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**

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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/

With a Conflicted Heart, Can You Date Multiple People at Once

two_men_one_womanSome of you remember my theory about old flames being one of many things that comes into your life in threes. Most of you probably also know firsthand that you appear most attractive to others when basking in the glow and confidence of blossoming love or a budding romance. At some point or another, old loves wanting to reunite are bound to cross your path just when you are perky with excitement about the potential of a new romantic interest. Is it a simple and easy decision to keep moving forward with someone new? Or with a conflicted heart, can you date multiple people at once?

Read more in my post for Singles Warehouse: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/can-you-date-multiple-people-at-once-by-soloat30/

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**

The Power of Love to Transform an Embittered Heart

brokenheart-300x257Over the years, I’ve learned not to give up on the power of love to transform an embittered heart. I’ve seen too many instances that contradict that timeworn saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The latest example that turned this adage on its head: My former FWB has ditched his list and has fallen fully in love.

Ditch The Dating Checklist?

You know The List. Your potential mate checklist. Chances are, you’ve had one of your own at some point in your dating life. You may very well still have it. If you’re still unclear what I’m talking about, let me give you an example: he must be at least 5’11”, athletic, not bald, never been married, no kids, well-educated, make more money than I do—you get the picture.

Find out how my former FWB finally dumped his cynicism, ditched his dating checklist and found the light of love on the other side in my post on Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/01/the-power-of-love-to-transform-an-embittered-heart/

How to Pick the Perfect Gift For Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend

perfect-bf-gfAlthough the major present-giving holidays have passed, it’s never too late to think about how to pick the perfect gift for your boyfriend or girlfriend. This can be especially important to ponder when you have been dating someone for more than a few months but less than a year. You are growing to know each other more closely but are most likely not yet at the level of being able to read each others minds.  Having not yet experienced birthdays and holidays with each other, when the time comes to pick out the perfect gifts, it can feel overwhelming and especially challenging.

First, realize there is no one perfect gift

For tips and suggestions on picking the right present for your partner, read the rest of my piece on the Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/12/how-to-pick-the-perfect-gift-for-your-boyfriend-or-girlfriend/

Be a Safe and Savvy Dater This Season With a Secure, Second Mobile Number

The world of modern dating is an exciting one. You can literally meet people from all walks of life and, if you’re especially adventurous, from across the country—even from over the world. In days of yore, your main options for connecting with romantic interests were meeting them at school, work, church or community organizations. Otherwise, your friends or family might set up with someone they knew.

While the pool of suitors is more limited in traditional dating, in most cases, you had a better idea of what you were getting into. Today, with online dating sites and meeting friends of friends of friends from Facebook or other social media sites, you are often meeting virtual strangers and putting trust that they mean you no harm or ill-will. Unfortunately, quite a few of us have our fair share of stories about dating strangers, from creepers to genuine stalkers.

That’s where MyAKA comes in. It provides savvy singles with a free secure, second mobile number for your privacy and safety. The assigned virtual phone number, with your own area code, is not linked to your personal information in any way. While calls go to your own cell, your real number is protected on both incoming and outgoing calls, ensuring cellphone privacy. MyAKA also makes it easy to block callers who cross the line or who don’t get the hint that you are not interested. And if you want a break from those who have your MyAKA number, it’s easy to set up the Do Not Disturb feature, which relays your calls to voicemail and stores your text messages for later retrieval.

MyAKA is offering my readers a 7-Day Free Trial. Truly free—what’s that catch? There’s no catch. With this special offer, you can enjoy a worry-free week of flirting through MyAKA, without even entering your credit card information! How sweet is that? And if you decide to keep the service, which is a smart move for any active, dating single, it takes two easy steps to upgrade your number on the MyAKA site. It’s as easy as AKA to date safely this season. Sign up today for a fun and safe way to communicate with your dates using a no-strings-attached second cellphone number!
*This is a sponsored post for MyAKA

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.

Meeting The Family For The First Time

“Meeting With Girlfriend’s Family!” by Tiago Hoisel
src: newevolutiondesigns.com

When’s the right time to meet the family of someone you’ve begun dating? The Warrior Poet and I had been dating just shy of three months when he invited me to the birthday party of his grandmother, meaning I would meet almost off the family on his mother’s side. After meeting his “chosen family” of friends, and getting their seal of approval, and personally feeling comfortable being around them, I felt like maybe this big birthday was a good excuse to meet some The Warrior Poet’s favorite family members.

Whenever you decide it’s the right time, it can’t be forced. It must come as naturally as can be in these circumstances. Both parties should feel comfortable and at ease letting the other into that intimate part of their lives, introducing them to people who have literally known you all of your life. Lastly, you need to have a sense of humor about such things. Rarely do things go quite as perfectly as in romance how-to’s.

Read a little bit about my past experiences meeting the family and how I came to decide I was truly ready to meet The Warrior Poet’s on The Single’s Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/07/meeting-the-family/