Online Dating Tip: Show, Don’t Tell

I think we’ve all heard this advice in some form, but now here’s science to back it up.

In a study on online dating, researchers created sample dating profiles and adjusted two different types of information:

  1. The first type, they called “selective self-presentation.” This referred to the number of positive self statements made in the dating profile. For example, “I have an amazing network of friends,” or “I have a high-level job with multiple responsibilities,” are statements that make the dater look good — bragging, basically.
  2. The second type they called “warranting.” This referred to the presence of corroborating sites in the dating profile. For example, if the profile had a link to a personal biography page, or a blog the person regularly contributes to — showing, basically.

The researchers found Continue reading

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How to End a Relationship

I’ve written about this before — and taken some hate for it — but when we break up with someone, I believe the most compassionate way to do so is to be cold and uncompassionate. Because to be otherwise is really only satisfying our need to look like a “good” person.

Now, here’s an article that backs me up.  The graphics in the accompanying video are a bit on the creepy side if you ask me, but it does make a very valid point:

Kindness has no role whatsoever to play at the charred end of relationships. Being sweet and understanding merely prolongs the torture for the other person.

As the video also points out, when we choose to be warm and understanding during a breakup, its in part due to a narcissistic desire to be loved even by someone we ourselves don’t love.

Point being? Just rip that band-aid off. A clean break is the best way to end a relationship.

How to Flirt, According to Science

Business Insider is probably the last site you’d think to go to for dating advice (I swear, I read it for the business articles!), but every now and then, they do post little gems of dating and relationship wisdom.

Here’s a short video explaining how to flirt properly, as backed by science. Some of the concepts they go over are, in my opinion, somewhat intuitive if you have any amount of social savvy. But if you’re curious to know what scientific research says about flirting, the video is worth the two minutes out of your life.

If nothing else, don’t you want to know what a “copulatory gaze” entails?

Why Restaurants Hate Online Dating

Apparently, the popularity of online dating has forced restaurants to change the way they do business.

In a nutshell, people linger for too damned long when they’re on a date with someone they meet on the internet. All they can hope for is that customers will spend more and at least buy expensive drinks in an effort to impress their dates.

Then again, I think I would totally enjoy the sweet, delicious schadenfreude that comes with watching a first-date train wreck unfold in real time. You know it’s gotta happen, right?

How to Get Over a Breakup Using Science

If you’re having a hard time getting over a breakup, psychologists have some suggestions for you:

First off, their research says that you shouldn’t necessarily write about the breakup, as it can often make you feel worse.

Instead, you should write what they refer to as a “redemptive narrative” … because you know, everything always seems more medically sound when you use technical words.

The point of the redemptive narrative is not just to write about the breakup, but also describe how you turned it into a positive experience. Or if you’re still in the throes of post-breakup agony, write about what you’re doing to overcome it.

Here’s an article that discusses the aforementioned studies in more detail:

“Psychologists say a simple strategy can help you get over a rough breakup” Continue reading

The Non-Awkward Way to Acknowledge Someone You Barely Know as You Walk By

This post isn’t dating or relationship-related, but it cracks me up how bizarrely specific the situation it gives advice for is:

You’re walking down the street … you see someone you kind-of-sort-of know … at least well enough to know that they’ll recognize you, too … you feel like you should acknowledge them somehow … but … you really don’t want to stop and talk to them.

This. Exactly this situation. And nothing more.

If you ever encounter this situation, here’s the perfect advice for you:

“The Non-Awkward Way to Acknowledge Someone You Barely Know as You Walk By”

Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person

Here’s a column from The New York Times titled, “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person.” It takes a fairly pessimistic outlook on relationships (the author isn’t kidding with that title), but manages to twist that pessimism into something productive.

The column begins by pointing out a common mistake we all make:

Perhaps we have a latent tendency to get furious when someone disagrees with us or can relax only when we are working; perhaps we’re tricky about intimacy after sex or clam up in response to humiliation. Nobody’s perfect. The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with.

The problem is, everyone makes this same mistake, because no one is perfect.

Ultimately, what matters isn’t whether or not the person we marry is right for us (because they won’t be). What matters is how we’re able to negotiate our differences.