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we had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.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: