Science is all about coming up with a hypothesis, and then mining the data with the ultimate goal of unearthing a repeatable method. Most people of science can barely lift a finger without first understanding the implications of doing so, which is why it’s so tough for science-and-numbers types to navigate the emotionally charged, nonsensical world of dating and relationships. Fortunately, there have been a growing number of scientifically minded individuals who wanted to understand if and how the dating world went beyond chaotic emotion, and if there were any statistically significant concepts that could be gleaned from the mountains of data on dating. Here are five most interesting finds on the topic of dating and relationships.
5 You’re (Not) Alone
When you’re single, it seems like wherever you look you see couples having fun and you start to long for the same companionship you see in those couples. Even such mundane tasks as going grocery shopping or doing the laundry seem like a lot more fun when you see couples doing those chores together.
Fortunately, statistics have shown that you’re not that alone when it comes to being alone. In “Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons“ by Neil Clark Warren, studies showed that more than 50% of all singles in the United States haven’t gone out on a date in over two years, and they can be just as happy doing the laundry and grocery shopping as couples.
4 They Call Them Exes for a Reason
We all have those friends, or you might even be this person who, whenever they get some liquor in them, start rifling through their contacts to fire off some sloppily written drunk-texts. I think it’s safe to say that drunk-texts are always something to avoid (unless you come across a perfect storm situation where you’re texting a friend who is also drunk) but statistics point out that trying to make things work with an ex more than not fails to work in the long run.
You and your ex start running into the same problems that caused you to break up in the first place, which ultimately wastes both your time. The exception, as pointed out in “The MANual,” by Steve Santagati, is when the breakup was caused by external factors outside of your control, like those caused by a move, or a family tragedy.
3 13 Is a Lucky Number
Many people in American culture believe the number 13 to be unlucky. But, when you delve into the numbers on dating it looks like 13 is actually a lucky number.
In the article “Dating averages: what’s your ‘normal,’” writer Lisa Dailey cites research that shows, on average, couples wait six to eight dates before considering themselves exclusive, but beyond that, once the trust has been built, it’s typically on the 13th date that couples exchange house keys with one another.
2 It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Long ago, German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously quipped that, “We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.” And this observation especially applies in the dating world to both the sincerity of spoken and unspoken language.
A Match.com study found that a woman’s first impression is 55% shaped by a man’s body language, 38% on how a man speaks, and only 7% on what he’s actually saying. In other words, you can say just about anything you want as long as you have the body language and speaking style to back it up.
1 It’s What’s On The Outside That Counts
We’ve all heard cliché expressions like, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” or “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Unfortunately for the more idealistic among us, science has proven that when these beliefs are put into action, they very quickly crash and burn.
Match.com conducted a survey of 5,000 singles to find out what expectations they had in a potential date, and 43% said fresh breath, 17% said stylish clothing, 15% said a sexy fragrance, 14% said great looking skin, and 10% said great hair. Beyond that, 80% of women are immediately turned off when they first meet a man who is slouching.
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