TIME Dating

More Men Use Dating Apps Than Women

Businessman holding mobile phone.
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Swipe away, fellas

According to a new study, some 90 million people around the world used location-based dating apps like Tinder and Momo last month. And it turns out that nearly two-thirds of those swipers were male.

Research firm GlobalWebIndex surveyed 32 countries, and found that 62% of dating app users are men. (No word on the percentage of Tinder-loving bros who take selfies with babies or tigers).

The news isn’t entirely surprising. In 2013, Pew Research Center found that men were more active on dating apps and sites. Some 13% of American males had used an app or site, compared to only 9% of American women.

Although that doesn’t mean men spend more time on apps than their female counterparts. Tinder, which the New York Times estimated to have upwards of 50 million active users, said that while men spend 7.2 minutes in an average session, women spend 8.5 minutes swiping through options. Dudes also swipe “like” 46% of the time compared to women’s 14% of the time.

Quantity doesn’t equal quality, fellas.

(h/t: The Guardian)

Read next: Here’s Proof That Everyone Will Be Online Dating This Valentine’s Day

TIME Dating

Here’s Proof That Everyone Will Be Online Dating This Valentine’s Day

Getty Images

Looking for love at first swipe this Valentine's Day? You're not alone

The lonely hearts club will be raging on the Internet this weekend.

If you’re worried that going on dating sites and apps on Valentine’s Day is a faux pas, then let these statistics assuage your fears and enable your swiping. The leading purveyors of digital courtship confirm that, for the most part, Valentine’s Day sees a spike in user activity. (On JDate, instant messaging has gone up 150% on the holiday). See what happens on your favorite site under the pressure of Cupid’s arrow.

OKCupid

Considering that the site’s mascot is the symbol of Valentine’s Day, it shouldn’t be a surprise users celebrate accordingly. This week traditionally garners a 5% gain in the number of users who log in and an approximate 10% gain in messages. “This is fairly significant as traffic does not normally change this much in such a short period,” CTO Mike Maxim tells TIME via email.

And there’s more. OKCupid says sign-ups increase on the holiday, with 10% more men creating accounts and 35% more women.

The week after, things slow to normal, which could mean the connections were taken offline.

JDate & Christian Mingle

“This is without a doubt our busiest time of year,” Laura Seldon, the managing editor JDate and Christian Mingle parent company Spark Networks, says. After looking at statistics on Valentine’s Day compared with a four-week average from mid-October, she found:

JDate’s page views increased by 50%, its unique visitors surged up 100%, and user interaction spiked a whopping 150%.

Christian Mingle also experienced increases of 50% for page views and visitors and 30% in user interaction.

“We are very happy to see is that the spike in activity is not just passive browsing,” Seldon says, adding that activity picks up even more on the 15th when users look to reignite their love lives.

Match

Match’s peak season is from Dec. 26 to Feb. 14 when the site sees a 38% jump in new members. But a spokesperson says that this particular Valentine’s Day weekend will be particularly active, thanks to President’s Day making it a double holiday weekend. On Monday, it expects a 20% spike in communication compared to last week.

Coffee Meets Bagel

February is usually a slow month for the dating site, primarily because of the large spike January brings. (Gotta love New Year resolutions). That said, Valentine’s Day is the outlier. In 2014, Coffee Meets Bagel experienced a 62% jump in mobile sign ups versus the same day the week before.

Hinge

User activity on the dating app doesn’t spike or drop on the holiday. “From what we’ve noticed, our users don’t obsess about Valentine’s day,” marketing director Karen Fein tell TIME. “It’s just a day like any other.”

Tinder

Last year Tinder saw a huge saw a huge spike in downloads and usage — but that might be less about the holiday and more about Olympics gold medalist Jamie Anderson’s pre-Valentine’s Day interview in which she revealed that “Tinder in the Olympic village is next level.”

Tinder tells TIME that it has been seeing an increase in messaging in the last week-and-a-half—and Wednesday marked the app’s biggest daily usage ever, up 6.4% from last month. Whether that’s do to Valentine’s Day or just a result of Tinder’s growth (there are one million new users on Tinder each week), is one big shrug emoji.

TIME Love

See Photos of Love and Courtship in 1950s Japan

As Western influence took hold in Japan, dating and mating were no exception—and LIFE captured the country during a moment of change

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married, buy a house and have (on average) 2.2 children. This may have been a common story for heterosexual couples in America in the 1950s, but when LIFE dispatched John Dominis to capture love and marriage in post-war Japan, he found a landscape undergoing a significant transformation.

Before the war, most marriages in Japan were arranged by the bride’s and groom’s parents. Men and women rarely spent much time together prior to the wedding, let alone took part in anything that might qualify as “dating.” But during the Allied occupation of Japan—from the end of World War II until 1952—the ubiquity of the American soldier’s courtship rituals jump-started the Westernization of love and marriage in Japan.

Whether accompanied by their visiting wives, Japanese girlfriends or prostitutes known as “pan pan girls,” American soldiers modeled the behavior they knew from home: public displays of affection and leisure time spent with women at cafés, parks or the movies. And inside those movie theaters, American movies offered even more examples of Western mating rituals to a Japanese public at once hesitant and intrigued by the bold behaviors of their American counterparts.

In his photographs—which never ran in LIFE—Dominis captured a moment when the new had caught on, but the old had not yet been forgotten. The young couples he photographed in 1959 were living on the edge of modernity, but still holding onto many of the the traditions long followed by their culture.

Notes written by Dominis and someone who appears to be an assistant that accompanied the dozens of rolls of film he shot provide insight into the song and dance (sometimes literal) in which the young lovers engaged. Some met by chance, others in settings tailor-made for matchmaking.

One of these settings was the “Shibui” dance, run by a man of the same name. For $2.50, young men and women could attend a night of dinner and dancing with the express purpose of introducing eligible bachelors to single young women. Upon arrival, new members bowed to one another and offered the greeting “yoroshiku,” described as “a very loose greeting which is used to fit any situation and in this case meaning ‘I hope I can find a mate among you.’” During dinner, partygoers were expected to “learn proper manner of eating western food.” If a young man found a young woman intriguing, he was not allowed to leave with her. Instead, he would tell Mr. Shibui, who would then arrange a date if the feelings were mutual.

One young couple, Akiksuke Tsutsui and Chiyoko Inami, met when Chiyoko, who worked at a bank in the same building as Akiksuke’s father’s clothing shop, began frequenting the shop during breaks. When Akiksuke brought Chiyoko to meet his family—after several outings to the beach, cafés, beer halls and department stores—his siblings welcomed her in ways that reflected the changing times. His younger brother showed off his Western knowledge by demonstrating how to swing a baseball bat and singing a rockabilly song. His sisters, meanwhile, sang Chiyoko Japanese folk songs.

Before meeting Akiksuke, Chiyoko had had five meetings with potential husbands, all arranged by her family. During these meetings, the young man and woman walked past each other in a Japanese garden, catching a quick glimpse of their potential mate, and delivering a decision to a go-between. Chiyoko had declined them all.

Dominis also photographed Takahide Inayama and Mitsuyo Ogama, two university students in their early 20s. The pair met six months prior, at Takahide’s house, when a friend of his brother’s brought her to a party there. Takahide and Mitsuyo, in a better financial position than some of the others, led Dominis to make an observation about class and marriage. “Most couples in Tokyo just can’t afford to get married until the guy is around 30 unless they both work or he has an exceptional job, or there is money in the family,” he wrote. “These kids go out with other couples and act more or less like you would expect western young lovers to act.”

While the photographs capture the increasing normalization of modern Western customs in Japan, they also exhibit the excitement and tenderness of being allowed to choose—a privilege which, of course, includes the right to opt out. “Two of the couples have since broken up,” reads a note from the files, “and are being shy about letting us know whether they have taken up with new friends.”

AnRong Xu, who edited this gallery, is a contributor to LightBox. Follow him on Instagram @Anrizzy.

MONEY Love and Money

These Qualities Will Make You Unattractive to Coworkers

woman filing nails with phone off the hook in the office
Anthony Lee—Getty Images

Got a crush on a colleague? Make sure you're not doing these things

More than a few romances get their start at the office.

A new survey by CareerBuilder found that more than a third of workers have dated a colleague, and 30% of office romances led to marriage—which makes sense considering how much time we all spend at work.

But for every happily-ever-after “we met at the office” story, there is plenty of love going unrequited over the watercooler. The poll also revealed some surprising reasons why office crushes fail to get off the ground.

The top quality that makes a coworker undateable: A poor work ethic. Despite Hollywood’s romanticization of the slacker guy, it seems that ambition and hard work are attractive traits—especially to women. Ladies are much less likely to date someone who doesn’t work consistently, with 52% saying they wouldn’t vs. 28% of guys.

(Meanwhile those who put their nose to the grindstone have a better chance at having a hand to hold: 11% of workplace daters say their relationship began during late nights on the job, not far off from the 12% who reported sparks flying over happy hour drinks.)

Another big turnoff: serial dating. One-quarter of those surveyed say they wouldn’t date someone who has already dated someone else at work.

Another 21% say they wouldn’t go out with someone who travels extensively for work.

Surprisingly, a disparity in earnings doesn’t kill romance potential. Just 6% say they wouldn’t date someone who earns less money, though slightly more women surveyed (10%) say it is an issue compared to just 2% of men.

In any case, intra-office dating is tricky business and you want to be careful in how you woo a workplace crush. But at least these findings give you added incentive to work hard—it may pay off for not only your career, but for your love life as well.

More on Money.com:

TIME relationships

This Video of Couples Failing Will Make You Feel Better About Being Single on Valentine’s Day

A healthy dose of schadenfreude for your holiday season

What’s the one thing people love more than love? Schadenfreude.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Fail Army compiled footage of couples failing over and over again into one glorious video. Because as much as you enjoy watching people revel in romantic bliss, it’s way more fun to watch them fall over.

Hate on, haters. Hate on.

TIME

Meet Willow, the Dating App That Won’t Judge You By Your Looks

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Is this the 'anti-Tinder?'

There are a lot of apps on the market now for young folks in search of love: Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid, to name a few. Though their rationales vary—Tinder and Bumble are both about the swipe, but on Bumble, ladies make the first move, and with OkCupid you can control how much information you reveal up front—they all have at least one thing in common: Potential mates judge one another based on looks.

But Willow, a new app hitting the App Store on Wednesday, is seeking a different approach. Instead of swiping left or right based on the first selfie you see, you’re prompted to answer a set of three questions—written by users—that are designed to spark up a conversation. What’s more, users decide when and if they wish to share photos with other users; at first, the answers to these questions are all future dates see.

The app’s founder Michael Bruch says Willow puts the “social” back in social media. Bruch, now 24, was fresh out of New York University when he launched the app last year. He says he was looking to fill a void he noticed when using dating apps that focused on swipes rather than what you like.

“You can match with a bunch of people that you think are good looking but you don’t really know much about them until you start talking to them,” Bruch tells TIME. “If I’m going to spend time with someone I want to know that we have something to talk about–that’s what’s important to me.”

Bruch is hoping that same interest in conversation is important to a lot of other young people as well. So far, Willow has gained some traction. Over 100,000 users downloaded the beta version of the app that launched in August, sending an average of three messages a day.

What’s more, people are using it for more than just finding love. “It’s become more about social discovery than strictly dating,” Bruch says. “If you just want to get on an have a casual conversation about video games you can, and you can also use it to spark up a romantic conversation with someone that’s less than 30 miles away.”

The version of the app released Wednesday also includes a “Discover” feature that helps users search what’s trending and better sort through questions they’d be interested in answering.

It’s an interesting approach given the perceived shallow nature of today’s millennials—the Me Generation, as TIME’s Joel Stein pronounced in 2013. Today’s dating apps seem to feed into their inner narcissists. And it’s much easier to turn someone down based on just their face rather than after you’ve started up a conversation. To see how users reacted to profiles without photos, OkCupid one of the largest dating sites, hid profile photos temporarily in January of 2013 dubbing it “Blind Date Day.” They found that their members were much more likely to respond to first messages during that time, but the minute the photos were turned back on, conversations ended–like they’d “turned on the bright lights at the bar at midnight,” wrote one Chris Rudder, one of the site’s founders.

Despite that somewhat depressing result, some millennials are finding that the pressure of putting your face out there for the public to judge can be intimidating—and in some instances, dangerous. Just one glimpse at the jerky messages posted to the Instagram account Bye Felipe (which aggregates negative messages women get online) gives a good sense of how frustrating it can be for many people, but particularly for women, trying to navigate in that visual space. People can be aggressive, fetishizing, and downright cruel.

Apps like Bumble seek to help women circumvent that by putting the power of striking up conversation in solely in their hands. But Willow wants to change the focus entirely, from the way someone looks to what his or her interests are. “If your picture is not being blasted out there, the amount of harassment and messages you’re going to get off the break is going to be lower,” Bruch says.

On its surface, the app’s mission sounds like a cheesy line from a rom-com: a hapless sap whining that they wish someone would take interest in their thoughts and not their looks. But, Bruch and Willow’s other founders are hoping it has carved a place among the myriad apps that cater to the millennial generation’s life online.

MONEY Love and Money

10 Luxe Valentine’s Gift Ideas for $25 or Less  

'I Love You' Ceramic Trinket Dish, available at Nordstrom
'I Love You' Ceramic Trinket Dish, available at Nordstrom

You don't need to spend a lot to show that special someone how much you care.

On a recent Money Match game show episode, couples said they estimate spending anywhere from $100 to $500 on Valentine’s Day gifts. And, wives tended to guess more than their husbands. (No pressure, fellas).

For those of us whose budgets fall more in the two-figure range, consider these seven special gift ideas, all for $25 or less.

Some of these items are available online only, but if you act now there’s a good chance you can still get your gift in the mail before Saturday.

On the cutesy side…

For her: Either the I Love You Ceramic Trinket Dish from Nordstrom ($8) shown above or the I Like You oval tray from Fishs Eddy ($25) is sure to put a smile on your beloved’s face. I speak from experience: My husband actually got the latter for me for Christmas. It’s a lovely decorative place to rest a necklace, small knick-knacks or treats.

For him: Sticking with the V-day theme, how about heart-printed boxers from J.Crew ($15) or Gap ($13)? They’re cute and flirty, but also practical.

Geo Heart Boxers, available at
Gap Geo Heart Boxers

For the sweet-toothed…

More than half of consumers plan to buy candy for their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day – more than any other type of present. If you want to go for that box of chocolates, consider skipping the Russell Stover variety from CVS and, instead, splurging on a more luxurious treat. Fancy british chocolatier Charbonnel et Walker sells an adorable Milk Chocolate Handbag and Heels ($15) box in which the chocolates are in the shape of shoes!

For gifts that pamper…

For him: Give the gift of the perfect shave. The starter kit from the Art of Shaving ($25) features pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm and a trial size badger shaving brush.

Unscented Starter Kit,
Unscented Starter Kit

For her: You can gift wrap the spa feel with a cozy bathrobe. This one is only $18 at Amazon and comes in a number of attractive colors. (My personal fave is dark pink.) Pair it with a shower and moisture set from The Body Shop, on sale currently for just $5. Or simply give her some aromatherapy with the grapefruit-rose scented Voluspa Pink Citron candle from Nordstrom ($16).

Maison Blanc - Pink Citron' 2-Wick Candle, Available at Nordstrom
Maison Blanc Pink Citron 2

And, finally, an alternative to overpriced roses….

Opt for a single orchid. It won’t be expected and is no less a symbol of love and strength. Plus, it should last longer and be a constant reminder of the fact that you didn’t forget Valentine’s Day! Purchased online they tend to be on the pricier side. I suggest buying at a local Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, where they can be found for less than $25.

 

More from Money.com:

TIME relationships

This Is the Exact Number of Dates You Need to Go On Before Sex Is Acceptable

To two decimal places, no less

A global survey of the dating preferences of 11,000 people in 24 cities has come up with an answer to a frequent problem of modern etiquette: How many dates do you go on before it becomes reasonable to expect to sleep with someone?

The average answer, according to the Global Dating Survey 2015 by Time Out, is 3.53 dates — or “mid-fourth date, after the mains have been cleared and just before the crème brûlée arrives.”

Only 1 in 10 people feels that it’s O.K. to expect sex at the end of the first date.

Read the rest of the findings here.

TIME relationships

14 Signs You’re in a Healthy Relationship

couple-snow
Getty Images

No, you don't necessarily need to have everything in common

Nick Hornby once said, “It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.”

I’m not a therapist or relationship expert, but after nearly a decade of marriage, I’m not convinced that your taste in movies or music determines if you and your significant other are destined for happily-ever-after or a bad break-up. My marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s satisfying and happy and it’s taught me a few things about what keeps long-term partnerships working. Thankfully, those things have nothing to do with musical preferences or I would have taken my country albums and left my Beatles-loving husband long ago. Instead, we’ve figured out how to compromise on music, and other things, and settle in for the long haul.

Here are a few of those things that I’ve learned do seem to say something about the strength of your union:

You Speak Your Mind
Relationships thrive when couples can express themselves freely and honestly. That means no topic is off-limits, and you both feel heard. Consistent communication is vital to building a lasting life together.

You Have Your Own Space

Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment together. Taking time to pursue your own interests and friendships keeps your relationship fresh and gives you both the opportunity to grow as individuals—even while you’re growing as a couple.

You Fight
Disagreements are normal, so if you aren’t fighting, chances are you’re holding back. But when people in healthy relationships fight, they fight productively and fairly. That means avoiding name-calling or put-downs. It also means striving to understand your partner instead of trying to score points. And when you’re wrong? You apologize.

You Like Yourself And Your Partner

Chances are your relationship won’t suddenly get better if you win the lottery, have a baby, or move into your dream house. So don’t base your partnership on the hope that it will change. You recognize that neither of you is perfect, and you accept and value each other for who you are right now—not who you might become.

You Make Decisions Jointly
You don’t call all the shots. Neither does your partner. From what movie to see to how many children to have, you make decisions together and listen to each other’s concerns and desires. Sure, this may mean you see Transformers on Saturday night. But on Sunday night, it’s your turn.

You Find Joy
Healthy relationships are full of laughter and fun. This doesn’t mean you’re giddy every hour of the day—or that she doesn’t drive you up the wall sometimes—but it does mean that your life together is mostly happy in sometimes simple ways. (Making dinner, laughing at the same things, finishing each others’ sentences…)

You Find Balance
Sometimes your partner needs to work longer hours while you play chauffeur and chief cook. Or you must devote time to an elderly parent while your spouse tackles the chores. That’s life. What matters is that, in the long run, your trade-offs seem fair.

You Treat Each Other With Kindness
Nothing is more important than treating the person you love with care, consideration, empathy, and appreciation. If you find yourself showing more respect to people you hardly know than you show your partner, take a step back and revisit your priorities.

You Trust Each Other
Healthy relationships are built on trust and a commitment to communication without reservations or secrets. Want to know how much you trust each other now? Take this quiz from the University of California, Berkeley.

You Let Things Go
Your partner will annoy you. You will annoy him or her, too. You will say things you don’t mean. You will behave inconsiderately. The important thing is how you deal with all this. So he forgot to pick up milk for the second time? Tell him you’re disappointed, of course—then let it go.

You Are Intimate
Sex is an important part of healthy relationships, but it’s only one part, and it’s different than intimacy, which is less about physical satisfaction than about bonding, friendship, and familiarity. If you’re in a healthy relationship, you’ll feel connected—in and out of bed.

Your Relationship Is Your Safe Place
Your relationship should be a safety net—a stable place to come home to at the end of the day. That doesn’t mean you don’t fight—it just means that when things are hard, you’d rather see your partner than commiserate with coworkers at Happy Hour.

You Talk To Your Partner, Not To Other People
When you have issues and concerns, you share them with your partner, not your Facebook friends. You can use pals as a sounding board, of course, but not as a crutch to avoid hard conversations with your significant other.

You Say The Magic Words
“I love you”, “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry.”

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

More from Real Simple:

Read next: The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems — and How to Fix Them

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MONEY Love and Money

This Is the Sexiest Financial Habit

businessman laying on field of money
iStock

A new survey asked people what money management traits they'd find attractive in a mate. Prepare to be surprised by the answer.

Money matters when searching for a mate—and it’s not just how much you have, but how you handle your cash, according to a survey released Wednesday by Ally Bank.

Three quarters of people think it’s important to find a partner with a similar financial philosophy. Okay, that figures. But the survey also revealed which financial habits people found most appealing in a potential mate.

And it turns out that… wait for it… a strong budgeting and saving strategy is the hottest, with 55% of respondents putting it at the top of the list. The older people were, the more fiscal discipline mattered.

Surprised? Budgeting is indeed sexy.

To make yourself more of a catch, check out “How Do I set a Budget I Can Stick To?” in our Money 101 section, or start using Mint.com, which does a lot of the work for you.

Paying off credit card bills in full every month (21%) and bargain hunting (18%) were other attractive attributes. So maybe you’ll fall in love over a Presidents’ Day sale.

And since only 3% were titillated by higher credit limits and liking finer things, consider tacos instead of T-bones on that first date.

Read more Love & Money:
The Most Important Talk You Need to Have Before Marriage
5 Super Easy Online Tools That Can Help Couples Feel More Financially Secure
5 Smart Financial Moves for Unmarried Couples Who Live Together

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