Lockdown…A Time For Love?

By: Helen Fisher

We weren’t built to live 24/7 with a lover.  For millions of years men regularly set off to hunt, sometimes for days.  And women went gathering and often visited friends or family in another camp for weeks.  We are a nomadic species—built to leave home regularly for adventures of all kinds.  So being cooped up during this pandemic requires resourcefulness, particularly if you are single and used to stepping out. 

    Oddly, however—this nasty virus has given you some perks: foremost, time to date.  Even if you are working at home, you won’t be dressing, commuting or meeting friends after office hours. 

    And you have something meaningful to talk about: this disease.  The chit-chat of most first meetings is gone; instead you are inclined to trade stories of fear and hope.  This self-disclosure spurs intimacy, love and commitment.  (And psychologists report that men are just as likely to reveal their innermost feelings as women).  So during this lockdown, you might get to know vital things about a potential partner fast.  That’s a plus.

     Moreover, sex is, at least temporarily, out.  When you meet in person, you’re obliged to navigate this nether world.  “Do I kiss him?”  “Should I take her hand?”  “What do I do if they invite me back to their pad?” You might have some sexy conversations…but real sex is of the table.

      Money is off the table too.  On a regular first date, you are required to negotiate who pays: “Should we meet in a cheap café or an expensive bar?”  “Should I offer to split the bill?”  Nope: who pays is history.

     And fortunately, you have a new tool for courting: video chatting.  From data collected on 6,004 Match members over the weekend of April 12, only 6% said that they used video chatting before Covid-19 hit.  Now 69% of these singles are open to video chatting with a potential partner.  And a third already have someone with whom they’d like to talk via video.  

But when using this technology, I recommend you do two things: 

Foremost: after you have actually seen and talked with nine potential partners, stop.   And get to know at least one of these people better. The brain is not well-built to absorb a host of options.  Indeed, about nine is max.  Then we burn out; faced with too many alternatives we choose none. Moreover, the more you get to know someone, the more you are inclined to like them.   

     Second: think of reasons to say “yes.”  The brain is designed to remember the negative, not the positive.  Forget that he likes cats and you like dogs.  Focus on what you do like about him or her.  But remember: these are not dating apps—they’re introducing apps.  The only real algorithm is your own brain.  You must ‘show up’ for these video chats.

      Oddly, video chatting has another benefit: it’s slowing down the courtship process—accelerating a current trend I call Slow Love.  And data shows that the longer you court and the later you marry, the more likely you are to build a happy long-term partnership.  In fact, I’ve come to realize, (from my brain scanning studies), that romantic love can be sparked instantly; but feelings of trust and attachment take time to develop. 

      So this pandemic has created a new stage in the courtship process: video chatting.  And I think it will continue after this lockdown ends.  Why? Because it has some genuine benefits: With video chatting, not only can you weed out non-starters before you meet in person—enabling you to save time and money, as well as kiss fewer frogs.  But you can get to know potential partners more slowly, a natural process in the brain that builds trust and attachment.  Now’s a perfect time to let Cupid do his job.

Match’s Most Eligible Valentines

Still looking for a Valentine? Whether you’re searching for fit and flawless or you’re all about the personality, these eight eligible bachelors and bachelorettes will show you some l-o-v-e just in time for Cupid’s favorite holiday.

Let’s meet the babes:

Jackson aka Mr. GQ

Do we really need to explain the nickname? I mean…look at that face. While he’s mastered all the model facials – smoldering, suspicious, you name it – he’s usually all smiles. At just eight months old and 55 pounds, he still has a little growing up to do (don’t all men?) and just wants someone to be silly with along the way.  

View Jackson’s profile

Demi aka Netflix & Chill (in the good way)

This 10-pound female chihuahua is the perfect mate for anyone into really big…ears! While she’s only one year old, she has mastered the art of relaxation, making her the dream companion for binging that new documentary. (Yes, Netflix, we’re stillll watching…)

View Demi’s profile

Zoe aka Little Spoon

If you’re one of those bizarre singles who doesn’t like to cuddle, this ain’t ya girl. This 65-pound sweetheart loves to snuggle up after a long day of work or play. She’s also a great walking companion as her little legs and affectionate spirit are always turning heads.

View Zoe’s profile

Jimbo aka The Jock

Jimbo is like the football player you had a crush on in high school, but with a wayyy better personality. He’s two years old and the perfect partner for long runs, hikes or just throwing the ball in the yard. His upbeat attitude and silly spunk will always make you smile.

View Jimbo’s profile

Tyga aka Teddy Bear

If the big warm teddy bear is your type, look no further. Tyga is 80 pounds, four years old and has plenty of love to share. He’s also the perfect guy to introduce your parents and friends to – no really, he gets along with everyone.

View Tyga’s profile

Dizzy aka Mr. Dependable

No matter what kind of day you’ve had, you’ll love going home to this handsome hunk of love. At 83 pounds, Dizzy is the perfect protector, but loves to be silly too. He’s always ready for a walk or a good belly rub (aren’t we all?) and is looking for a stable partner to provide him both.

View Dizzy’s profile

Bernice aka Down for Whateva

Bernice is one of those babes who prides herself on being low maintenance. Whether you want to explore the open road, pick up new friends at the park or just kick it on the couch, she’s game for anything. She doesn’t let her past get in the way (no ex bashing here!) and is ready for a new partner in crime to enjoy the future with.

View Bernice’s profile

Allie aka Sugar Mama

Sweet and sophisticated with plenty of skills, Allie is pretty much everyone’s type – so better keep an eye on your friends around her. She loves meeting new people, long walks on the beach (or the street) and sharing her love. And what’s better than that?   

Ready to match with one of these cuties? You’re in luck. All are currently available for adoption through Wags & Walks, an LA-based adoption center dedicated to helping rescue dogs find their forever homes. 

Has #MeToo Changed Modern Dating? Half of Single Men Say Yes.

It’s been two years since the New York Times broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s egregious sexual abuse allegations, followed by actress Alyssa Milano posting a tweet heard round the world, echoing the call for unity first launched nearly a decade earlier by civil rights activist Tarana Burke: #MeToo. The hashtag went viral across social media platforms – in the first 24 hours, more than 12 million posts were made on Facebook. There was a global reckoning. So many women – our friends, sisters, girlfriends, mothers, daughters – had experienced some form of sexual harassment or sexual assault in their lifetime. People of all genders, ages, socioeconomic groups, race and ethnicity, across all walks of life, came forward to say they too had been victims/survivors of sexual misconduct, and it was time to hold people, especially badly-behaved men, accountable.

There can be no doubt that #MeToo became a larger social movement. A recognition that more work was needed. But as a behavioral scientist who studies sexuality, gender, and intimate relationships, I wondered whether this movement could both educate and in turn, curb the destructive behavior the world was finally openly talking about. Over the last 2 years there have been plenty of pundits, on either side of the political aisle, who have extorted their views on the effects of the #MeToo movement. Some saying it was long overdue, others arguing it’s gone too far. But none have had concrete data to base their opinions on, until now.

As part of the 9th annual Singles in America study with Match, in a national sample of over 5,000 adult single Americans, we assessed attitudes toward #MeToo and whether it has changed behavior, specifically at work and in one’s dating life. Close to 40% of the U.S. adult population is single at any given time, so knowing how singles feel about #MeToo is a strong barometer of impact on social life.

In our study, half of men (51%) say the #MeToo movement has caused them to act differently overall; more specifically, nearly 40% of men reported now being more reserved towards women colleagues at work and 34% of men said they act more reserved on a date because of the movement. In terms of age effects, this was especially true among Millennial men. Whether being more cautious and reserved is enough to reduce sexual harassment experienced by others remains an open question for additional research and observation.

When asked about #MeToo and various aspects of social life, both men and women reported being more reserved when approaching someone new in public (35%), as well as when on a date (33%), and also with what they post on social media (28%). When with a new potential partner, 19% of singles think twice about the jokes they make, 15% further consider the topics they discuss, and 15% are more cautious about inviting that person to come home with them.

When it came to attitudes toward the significance of these changes, more than half (59%) of today’s singles say the #MeToo movement is important to them (46% of men; 69% of women), and almost half say it has sparked necessary discussions. The movement has certainly led to much discussion, conversation, and debate. But some also see a downside, with 14% of all singles (19% of men; 10% of women) reporting that they think the #MeToo movement has made dating more challenging.

The #MeToo movement is affecting how single people approach social interactions. That 51% of men say the #MeToo movement has changed their behavior is truly remarkable. Other common risk-reduction programs, like smoking cessation or ending alcohol abuse, are often considered successful while only achieving much smaller changes in behavior. A behavior change intervention that managed to have half of participants report a positive change would almost certainly be viewed as a major success. Now imagine that at the level of an entire population, and seeing these changes in a relatively short period of time. We would regard this as an effective intervention and celebrate its success. Modifying human behavior at the level of entire populations, especially when involving culturally entrenched norms, has proved especially difficult. #MeToo appears to have turned the dial in multiple ways.

Sexual harassment and gender inequity remain global problems, with consequences for our intimate lives. Addressing these issues at a system-level has proved difficult, but it appears that the #MeToo social media campaign and related social justice movements have started to raise awareness, increase accountability, and change human behavior. Dating and relationship norms often adjust to the social and political times, and we may very well be on the cusp of a sea change in what Americans view as acceptable and effective ways to initiate and maintain romantic and sexual relationships.

Author:Justin R. Garcia, PhD, is Acting Executive Director & Research Director of The Kinsey Institute, Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of Gender Studies, and IU Bicentennial Professor at Indiana University. Since 2010, Garcia has served as Scientific Advisor to Match. He is co-author of Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior. His next book is titled The Intimate Animal.

How To Be The CEO Of Your Dating Life

Last Saturday, Match spent the day at Create & Cultivate’s San Francisco Conference, where C&C transformed an old parking garage into an instagrammable hot spot for female hustlers. The event featured Kourtney Kardashian as the keynote speaker and attendees were A-list group of female influencers and business owners killing it in the panels held throughout the day.  

Match has long been known to have the most experience and insight into singles and dating culture, and C&C was the perfect opportunity to showcase our newest app feature – Date Coaching. Every Match subscriber has access to a free one-on-one call with one of our expert dating coaches to chat about everything from conversation starters to moving on after a bad breakup.

So, which of our experts was fit to take on the challenge of giving advice to thousands of love-seeking women? Enter, Rachel DeAlto: Match’s Chief Dating Expert (you may recognize her from Married at First Sight or Kate Plus Date).  attendees rushed to the “Dating Bubble”, where Rachel gave one-on-one sessions, answering all of their dating and relationship questions and lending an ear to the issues plaguing single women today. The takeaway for the day–take control and be the CEO of your dating life. Here are Rachel’s top three tips to get you started:

1. Date intentionally – There so many daters that have no idea what they are looking for. You have to be a gate keeper and set non-negotiables as to the qualities you are looking for. Not physical characteristics, but personality traits and values. Create a list of four and ONLY date people who meet those non-negotiables.

2. Go after what you want – Dating on Match is not the time to be timid and wait for your ideal person to reach out to you. Send initial messages (keeping them short, sweet, and personalized) and make the move to take it offline and into real life. Regardless of your gender, you are in charge of these initial stages. Act like the boss you are.

3. Make the time – Like any good CEO, you have to work on your time management, and it’s the same for dating! We all are busy, but if dating and the potential for love is a priority, make space for it. Set aside 1-2 nights a week for dates, and take time to create opportunities by searching and messaging. 

Dating takes work, but it should still be fun. If you’re feeling rundown by dating fatigue, overwhelmed by the idea of dating or just discouraged by all of the apps – call one of our coaches. Take control and be proactive. If you’re ready to be the CEO of your dating life – give us a call at 1-833-996-2824.

Spring Spike: How to Rejoin the Dating Scene this Season

Whether you’re back on the market after a breakup or are just getting serious about dating following a busy winter, a new season provides the perfect time to get your dating life off to a fresh start. And what better time than now? With the snow and ice beginning to melt away, spring inspires singles to embrace the sunshine and warm up to new possibilities.

We caught up with Rachel DeAlto – celebrated relationship expert and media personality – on her top tips for rejoining the dating scene.

  • Learn from the past: While we’re often encouraged to just “forgive and forget,” the past can actually help us prepare for the future. People have preferences for certain traits and characteristics, and you should be cognizant of what did and did not work in previous relationships. This helps you make informed decisions about which traits to look out for and which to avoid.
  • Set your intentions: Before racing off to your first date, figure out the type of romance you’re looking for. Maybe it’s a committed relationship with a long-term plan; maybe it’s just a plus one to attend all those upcoming weddings with. While it’s great to be open-minded, it’s important to have at least some clear goals for what you’re looking for and why. These can not only keep you motivated and moving through the inevitable highs and lows of dating, but also ensure you don’t settle.
  • The art of multi-dating: You read that right. Go on a maximum of two to three dates with different people per week. While it might be tempting to turn every day into date night, dating shouldn’t become your fulltime job. You still need time for yourself.
  • Scheduling the next date: Give it at least a couple of days between two dates with one person. There can be a rush to love where you want to see each other as much as possible, but keep in mind that the hottest fires burn out the fastest. Let it breathe.

According to DeAlto, there’s no green light that goes on when you’re ready to date. So, pay attention to your mindset and be true to what you want as you get back out there.

5 Ways Match Makes Love Easier to Find

Whether your version of L-O-V-E is romance and fireworks or frill-free nights in on the couch, we continue to improve our features to make finding what you’re looking for even easier.

New Design

If you’re an avid user, you probably noticed our new look and feel right away. But don’t let the appealing new colors and style fool you; the latest design had a lot more than just appearance in mind. Take navigation, for example. From searching to matching, our clear, user-friendly design makes it easier to discover who you’re looking for.

We’ve also enhanced the feel of Inbox, giving you room to have real conversations, beyond the simple “hey” and “nice to meet you.”

New Profile

Not in the mood to write a personal ad for yourself? You don’t have to. Say goodbye to long essays and hello to Topics. These fun and unique prompts were designed to put your personality on display (and maybe a few of your charming quirks, while you’re at it), without forcing you to summarize your entire life’s story.

Speaking of your story, we’re also giving you the option to share additional details like your hometown, education and profession, providing you more ways to make a connection and start a conversation.

Premium Perks

The best just got better. We’ve been adding to Premium’s already impressive offerings, giving our VIPs more ways to match, meet and make a lasting impression. See for yourself:

Boost

Everyone likes to be ushered to the front of the line, and that’s what this feature is all about. Boost your profile to the top of search results for 60 minutes to be seen by more users and make more connections. While this is available to purchase for all members, Premium members now receive one free Boost per month. And who wouldn’t want that?

Profile Review

As nice as it is to have a best friend critique your profile, there’s nothing like an expert who specializes in just that. From the diversity of your photos to the frequency of your communication, our experts will provide you with custom tips and feedback to help you put your best foot forward and ensure you’re getting the most out of your Match experience. This is another perk free for Premium members.

Match Events

If you’re someone who prefers to flirt face-to-face, you’re in luck. From cooking and rock climbing to whitewater rafting and even fencing, Events are a great opportunity to meet other members in person and connect doing the things you love. As a bonus, we recently launched discounted events, giving Premium members up to 50% off over 100 interest-based events offered every month in select cities across the U.S.

Don’t just take our word it. Join Match now and experience it for yourself.

How To Have a Great First Date

By Julie Spira, Online Dating Expert and CEO, Cyber-Dating Expert

You passed the profile test, mutually “liked” each other, and have decided to meet IRL for the first time. Now what?

How can you make sure you’re date-ready, and ensure your in-person dialog helps you get to a second date?

First dates can make even the best conversationalists nervous, with many singles defaulting to an interview-style meeting, or ending up with long moments of silence, where you can hear a fork drop on the floor. Both of these scenarios can take the romance out of dating, and make someone ask, “Check, please?”

If you’ve had this happen before, chances are you could use a cheat-sheet or a little coaching on how to get started and keep the convo going.

Here are five tips on how to break the ice, remove the pressure, and have a first date worthy of putting a second one on the calendar before you leave.

Take a Screen Shot of Your Date’s Profile.

Preparing for a first date takes more effort than putting on lipstick or pressing your pants.

I know that dating can be overwhelming, and you don’t want to call someone “Jimmy” when his name is “Johnny.” If you take a quick peek at their profile before the date starts, you can welcome them with a personalized “hello,” to get your date started.

Plus, you won’t be asking embarrassing questions like, “So have you ever been married before?” which might backfire, as your date might feel as if he or she is under the microscope.

You’re on a Date, Not in a Deposition

Too frequently people get nervous on a date and default to a job interview-style list of questions that feels as far away from romantic as it gets.

I suggest asking questions that don’t require a “yes” or “no” answer, such as “What’s the last concert you went to, and what did you love about it?” or “What movie do you have a burning desire to see?”

Both topics can easily lead to asking someone for a second date.

[Cue smiley face. :)]

Leave the Drama Behind

I’ve read too many dating profiles where someone writes they’re looking for someone who is drama-free. Besides being cliche, everyone’s had life experiences that involved drama, so it’s an unrealistic request.

I recommend keeping your first date conversations on the lighter side, which means don’t start comparing your date cards, talk about work problems, or complain about your ex. I promise you the date will go south quickly, and you’ll go home with regrets.

If you’ve had a bad day at work, don’t let that mood tag along turn into an unpleasant date. Both you and your date’s time is precious and valuable.

Instead, take a deep breath and remember the memories that made you smile. Talk about those with your date. Even if you go down job history memory lane, talk about something you accomplished and are proud of.

Be Up on What’s Newsworthy

While you don’t have to read a newspaper from cover-to-cover or be a journalist, it’s a good idea to take a quick peek at an online news or entertainment site to know what’s happening in the world.

It can be as simple as knowing what films topped the box office the weekend before, to an understanding of climate issues. Being up on world affairs helps the conversation if it should slow down, plus being smart is super-sexy

If you’re still stuck on what to say, try spending more time listening and being interested, than talking and being interesting.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert, and has been coaching singles on dating online for over two digital decades. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the FREE Weekly Flirt newsletter.