Love is definitely the topic of today.
Love has many benefits, especially when we are talking about romantic love.
Did you know that having a romantic relationship makes both men and women happier? Ok, I know some of you are thinking, not in my case. It’s true, relationships can also be a source of great pain and conflict. But overall, romantic relationships make us happy. And the stronger the commitment, the happier we are!
When researchers at Cornell University and Penn State University compared married couples to singles or cohabitators, they found that even when the marriage is not so happy, both partners have a better sense of well-being than singles or couples living together. A reason for this could be that marriage brings a sense of stability, given the commitment.
And here is the kicker. It’s not that happy people necessarily get into happy relationships. Instead, relationships seem to make people more happy. So if you want to improve your well-being, find that special someone. And if you are in a relationship on this special day, celebrate your happiness. Romance makes us happy!
According to an online survey of 5,481 singles, ages 21 and older, who are not in a relationship, conducted by Market Tools Inc. for Match.com (Margin of error plus/minus 1.32 percentage points), this is what singles are saying about their sexual behavior:
- –42% would not date a virgin. This is really sad and a remarkable change through the decades. Consider the sexual baggage and potential STIs that are brought to relationships from multiple sex partners. And this is certainly not in line with God’s plan to wait for sex in marriage.
- –47% of singles reported a “friends with benefits” relationship. One has to wonder how much media have impacted this casual view of sex. On most TV shows, it is almost expected that you hook up with someone while dating. And casual friendships that involve sex are viewed as conveniences as long as they don’t hurt friendships. Sex is reduced to a physical act versus an intimate act of marriage. Based on my conversations with singles, I am not convinced that anyone handles casual sex well.
- –44% of women and 63% of men have had one-night stands. The temptation is great, especially when this is not viewed as sin.
- –Almost one-third (28%) say they’ve had sex by the third date; almost half (46%) by the sixth date. Speaks to the expectation that casual sex is not frowned upon as it was in years past.
What is disturbing about this survey is that we are seeing almost half of singles willing to hook up with dates and treat sex in a casual way. What isn’t talked about is the fall out emotionally, spiritually and relationally when sex is treated casually. The heartache of giving yourself to a person who doesn’t stay with you creates more of an impact than people lead you to believe. I’ve heard hundreds of stories from women and men who can’t shake the images of prior sexual behavior from their memories when they do get into a relationship they would like to go long term. The number of STIs continues to rise, a permanent reminder of prior sexual relationships to those who marry other people.
Sexual relationships are not free and easy as we are led to believe. The consequences are rarely shown or discussed but often leave scars, wounds and feelings of shame that can only be dealt with through the healing power of a relationship with Christ. God’s prescription for sex in marriage is not some punitive measure to keep up from having fun, but a protection for our hearts. Any other message is simply a lie, but apparently more and more singles are buying the lies.
A singles survey of almost 5500 unattached adults conducted by MarketTools.com for Match.com sheds light on what singles look for in potential relationships. And yes, physical attraction still makes the list. I already blogged on what men look for in women. Now, let’s take a look at what women judge men on when considering a potential date.
The number 1 physical characteristic was the same as men: TEETH. A whopping 71% listed teeth. Obviously, that smile makes a difference!
The rest of the characteristics ranked as follows:
#2 Grammar (61%)
#3 Clothes (58%)
#4 Hair (53%)
#5 Nails/hands (52%)
#6 Have/Not having tattoo (34%)
#7 Shoes (29%)
#8 The car he drives (24%)
#9 Accent (22%)
#10 Electronic devices carried (9%)
It is interesting how important grammar is to making a good impression. Also, self-care is an issue. Women are paying attention to grooming.
In terms of the relationship, the most important ranked as follows:
#1 Someone who treats me with respect (84%)
#2 Someone I can trust and confide in (77%)
#3Someone who has a sense of humor and can make me laugh (58%)
#4 Someone who shares the same values I do (47%)
#5 Someone who is comfortable sharing his wants, needs and desires (46%)
Hmmm…only the women weighed in on values.
And what women voted as least important:
Someone who is eager to marry (6%)
Someone who eats similar foods (9%)
Someone who wants to have children and shares my political beliefs. (tied at 11%)
Someone who has a similar education level (12%)
Someone from the same ethnic background (14%)
A singles survey of almost 5500 unattached adults conducted by MarketTools.com for Match.com sheds light on what singles look for in potential relationships. And yes, physical attraction still makes the list. But the specifics may surprise you.
Number one on the list of 10 things men judge women on: TEETH! When judging a potential date, men look at teeth. Biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher, thinks this could be because teeth represent health. Teeth care indicates hygiene and personal health habits. Although, I’d add a caution, teeth whitening can be deceptive!
According to the survey, men ranked these physical characteristics in this order:
#3 (51%) Hair
#4 (45%) Clothes
#5 (40%) Have/Not Tattoo
#6 (37%) Nails and Hands
#8 (18%) Shoes
Two attractions had to do with how a woman speaks: #2 was good grammar (55%); Accent ranked #7 (19%)
Finally, and more related to symbols of status were: The car a woman drives (#9 with 13%) and electronic devices carried (#10 with 9%).
In terms of the relationship, men ranked the most important as:
#1 Someone I can trust and confide in (63%)
#2 Someone who treats me with respect (57%)
#3 Someone who is physically attracted to me (40%)
#4 Someone who has a sense of humor and makes me laugh (37%)
#5 Someone who is comfortable with her own sexuality (36%)
The least important:
Someone who is eager to marry (4%)
Someone who makes at least as much money (6%)
Someone who eats similar foods (7%)
Someone who has a similar educational level, has a successful career, wants to have children and shares political beliefs (4 way tie at 8%)
Someone who has the same ethnic background (9%).
Tomorrow, what single women look for in men.