Couples

Match.com Study Reveals The Right Time To Say 'I Love You'

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Match.com Flowchart

From the first date, to the first kiss, to your first time between the sheets, every new relationship is marked by a series of milestones. Every one you reach is thrilling and nerve-racking, and daters have wondered since the beginning of time how to hack the system.

A new survey from Match.com attempts to answer the question of when it's the 'right' time to cross each milestone. More than 2,000 men and women in the UK were surveyed in attempt to map out the journey of the average (as much as any relationship can be 'average') long-term relationship. Here's what they found.

Within Two Weeks

The Match.com chart starts at the logical beginning: the first date. According to Match's research, the first kiss happens immediately. In the next one to two weeks, a budding couple will hold hands for the first time. They will also sleep together for the first time in that period, although they won't stay the night.

Within A Month

After the two-week point, things take a slightly more serious turn. A new couple will get undressed in front of each other – but only with the lights off – within a month. They will also introduce each other to their respective best friends.

Within Six Months

The relationship solidifies over the first six months together. Couples buy each other their first birthday presents and begin to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. At five months comes one of the biggest milestones of all: saying 'I love you.' After that, the realities of a life together begin to sink in. Couples have their first argument around 170 days, reveal imperfections around 173 days, and introduce each other to parents before six months are up.

Within A Year

Couples become increasingly permanent fixtures in each other's lives during the first year. After six months have gone by, they are comfortable leaving toothbrushes at each other's bathrooms and having a drawer in each other's homes. Then comes the travel. At 204 days, they'll go away for a night together and at 298 days they'll take an entire vacation. Within a year, it's time to have a serious conversation about the future.

Over A Year

The biggest life milestones come after the one-year mark is reached. The average couple gets engaged at 743 days (around 2 years), gets a pet at 813 days, and buys a home together just before they reach three years. The average marriage comes at 1190 days, just over three years. Finally, the average couple has their first child together at 1422 days, after three years and 11 months together.

View the full flowchart from Match.com here and check our our Match.com review.

Match.com's 2015 'Singles In America' Study Smashes Stereotypes

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Match.com Singles in America 2015

For half a decade, Match.com has celebrated dating with America’s most comprehensive study on singles. This year's annual analysis surveyed 5,600 singles from all ages, ethnicities, incomes and walks of life. What it found is a new dating landscape that's laying tired stereotypes to rest.

The days of macho men and dependent women are history. Men are increasingly seeking out independent female partners and women are setting the tone in relationships. The 'Singles in America' study calls it “The Clooney Effect.” According to the study, the majority of single women in 2015:

  • Want a partner with a sense of independence (89%)
  • Want a partner with the same level of intelligence (86%)
  • Think it's ok to casually date more than one person at a time (74%)
  • Are not willing to support a partner financially (55%)
  • Seek a partner who's comfortable with their sexuality (94%)
  • Would not likely date someone who's less intellectual (61%)

Holiday Themed Date Ideas

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Daitng During the Holidays

‘Tis the season! The holidays are upon us, which means that despite the cooler weather, our options for date ideas really open up. After all, parties and celebrations are everywhere---there’s no need to rely on the typical night of Netflix and dinner at home.

While popping some prosecco and lighting a nice fire in your living room are always good options for getting romantic, let’s think outside the box (meaning outside your apartment). What are some cool date options for someone you’re starting to really warm up to?

Following are some ideas to get you started:

Check out the lights in a cool neighborhood. No matter the city, there’s always a street or two that decorates like crazy – enough to attract small crowds during the holidays. This is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Do a little online research and pick a neighborhood, then go exploring – on foot or by car.

Go ice skating, sledding, or hiking. Even in Los Angeles, we have outdoor ice rinks during the holidays (as well as imported snow). So even if your city is not known for its icy lakes, chances are, there’s an outdoor ice rink to check out. (And for my friends in warmer climates this time of year, you have lots of outdoor options!) If you are blessed with cold weather options, try sledding, skiing, or hiking in the snow – or building a snowman. The point is: get outside and enjoy.

Volunteer. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t make time for others. Volunteering helps us get in the spirit of the holidays and also reminds us of all that we have. It’s a great way to feel inspired with your date.

Build something together. Do you have a project you’ve been wanting to tackle? Perhaps you want to build a new bookcase, or put together a dollhouse you’d love to give your niece, or refinish the antique table in your backyard? Now is the time to take on this project – and doing it with a date makes it fun. Crack open a bottle of wine or go out to dinner as a reward.

Visit a Christmas tree farm. Nothing says Christmas quite like the smell of fresh cut pine trees. Pick out a tree together to take home and decorate, or just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.

Go to an outdoor Christmas market. Outdoor holiday markets are big in many parts of the world, and offer a great variety of shopping, food, and warm mulled wine for the Christmas enthusiast. You can get errands done and enjoy the experience. Plus, it’s a festive way to spend the evening with a date.

Visit a sauna/ have a couples massage. Sometimes, you need a break from the holiday spirit. Why not treat yourself and your date to an afternoon sauna, or a nice couples massage? Consider it your holiday gift to yourselves.

Attend a festival. The holiday season is nothing if not festive. There are plenty of concerts and festivals – whether it’s wine and beer tasting, live music, a food festival, or holiday open houses, there’s always something to attend. Do a little research, and if you live near a big city, make it a day trip for you and your date.

Happy holidays!

Afraid of Messing Things Up with your New Love?

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I have to admit, when I was single and dating, it was much less stressful to go on a bad date rather than have a good date with a guy who had potential. The reason? I didn’t trust myself enough to think that I knew what I was doing; that I could somehow convince him to like me enough to stay.

It sounds needy when I write about it, but when you have been on several dates with someone and really feel the relationship could be going somewhere, it’s terrifying. Should you just be yourself, and run the risk of scaring him off? Or do you consider everything he could possibily be thinking (and therefore drive yourself nuts trying to change)? Or should you play it cool, and avoid showing him you really care because you might not be on the same page (and that would just be too embarrassing)?

Here is the assumption: dating is a bit of a dance. In the beginning, we are always up for trying new things (Star Wars marathon, scuba diving, or playing baseball – sure why not??). We do feel more adventurous when we are sexually excited by our date. We want him to know we are fun, cool, exciting and mysterious – all those things The Rules taught us - lurking in the backs of our minds.

The truth is, your true selves will emerge sooner or later, so it’s time to get comfortable with the fact that no matter what, you will make mistakes. But here's the good part: you can’t really "mess things up." If he’s truly the one, you will know that he is interested. You won’t have to try so hard to get him to like you. There won’t be mixed messages. He will go out of his way to let you know he's interested - despite your embarrassing moments.

The thing about guys is – when they want a woman, they pursue her. Even the ones who claim to be commitment-phobes. If you are afraid you will come across as goofy, nerdy, not attractive enough, or somehow unlovable when your guy is really interested in you – stop. If he is the right one for you, he won’t care about that time you spilled ice cream down the front of his shirt, or drank a little too much, or kept going on and on about your work conference. He will be much more interested in you, not your quirks or mistakes. In fact, he probably finds them endearing.

Most importantly, you won’t be chasing him, or wondering what he thinks, or second-guessing yourself at every turn. So instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, it’s time to just enjoy dating him.

 

Are You Addicted to Passion?

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We all know the heady feeling of passion – how it makes us feel and how we crave it in our love lives. There is the rush of emotion when you get a text from the object of your affection, or see him standing in front of you. There is that warm feeling that comes over you when you kiss, when you have sex, when you are wrapped up in each other. Desire, passion, lust – these are extreme emotional highs that we crave.

Maybe you’ve been on a few dates with someone who fills you with that passion. You’re already planning trips together, dreaming about how perfect he seems for you. You look forward to the relationship progressing, to moving in together, to him being “the one.” You fantasize about your love, and how he brings out such emotion in you.

Then a few weeks later, the sex isn’t so hot. He isn’t so attractive. He has this annoying habit of interrupting you every time you start to say something. His house is a mess and you feel like his mother when you clean up after him. He is still in touch with his ex girlfriend. He starts calling you less and less often, and isn’t so excited to see you anymore.

Needless to say, the seeds of passion have not brought the bloom of long-term love that you were craving in the first place.

When it comes to long-term relationships, these passion-filled romances don’t typically stand the test of time. They are intense, but like every high, at some point, you must come down. And then comes the true test of the relationship.

Long-term relationships require a deeper connection than passion. They often take a long time to grow. Which is why it’s not the best idea to reject dates who don’t bring out that passion you crave right away.

Passion isn’t just about heady, immediate lust. While that is always tempting to follow, it’s important to consider what you truly want: a life filled with short-term, intense flings? Or a long-term companion where love grows deeper?

Seeking long-term love as opposed to chasing passion isn’t about settling. It’s about understanding what you really want. It’ thinking about more than heady feelings of lust – but rather, about mutual respect, kindness and about having a real and lasting connection with a partner. Passion wears off no matter what relationship you are in, so you have to ask yourself: what is left after that? Do I even like the person I’m with?

What is it that I’m really hoping to have?

Most of us crave deeper connections. We don’t want someone who is just around for the good times, and takes off when things get rough or boring. We want someone we can trust, who we like, who makes us laugh, who respects and cares for us, who is committed for the long haul. This isn’t the stuff of passion – it is the stuff of deep relationships. Be clear about what you want before you keep chasing passion.

5 Things to Savor While You’re Single

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Have you been single for a while? Do you date hoping to meet someone special - because you crave the companionship, the support, the life shared together?

All of these things are wonderful. Having a relationship is a great goal for your life. But the truth is, there are times when even the people who are happily committed want a little space and freedom from the demands of the relationship. It’s important when you are single to keep some perspective, so you don’t fall into a mode of self-pity. In reality, there are positives and negatives to both – being single and being part of a couple.

It’s time to focus on the positive aspects of being single – and what many people in relationships wish they could have:

You can book a last-minute trip. Anywhere. This is an amazing perk of being single – you are completely in charge of your time and your budget, so if travel is your priority and you don’t have to consult with a partner, then it’s really easy to say yes to those last-minute trips. Or that European vacation. Take advantage now, because that kind of freedom is not quite as easy to pull off in a relationship, especially if you decide to start a family.

You don’t have to share your calendar. Do you want a weekend getaway with the girls? When you are partnered up, you might have to spend that weekend with your in-laws or at your boyfriend’s cousin’s graduation instead. Family time obligations are doubled when you are with a partner, as well as dealing with two different sets of social obligations. You will be busy doing things you don’t always want to do when you are part of a couple, so enjoy setting your own schedule now.

You can spend your weekend however you want. If you want to spend all day shopping, or having a leisurely brunch with your girlfriends, or play poker with your buddies, go for it. There’s nothing stopping you.

The only habits you deal with our your own. Do you like the dishes to be put away before you leave the house? Are you kind of a slob who leaves your shoes and clothes everywhere? No matter your habits, good or bad, clean or messy, your partner will likely have different ones. Enjoy doing things your way now without compromise or consideration - it won’t last forever.

Eating whatever (and whenever) you want. If you like to eat cereal for dinner while you binge-watch Mr. Robot at 10:00 at night, you can without hassle or regret. If you want ice cream for lunch and you don't have to worry about making something for your partner, go for it. You won’t always have this kind of freedom and ability when you are partnered up.

Enjoy the single life – embrace the present!