The percentage which your work relationships will improve if you have a supportive spouse, as he’ll help lower stress levels. To help support each other, try the Kahnoodle app – it sends you ideas for things to do for each other. Clever.
Source: Psychology Today
The perfect age gap in years between you and your partner, according to a study from Bath University. In fact, the study showed couples where women are five years younger than their partner are six times less likely to divorce than most couples. (With a new bloke? Find his DOB on Facebook.) But if this doesn’t apply to you and your partner, don’t sweat it. “It’s the parity in mental ages that really helps sustain a relationship,” says Denise Knowles from Relate. Visit mymentalage.com to check what your mental age gap is. And no gloating if he proves to be more immature.
The percentage of couples who say money causes tension (that’ll be the fight over that Chloé bag you had to have then). Debts and loans rarely make conversational fireworks, so ditch bad habits with the Home Budget app. It tracks incomes, expenses and bills and can be synced so both of you can access it, leaving you to enjoy a relationship that’s not affected by money. Quids in!
The number of people a 30-year-old woman who's had seven sexual partners could have indirectly slept with. Lloyd’s Pharmacy’s Sex Degrees Of Separation Calculator works out how many indirect partners you’ve had. Medical director Dr Tom Brett says, “If you’ve slept with a person and they’ve slept with two people and so on, it becomes a tangled web.”
The average number of times a week most married couples 'do the do'. So pity the colleague who says they’re at it for hours nightly. “If you have three kids under five and you have sex once a week – hallelujah!” says relationship expert Tracey Cox. Sex therapists recommend putting sex into your diary. A US study showed 8am is the optimum time, as energy and hormone levels are at their peak, with the ideal amount of time to devote to the deed between seven and 13 minutes. Use Google Calendar to block in ‘sexy time’ with your partner.
So they said yes. You saw him, you (casually) swooped and you got the number. Some might say the hard part is over but then again you still have the first date to consider. You don’t want all that hard work to be for nothing, do you? Ok, now it’s time to really impress him. Even the most confident of gals blow it on the first date, here are my tips to ensuring that doesn’t happen.
Talk about your ex let’s get it out the way now, the golden rule of any first date. No one wants to know how heartbroken you were or how he was just using you to get close to your best friend. This is your chance to leave all of that behind you, take it!
Overdress getting ready and can’t decide what to wear? Remember this is a date not a prom, leave the tiara at home. You’d be surprised how much guys like a pair of jeans and a vest top he doesn’t want to be your personal crutch as you hobble around on ten inch heels. If he’s really the guy for you he won’t care what you’re wearing anyway.
Get Ahead of Yourself don’t set yourself up for a fall, he’s agreed to meet for a drink not be the father of your children. Remember this is just a date, there were other guys before him and there’ll be more after him, this is NOT your one and only chance to find love! If you’re secretly already telling yourself he’s your boyfriend then we really need to talk. Desperation can be spotted a mile off, be confident and believe that you’re better than that Let Him Make All of the Decisions You want to be wined and dined but try and maintain just a little bit of control on the date. You want to go somewhere that showcases the real you at your finest not a sports bar or that club you went to once that shattered your eardrums. Generally avoid places where you’ll have to shout your every word, quite frankly it gets exhausting.
Play With Your Phone you’re supposed to be looking sultry, gazing into his eyes and pretending your listening to him lie about how he loves his job not tweeting Will.I.Am! Don’t text either - if your teachers could see you doing it under the table at school your date can too, save it for the bathroom breaks.
Talk About Sex whether you’re a sex addict or just having some playful banter save it for the girls. Some guys love a promiscuous girl but why risk it? Whatever you’re looking for don’t portray yourself as one night stand material, as I said before you’re better than that! Leave a little mystery, making him wonder what you’re thinking will drive him potty – trust me!
Be Negative we’ve all had our fair share of dating horror stories but always stay open-minded if you go into a date with a negative attitude it’ll be over before it’s even begun. For every good date we have there are probably ten bad ones but that’s just the nature of the dating game and when the good one comes along it’s worth the wait. If the date isn’t going well early on don’t get fed up, you now have nothing to lose. Just enjoy it for what it is – a night out!
Get Wasted It’s fine to have a few drinks to take the edge off but know your limits. The last thing you need is your date getting dressed up only to be covered in your sick after yet another jaeger bomb. Remember the key is to always leave him wanting more not trying to make you someone else’s problem when you can’t stand up right.
Ask Questions but not too many, it’s a date not a job interview. Show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know this person, you may even find that you have more in common than you first thought. Try to let things flow – no one likes an awkward silence!
Offer to Pay, But Never Ever Pay As tight as us guys can be at times a girl should never have to pay on a first date. I’m all for equality ladies but this is one occasion where it’s ok just to let us be a gentleman. On the other hand however, if he asks or suggests you pay this is where you hit him with whatever shoes you’ve chosen for the evening – he’s not the guy for you.
Relax I know it can be nerve-wracking but what’s the worst that can happen? As I’ve said before don’t over-think things this is just a drink, he’s not the dentist - what do you have to be nervous about?
Be Yourself the most obvious of clichés I know, but it’s true. Pretending you’re something you’re not might be easy enough to do once but you’d be surprised how quickly that can spiral. Have faith that the real you is good enough for any man because the likelihood is that it’s true.
Kiss even if it’s just on the cheek. I know you ladies have different rules about kissing on the first date but I promise you guys won’t get the wrong impression of you if you do – so long as you’re not rolling around on the floor. But as I always say leave him wanting more so give him the best kiss of his life – for about three seconds. You won’t go far wrong.
9 Reasons Technology Has Ruined Relationships, Friendships and Your Life
Yes, it's nice that you have the entire Internet at your fingertips and you can up your texting game with emoticons and selfies, but if you really sit back and think about it, technology has kind of ruined your relationships.
Harsh truth: Your relationship with your significant other, your friends and even your boss is completely different now that technology dominates your life.
1. You can't enjoy a nice dinner out until someone takes a photo of their meal.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
Candlelit dinners used to be an intimate experience. Now it goes something like this:
"Happy anniversary, honey! I ordered us the lobster and filet mignon, but first, I really want to give you a speech about how much our love means to me. Oh, you're Instagraming the polenta appetizer? OK. I'll wait. Now I have a very important question to ask…Oh. Now you are refreshing Instagram to see how many likes your polenta got. Fine...I think we should see other people."
2. You can easily get thrown under the bus at work.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
You called in sick to work on a Friday because you wanted to leave early for a little weekend getaway. Most people do it at some point. But your friend stupidly tags you in her status that says: "Headed to Vegas with my girrrrls this morning! Road trip! YAY!!" A coworker sees your status and rats you out. Or worse, you're friends with your boss on Facebook (why?!) and they see it for themselves. Now they know you don't have food poisoning. And now you're demoted. Or fired.
3. You feel like you have to document your entire vacation.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
If you don't post photos of the sunset in the Bahamas, did you ever really go? If your desire to give people vacation envy via social media overshadows your desire to have some actual time off and be unplugged, rethink your priorities.
4. Facebook stalking has replaced the usual "getting to know you" part of dating.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
Blind dates? Not so blind anymore. And first dates are actually third dates because we all know people stalk each other on Facebook to learn as much as they can about the other person before they commit to dinner and/or sex. The mystery of getting to know someone is gone. Sometimes that's a good thing, but the fact that it's a forgotten practice is a little sad.
The idea that we are so bored without our phones during the five (or so) minutes we are in the bathroom is actually a little disturbing. Whatever happened to just bringing in books when we use the john? Or magazines?! Or maybe you just sit by yourself for three measly minutes without anything distracting you? Also, the percentage of phones dropped into toilets has risen dramatically over the years. That's a scientific fact.*
*Not actually a scientific fact, but it's probably true.
6. There's added pressure to make things "official" on Facebook.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
Sadly, there are a lot of people out there who don't count their relationship as real unless they have that FB verification. Engaged? Married? Living together? It doesn't matter until everyone on Facebook sees it in your profile info! And if your boo doesn't want to make things Facebook official, you are probably constantly questioning why they are holding out. Is there someone else? Are they still playing the field? And now you are paranoid and ruining your relationship before it even started.
7. And speaking of Facebook official, if you experience a breakup or go through some other horrific life crisis, everybody knows.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
Facebook is s--tty like that. Your drama is all over the place, complete with really sad heartbreak icons to add insult to injury.
8. Quality time isn't the same anymore since everyone is on their phone.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
Catching up with friends and/or family? Put your damn phone down and look people in the eye. Have a conversation. Don't worry about what you are missing on Twitter. It will still be there when you are done socializing with actual humans.
9. The majority of interactions are through text, so now calling someone is weird.
Amanda Oleander for E! Online
Um. How does one have a conversation over the phone again?
I'm in my 30s, have a job and my own apartment, and now I'm looking for a long-term relationship — or at least real dates instead of hookups. I've joined a number of online dating sites, but it seems like mission impossible. What can I do to better my odds?
— Name withheld
Here's the good news: Almost 40% of singles who are "looking" have used an online dating service and a nearly a quarter of that group have met a spouse or long-term partner that way, concluded a recent Pew study. To maximize your odds, start by making sure you're on the right site for what you're seeking. For instance, OkCupid promises to "use math to get you dates. It's extremely accurate, as long as (a) you're honest, and (b) you know what you want." Then, there's Tinder, a relatively new app that matches people geographically, based entirely on their looks, with no background information. I think we all know what that means.
Next, follow these rules:
1. Be smart about your screen name. Choose a handle that says something genuine both about you and what you're seeking. Avoid names like "SexyGuy" or "HotBabe," which seem more about hooking up than getting to know someone. Use a handle that reveals something intriguing about you, like, "DCGymnast" or "FoodieInThe312." (These last two also let others know where you live – another plus).
2. Spend time on your profile. This is not a time to be lazy -- so don't just slap something together quickly. Be sure to answer all questions honestly and fill in the blanks about you and the kind of person you're seeking. Then read it back as if you were the potential date. Ask a friend to take a second look for you.
3. Your photo matters. University brainiacs at MIT and the University of Chicago reported that women and men who post profile photos receive twice as many e-mails as those without photos. That means, make sure your face is visible and that you're smiling. Since you're looking for a romance, choose photos of yourself in casual or work dress – with your clothes on! Please, no cheating: your picture should show you within two to three years of your current age.
4: Be clear about your expectations. Don't waste time -- yours or someone else's – so say what you mean and mean what you say. (Do you really like moonlit walks on the beach, or are you more likely to be found in a bar at midnight?) Make sure you're on the same page as your new prospect.
5. Be smart. Don't give out your last name, address, or personal e-mail right away. When you're ready, start with your cell number. Don't agree to a get together until you're comfortable — and when you do, meet in a coffeehouse or some other public place. Oh, and here's one last bit of advice: First impressions really matter. According to Match.com, most guys decide within the first 15 minutes whether they'll ask for a second date. Women take about an hour. Good luck.
There is a delightful technique that you can perform on your partner during intercourse that involves squeezing and rippling your vaginal muscles around his penis. While this technique will certainly require some practice and skill by way of Kegel exercises, the result is a deeply satisfying experience that will not only intensify his sexual pleasure but yours as well.
Milking His Member
Ideally, choose a variation of the woman-on-top (cowgirl/reverse cowgirl) sex position. Have your partner lie flat on his back or in a seated position. If woman-on-top is not an option, choose a sex position that will enable your legs to stay together in order to enhance the “tight” sensation.
Straddle your lover and with your vagina completely relaxed, slide his member inside of you.
Ask your partner to stay still and refrain from thrusting while you pleasure him a series of strong rapid squeezes by contracting your PC muscles (kegels). To generate the rippling or “milking” effect, begin by squeezing the muscles around your vaginal opening, then thePC muscles a little further up and finally your anal and stomach muscles. Consider including a few reverse kegels for your enjoyment as well. Where regular kegels involve contracting the PC muscles, reverse kegeling involve bearing down or pushing them out. Doing so puts pressure on your clitoris and moves your G-spot closer to your inner walls and vaginal opening. Both then become more engorged and rub more firmly against your partner’s thrusting manhood.
You can begin alternating between “milking” and riding his erect penis. When you sense that he has reached the point of no return and about to ejaculate, begin contracting your muscles as strongly as possible and remain still as he continues to thrust. The sudden increase in friction and pressure will give him the sensation of being tightly gripped; amplifying the intensity of his orgasm. Keep squeezing tightly until the end of his orgasm and only relax your vaginal muscles when he is completely spent.
The ability to contract your PC muscles effectively is vital to this technique. The simplest way to strengthen your vaginal muscles is by starting a daily Kegel routine. Not only will your lover benefit but so will you since kegels tones your vagina and makes it more sensitive. A daily kegel exercise routine also helps you to lubricate quicker and arouse easier as well. Women with toned vaginal muscles have stronger orgasms and more intense sexual sensations too because it increase blood flow to the entire area.
Kegel exercises are easy to do and can be done virtually anywhere. Although not necessary, there are devices such as Ben Wa balls that can also help with the exercises. It takes diligence to identify your pelvic floor muscles and learn how to contract and relax them. To locate your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. For a more sensual option, try squeezing your lover’s fingers as he caresses you internally. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscles.
Perfect your technique. Once you’ve identified the correct muscles, empty your bladder then choose a comfortable position – sitting, lying down or standing. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions. Once you can successfully hold and relax for 10 seconds, begin including some fast pumping movements to your workout. Sharply pull up your muscles and sharply release them. Repeat this quickly for 10 reps and do it whenever you do the slower contractions.
Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.
If you have concerns about whether you are doing the kegels properly, consider using a hand mirror while in the nude. If you are doing the exercises correctly, your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus, should contract with each rep.
Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
Don’t make a habit of using Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream. Doing Kegel exercises while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles, as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.
It may take a few weeks of contractions and sharp pumps before your muscles reach their full strength but you can start using the sensual muscle squeezes during sex right away. In no time you will have an enticing array of pleasurable skills that will skyrocket your man straight to the moon.
Imagine hitting the sheets for the most satisfying night ever. Now, did you fantasize about sleep or sex? If your mind immediately went to the former, you're not alone. In fact, 65 percent of women say they would prefer a good night's sleep over sex, according to the new survey by TODAY. The survey goes on to reveal why: So many women are super sleep-deprived. A whopping 58 percent say they don’t routinely get eight hours of sleep or more each night.
There are a million reasons why we're not getting enough shuteye—from stressful work schedules and too much caffeine to smartphone habits and Netflix bingeing. But is it bad that we're prioritizing sleep over sex?
Not necessarily. After all, it's hard to get in the mood when you're exhausted. Plus, a 2013 study found that when couples skimp on sleep, they're more likely to fight and leave things unresolved, which can take a big toll on your bond.
Still, forgoing every opportunity for a roll in the hay so you can hit the hay could be a red flag. If it's happening too often, it might be a good idea to be more proactive about getting better sleep—if not for your productivity, then for your sex life! Find out all the ways to start sleeping better tonight, so you can get back to having amazing sex tomorrow.
Study: More than a Third of New Marriages Start Online
More than a third of recent marriages in the USA started online, according to a study out Monday that presents more evidence of just how much technology has taken hold of our lives.
"Societally, we are going to increasingly meet more of our romantic partners online as we establish more of an online presence in terms of social media," says Caitlin Moldvay, a dating industry senior analyst for market research firm IBISWorld in Santa Monica, Calif. "I do think mobile dating is going to be the main driver of this growth."
The research, based on a survey of more than 19,000 individuals who married between 2005 and 2012, also found relationships that began online are slightly happier and less likely to split than those that started offline.
Findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, put the percentage of married couples that now meet online at almost 35% -- which gives what may be the first broad look at the overall percentage of new marriages that result from meeting online. About 45% of couples met on dating sites; the rest met on online social networks, chat rooms, instant messaging or other online forums.
Lead author John Cacioppo, a psychologist and director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, says dating sites may "attract people who are serious about getting married."
While Cacioppo is a noted researcher and the study is in a prestigious scientific journal, it is not without controversy. It was commissioned by the dating website eHarmony, according to the study's conflict of interest statement. Company officials say eHarmony paid Harris Interactive $130,000 to field the research. Cacioppo has been a member of eHarmony's Scientific Advisory Board since it was created in 2007. In addition, former eHarmony researcher Gian Gonzaga is one of the five co-authors.
"It's a very impressive study," says social psychologist Eli Finkel of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. "But it was paid for by somebody with a horse in the race and conducted by an organization that might have an incentive to tell this story.
"Does this study suggest that meeting online is a compelling way to meet a partner who is a good marriage prospect for you? The answer is 'absolutely,'" he says. But it's "premature to conclude that online dating is better than offline dating."
The findings about greater happiness in online couples "are tiny effects," says Finkel,whose research published last year found "no compelling evidence" to support dating website claims that their algorithms work better than other ways of pairing romantic partners.
Finkel says the overall percentage of marriages in the survey is "on the high end of what I would have anticipated."
Sociologist Michael Rosenfeld of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., says the numbers seem "reasonable."
He says his own research, published last year in the American Sociological Review, found 22% of newly formed couples had met online, "but couples who meet online are more likely to progress to marriage than couples who meet in other ways." He says his new analysis of nationally representative data found that of 926 unmarried couples followed from 2009 to 2011, those who met online were twice as likely to marry as those who met offline.
Although Rosenfeld says the paper is a "serious and interesting paper" and "Cacioppo is a serious scholar with a big reputation," he is concerned that "the use of an Internet survey which leaves non-Internet households out might bias the results."
Harris Interactive says the results have been weighted to correct for potential bias in its online surveys. Other new data released last month from a Pew Research Center survey found that just 15% of Americans report not using the Internet.
Cacioppo defends the results, and says that before he agreed to analyze the data, "I set stipulations that it would be about science and not about eHarmony." He adds that two independent statisticians from Harvard University were among co-authors.
"I had an agreement with eHarmony that I had complete control and we would publish no matter what we found and the data would be available to everyone," he says.
Why It’s Good to Be “High Maintenance” in a Relationship
As a dating coach and relationship columnist, I travel the country talking to young women about their love lives. What I hear over and over again is that they aren’t satisfied in their relationships—but they aren’t telling their guys what the issue is because, they say, “I don’t want to be high maintenance.” Well, why the hell not? Being high maintenance isn’t bad; it might even improve your relationship. Let me convince you.
First off, what you think is high maintenanceisn’t.
Many women I talk to are neurotically obsessed with projecting a laid-back image to guys, which affects everything from what they’ll eat on a date to how much time they’ll wait before responding to a text. “Women worry about losing a guy if they ask too much,” says Joy Davidson, Ph.D., a New York City therapist. “So we tend to put men’s needs above our own and hide what we want in a relationship.” One 31-year-old researcher from San Francisco told me she was afraid to discuss exclusivity with a guy she’d been seeing for months: “I didn’t want to weigh down the fun with ‘the talk,’” she says.”But in the end, the relationship didn’t progress; it just fizzled.” A 25-year-old fashion retailer in Manhattan has had similar concerns: “I worry about telling guys I’m annoyed about something they’ve done because I don’t want to seem too sensitive.”
Ladies, we’re being ridiculous! Wanting to know where a relationship is going is not high maintenance. Wanting to eventually get married is not high maintenance. Wanting to hang out with a guy you’re dating or getting upset when he does something upsetting—not high maintenance! These are normal human behaviors and basic relationship rights.
Besides, guys can be high maintenance too.
Let’s turn the tables. Take a moment to define “high maintenance.” For Tammy, 29, a Miami lawyer, it’s “being generally annoying, imposing your preferences on others, and refusing to compromise.” Now ask yourself: Don’t some typical “male” behaviors fit that bill? Demanding silence during a big game, texting “wat r u up 2” at three in the morning, or refusing to plan an evening more than a few hours in advance? Those habits are far more annoying than expecting a guy to text you back or wanting to know if he’s sleeping with other people. Yet we never question men’s needs. Can’t we give ourselves the same freedom?
Perhaps we’re afraid of expressing ourselves in relationships because deep down we fear that the men we’re with don’t want to be with us. We worry that if we make a peep, we’ll wake the sleeping giant and he’ll suddenly realize, “Holy crap! I’m dating someone! Run!” First of all, good riddance if he’s that squirrelly. Second—brace yourselves—“guys enjoy and seek out relationships,” says Niobe Way, Ph.D., the author of Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection. The 1,000-plus men I’ve interviewed back this up: Most don’t want just a hookup; they want a partner.
Another reason we should banish the term “high maintenance” from our vocabulary: It implies that men look at relationships as obligations or chores (like the dishes!). Yes, they take work. But most men get this and are happy to oblige. “A guy who cares about you,” says Davidson, “isn’t going to be turned off by having to make a bit of an effort.”
Finally, being high maintenance means beingyou.
One reason showing your high-maintenance side can be scary: To get what you need, you have to say what you need, and that means being vulnerable. But what’s scarier? Pretending everything’s peachy all the time, because then you’ll end up with a guy who treats your feelings the way you do—as if they don’t exist. “Finding someone who is right for you means being you, and that means expressing what you need to be happy,” says Davidson. “When someone dazzles us, it’s easy to lose sight of that truth.”
Erin, 30, a publicist in New York City, says she recently “made a pledge to stand up for what I want and don’t want. I don’t settle for behavior that is unacceptable.” Her tactic is working: “When a guy I was seeing went to hang out with his friends one night after we’d been out together,” she recalls, “I didn’t play it cool. I told him it made me feel awful, and we talked it through. It didn’t work out with him, but my pledge stayed in place, and now I’m with someone who listens. Every woman deserves that.”
13 First Dates and 7 Dating Disasters to find The One
They may not climb any mountains, but Brits are willing to go through 13 first dates in order to find their soul mate.
Over a lifetime it will take 13 first dates, 11 romantic dinners and seven dating disasters for Brits to find their life partner.
Although women are thought to be the ones who are thought to be ruthless when trying to find their perfect partner, they’re thought to find theirs after just 10 first dates, compared to a man’s 13.
One surprising fact is the cost of dating. Brits will spend nearly £11,000 on dating in their lifetime!
The dates themselves as well as gifts and pre-date grooming bump the costs up and leave a rather large hole in the pockets of Britain over a number of years.
Unsurprisingly, the first year of a relationship is the most costly, with Brits spending £3,629 on dating.
The second year sees the cost drop by £1,000 as couples aren’t trying as hard to impress each other.
Andy Oldham, Managing Director at the UK’s biggest cashback site Quidco which commissioned the research, said, “It seems the dating game is a costly one for us Brits wanting to impress in the first forays of a relationship.
“When you add up the amount you will spend before you finally marry ‘the one’, the cost can be staggering, so it is no wonder splitting the cost of courtship is becoming more common.
“And it seems the money we spend isn’t just on the date itself. Many use it as an opportunity to treat themselves to a new outfit, beauty treatment or haircut, not to mention the gift purchased to really impress their potential partner.”
Interestingly, spending increases again once a couple have become engaged, with couples spending over £3,000 between the engagement and the wedding.
Parting with so much money when dating can be disastrous, as it was found that Brits will have to endure seven dating disasters on the quest for their soul mate.
This could be bad news for the 20 per cent of men who said that they have taken a girl on holiday to try and impress her!
What have you had to endure to find The One, or are you still looking?