perfect in instances where you meet several interesting people who you want more time to get to know, while also having several comparison points to keep things in perspective. I have a feeling eventually I might not want to go through all those first dates, but I think it will be healthy for me. And if I decide I’m just overwhelmed all-around and need more time to try to make some kind of sense of my last relationship, I always have the choice to just stop everything and go back into my dark bedroom and mull over things—or better yet forget about men entirely for a while, and just enjoy my friends, my family and my career. I’ll keep you updated.

Match.com Shares What Modern Singles in America Are All About

Singles in America Match.comLast weekend, Match.com hosted a livestream event that shared plenty of surprising stats about singles across the country, covering tantalizing topics such as friends with benefits (FWB), casual sex and sexting. For instance, would you believe that almost a quarter of all singles have shared received sexts with others? And men might be surprised by how much women are willing to go to have transparency in their relationships. According to one Singles in America study statistic, twenty-two percent of single women have checked a date’s pockets, drawers or closet.

These were just some of the many fascinating findings that Match.com‘s Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Helen Fisher presented from Singles in America, the 2012 study of more than 5000 single men and women (and approximately 1000 married individuals), aged 21-71+, to gauge their beliefs and behaviors about love, dating and marriage. This is the third year of studying singles; 2012 focused on technology and the Internet, while also including a comparison of married people to singles.

While media and pop culture would have us believing that the state of marriage is doomed, Fisher said most singles in their 20s and 30s still want to get married and believe that marriage to one person can last forever. She observed from study results that singles today are focused on looking for personal connections with their mates, as opposed to 10,000 years of history where commonality in ethnic and religious background, as well as pleasing family and community, were paramount. While I have personally endured a family’s disapproval of my ‘ethnic disharmony’ with their son, in general, I can see increasingly more of the younger generations breaking the mold, looking beyond skin color and creed when it comes to love.

The Match.com study found that more than 90 percent of singles are looking for people who respect them, whom they can trust and confide in, and who can make them laugh. And brush up on your vocabulary, ladies and gents, as well as your teeth—the study found your teeth and grammar are the top two things you are judged by when someone first meets you.

The smile and expressiveness of eyes are the what I notice when I first meet someone. As a wordsmith, I do take notice of horrific grammar right away, but if we can easily be conversational, I’m not going to end a conversation.

Fisher has noticed a new trend in dating and relationships in just the last year. “We’re seeing an emergence of a new stage in the courting process,” she said. This year, 45 percent of singles reported having a FWB relationship turn into a long-term partnership. “I’m not surprised because any kind of sexual stimulation of the genitals drives up dopamine, which can push you over the threshold into falling in love. And with orgasm, there’s a real flood of oxytocin that is linked with feelings of attachment.”

I guess I was ahead of the curve in this respect—my longest relationship began somewhat as a FWB situation. However, it wasn’t too long it turned into a loving relationship that lasted four years.

In 2011, only 20 percent of participants in Match’s Singles in America had developed something long-term from a FWB situation. Fisher theorizes that due to a long middle age and the pain of divorce, “we’re trying to know everything we possibly can about a human being before we step into that first commitment stage, and that this is a pre-commitment stage that is emerging in America.”

To hear more about these trends, online dating, texting etiquette, differences between men and women in love, dating in the golden years, and of course plenty of stats about sex, watch Dr. Helen Fisher’s presentation here.

**This is a sponsored post for Match.com**

Is the Fear of Change Keeping You In Your Current Relationship?

Recently, a good friend of mine and I were discussing how bewildered she was by her conflicting feelings toward her long-term boyfriend. One day, she was ready to call it quits if he didn’t stop his controlling tendencies, the next, they were seriously considering marriage.

She and I were talking about the ways they could compromise and communicate better when she dropped the following bomb:

“I know part of what’s keeping me in this relationship is the fear of dating again. How do I overcome that fear?”

Want to know the advice I gave her? Read about it on my latest post for Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/08/is-the-fear-of-dating-whats-keeping-me-in-this-relationship/

Find A Fellow Night Owl Who Makes Your Heart A-Flutter While ‘Up All Night’

According to the CDC estimates, 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from insomnia. So is it any wonder that singles all over the country are frequently looking for love in the wee hours of the night?

The online dating site Chemistry.com recently released a list of the Top 10 Sleepless Single Cities in the U.S., investigating where in the country singles visited their website between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. in six of the nation’s time zones respectively. While New York City is known as The City That Never Sleeps—as a global power city and cultural and entertainment capital—Chemistry.com found that singles are most sleepless in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Top 10 Sleepless Single Cities in the U.S.

  1. Honolulu, HI
  2. Virginia Beach, VA
  3. Nashville, TN
  4. Scottsdale, AZ
  5. Brooklyn, NY
  6. Long Beach, CA
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Henderson, NV
  9. Fresno, CA
  10. Mesa, AZ

Chemistry.com is sponsoring a free special access pass for the single night owls across the nation during their Up All Night event, which runs tonight, August 30, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday. Participants are invited to take a unique personality test designed by renowned biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, and then review matches, browse full profiles with photos and email other members. They can also take Chemistry’s exclusive get-to-know-you games. All singles can register for the free event here.

Dr. Fisher, chief scientific adviser to Chemistry.com, said that living in a 24-hour society means that a lot of people are now working into the night, from nurses and policemen to those employed by the tourist industry in some of top sleepless single cities, like Honolulu and Las Vegas. She feels the natural night owls are biologically disposed to work at night, but others aren’t.

Src: Holly Exley Illustration / hollyexley.blogspot.com

“There at least 18 genes involved in whether you are a night owl or a lark,” Fisher said in an interview. Though she always wanted to be able to stay up late, Fisher woke up early, even as a teen. When it came to relationships, however, she  found that she need not always date a fellow lark.

“In my case, it worked extremely well that I am a lark, and that the men I have been with have been owls,” she said. “I would get up really early in the morning and have a good 5 hours of myself to get my work done.” Her partners would have their downtime after she had gone to sleep.

“It’s most important that whatever your partner’s lifestyle is, it fits into your lifestyle,” she said. “It’s the lifestyle that they want to lead together and whether the pattern of their daily rhythms mesh.” A relationship is not going to thrive in one partner wants to be asleep by midnight when the other wants to be dining and going out to parties at that hour.

But if you are a single looking for a partner to stay active late into the night and sleep in late alongside you, log on to Chemistry.com tonight to join in the fun of the Up All Night event. Maybe you’ll find a fellow night owl who makes your heart go all a flutter.

Is My Heart Ready to Surrender to Love Again?

“Bent Objects” by Terry Border

With a bevy of bachelors virtually at my fingertips, thanks to the world of online dating, it isn’t impossible for me to have a date with a different guy every day of the week. Yet there are some weeks where it feels like that truth is too terribly close for comfort. Yes, it can be fascinating to meet new people regularly for a while, to learn about their various passions and pastimes. But I can honestly say that for me, sampling from the buffet of singles can get pretty old pretty quickly.

Call me old school if you like, but when it boils down to it, I do my best dating one man at a time. I am what is known as a serial monogamist, tending to go from one committed relationship to the next, with breaks of varying lengths in between. However, it’s been more than a year since I’ve dated someone for anyone longer than a couple months—my longest drought in 10 years.  The yearning for a real, lasting relationship has been building up strongly again in the past few months.

So why when I’ve recently found a man who so strongly stirs my soul am I so hesitant to take the plunge? Get the low-down on my latest post for The Singles Warehouse:

Committing to the Search for Love, One  Man at a Time

In Online Dating, It’s a Small World After All

src: justaboutthedetails.com

One of my favorite aspects of online dating has been the opportunity to broaden my horizons and open up the doors to a more diverse pool of potential mates. Through online dating, I have had love affairs with two Canadians and dated British and Polish expats. I’ve had a fling with a pilot, dated two sexy cops and a few men involved with the military in some form. I’ve been involved with a Christian rocker, a chef, a world-class track athlete, a videographer, a psychotherapist, a neuroscientist, a pathologist—and a pathological liar.

I’ve also found myself in relationships with men I’d previously considered to be swimming outside of my dating pool due to their “status”—while not taboo, they were not exactly most desirable to me either. These have included young divorcees, significantly older men with a lot of emotional cargo and fathers of young children or grown kids.

This mixed bag of men doesn’t even include the long cast of colorful characters I’ve simply had multiple conversations with through phone, text and emails. It’s definitely been a wild trip, and for the most part an adventure from which I’ve learned a lot.

Yet one of the most surprising things I’ve learned about online dating is how small a world it really is. Whether I find friends of friends, matches from other online dating sites, friends’ exes, my own exes or other faces from the real world, it can feel either like kismet or damn bad luck when my next match rolls around.

Find out just how small the online dating world can be over on The Singles Warehouse in my latest post:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/05/in-online-dating-its-a-small-world-after-all/

Be Still My Heart: Is Ashton Kutcher Looking For Love Online?

Is that really Ashton looking for love online?

The next time your friends rag on you for using the web to find a potential mate, you can tell them that even the rich and famous are throwing their hats in the online dating ring. The newest sizzling single in the online dating market? None other than Two and Half Men star Ashton Kutcher.

The latest celebrity gossip columnists have been hinting that Ashton has been heating things up with Mila Kunis, his former costar on The 70s Show, but The Hollywood hottie may in fact be looking for a girl-next-door this time on WorldWideLovers.com. Not too surprising coming from the funny man who has embraced sharing ALL aspects of his life online.

WorldWideLovers.com brings potential suitors to life through video, rather than relying simply on words and a few of your best (or not) snapshots. Think you’ve seen all there is to see of Ashton Kutcher? He shares surprising sides of his personality you’ve never seen before in this hilarious video sequence:

• The Bollywood producer Raj, channeling The Love Guru.

• The “Enlightened” Hippie Nigel

• The flamboyant fashion designer Darl, with his beloved Chihuaha

• And the bearded biker Swordfish (no really, that’s his name)

A man who can make me laugh is halfway to winning my heart. But if Ashton’s boyish charms and antics aren’t your style, check out http://www.worldwidelovers.com for more!

[This Post is Sponsored by PopChips]