Posts Tagged online dating

Match.com: Singles in America

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.

SinglesinAmericaMatchcom_zps167573c9107 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).

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had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.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

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Highs and Lows

I had been on OKCupid only a short while before I met Smiles. I met only one person from the site, LES, and that was already after I met Smiles. I have to say, I’m not that big a fan. Every search I did produced few candidates I was willing to entertain. No one was good-looking, and no one had exciting profiles. It reaffirmed for me why I originally was so against dating sites. I felt like it was full of desperate men.

Rarely would I receive a message for a worthy candidate, but when I did, I would quickly respond and dry to stir up some dialogue.

I started chatting with a nice southern boy from North Carolina who moved to the city in the previous few months. He seemed like a really genuine guy who wasn’t into the scene or fully out. I was very attracted to that. The southern boys always brought a little extra something I always liked. They were mannered and real men.

We messaged back and forth on OKCupid for some time before we exchanged phone numbers. One night, he asked if I could chat. I asked him for his gchat or AIM name. He responded, “No. I meant on the phone.” To which I responded, “Sure.” We spoke on the phone for an hour that night. I really got to learn a lot about him. He was volunteering a lot of information about his upbringing and his company and where he is today. He told me how he hates gay bars. He even took the time to tell me about his “hetero life partner.” That’s what he calls his best friend and roommate he left behind in North Carolina when he moved up here. Apparently they were completely best buds, however, nothing sexual ever transpired between the two of them. It was sexy to hear him speak about such a masculine love with his friend. I was really liking what I was hearing, and the fact that he wanted to call gave him so many bonus points in my book. I even told him that last bit of information, which I think he really appreciated.

In the morning, things switched to texting. He was horny and asked me to send him some more risqué pictures. I was onboard. I was all the more happy he asked actually. It proved to me he had a healthy libido, especially in the morning, which is when I’m at my horniest. We exchanged a few racier pictures and went to work. We made a commitment to each other to try to find some time to go out on a date in the near future. I couldn’t wait. He was not only sexy to look at and hopefully to touch, but he was also sexy and masculine in his personality.

In the meantime, I was also talking to a guy I met on adam4adam.com who I’d been messaging on and off for over a year. Between every relationship, this guy and I would exchanges flirty messages and pictures, but nothing would ever transpire. It was so frustrating because I found him to be very hot. He’d get very flirtatious, but never follow through or agree to meet me. Now I was making some ground. This time around, he seemed genuinely interested. I’m not sure what changed, but I was going with it. He was coming back home after a weekend away, and we were texting the entire ride back. When he got home, we continued the conversation on Facebook with a lot of banter and playfulness. He was really coming around on me. I continued to propose a date, but it wasn’t the easiest. He was open to the idea, but I couldn’t get him to lock down on a specific time and location.

A lot of our conversations revolved around sex. Again, after the dry spell I went through with Smiles, I was happy to hear it. I also knew he had a great job, as he had his doctorate and was using to teach at a college and work at a clinic. He really seemed like the full package. From looking at his Facebook pictures, I could tell he loved to travel and he loved to have a good time. He also lived close to me. I felt like this time, I had it in the bag.

That night, I found a guy on Grindr. He was visiting, and the host he was staying with was away. He knew no one and wanted to go out. I was already contemplating going out, so I convinced my roommate to join us at the bar for casual drinks. We met him on the walk to the bar, and when we did, I was shocked. He was tiny. I’m 6’2″, and he was easily 5’2″. My roommate immediately whispered a comment to me. Then he opened his mouth and the queeniest voice came out. I was so turned off, but I couldn’t be rude.

We awkwardly sat and chatted at my favorite bar that night. It was dead, so there wasn’t even anything to distract from the incompatibility. When my roommate and I had our fill, we decided to head home. The little munchkin followed us home. He asked if he could come over, and I agreed. It was a moment of weakness. I was horny, and I thought he could be fun.

BOY WAS I WRONG. He was beyond a stage five clinger. After some making out and heavy petting, he spent the night. The next morning, he told me the only way we could have sex is if I could see him the next night. Foolishly, I agreed. It was bad. No. Let me rephrase. It was awful! I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. I kept laying it on thick how much I needed to get to work, and finally I scooted him out the door.

This was just gay karma coming back to bite me in the ass. I never should have led him on. From the bar, I should have had the balls to just send him home and take care of myself. This is where my penis gets me into trouble. Soon enough, he’ll learn his lesson…

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My Very Own Cheerleader

Tuesday came and went quite uneventful in my relationship world. Smiles called and we talked for five minutes about our days.

When Wednesday arrived, I was starting to seriously worry Smiles wasn’t going to be attending my holiday party. I’d already asked a few times, and I didn’t want to be pushy, but the time had come to get a straight answer.

I texted him in the middle of the afternoon: “You still haven’t confirmed your attendance Saturday… You are coming right?” I quickly received a very succinct response: “Yes.”

What a relief. I was worried he’d made other plans and didn’t know how to tell me. I’m not sure how I would have taken it had he said no. You may have been reading about a new slew of guys I was pursuing from a myriad of online dating venues. I wanted him by my side for the party, and I wanted him to meet my friends. Many had not met him yet, and if you read my blog, you know how important to me they are.

Apparently, I’d opened up the dialogue for the day. Smiles followed his last text with a picture message. “The final bowl.” I was laughing. “Haha. You made it! You didn’t have to eat it all if you were tired of it… Don’t forget about the sausages!” I know I made a lot, but he didn’t need to feel obligated to eat it all. “All good. It’s what I’m supposed to be on. I just laugh because it’s like a salad at the Cheesecake Factory — Much larger than it looks!”

I took the Thursday before my holiday party off. I need to do a lot to prepare and to finally settle into my new apartment. 40 people were expecting a party that lives up to my usual standards. I couldn’t disappoint.

I started in my room with probably the lowest priority, but the most fun project. I was detailing a tree on my bedroom wall. I was shocked it only took me two hours to make the tree decal out of black contact paper. “2 hours later, the tree is up…” I texted to Smiles. He immediately responded with support: “Cool. I forgot about that project!” He told me he’d slept-in quite late, but he was getting a lot of work done.  And, since he’d finished season two of Vampire Diaries, he had nothing to distract him. “Nice. I’m cooking up a storm. Still no cable guy,” I replied. He didn’t realize I took Thursday off from work as well as Friday.

His next response could have knocked me over with a feather. “Wow. Lot of prep for Saturday! Want me to come over tonight and help?” This was the first time Smiles took such an interest in my life. It kind of came out of left field, but there were no complaints here! I made my feelings quite clear in my response: “I would love if you came over tonight! I need a consultant :)” I needed some design advice. I still had to hang pictures and light fixtures and the like. I could handle most of the cooking myself, but his design skills and good taste were going to get put to good use. “Still can’t lift anything, but happy to help with other stuff,” he added.

I asked him if 10:00 would work. I had volleyball, so that was the time I would be home. I didn’t want to give up a night with him just because of my game. The following made me about as giddy as a schoolgirl! “Oh yeah. It’s Thursday 😦 Was thinking I was coming over at 6:00ish. Yeah. I can do that. 10:00. But, maybe I could come watch volleyball?”

WHAT!? He wanted to come watch me play volleyball?! I’d mentioned it to both N and Broadway when I was dating them, but they never showed much interest in it. For him to volunteer without me ever even mentioning coming was amazing! “Yea! Sure! Come at 6,” I exclaimed.

We ironed out the logistics, and he made his way to Hoboken around 7:00. Every week I get a ride from my teammate I’ve known since high school. He also happens to be gay, so he was excited to finally meet Smiles. This would also be the first time my sister met Smiles as she gets a ride as well.

The two of us hopped in the backseat, and I introduced Smiles to my high school friend. When we picked up my sister, I introduced him again.

When we arrived at the gym, Smiles made himself comfortable and pulled out his iPhone. I knew this wasn’t going to be the most thrilling night of Smiles’ life, but it meant the world to me he wanted to come watch. I would look past the fact that he spent a lot of the time playing with his phone. I knew he was actually watching because between every game, I went over to sit with him, and he made comments on some of the plays I was involved in. The ironic part is, many of my teammates didn’t know I was gay. That night, I didn’t give them a definitive answer, but I’m sure they could have deduced the situation.

After the game, we went home, and Smiles helped me with a few things I needed to ask him about before I showered and we had a late dinner. While we ate our dinner on the couch, we watched TV until we grew tired. We made our way to my bedroom and dozed off for the night.

The next morning, we woke without an alarm and had breakfast. I thought Smiles would stay for a bit of the afternoon. My friend, P, was coming over to help me make food for the party. I informed her she’d be meeting Smiles, and she was thrilled and very excited. Instead, Smiles had to make his way home because he had work to do. Around noon, I said goodbye with a kiss and went back to preparing for the party. P arrived disappointed to find Smiles had gone, but we didn’t let that get us down. We spent the afternoon cooking up a storm. She was invaluable. I don’t think I could have done it without her.

I was in good spirits. I had an answer about Smiles’ attendance. He came to support me in one of my recreations. He helped me make decisions on decorating. All was good in my world. Now I just needed to find the time to finish cleaning and cooking for 40…

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