TIME society

14 Pieces of Practical Dating Advice From My 85-Year-Old Grandmother

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xoJane.com is where women go to be their unabashed selves, and where their unabashed selves are applauded

"Even though I married at 21, I think it’s alright to wait, especially in today’s dating world"

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Dating these days can be frustrating and confusing. With all of the technology, dating apps and hook-up culture, things can get complicated.

My friends and I usually try to help each other out when it comes to crushes, but at 22-23 years old, we are all relatively new to the dating world. We all have different opinions on how to approach it. That’s why I decided to take a step back and talk to someone with a little more wisdom: my 85-year-old grandmother.

I am extremely fortunate to have two healthy and loving grandmothers that are still alive today. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own life that I forget to call, or more importantly, forget to listen to the people who always have time to call and listen to me.

I’ve come to realize by talking with my grandmothers that older people are often more than willing to give great advice if we are willing to listen.

While visiting home recently, I had the time to sit down with my grandmother, Kitty, and hear her stories about dating and seek her advice. She was in Pi Phi at the University of Ohio and has tons of interesting stories. She said that because of the time period, there were tons of young men coming home from World War II and she had four or five dates a week.

Eventually, Kitty met my grandfather at a sorority mixer, and after he spent a year trying to get her to accept a date with him, she said yes. They were married for 59 years until my grandfather passed away. I can only hope to find a love like theirs. Maybe with her advice, we all can.

1. “Look for someone who is compassionate.”

The first things people seem to look for in a date (whether they know it or not) is how good-looking they are or what kind of job they have. While you can’t completely ignore these factors, it is also important to look for qualities such as whether or not they are polite to the waiter at a restaurant. Look for little signs that show they are a compassionate person.

2. “If you get involved in something you like, then you might meet someone who likes the same things as you.”

It’s hard to meet people. My grandmother met her husband when she was in college at Ohio State during a sorority and fraternity mixer. When I asked her about how to meet someone, she said to worry about yourself first. Don’t go looking for someone, but rather join clubs or groups that you are interested in and make connections through that.

She does not recommend trying to meet people at bars.“I think it’s sort of crazy you think you have to go to a bar to meet somebody. Sometimes you meet the wrong people there anyway.”

3. “Usually the boy should initiate the first date, but I think sometimes the girl can subtly initiate it by flirting.”

Well, there you have it boys, don’t be nervous — just ask her. And girls, help a guy out by dropping a couple of hints; you don’t just have to sit back and wait for him, but let him know you are interested.

My grandmother said she used to ‘flirt’ or ‘drop hints’ by making sure she was where he was and had the opportunity to talk to him. She also said to smile a lot.

4. “I think being ‘official’ or not, and labels and all that crap are too much of a worry. It should be just sort of something that happens between you and the guy or girl you like.”

Communication is key, and figuring out where you stand with the person you are dating is important. Talking about whether or not you can call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend shouldn’t be a point of stress.

Grandma says, “It just happens. You know you don’t want to go out with someone else—you are happy with the person you are with. But you don’t have to figure it out right away.”

5. “I remember a fun date I went on when we just went to dinner and then we played ‘Fox and Geese’ in the snow (Google it), and decided to come back to the house and put music on and we were trying different dances. And acting just silly. It was spontaneous.”

A first date doesn’t have to be at a fancy restaurant or expensive place, it just has to be fun. Maybe try and find out what the person you are taking out is interested in and do something along those lines.

Do they like music? Find a bar that has a live band to grab a drink. Google has plenty of date ideas. Just remember, too, that not everything has to be planned out but some of the best dates are spontaneous.

8. “If a guy asked me on a date over text, I would text back, ‘Let’s meet for a coke or something and we’ll talk about it.'”

I laughed out loud when my grandmother said this because I can totally see her doing it, but her words have some truth in them. She told me she would meet that person for a coke and then make them ask her on a date in person.

While maybe this isn’t always realistic in lives that are dominated by technology, we need to remember how much better it is to speak face to face than over text message. Grandma says, “Technology has changed things because you don’t hear someone’s voice anymore. Hearing someone’s voice and the feeling or tone of it on the phone is better than a text because then you can kind of feel what’s going on.”

9. “Why can’t your friends introduce you personally?”

When I asked her about dating apps, she just didn’t understand why people have to meet virtually instead of introducing one another. It’s okay to play matchmaker if you’ve got a bunch of single friends.

She says, “I know dating apps happen and they work. I just don’t like that stuff. But if you are sitting around and you haven’t met anybody and that might be something you could do.”

10. “Even though I married at 21, I think it’s alright to wait, especially in today’s dating world. You don’t get together half the time to date so no wonder it takes a while.”

Marriage is huge, so there is no need to rush into it until you’ve found the right one. When you do find the right one, don’t lose them!

11. “I think that you don’t have to see someone and say ‘Oh gosh, he or she is not very good looking, I don’t think I’m going to have fun with that person.’ Don’t rule people out so soon.”

With Facebook, dating apps and so much information readily available before you even go on a first date or meet the person, it is easy to rule people out.

Don’t be judgmental and be open to different people. You’ll never know what a person is really like until you give them a chance.

12. “Relationships are compromise and that’s kind of tough sometimes. Especially for me because I’m bossy.”

Perfection doesn’t exist. I hate to be a pessimist, but everyone you date will have something that eventually will bother you. They say you don’t know if you have a good relationship or not until you survive your first fight.

You just have to learn to work together to build a relationship; the long lasting ones don’t just build themselves.

13. “If you are in love with someone I think you just know that is the person you want to be with, you want to share things with and you know you are happy with them.”

I asked my grandmother, “What does love feel like?” and thought I would get a romantic answer of something along the lines of “flying” or “Your heart beats a million miles per hour.” But according to my grandma, the real kind of love is simple.

You know in your heart that you want to be with that person. It just feels right. Love makes you happy. She says, “There are different kinds of love—when you first get married there is a big romantic passionate kind of love, and then there’s a different kind of love, almost a deeper love. Love is something you have to work on.”

14. “Do what you feel in their heart is right and keep their head on straight. Be true to yourself, and don’t try and be someone else or fit the mold of who you think that person might like.”

Sometimes we are so desperate to find someone that we try and change who we are. This never works.

Besides, you don’t want someone to date you or fall in love with you who doesn’t know the real you.

And keep your head on straight; I guess that means don’t go out of your mind searching for love, it will find a way.

Charlee Dyroff wrote this article for xoJane.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME People

What Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Thought of Their May-December Marriage

Bogart And Bacall
Hulton Archive / Getty Images Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart cut the cake at their wedding on May 21, 1945

The pair was married on May 21, 1945

Married, read the heading before the brief write-up in TIME: “Humphrey Bogart, 45, cinema’s surly, frog-voiced bad man; and Cinemactress Lauren Bacall, 20; he for the fourth time, she for the first; in Mansfield, Ohio.”

The wedding, which took place 70 years ago, on May 21, 1945, made official one of the 20th century’s best-loved on- and off-screen romances—despite a four-and-a-half-decade age gap.

But, while news outlets didn’t obsess about the age difference in the way they probably would today—TIME didn’t editorialize at all about their ages, unless you count a 1969 essay titled “In Praise of May-December Marriages”—it didn’t pass unnoticed. According to A. M. Sperber and Eric Lax’s biography Bogart, Bogart’s wife at the time he began his affair with Bacall, the actress Mayo Methot, referred to Bacall as “your daughter” when talking with her estranged husband.

Bogart was also consumed by the age difference. As Bacall recounted in her autobiography By Myself, it was “never out of [Bogart’s] thoughts” while they courted. Bacall, however, paid it no worry, telling Vanity Fair that 25-year difference was the most fantastic thing for me to have in my life.”

Indeed, the couple was together until Bogart’s death in 1957.

TIME Dating

Whitney Wolfe Wants to Beat Tinder at Its Own Game

The woman who sued Tinder for sexual harassment is back. And her new app, Bumble, could change the dating game

On a sunny May morning in NYC, Whitney Wolfe smoothes her hair (golden) takes a sip of her iced coffee (black) and points across the leafy patio at a handsome guy sitting with a friend. “You swiped right in your head just now,” she says. “So did I.” Wouldn’t it be nice, she continues, if there were a bubble over his head listing his job and his education? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get up and say ‘Hi?’ And wouldn’t it be nice if there was no way he would think you were desperate or weird if you did?

A year after she was ousted from Tinder and nine months after she sued the company for sexual harassment, Wolfe is back with a dating app of her own, dubbed Bumble. In essence, the app is an attempt to answer her train of questions above. It works just like other dating apps—users see pictures of other users, swipe right if they like what they see, and get matched if the interest is mutual. But there’s one essential difference: on Bumble, only women can send a message first.

For Wolfe, 25, that key difference is about “changing the landscape” of online dating by putting women in control of the experience. “He can’t say you’re desperate, because the app made you do it,” she says, adding that she tells her friends to make the first move and just “blame Bumble.” Matches expire after 24 hours, which provides an incentive for women to reach out before it’s too late (the women-message-first feature is only designed for straight couples—if you’re LGBTQ, either party can send the first message.)

Wolfe says she had always been comfortable making the first move, even though she felt the stigma around being too forward. “I would say ‘I’m just going to go up to him,’ and all my girlfriends were like ‘Oh no no no no, you can’t do that,'” she says. “Guys found it to be ‘desperate,’ when it wasn’t desperate, it was part of a broken system.”

Like many startup founders, Wolfe has big ambitions for the service: “It’s not a dating app, it’s a movement,” she says. “This could change the way women and men treat each other, women and men date, and women feel about themselves.”

Bumble launched about six months ago and seems to be catching on. With around half a million users sending 200,000 messages per day, it’s growing about 15% every week, Wolfe claims. Some 60% of matches turn into conversations. While Bumble has not yet monetized and won’t disclose the details of its funding, Wolfe’s partner and major funder is Andrey Andreev, founder of Badoo, the multi-billion dollar European social network. Their Austin-based office has only six employees—and five of them are women.

Wolfe was a co-founder at Tinder and widely credited with boosting that app’s popularity on college campuses. She was fired in the midst of a breakup with Justin Mateeen, the service’s chief marketer. Last year she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company, alleging that Mateeen had publicly called her a “whore,” that then-CEO Sean Rad had dismissed her complaints against Mateen’s harassment as “dramatic,” and that her male colleagues stripped her of her co-founder title because they said that having a woman on the founding team would “make the company seem like a joke.” The lawsuit was later settled out of court and Wolfe is reported to have walked away with over $1 million, with no admission of guilt by either party. Tinder is owned by IAC.

Wolfe won’t discuss the lawsuit, except to say that anyone who expected her to disappear afterwards probably didn’t know her very well. “It was never like I was going to go hide in the bushes,” she says. And while the whole messy incident has been held up to illustrate the challenges women face in a notoriously bro-friendly tech culture, Wolfe stops short of calling out sexism in tech. “This isn’t necessarily a tech problem, this is a society problem,” she says. “I don’t think it’s been socially acceptable for women to drop out of college and start a tech company.”

Wolfe is adamant that “Bumble has nothing to do with Tinder,” but the comparisons are inevitable—they have similar matching mechanisms (the swipe) similar designs (Tinder designers Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick also designed Bumble) and similar marketing on college campuses. Still, Wolfe insists she’s not trying to beat Tinder at its own game. “It’s important to me that nothing we do harms Tinder,” she says. “I still hold equity in the company. It’s my baby.”

But that doesn’t mean she’s not using similar tactics to get it off the ground. One of Wolfe’s major contributions to Tinder was her ability to get college students to download the app. A former member of Kappa at Southern Methodist University, Wolfe shows up at sororities with yellow balloons, cartons of yellow Hanky-Panky lacy underwear, and always, she says, “a cute purse.” Then she hands out a thong to each sorority sister who sends out 10 invitations to Bumble. “By the end, I’d show up and they’d be like ‘Go away, we’re already all on it!'” she says.

Because of the female-first messaging model, Bumble seems to be free of some of the sleaziness that plagues Tinder, at least for now. Men post pictures of themselves wearing button downs (not muscle tees) or hugging their moms (not endangered species.) And because they can’t message first, guys can’t hedge their bets by swiping right on every girl they see and messaging all of them to see who bites.

Female users say they’ve been impressed with the guys on Bumble. “I felt like I was being punked or something, because all the guys are really good looking and had really good jobs,” explains Lauren Garzon, a 32-year old hotel manager in NYC. “So I was like, ‘Ya, I do want to date all of you.'” She says she was disappointed that few of the guys she messaged wrote back, but Jen Stith, a spokeswoman for Bumble, says the company is considering adding a time limit to encourage guys to respond more quickly to messages.

Why do men use the app? “Because girls like it,” says Bryan Oltman, a 28-year old Bumble user and software engineer who used to work at OKCupid. “And girls like it because it gives them more control over the conversation than other dating apps.”

Besides, just as women are sick of waiting for men to make the first move, some guys are sick of always having to come up with a line. “It’s flattering when someone reaches out to you,” says Larry Mahl, a 32-year old New Yorker who works at Yelp. “It’s easier as a guy, you’re swiping and then just letting the girls take the next step.” Plus, he adds, “the women are so impressive.”

Wolfe pulls out her cell phone, which is hot pink with a bright yellow bumble-bee decal on the back, and shows me a guy she matched with in Costa Rica, of all places. “Hot, right?” she says. (Wolfe is dating someone, but still swipes and messages in order to get user feedback.) She had messaged him that she was the founder of the company, and asked him for his thoughts. He only had one thing to say: “This is going to be the next big thing.”

TIME relationships

See a First Responder’s Sweet Proposal to a Woman He Saved 3 Years Ago

He pops the question on the field at a Tampa Bay Rays game

At Monday’s Tampa Bay Rays game, a woman named Melissa Dohme walked on the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch — and it ended up being one of the sweetest first pitches we’ve ever seen.

Three years ago, Dohme was the victim of a domestic attack, when her then-boyfriend stabbed her 32 times, Fox Sports reports. The first responder on the scene to save Dohme’s life was Cameron Hill — and the two began to date after Dohme’s recovery.

At Monday’s game, Hill ran to the mound to present her with a ball. On it, he had scrawled, “Will you marry me?” As she realizes what it says, he drops to one knee. Watch the moment in this video from the Tampa Bay Times:

 

TIME Television

See Don Draper’s Complicated Relationship History in 1 Chart

With the series over, here's a visual guide to the many women in Jon Hamm's television life

Don Draper’s decade-long identity crisis has finally come to a close. There’s perhaps no place Don seemed to exercise his existential dread more than in his pursuit of relationships with women. Some of his relationships with women were great love affairs, others one-night stands. By charting his many partners, we can take measure of the path of one of television’s most troubled leading men.

Click to see full-sized image

In counting his partners, you’ll note a few women are missing. For our purposes, to make the definitive list, there needed to be an on-screen depiction of a liaison, not just heavy implication that one had occurred. This eliminates most of the women on Don’s answering service in the second half of season seven; Audrey, his date at the diner when Don meets Diana; the woman at the bar in the last moments of season five; and Andrea, the woman he meets in the elevator with Megan who comes to him in a fever dream and sleeps with him. It seems likely they got together at some point in the past, but we can’t know for sure so she, like the other maybe partners, is out.

Some noteworthy observations: Some noteworthy observations: The few episodes before the finale constituted a rare stretch of celibacy for Don. And as the gray dots on the right-hand Y-axis show, his most faithful stretch was in season five—the longest period he went without cheating.

TIME Family

What It Is Like To Be a Single, Widowed Mom at 28

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xoJane.com is where women go to be their unabashed selves, and where their unabashed selves are applauded

My husband had been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He was 31 years old

xojane

When I was 22, I met my husband, Pete. I was immediately drawn to his quick wit, his passion for life, and his ability to do anything he set his mind to. He seemed invincible.

In the years that followed,we would share many memorable experiences. We spent our time together hiking and backpacking, exploring foreign lands, and daydreaming about the future.

In the midst of it all we exchanged wedding vows and welcomed two precious babies to the mix, while vowing to never allow the expanding size of our family to interfere with our plans to seek adventure.

Along the way, we developed a grandiose vision for our lives both independently and collectively and lived a life free of fear. We believed that as long as we had each other, all would be right with the world.

That is, until one fateful day in December 2011.

Pete had been feeling unwell for some time, but naively believed it wasn’t anything serious. After all, he was invincible. While I was visiting family out of state with my mother and our children, I received the call that changed my life forever. Pete had been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He was 31 years old.

There is absolutely no way to give voice to exactly how I felt in that moment. The easiest way to describe it would be to say the world stood still. While everything around me continued to buzz with life, my own had begun crumbling before me.

We started out strong and brave. I was convinced God would save him and was unwilling to accept any other way. But as the weeks and months progressed, we realized claiming victory wasn’t as easy as giving God an ultimatum. With each chemo session, each new set of scan results, and each dose of pain medication, we realized we were losing the battle.

On March 18, 2013 the unthinkable happened when my husband closed the chapter on his earthly life — leaving me a widow at 28 years old, with two young children.

Leading up to his passing he had received hospice care in our home for five excruciating months during which I witnessed cancer strip him of every last human ability he possessed. During that time I was forced to face the facts, he was never invincible, and neither was I. Unfortunately the same is true for every one of us — life is fleeting.

There is a distinct feeling of surrender, laced with anger and sadness, which envelops a person when they realize their life is out of their control. It is a feeling I now know too well — one that has continued to befriend me, even still.

Fortunately when I have been unable to carry myself due to the weight of the burden of loss, family and friends have come alongside me to bolster me up. Before loss I didn’t fully understand the necessity that is human relationship, but now I know I would never have survived without it.

In the wake of my loss, I felt bereft. For years I felt I had a purpose that was bigger than my own vision for my life — I was my husband’s wife, his lover, his friend, and in the final months of his life, his caretaker.

During his battle with cancer, each day had been lived with a newfound urgency. When he was no longer present, I struggled to identify my purpose and questioned every reality I had ever known. I wondered who I was without him by my side.

Steeped in the pain of my loss, each day felt weighted with the emotions of the day before and as they piled on top of one another, the muck and mire of such intense feeling seemed too much to navigate on my own.

There were days I cried incessantly. While other days I felt an overwhelming desire to tell everyone about what had happened to me — to us. I felt as though the word “widow” was etched into my forehead.

On those days I told my story so stoically, oftentimes to absolute strangers, that it made me wonder if they questioned its authenticity.

Even still, there were days I escaped in an effort to connect with him. I longed to revisit the places we enjoyed together. While in those familiar places I felt at peace knowing I could cry uninhibited without feeling pressured to conform to society’s made up grief timeline.

Slowly but surely, I began making a concerted effort to confront my grief and loss and eventually it became more natural to move forward. Still, there is not a day that goes by that I do not look at my children and wonder, “Why them, why me?”

While the pain of loss remains so raw, at this point there is no other way than to accept that it will always be this way. There is absolutely no explanation and no justification for what has happened — it simply is what it is.

Fortunately, acceptance does not mean apathy. Acceptance simply means my energies are better spent elsewhere. I am proud to say that where I am now is a place of identifying the lessons learned through my trials, recognizing the beauty in the day-to-day, and expressing gratitude for the time I did have with my husband. Through my loss I have become a stronger, more impassioned woman who is slowly coming into myself, recognizing my own needs, and pursuing my own future.

As for our children, they will continue to work through the loss of their father — as will I — but they will take their cues from me. I must continually remind myself that they will mimic the way I grieve. The last thing Pete would have wanted is for us to stop living, which is why I have made a genuine effort to put one foot in front of the other no matter how intense the pain may be.

Because our youngest son was only 2 years old when Pete passed away, I feel it is especially critical to speak of the sacred memories we shared while their daddy was with us in the flesh.

However, I feel confident he is with us in spirit, so I guess, in that way he was invincible, its just not the way I ever would have imagined.

Alysha StGermain wrote this article for xoJane.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME relationships

A Creepy Amount of Tinder Users Aren’t Even Single

Check out this new research before you swipe right

Next time you’re matched with someone on Tinder, don’t hold your breath that it could be your soulmate: New research has revealed that 30% of Tinder users are already married and almost half aren’t even single.

The data from GlobalWebIndex (GWI) shows that only 54% of people on the dating platform are “single,” while 3% are “widowed/divorced.” Another 12% are “in a relationship.”

Tinder released a statement Friday disputing the GWI’s findings.

“The results of this tiny, 681 person study in the UK is a totally inaccurate depiction of Tinder’s userbase—this firm is making guesses without having any access to real data on our millions of users worldwide,” the statement said. “Here are the facts: the single largest age group on Tinder, making up more than half of our entire userbase, is 18-24, and 93%+ of them have never been married according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics. Without revealing any data about our users, simple logic should reveal that it’s essentially impossible for any of these claims to be accurate. Their methodology seems severely and fundamentally flawed.”

GWI points out, though, that its finding of a high number of married users could mean Tinder’s CEO Sean Rad was right when he called the service “not just a dating app but a ‘social discovery platform.'” Then again, maybe Tinder could be a gateway drug to the dating site for cheaters, Ashley Madison.

TIME relationships

Watch a Couple Get Engaged at an Ed Sheeran Concert

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performs in concert during the opening night of the North American leg of his 'Multiply World Tour' at The Frank Erwin Center on May 6, 2015 in Austin.
Rick Kern—WireImage/Getty Images Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performs in concert during the opening night of the North American leg of his 'Multiply World Tour' at The Frank Erwin Center on May 6, 2015 in Austin.

Ed Sheeran "might've welled up"

First comes love, then comes a marriage proposal at an Ed Sheeran concert.

And that’s just what happened during Sheeran’s gig on May 6 in Austin, Texas. The public proposal took place while the singer/songwriter was on stage performing his ballad “All of the Stars.”

Midway through the track, Sheeran stopped playing and asked the couple to join him on the stage. From there, the man shared a heartwarming speech with the room about his soon-to-be fiance. He then got down on one knee and popped the question, all while Sheeran was applauding the moment from the side of the stage. Considering all that, how could she not say yes? (Spoiler alert: she did.)

Sheeran later posted the moment to his Twitter. “proposal tonight in austin, i might’ve welled up, but don’t say anything,” he wrote.

You can watch the tear-inducing moment below.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.

More from Billboard.com:

TIME relationships

Boston Marathon Runner Hears From Wife of Stranger She Kissed

Boston Marathon Mystery Kiss
Paige Tatge—AP Barbara Tatge, left, kisses an unknown spectator in Wellesley, Mass., as she ran in the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2015.

In the future, she plans to kiss only single men

(BOSTON)—A Tennessee woman searching for the stranger she kissed while running the Boston Marathon this year says she finally heard back—from the mystery man’s wife.

Barbara Tatge says her daughter had dared her to kiss a random, good-looking man as she ran through the town of Wellesley, where the women of Wellesley College traditionally offer kisses to runners.

After the April 20 race, her daughter took to social media to try to find the man, who clearly left an impression on her mom.

Tatge says The Wellesley Townsman, a Boston-area news outlet, passed on a letter addressed to her Sunday after the campaign generated nationwide attention.

The unidentified man’s wife said the attention was fun but that the couple wanted to remain anonymous.

“When this story aired on the news we were pretty surprised,” the mystery man’s wife wrote in a portion of the letter quoted by The Townsman. “For me, I’m not mad. Believe me, our friends have gotten a lot of mileage out of this story and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them give my husband grief!”

The wife continued: “While this may not be the ending that you had hoped for, that spontaneous, silly moment in Wellesley captured the fun, energy and spirit of the Boston Marathon. I greatly admire your spunk and courage and wish you many happy races in the future. Congratulations on your Boston finish!”

Tatge says she wrote back to the wife Monday, thanking her for her graciousness and good humor.

“The letter was so kind and good-hearted,” she said. “She’s a great sport, and he’s fortunate to be married to someone like her.”

Tatge also apologized for any embarrassment the search may have caused.

“I just wanted her to know that the media firestorm stemmed from my loving daughter’s good-hearted dare,” she said. “I didn’t want to cause any discomfort to him or his family.”

Tatge said she’s been touched by the support she’s received but is happy to move on.

She also hopes to run the Boston Marathon again but with one important caveat: “Moving forward, I’m going to revert to only kissing single men.”

TIME psychology

How Your Parents’ Appearance Affects Who You Marry

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Getty Images

Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Men are more likely to date women with the same eye color as their mom. Women are more likely to date men with the same eye color as their father.

Via In Your Face: The New Science of Human Attraction:

The single best predictor for partners’ eye colour was the eye colour of the parent of the opposite sex. Thus, if a woman’s mother had blue eyes and if her father had brown eyes, she would be most likely to be partnered to a guy with brown eyes, just like her father. Likewise, if a man’s mum had blue eyes and his dad had brown eyes, then his partner was likely to have blue eyes, just like his mum.

Men are also more likely to date women with the same hair color as their mother.

Similarly, the mother’s hair colour was the single best predictor of a male partner’s hair colour.

Interestingly, women are more likely to be attracted to men who look like dad – only if they had a good relationship with their father.

The male face shapes to which a given woman was attracted bore a geometric similarity to the face shape of her father. What was really interesting was that this was found to be true only for daughters who had had a good relationship with their fathers during early childhood: when a woman got on well with her father, she was drawn to men who looked like him. The relationship quality depended on the leisure time the dad spent with his daughter, how actively involved he was in her upbringing, and the emotional investment she had received from him. The quality of contact was evidently more important than its quantity, since it did not seem to matter if dad was away from home for short or for long periods of time. Here, then, the imprinting of a daughter on her father’s face shape depends on a positive emotional bond between the two.

Looking at photos, research subjects were able to tell (at a rate above chance) who was married to whom by looking for a resemblance between the bride and the groom’s mother, or between the groom and bride’s father.

Of more importance, though, is the similarity between a young guy’s partner and his mother. This resemblance, too, is evident to the naked eye; again observers could spot the matches between the true spouse– mother pairs and could detect false pairings. Reciprocally, in a separate study it was found that a young woman’s father was facially similar to the man she chose as a long-term partner. These results show clearly that young adults form partnerships with individuals who resemble their opposite-sex parents. The guy marries a woman whose face looks like his mum’s, and the gal marries a man whose face looks like her dad’s.

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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