Study finds Partners of Different Sizes have more Problems

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If you're thin and your partner isn't, you might also encounter more problems.

A new study found that couples with mixed weights experienced more conflict than couples who were about the same weight. Mixed weight couples were identified as one partner having a healthy weight while the other partner was overweight.

Mixed weight couples expressed more anger and resentment towards their partners than same-weight couples. These feelings intensified when they ate together.

However, researchers found that these couples had less conflict when the overweight partner felt supported by the other partner in their efforts to diet and exercise.

This study reveals that communication can be an underlying issue in relationships. Most of our frustrations and resentments with our partners stem from something other than what the actual argument is about - in the case of the study - weight. When people aren't communicating well with each other, there's a lot of potential for conflict, anger, and misunderstanding to develop. Over time, this can break down a relationship.

It's important to be upfront with your partner about your feelings. But it's also important to understand you can't change someone else. Weight has become an obsession in our culture, and many people have developed unhealthy habits and unhealthy body images associated with their weight. If your partner feels bad about himself, then it's not going to be helpful if you are goading him about his weight or telling him he has to lose it to please you. Ultimately, it is about perspective and health. If you fear your partner is going to become sick because of his weight, then instead of increasing frustration levels when you talk about it together, have a doctor or health professional intervene and give you both the facts. But if it's about your preference for a certain look, then it's important to be a little more self-reflective and accept your partner for all the qualities you do love about him, outside of his weight.

Acceptance is part of relationships. If you find yourself getting increasingly frustrated with your partner, it's important to ask how you can support him. As the study showed, those who felt supported felt less conflict and anger. Offer to exercise or diet with him. Praise him for all of his accomplishments, like skipping dessert after dinner each night. There are plenty of ways to show your support.

The study was conducted by researchers at The University of Arizona and The University of Puget Sound.

Dating Sites: Finding the Right Match

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When you’re first starting out in online dating, the sheer amount of choice can be a bit overwhelming. Before you even start to think about a profile, you’re confronted with a myriad of online dating sites - and they can be as different from one another as any other place you might meet someone new. How to choose? Well, with a little self-reflection, the decision might become a little easier.

First, dream up a potential match. Then take notes. Is there any defining characteristic that absolutely takes priority above all others? For example, is sharing the same religion a must? How about the same political perspective? If something like that is an absolute must, it might be a good idea to examine niche sites. In a niche site geared to your interest, there’s no need to filter out the ones who don’t fit your priorities; they wouldn’t have joined the site if you didn’t already have that in common. One of the base ways to finding a dating site like this is to use our search tool. You can search for dating sites by specifying your own personal attributes and what type of match you are looking for. From here our site will return the top dating sites that match your criteria.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to step outside your personal box, maybe date someone completely different from your past relationships, or are just open to love in whatever form it happens to take, you’ll want to think broader. A more generalized dating site offers the best of both worlds. You can limit your options using a custom search, but you can also throw expectation to the wind and peruse the profiles of people you might not otherwise meet.

Whether or not you choose a niche site or one simply geared toward meeting your match, it’s probably a good idea to try one that is as popular as possible. The more popular the site, the larger the pool of prospects. Plus, many people have accounts at more than one site, so it’s entirely possible that everyone you would meet on a tiny site is already at one of the big ones - along with many more who aren’t on the smaller site. Many people keep an account at a large, general site and a smaller niche site with minimal overlap, just to keep all their bases covered.

The best way to find the site that works for you is to just give it a shot. Many sites offer free trials, or allow you to skim the site without an account. Some are free altogether. Remember: the goal is to find a site that is the best fit for you. Your friends and family may have had different experiences, but the match you’re looking for is for you, not them. By jumping in and finding the site that is the best fit for you, you’ll be even more comfortable and confident in your decisions as you move to the next step - finding someone with whom you’re compatible.

Report: The State Of Dating In America

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What happens when you bring two of the world's biggest dating sites together, and throw an independent research firm into the mix?

A whole lot of interesting info happens, and the State of Dating In America report is born.

JDate and Christian Mingle teamed up with a handful of experts to survey more than 2,700 singles about dating, relationships, love, and sex. All respondents met the following criteria:

  • English speaking
  • Male or female
  • Located in the United States
  • Between the ages of 18 and 60
  • Single marital status
  • Online or offline dater who is currently not married and dating or planning to date in the near future, OR is in a relationship with a partner for less than two years

The lengthy report sheds light on the complexity of the contemporary dating landscape, and reveals a significant trend toward more open-minded stances on issues surround sex, gender roles, and dating. Singles these days have a more liberal attitude than ever before:

  • 87% think online dating is a great way to meet people.
  • Both men and women believe it's safer to meet someone online than in a bar.
  • 85% say it's acceptable to have sex before marriage.
  • 91% of Jewish singles and 84% of Christian singles would live with a partner before marriage.
  • 78% of single Christians and 60% of single Jews are open to marrying someone with kids.
  • Most singles, regardless of their gender, say it doesn't matter who is the breadwinner in a family.

But oddly, despite those trends towards liberalism, Americans hold on to traditional values when it comes to marriage and family:

  • 78% of men and 55% of women believe that a man should pay for the first date.
  • 62% of 18- to 24-year-olds would be disappointed if they never married.
  • Both men and women say their mothers have the biggest influence over who they marry.
  • Nearly ¾ of singles would prefer to settle down with a partner who shares their religious faith.

Faith can also account for differences in attitudes and habits when it comes to dating and relationships. Jews are three times more likely than Christians to use an online dating site, though a larger majority of Christians say online dating is a great way to meet potential mates. Jewish singles rank intelligence as more attractive than humor, while Christian singles feel the opposite way. Jewish singles prefer coffee for a first date, while Christian singles would rather meet for dinner.

What they do agree on is family: singles of both faiths agree that the number one key to a successful relationship is that their partner's family treats them well.

To find out more about the dating sites which brought us this information you can read our JDate review and our Christian Mingle review.

POF Visitor Statistics Revealed

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Plenty of fish (POF) released recently a document on their dating site showing what type of people visit their service. The document is designed for advertisers but it gives some great incite on their members for the general user. Let's ask a few questions of the document and see what the answers are!

Question 1: How many visitors does Plenty of fish have?

Answer: They receive 4.3 million unique visitors a day and 432 million visitors (not unique) in total on an average month. These monthly visitors view 9.8 billion pages.

Question 2: What countries are the members from on Plenty of fish?

Answer: This is how many monthly visits the top 9 countries have:

  • United States: 95 million
  • Canada: 27 million
  • United Kingdom: 26 million
  • Brazil: 7 million
  • Australia: 3.4 million
  • Mexico: 2.4 million
  • Ireland: 2.2 million
  • Spain: 1.6 million
  • France: 1.3 million

Question 3: How old are members on Plenty of fish?

Answer: Members on Plenty of fish fall into the following age ranges:

  • 18-24: 10% or 430,000 visitors a day
  • 24-34: 38% or 1,634,000 visitors a day
  • 35-44: 22% or 946,000 visitors a day
  • 45-54: 14% or 602,000 visitors a day
  • 55+: 6% or 258,000 visitors a day

Question 4: Do Plenty of fish members use other dating sites?

Answer: Yes! On average a Plenty of fish member belongs to 3 other dating sites. 15 percent of these members are actively using another dating site while still being a current active member of POF.

Question 5: How much money do members on Plenty of fish earn every year?

Answer: Members on Plenty of fish fall into the following income brackets:

  • < 30 thousand: 38% or 1,634,000 visitors a day
  • 30-60 thousand: 29% or 1,247,000 visitors a day
  • 60-100 thousand: 25% or 1,075,000 visitors a day
  • 100-150 thousand: 5% or 215,000 visitors a day
  • 150+ thousand: 3% or 129,000 visitors a day

Most of these statistics are from data gathered in 2012. For more information on this dating site you can read our Plenty of fish review.

Now It Won’t Just Be Celebrities Getting Caught “Canoodling”

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On those rare occasions when I find myself tucking in to a seedy gossip rag (it's all there is to read in hair salons...don't judge me), it seems that everyone in Hollywood is "canoodling." I have yet to determine what exactly canoodling entails, but apparently it's all the rage in Tinseltown.

It now could be all the rage in your life, too, following the recent launch of the Canoodle app. Canoodle is a social discovery dating service for Facebook, Android, and iOS. And it couldn't be easier.

The Canoodle team believes that the best way to find good friends and relationships is to discover interests and hobbies in common. The service makes it simple to do so by gathering information from your Facebook profile, making it quick and easy to meet matches who are into the same things as you.

Using Canoodle's social, location-based service, you can explore new places, events, and people in your area. You can customize and filter your search to exactly what you need, browse profiles, and connect in chatrooms around your favorite topics, activities, and places.

Signing up is as simple as connecting with your Facebook or email account. Canoodle reviews the Pages you've liked and the celebrities, products, sports teams, brands, etc., you follow, and incorporates that info with user-provided information. By mining your social media accounts, Canoodle gains a better understanding of what you like, eliminates the guesswork that exists on traditional dating sites, and connects you more easily with others whose interests and tastes are similar.

After gathering relevant data, Canoodle then uses a subset of 27 million people from among Cupid's 54 million-strong user base to determine the best possible matches for you. It's all free, and complete privacy controls are offered. Users can also interact via chat rooms, a desktop messaging client, and a newsfeed related directly to all of the user's preferences and affinities.

"Canoodle is designed as a fully mobile experience, either through the mobile version of the website or through a smartphone app, which means it can deliver results to users that are not only relevant in terms of their interests and passions, but also based upon their location," said Bill Dobbie, CEO of Cupid. "Social discovery and matching of people with shared interests is really powerful - it's like starting a conversation with a built-in ice breaker. Couple this with Cupid's enormous database of singles who are actively looking to meet someone, and you have all the right ingredients for success."

eHarmony Now Free to Communicate

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Wow I got a surprise when I visited eHarmony.com today. The first thing I noticed was that they have changed the banner that use to say in all capitals "Check Your Matches Free" to "Now Free To Communicate". This changed seems to be only on the United States eHarmony dating site as the Canadian one still has the original message.

After doing a bit more investigating it looks like eHarmony.com now allows free communication all the time. It seems to work very similar to Free Communication Weekends (FCW). You can use the guided communication process for free which after 3 steps does lead to sending emails via eHarmony Mail. The 4 steps of the guided communication process are designed so that you can learn more about your match. The first step is quick questions, the second step moves onto any makes or breaks you may have for a relationship and the third step has you asking some deeper relationship questions. The final fourth step is mail.

Free memberships still do have their limits though. The top 4 restrictions would be:

  • You cannot view your matches photos
  • You cannot see who has viewed your profile
  • You cannot see when your matches have last logged in
  • You also cannot skip to email

This is very similar to the restrictions placed on free communication weekends. To remove these restrictions you would then have to purchase a membership plan. eHarmony has 3 plans called Basic, Total Connect and Premier which can be purchased in 1, 6 or 12 month terms with prices ranging from $18.95 to $41.95 per month.

This is a big change eHarmony has put into place. I am not sure if this change is permanent or if they are just testing things out. They also haven’t officially announced anything either but I would expect some sort of press release soon. I am sure if it is successful we will see eHarmony sites in other countries follow suit. In my opinion it also places them much closer to a free dating site like Plenty of fish (POF). While you cannot go straight to sending email to members like on POF, for people seeking a long-term relationship the guided communication is very helpful and you can send mail once it is complete. POF’s free members have very similar restrictions as eHarmony unless they choose to upgrade. The major difference being between the eHarmony and POF memberships is POF members can view member photos.

Update: April 2, 2013 - I just found out another restriction which isn't obvious at first and would have changed the tone of this post a bit if I had known about the restriction before writing. Apparently you can only send out an email message in step 4 of the guided communication process. If the match replies to this message you cannot see it until you pay for a membership. Getting to use the guided communication process is nice but it would be even better if we could view the replies once we are finished with it like during a FCW.

I guess we now need to update our eHarmony review to reflect this new information along with the other profile changes I notice.