Match.com is one of the many Internet dating sites that I’ve helped friends with; by which I mean, making over their dating profile. Because being single sucks. Or, it does for me. Most of the time. Probably because I need so much attention.
“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Since 2010 Match.com has done studies on singles and married people, asking them about what they want, what they have, and what they need. This year I’m bringing some of those stats to you, via Singles in America.
Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher lead the study of 5,481 single people, spending 12-14 hours a day analyzing her data. I feel like if you’re single and/or have single friends, we all do that in some way or another. Analyzing our data, and our friends’, and whatever we need to do to feel normal.
So how do we, (and by “we” I mean 20 somethings, but if you’re over 20, I still love and adore you, ASK YOUR DAD, the implication being that I had sex with your father, it’s a bad joke), feel about marriage?
Over 2/3 of men and women in their 20’s want to get married. Can’t help but wonder what if the question instead was, “How many of you want to get divorced in your 20’s?” 82% of women in their 20s wanted to get married. 67% of men do.
Weirdly, or weirdly to me, these numbers drop in the 30’s to 78% of women and 64% of men. I thought it only went up the older you get, especially with women. That’s what the movies and the television shows tell us. Except for Sex and the City. Actually, no, wait, didn’t they all wind up married at the end? Except for Samantha I guess. That Samantha! She is a PISTOL! So why is it that the stats go down? Is it because people get married in their 20’s, get divorced and think, Fuck it, I’m buying a boat? Can anyone explain this from personal experience?
Here’s something that shocked me from this study. Really, really surprised me. Did you know that the first thing both men and women judge when they first meet someone is their teeth? I always assumed my entire dating life that it would be how fat or thin someone is. But apparently it isn’t, at least not in 2012 when this survey was taken. So good news if you’re fat! You’re gonna be fine! What do you see immediately about someone you’re dating when you first meet them? Guess what else is important to people? GRAMMAR! YEEEEEAAHHHHHHH! That’s not a joke actually.
90% of people asked, “Do you believe that you can stay married forever, to the same person?” answered yes. YES! YOU IDIOTS. THE MATH DOESN’T ADD UP. THE NUMBER OF DIVORCES IS TOO DAMN HIGH!
OKAY, LET’S GET TO YOU SLUTTY SINGLE SUPER PEOPLE. 45% of you had a friends-with-benefits relationship that turned into a REAL THING. And Dr. Fisher says, “I’m not surprised. Because any kind of sexual stimulation of the genitals drives up dopamine which can push you over the threshold into falling in love, and with orgasm is a real flood of oxytocin that is linked with feelings of attachment. Casual sex is NOT casual unless you’re so drunk you can’t remember it.”
I hear you there, good doctor. Being really drunk is like time travelling. I think I just accidentally made a Dr. Who joke. And this is where she said something REAL interesting to me: “maybe we’re in a new stage of courtship.” Dude, I said this way back when I started my blog. I said this in my THIRD POST. It’s TRUE, DR. FISHER, IT’S ALL TRUE!
So what do you guys and dolls think about all of this? What are some dating or marriage trends you’ve been seeing? Do they reflect this study or are you reading this and as puzzled as Cogsworth when Lumiere cooks up one of his schemes to get Belle and the Beast together?
I think this study is interesting as hell, and I recommend you watch Dr. Fisher’s talk here. It was a livestreaming video so the quality isn’t the best, but it’s worth watching/listening to, because holy fuck, it really surprised me.
(Oh, and for all you sexters out there, don’t be too hard — omg that’s what she said — on yourselves if you’ve sexted because you are so not even close to being alone. 35% of women say they’ve done but, oh my God, we all know it’s higher. It’s such a thing now that Match made a short vid about it. Check it out below. There’s another stat in there that may or may not embarrass you.)