“Dating is about finding out who you are and who others are. If you show up in a masquerade outfit, neither is going to happen.”— Henry Cloud, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping
The term “dating” has multiple meanings, but it most commonly means the period in which two people meet socially, and explore whether or not they want to eventually pursue a more serious relationship or even marriage. It is a relatively recent phenomenon, having only originated in the last few centuries, that varies from country to country, and has changed considerably over time. Thanks to modern technology, dating can now take place over the telephone, computer, or in person. Below are 43 romantic facts about dating and relationships in the past, present, and future.
Dating & Relationships Facts
43. Money Matters
More women than men say they need independence in a relationship and prefer to keep their bank accounts separate. Men tend to be less secure, and statistics also show that for every $5000 that a woman earns more her husband, the chance of divorce increases by 5%.
42. It’s the Little Things that Count
Studies show that small acts of affection between couples can help strengthen their relationship. Actions like a giving a partner a tight hug, a kiss, a cup of tea, or even an unexpected gift can mean as much as sex.
41. More Women Than Men
In the US, there are an average of 100 unmarried women to 86 unmarried men.
40. Deliberate Design
If you’ve ever wondered why the counter in a bar is curved, there’s actually a specific reason. Bars are designed so patrons can assess the people around them for their dating potential. Most bars will also strategically place mirrors to make them seem larger and to allow people to check out who’s behind them.
39. Giving Chase
The “chase” is the most exciting part of dating to many people, so dating experts suggest not being too “available” after a date. A “desperate dater” is someone who is free for a date no matter how last minute, who focuses too much attention on their partner, who needs constant reassurance about their relationship, who needs a lot of compliments, who abandons their friends at the drop of a hat, and who is willing to settle, no matter how badly they are treated. According to E-Harmony, people with higher standards, and who don’t make themselves as available, are more likely to find love.
38. No Kissing Cousins
Due in part to Iceland’s small population (320,000), few foreign nationals, and surnames that don’t offer many hints as to lineage, it is a concern among Icelanders that they may accidentally sleep with a relative. To combat this, Iceland has a dating app called “Bump” that can tell you whether or not you’re related to the other person just by bumping your phones together.
37. The Victorian Internet
Before the Internet, people had to find other means of finding romance. Not long after the first newspaper was invented, personal ads started appearing. In the Victorian era, the telegraph was also used as a means of finding romance. Due to its ability to quickly transmit messages across long distances, it opened up opportunities for people who had never met to communicate and fall in love.
36. Not-So-Secret Language
The expression “Netflix and Chill” seems like a simple invitation to relax at home and watch a movie, but it’s become code for sex. Very chill. Or not chill at all?
35. Honesty is the Best Policy
A University of Illinois study found that when both partners were honest with each other about the state of their relationship, they stood a better chance of lasting longer. The same study also found that people in dying relationships tend to distort their assessment of how things are going.
34. When Dating Was a Felony
At the turn of the century, the concept of dating was virtually unheard of, and law enforcement officials didn’t know how to handle it. To them, a woman allowing a man to buy her food, drink or gifts and meeting in public was one step away from prostitution, and it was possible for a woman to be arrested for dating.
33. Doing Dishes Is Good for Your Love Life
A 2015 University of Alberta study showed that when couples share equally in household chores, they report being more satisfied with their relationship both emotionally and sexually.
32. Best Time to Call
The best time to call after meeting someone is within two to four days, and no more than four to five days. If woman doesn’t return the guy’s call after two messages, she’s probably not keen.
31. Meet Online, Break Up Online
Online daters are more likely to breakup online as well. Match Singles reports that almost half of their breakups occur over e-mail, while only a small percentage breakup over text. I wonder if the email dumpers feel good about themselves, because at least they aren’t breaking up by text!
30. A 19th Century Term
The term dating in its current framework is a relatively young term. Its first appearance came in a newspaper column in 1896 when a young man complained that his girlfriend was seeing other people, and they were taking up all of his dates (on her calendar).
29. Opposites Repel
They say that opposites attract, and a lot of times, a type “A” personality will get together with someone who is their polar opposite. Although the different personalities can balance each other out, sometimes they’re too different, and they start to resent one another for those differences.
28. Dating is Big Bucks!
The online dating industry generates $1.8 billion annually, and in the US, the dating coach business alone is worth $260 million per year. Dating has become big business, and the establishment of the “dating industry” has made meeting a potential partner become something that people are expected to pour their money into, much like what has occurred with the wedding and Christmas industries.
27. Say it Twice
Repeating your date’s name at least twice is a sure-fire way to create a connection with him/her, as it shows attention and involvement. Remembering bits of information about them and working it into conversations is also a way of showing that you’re interested.
26. Such a Turn-Off
Cystic acne, ragged nails, body odor and bad breath are among the top ten turn-offs for women. On the other hand, women will be more attracted to a man who wears aftershave and pheromone-based colognes. Women have a stronger sense of smell than men, and according to some studies, musk and black licorice smells are especially attractive.
Speed dating was actually invented in 1999 by a Los Angeles based Jewish man whose rabbi encouraged him to find a way to help Jewish singles meet and find partners. It’s based on a Jewish tradition of chaperoning meetings of young, Jewish singles.
24. Not so Fast!
Relationships typically don’t happen immediately after the first date. Studies show that it takes an average of six to eight dates before a dating couple decide to make their relationship exclusive. By the same token, most breakups occur after an average of three to five months.
23. Who Takes Longer?
A study by Lisa Daily suggests that women take longer to figure out when they’re into someone than men do. Men have reported recognizing their feelings as early as date three, while women report the same feelings around date 14.
22. Increasing the Odds
A study carried out by Emory University in Georgia found that the longer couples date before marriage, the more likely they are to stay together. Couples who dated for three or more years before proposing were about 40% less likely to divorce compared to those who had dated for less than a year. This feels like something that we didn’t need a study to prove…
21. Breakup Days
According to journalist David McCandless’s TED talk, the most common day to announce a breakup is on Monday. Right before Spring Break and Christmas are the times of year when most breakups occur.
20. Debt Stress
Expensive weddings and fancy rings are not a guarantee of a long and happy marriage. Debt stress after the wedding is a common occurrence that can severely damage a relationship. Studies have also shown that cohabitating couples who aren’t married share the same advantages as married ones, and expensive weddings are associated with higher divorce rates.
19. Broken Heart Syndrome
It turns out that being “broken hearted” is more than just a figurative condition. When a person suffers the loss of a loved one, by death or some other cause, the heart muscles can weaken and bring on a temporary heart condition. The body blitzes the heart with stress chemicals, the cells of the heart freeze, and the muscles tense up. This leads to a release of pain chemicals which travel to the brain and cause an actual pain sensation in the heart.
18. Cuddle Together, Stay Together
A study by the University of Hertfordshire found that couples who snuggle up while sleeping had much happier relationships than those who don’t. Only 68% of couples who said they don’t cuddle said they were happy.
17. Look Into My Eyes
Research shows that looking a person in the eyes plays a big role in attracting a possible date for both sexes. If a woman uncrosses her arms, makes subtle eye-contact and smiles, it makes approach more likely. Though, there seems to be plenty of evidence that doing the exact opposite won’t do much to deter creepy dudes.
16. It’s Scary Out There
Over half of the people who report their relationship status as single say they haven’t been on a date in two years. According to one poll, 40% of men said they are scared when they first make contact with a potential partner, which could help explain the lapse.
15. Dating Blunders
Three of the biggest dating mistakes are talking about yourself or your ex too much, being late, and seeming too willing. Men also report trying to avoid women who flirt too much, talk about marriage too soon, are too needy, party too much, are too chatty, and are too dramatic.
14. A Simple Thanks
When both partners are appreciative of the effort put in by the other person, a relationship will probably be more successful. A simple thank you can increase oxytocin levels—a neurochemical that helps build trust and affection.
13. Body Type
An Elle magazine survey found that 12% of women and 31% of men said they’d dumped a partner because they were overweight. In attracting a date, being thin and muscular is preferred to being overweight. Muscular individuals are viewed as brave, healthy and attractive, while thin people are seen as intelligent but nervous.
12. Body Language
Before a man even speaks a word, his appearance and body language account for 55% of a woman’s first impression. The way he speaks accounts for another 38% of the impression, and what he says accounts for just 7%.
11 Don’t Worry—Be Happy!
Negativity is the biggest turn-off during a first date. Studies show that happiness is infectious, and potential dates will less frequently turn away from happy people.
10. Three Seconds to Sex
According to psychologists at UPenn, most people make a decision about whether or not they want to have sex with someone in the first three seconds of meeting. On the other hand, deciding whether or not to get into a relationship can be a long and involved process.
9. Role Reversal
Although men have traditionally done the asking when it comes to dating, a Match.com poll found that 91% of men who use the site are comfortable with women asking them out. Match also finds that increasing amounts of Americans no longer feel it necessary for the man to pay for the first date.
8. The Right Time for Sex
Surveys show that 40% of women think one to three months is the suitable time frame to wait for sex, while 35% of men think the third date is OK. On average, sex takes place around the fourth to sixth dates, and women are increasingly making the first move.
7. She’s Just Not That Into You
When a woman offers to pay for everything on a date, the likelihood is that she isn’t really interested. Avoiding eye-contact, faking a smile or not smiling, leaning away, giving monosyllabic answers and looking at her watch are also all signs that she’s not into it.
6. Made Public Private
Meeting in public for a “date” oddly used to be the best way to give suitors some privacy. Before dating, courtship involved a suitor calling on his potential partner in her home, and since most homes weren’t mansions, being “alone” was virtually impossible.
5. Knowing the Signs
When women in a crowd are bunched together giggling, it’s a sign that they aren’t looking for men. If they’re standing together but their eyes wander, they’re interested and looking, and if they leave the group to go to the bathroom alone, they’re actively hunting.
4. Bonding Over Binging
Statistics have shown that being an entrepreneur, preferring phone calls to texting, and being anti-social media are all positive qualities in a date, while complaining on Facebook, being too involved in social media and not voting in presidential elections are negatives. It has also been found that binge-watching the same TV shows is a big plus for millennials.
The practice of “ghosting” is all-too-familiar to modern daters. It’s the term used to describe when someone that a person has been dating disappears without a trace. They stop returning texts, block the other on Social Media, and basically just erase themselves from the life of their one time partner, all in an effort to avoid the breakup conversation. In contrast, when someone who tries to get back into an ex’s life through social media, it’s called haunting. The dating-world sure can get spooky.
2. Fudging the Details
A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that 81% of people who fill out online dating profiles lie about details such as their height, weight or age. Weight is the biggest fudge for women (who frequently take off a few pounds), while men often add a half inch or more to their height. While some people do lie about their age, they do so less frequently than they do about height and weight.
1. Tune-In, Hook Up
Video sharing giant YouTube was almost a dating site. The domain was registered on Valentine’s Day, and was given the tagline “tune-in, hook up.” The goal was originally to give singles a virtual space where they could upload videos of themselves and “hook up” with other users. The company’s founders assumed that was the most logical use of the service, though it turned out that weird cats and fidget spinners would have something to say about it.