Continuing with this week’s Valentine’s theme, I want to highlight a study I had the privilege of learning about this weekend while attending Sweets in the City, an event hosted by Single Edition.
107 million Americans are single, and match.com is trying to understand them. Under the guidance of Dr. Helen Fisher for the third year in-a-row, match.com has commissioned a national relationship study, Singles in America. After asking 200 questions to a perfect cross-section of the U.S., they learned fascinating new things you may or may not have heard in the news as of late.
I was shocked to learn both men and women judge each other first by their teeth, followed by grammar. It’s refreshing to know that in this day and age, communication is still important. Still, I’m surprised to see teeth topped the list (as well as proud of my pearly whites).
As a gay man who wants to one day get married, it was also refreshing to hear that commitment is back in style — 90% of those open to marriage believe they can stay married to the same person forever.
As Dr. Fisher reported the results, she was most-surprised by the increased emergence of friends with benefits. As a 28-year-old, I didn’t find this particularly surprising, having had my own FWB relationships.
In related results, virginity is no longer a core value in the dating world — If anything, it’s an obstacle. Gone are the days where the first instance of intercourse between couples occurs on the night marital consummation. I think it’s only natural that people want to test-drive the car before they buy it these days, even though women are less likely to admit it.
Sexting was a particularly interesting territory in the digital age. Although most singles believe sexting could jeopardize their careers or privacy, they still partook in this social taboo, proving love conquers all (including reason).
My favorite statistic was that gay men fell in love more often than anyone else. We were more romantic, more experienced in “love at first sight” and more likely to be “deeply in love” with a long-term partner. Lastly, we had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.
I’m curious if this is due to wider acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage, or if this has evolved naturally. Dr. Fisher made a point about not making a point of discussing homosexual responses as a separate entity because there are very few differences from the heterosexual responses. We’re not all that different after all.
The most shocking results were that women desired independence and men sought commitment. Single men fall in love faster and want to “move in” together sooner, while women still want to hold onto their girls’ night out.
Hear Dr. Helen Fisher’s own interpretation of the facts from Saturday’s event below:
This post was sponsored by the fine folks at match.com. Be sure to check out all the fun, fresh video clips at Singles in America.
#1 by ivansblogworld on February 12, 2013 - 2:31 PM
Very interesting topic, I was shocked on the stats of single people. I wonder if the wonderful world of Internet dating is not just a hook up place. What happend to dating, get to know someone face to face, and yes I agree don’t hold on having sex. Fine someone to date is not that easy, but not impossible. Ivan
#2 by One Gay at a Time on February 12, 2013 - 7:17 PM
I don’t think of it as a hook-up place. Do you know how hard it is to meet someone at a bar these days? You can only rely on friends of friends for so long before you realize online is one of the few ways you can find someone to meet in person to see if you have a meaningful connection. The dates don’t take place online – it’s just the catalyst.
As far as the sex coming earlier, I don’t think that has anything to do with dating online. I think that’s a result of a cultural shift… I don’t hear anyone complaining about that one! 😉
#3 by ivansblogworld on February 12, 2013 - 10:35 PM
Thanks for the reply, I have been out of the dating game for a number of years. My single friends (gay and straight) have expressed how difficult it is to meet someone, if they do sometimes that other person is not really interested in more than one date! Women get hit on in bars, and the age group does matter today, and were you go.with so much social media, texting, iChat etc we have less opportunities to meet face to face with friends and family. Dating is just scary full stop, but it’s also a huge adventure when you do meet other people. I think when you planned to just go out and have a good night out, the unexpected change meetings may surprise you. Good luck on this. PS. I did not mean that Internet sites were just about hook ups and sex, but lets face it, that’s what a lot of people are using them for. Hope you have a great valentine day. Ivan