Saturday, 21 July 2018

Good Things about Being in a Relationship: 6 Positive Effects

Sure, there are some great benefits to being in a relationship—an end to loneliness and access to a constant activity partner, for starters. But, relationships have also been show to benefit physical and mental health. Being in love and having an intimate connection with your partner does wonders for your mind and body:

1. Being in a relationship helps to relieve physical pain. The reward system in your brain that’s been activated due to those feelings of love and romance actually dulls feelings of pain.
A 2010 study found that when college students put their hand on a heat block, they could withstand the heat longer if shown a picture of their partner. This might explain why, after hurting yourself, the only person you really want near you is your partner. It’s that reward system hard at work, and your body is reaping the benefits.
2. Being in a relationship helps reduce heart attacks. Studies have found that long-term relationships, most notably marriages, are like miracle drugs for heart health.
A 2013 study out of Finland found that singles are twice as likely to die from an “acute coronary syndrome event,” such as a heart attack, and other heart-related issues. There’s just something about being in a committed relationship that strengthens both the literal and proverbial heart.
3. People in relationships have lower stress and lower rates of depression. Relationships can benefit mental health–especially in women.
A 2010 study by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University found that single people suffer from psychological stress and depression more than those in relationships because relationship status affects cortisol production. Cortisol is the stress hormone that can either make or break how one is going to react to a stressful situation. Less stress means less depression.
4. Being in a relationship can positively affect your career. The amount your partner supports you in your career can lead to better professional performance.
A 2014 study found that partners who are “conscientious” give their partners the ability to thrive. Not only does the conscientious partner make for an equal partnership at home, but because he or she establishes a positive and supportive home life, both partners tend to fare better professionally.
5. Married men are happier than single men. Studies have found that men experience more happiness after locking it down.
According to a Michigan State University study of 1366 men, after men say, “I do,” that they are happier than they are when they are single. This isn’t to suggest that getting married is going to make every day a walk in the park, but “[married men] are happier than they would have been if they stayed single.”
6. Relationships help people living longer. While living forever may not be an option, studies show you can live longer if you embrace couple hood. Multiple studies that examined mental health, physical health, overall happiness, and how often couples laugh, have found that those who are married or in healthy, committed relationships live longer.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship

Of all the people who get married, only 3 in 10 remain in happy, healthy marriages. The rest of the relationships end either in divorce or dysfunction. So what does it take to maintain a healthy relationship and a lasting, loving marriage?

Psychologist John Gottman studied thousands of couples over 40 years to answer that question. In 1986, he and a partner set up “The Love Lab,” where they brought in newlyweds and watched them interact. Researchers in the Love Lab hooked up the couples to electrodes and measured their heart rate, blood flow, and how much sweat they produced as they asked them questions about their relationships.
After compiling data over several years, Gottman found that there were two types of couples: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still together and happy after six years of marriage or more. The disasters had either split up or were unhappy in their relationships.
What set these two groups apart? The disaster couples had strong physiological reactions while discussing their relationships, despite the appearance of calm on the outside. The higher their heart rates and the more sweat and blood flow they produced, the quicker their relationships fell apart.
What caused these physiological responses was the environment that the couples had created for each other. Even when talking about minor details of their relationship, the disaster couples were prepared to attack or be attacked. Their interactions were hostile and aggressive. Meanwhile, the masters had low physiological responses during their tests. Their environment was one of trust and intimacy, and this allowed them to feel calm and connected in each other’s presence.
Gottman found that the way that couples react to each other’s bids for attention can determine what kind of environment they create. For example, a wife who is a video game enthusiast might be looking for attention or support from her husband by remarking on a game that excites her. The husband has two choices: He can either dismiss her or engage her. Dismissal can be as minor as a distracted “that’s great, babe” or as aggressive as a disparaging comment about how video games are waste of time. But if he engages her by showing interest—”Oh, I remember you telling me about this game. Is that the one where you fight evil trolls?”—he is meeting her emotional needs.
Partners who stayed together engaged in their significant other’s bids for attention far more often than those who fell apart—the masters clocked in at 87 percent while the disasters only did so 33 percent of the time. Essentially, couples who showed more kindness and support towards one another—in the good times and the bad—ended up in happier, longer-lasting relationships.
For example, if a husband receives a promotion at work, an active, constructive response would be to enthusiastically congratulate him and then ask questions to show interest. “A partner who says, ‘Congratulations! That’s amazing! How did it happen?” is demonstrating kindness that helps to build the backbone of a lasting relationship. A partner who grumbles, “Great, now you’ll be away from home even MORE,” is having the opposite effect—deflating her husband’s good news and criticizing his behavior for good measure.
As you choose from potential partners, look out for these signs. Does he respond positively to your interests, even if he doesn’t share them, or does he tend to brush you off? Does she make negative assumptions about your intentions (for example, does she assume you were getting a text from another date when your phone went off during dinner), or does she view most of your actions as well-meaning? People who demonstrate kindness and support in a relationship will not only put you at ease in the present, they might also be the key to a long and happy future.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

25 Quick Online Dating Tips Based on Data

Navigating the intricacies of online dating can get a little tricky. It’s hard to know how to break the ice, what to say to keep the conversation going, or when it’s time to stop chatting and ask for a date.

That’s why to help out, we looked into data from the online dating site and app Zoosk to get some quick and easy online dating tips that can help you right away.
From ditching the group photo to talking about your kids, here are 25 quick tips to keep in mind as you look for love online.
1. Show off a little.
Adding a full body photo can get you 203% more messages.
2. Focus on you.
People with more than one person in their profile photo get less messages.
3. Mix it up men.
Men with at least one outdoor photo get 19% more messages.
4. Keep it honest.
People who use the word honest in their profile get more messages.
5. Take a selfie ladies.
Women with selfies get 4% more messages.
6. Short first messages work best.
First messages between 61 and 69 characters get the most replies.
7. Mention his or her profile.
Messages that mention someone’s profile get 25% more responses.
8. Have a sense of humor.
Saying that something’s funny in a message can boost responses by 108%.
9. Don’t be afraid to get cute.
Messages that use the word adorable get 106% more responses.
10. Be interesting.
Saying that something’s interesting can boost responses by 94%.
11. Mention your pet.
Messages that mention a pet get 88% more responses.
12. Religion is an ok topic.
Messages with the word religious get 156% more responses.
13. Go ahead and talk about your kids.
Mentioning kids in a first message can get you 34% more responses.
14. Be a health nut.
People with the word healthy in their profile get 17% more messages.
15. Give a compliment.
Messages with the word cute get 54% more responses.
16. Laugh it up.
People with the word laugh in their profile get more messages.
17. Flatter away.
Messages that use the word gorgeous get 45% more responses.
18. Mention his or her hair.
Messages that compliment someone’s hair get 84% more responses.
19. Have fun with it.
Messages with the word fun get 28% more responses.
20. Talk about tattoos.
Messages that ask about someone’s tattoo get 76% more responses.
21. Ask about his or her day.
Messages with the word day get 56% more responses.
22. Always be nice.
Using the word nice in a first message can boost responses by 68%
23. It’s ok to admit when you have a crush.
Using the word crush in a message boosts responses by 121%.
24. Compliment his or her eyes.
Messages that mention someone’s eyes get 64% more responses.
25. Keep it cool.
Messages with the word cool get 62% more responses.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

How to Attract Someone: Five Scientifically Proven Ways

As it turns out, seduction may be more of a science than an art. Wondering how to attract someone special? Here are five scientifically proven ways.

Humor is an attractive quality for both men and women, though for different reasons. Recent research shows that women appreciate men who can make jokes, and men prefer women who laugh at their jokes. Why is humor so sexy? A study published in Evolutionary Psychology suggests that a sense of humor is a signal for higher intelligence, which, in a strictly biological sense, is a favorable trait for a partner.
Being Liked
Have you ever had a relationship that you thought was completely platonic, only to discover the other person liked you? How did it make you feel? Science says you probably found the other person more attractive if you learned he or she liked you, even if you even if you ultimately decided against a romance. Psychologist Richard Wiseman discovered that one of the best ways to impress a date was to give the impression that “you were hard to get–and therefore a scarce resource worth having–but really enthusiastic about him or her specifically.”
Sharing Personal Info
What you talk about has a huge impact on potential partners. For example, in one study, 18 percent of people who talked about travel wanted to meet up again, compared with only 9 percent of those who discussed movies. This is because men and women tend to have different tastes in movies, which often leads to arguments. In comparison, a family vacation or friend’s destination wedding elicits happy memories (or at least funny stories) that have a better chance of leading to a bonding moment.
In fact, sharing personal, emotional information can create a deep connection on the very first date. In a one study, people who shared intimate details created a stronger bond within the first 45 minutes of meeting than some people experience with their closest, life-long friends.
Doing Fun Stuff
Nix dinner and a movie and shoot for an activity that gets your blood pumping. Research shows that people associate the adrenaline rush and exciting feelings with the person they’re with, so if you bring your partner on an exhilarating hike or a rock concert, he or she is more likely to experience feelings of romantic attachment.
Love at First Sight
According to Dr. Earl Naumann, if you believe in love at first sight, you have about a 60 percent chance of experiencing it. And of those who do experience it, 55 percent marry that partner, and three-quarters of them stay together. So open up your mind to the possibility of love at first sight.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

What to wear on a date: dos and don’ts

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world,” are the enduring words of fashion icon Marilyn Monroe. But what if you’re not wearing the right shoes? Does that mean you’ll struggle to conquer the walk to the bus stop? Hopefully not, but the truth is that what you wear can affect how you feel and behave.

Which is why choosing something to wear on a date is so difficult. We turn our wardrobes inside out, plagued by the thought that if we pick the wrong outfit, the date will go as badly as one of those disastrous Dr Pepper ads. So, whether it’s a casual coffee or a formal dinner, here’s some advice to help you look the best you can be.
Do wear something you know you look good in
Rather than suddenly jumping on the latest fashion trend an hour before the date, choose an outfit that you’re familiar with. Think about what clothes make you feel relaxed and confident, the outfits you’ve been complimented on in the past, and the colours people always remark look excellent on you. Wear something you know you look good in and your natural confidence will shine through.
Do think about the location
Before picking the outfit, consider where the date is going to be. This may sound obvious, but while those killer heels or shiny brogues make you feel a million dollars, they might not be the best choice for a romantic stroll around the (probably muddy) park. You’ll want to spend the time getting to know one another, not grumbling about blisters. Being comfortable is key to keeping the conversation flowing and relaxed.
Do start with something simple, then build
If you’re really lost for what to wear, then go back to basics. Choose a simple outfit, like black jeans and a plain top (black is arguably boring, but it is a very forgiving colour and therefore good for dates). Then add layers and accessories depending on the weather or the location. A big coat if you’re going to be outside, sunglasses if it’s sunny, a smart jacket if you’re going for dinner. Keep it simple and you’ll find there’s less to worry about.
Don’t hide who you are
Jennifer Baumgartner, author of What Your Clothes Say About You, writes, “the worst clothing is the kind that tries to undo, ignore or hide where or who you are, or the kind that shows you didn’t pay attention to your body/age/situation”. So again, don’t suddenly decide you’re into designer crocs because you saw them on your date’s Instagram. If you’re hoping your encounters will turn into something long-term, be honest about the kind of person you are from the start, so they fall in love with the real you.
Don’t dress too smart on the first date
This one is important to remember. By all means, dress smarter than usual on a first date – after all, you want to make a good impression – but make sure you save your nicest outfit for a future outing. Who knows where you may go together in the future? You wouldn’t want to play your aces all at once.
Don’t wear anything that you can’t walk in, eat in, or breathe in
This one’s particularly important for dinner dates, but can be applied across the board. While it may sound a bit ridiculous, simply make sure you pick an outfit that doesn’t hinder your normal behaviour.
Whatever you do decide to wear, remember a date is meant to be special. It’s a chance to connect with another person. It’s not an interview or a business meeting. It may only last for a drink or two, so try not to dread it – think of it as a special event just for you and enjoy it.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Why Do Girls Like Bad Boys? Secrets from the Science of Attraction

From James Dean to James Bond to George Clooney (pre-Amal), girls have always had a soft spot for bad boys. And now science knows why. Recent research has found that men who have vain and somewhat er, well, psychopathic tendencies usually get more dates than the average male. Wondering what’s up with that? Well, here’s why.

They’re more attractive.
It’s not your imagination—bad boys really are ridiculously good looking. Research has found that people with so-called ‘dark’ personality traits such as narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism—otherwise known as the ‘dark triad’ of personality traits—are more physically attractive than others. The study by Nicholas Holtzman and Michael Strube of Washington University in St. Louis found that narcissists, unsurprisingly, are better at making themselves look physically appealing. Which explains why it’s definitely not a coincidence that bad boys have both an amazing wardrobe and amazing hair—they work hard at it.
Additionally, those within the dark triad were found to be, “more likeable and had more confident body language, and more attractive facial expressions,” than their counterparts. In short, a bad boy make a darn good first impression. This works well in his favor because, according to the research, when we find someone super hot, we tend to assume they’re also smart, kind, and confident (even if it isn’t true). No wonder bad boys are so irresistible.
They’re more fun.
From motorcycles to daredevil trips, bad boys know how to have a good time. A 2016 study conducted at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona showed that a number of women were attracted to bad boy types because they were considered captivating. “While they are selfish, rule-breaking, imprudent, and rebellious, they are also brave, temerarious, independent, and self-reliant—and they live frantic, galvanizing lives,” said lead researcher Fernando GutiĆ©rrez. He added that this behavior could function as “a signal that the subject has such good genetic quality and condition as to live dangerously without suffering harm.” The study went on to say those traits included in the dark triad, such as neuroticism and impulsiveness, “are not being weeded out by natural selection and actually may confer an evolutionary advantage.” Therefore ‘nice’ guys with their reliably structured existence just can’t compete with their wild bad boy counterparts who apparently have nine lives to boot—it’s evolution’s fault.
It’s hormonal.
If you find yourself ogling the bad boy at the bar, you can blame your ovaries for that. According to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology back in 2012, women, in the week of ovulation, “delude themselves into thinking that the sexy bad boys will become devoted partners and better dads,” said study researcher Kristina Durante of The University of Texas at San Antonio. “When looking at the sexy cad through ovulation goggles, Mr. Wrong looked exactly like Mr. Right.” That means, during a certain time of the month, women can’t help but be attracted to the bad boy. (Just another thing to blame your baby box for.)
As much as bad boys are downright hypnotizing, it’s important to note that their charming ways quickly wear out. Although bad boys find it relatively easy to begin new relationships, research says that, over time, they find it difficult to maintain their mesmerizing first impression. In fact, they’re noted to be selfish, cold, and arrogant—pretty much the opposite of who you thought they were. (Just be careful because it could take several weeks before your bad boy exposes his true self. That’s because people with dark personality traits are skilled at keeping their unpleasant side hidden.)
Bottom line: bad boys are great for a fling, and it’s only natural to be attracted to them. (It’s science.) But if you’re looking for a long-term relationship go for the nice guy.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

How to Talk to Women Online

Some men like to say that women are complicated. And they’re right! Women are complicated. But then, men are complicated too. Men and women are vastly different, but we’re all governed by basic social rules and norms.

This article gives you guys out there a few quick tips on how to understand how women are different and master the social norms that make easy conversation possible. We’ve used data from real online daters to come up a with a few ways you can make sure that you’re online communications are strong.
Keep these things in mind and you’ll learn how to talk to women online:
So this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people become disrespectful while communicating online. As a man, you should always treat women with respect. That means, no rudeness, no insults, no inappropriately sexual comments. Communicating online can be hard. Some of the subtle nuances of your jokes or comments may be lost. So be careful, re-read what you’ve written, and get a feel for the woman and the conversation before getting more aggressive. You may think you’re being playful and she may think you’re a complete jerk.
Some Compliments are Better Than Others
Making compliments on an intellectual or emotional level, not strictly a physical level, can get you far online. A lot of guys lead with, “You’re beautiful,” or “You look amazing.” And ya, every girl likes to be complimented on her appearance, but chances are she’s heard this a lot and you’ll just look like every other guy messaging her.
Try mixing it up, and compliment her on something else. A woman is generally more flattered by compliments about her intelligence, her kindness, or the worth of her personality than she is by comments about her physical appearance.
If you do compliment her looks, make it unique. Data from real online daters showed that women responded to messages that called out specific things about their looks—eyes, hair, or glasses—instead of words like beautiful.
Keep Talking – There’s No Playing Hard to Get Online
Sometimes the biggest struggle with talking to a woman, especially when you’re nervous, is to avoid running out of things to talk about. If the conversation stalls it can be a killer. So have a few go-to questions you like to ask people or a few go-to topics you like to bring up. Even if they’re a bit generic or boring, it’s good to have something ready. That way, if there’s a pause in the conversation you’ll be ready.
If you’re waiting to message her back, keep in mind that a lot of women like it when guys play hard to get. It’s mysterious, it keeps them guessing, it can drive them crazy, but it’s also part of the fun. Playing hard-to-get is all well in good when you’re offline, but online? Well, it just doesn’t work. According to data Zoosk collected from over 3 million conversations, if someone doesn’t reply within 24 hours, there’s a 94% chance you’ll never talk again.
Ask Questions
All people like it when someone is interested in them and wants to learn more. If you feel at a loss of things to say around a woman, ask about her taste in music, movies, or books. Find out what she enjoys most, what her job is, or even what she wishes her job is. Even asking what the last movie she saw, even if she hated it, can lead to a good conversation and help you get to know her.
Don’t Try Too Hard
The majority of women don’t appreciate it when men come across as arrogant, or as if they’re trying too hard to impress. The kind of bantering that happens between guys isn’t the same as the kind of communication that occurs between a man and a woman. So take it easy, don’t tell her about all the amazing things you do, what car you drive, or how you just got a new phone. If she’s interested, those are things she’ll notice and appreciate on her own. If you want to brag a little, and highlight what makes you a great catch, tell a story about something cool you did that you think she’d enjoy too. That way it’s not just about you.
Being too aggressive right off the bat can backfire. Data shows that first messages from men that mention dinner, drinks, or lunch, get 35% less responses. Don’t ask someone out in your very first message.
Be Honest About Your Past and Your Present
Women really respect a guy who’s honest and upfront right away. In a different exploration, Zoosk looked at the profiles of 3,956 subscribers and found that men who had profiles that mentioned divorce, separate, or my ex got 52% more messages. Similarly, men who mentioned son, daughter, teenager, children, or single dad saw an increase of 7%.
Chances are, you’re better at talking to women than you think. You just need a little practice. And that’s one of the best things about online dating—there are a lot of opportunities to get to know a lot of people. So have fun, flirt, ask questions, and you’ll have a date in no time.