TIME psychology

Where to Find Love — Or Lust

Where To Find Love — Or Lust:
adam smigielski—Getty Images

When readers email me about the research behind relationships and sex the most common question is always the same:

Where?

Where should they meet that special someone? Bars? Online? Through friends? Book clubs? Terrorist cells? Religious cults…?

What works?

Yes, science has info.

But the answers depend on what you’re looking for.

Looking For Love

Want to settle down? Ask a family member if they know anyone.

People meet all kinds of partners through friends. But you’re far more likely to meet your future spouse via a family member.

Via Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do:

While friends were a source of introduction for all kinds of sexual partnerships at roughly the same rate (35– 40%), family members were much more likely to introduce people to their future spouses than to future one-night stands.

In fact, any sort of organized group is a good bet. 60% of those surveyed met their future spouse through school, work, church, etc.

Via Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do:

…the Chicago Sex Survey also collected data on where Americans met their partners. Sixty percent of the people in the study met their spouses at places like school, work, a private party, church, or a social club— all of which tend to involve people who share characteristics.

But you probably don’t want to meet a serious partner at work – those relationships don’t seem to last:

The vast majority of these relationships have not lasted, especially for older workers. For workers who are over 50, 77% of those sexual relationships have ended. Younger people appear to have had more luck with 58% of people in the 18-24 age group reporting that they are still in their relationship. But perhaps that is just because they have been in the workplace such a short period of time the relationships are still new.

(And about half of people who cheat on their spouse met their lover at work.)

Only 10% of people found wedded bliss in a bar.

Via Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do:

Ten percent met their spouses at a bar, through a personal ad, or at a vacation spot, where there is more diversity but still a limited range of types of people who might be available to become future spouses.

Online dating is probably a better choice than the booze hall.

17% of people who have dated online met a spouse or long-term relationship partner there.

And these stats are from 2006 — that number is likely to have grown and will probably continue to grow.

Via Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do:

Of these “online daters,” 43 percent— or nearly seven million adults— have gone on actual, real-life dates with people they met online, and 17 percent of them— nearly three million adults— have entered long-term relationships or married their online dating partners, according to a systematic national survey.

So once you’re talking to prospective partners, what do you want to be looking for?

Conscientiousness is the personality trait correlated with happy marriages:

…our findings suggest that conscientiousness is the trait most broadly associated with marital satisfaction in this sample of long-wed couples.

In fact, it’s correlated with a lot of good things including better health, longer lives, and greater success.

How do you detect conscientiousness? Look for formality of dress and signs of someone who is neat and organized.

More often than not you can get a feeling for how conscientious someone is just by looking at their face.

(Here’s what to talk about on that first date and the best things to ask to bond with your partner.)

Looking For Lust

Some of the answers here should be a bit more obvious now.

Bars and clubs are good. Friends are fine and meeting through family members is probably a bad idea.

In fact, you’re also more likely to have sex with someone sooner if you met through friends or at a club and not through a family member.

Meet through a family member and there’s only a 24% chance you’ll have sex within a month. Meeting at a nightclub doubles that.

Via Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do:

And how people meet is also relevant to how quickly they have sex. In the Chicago study, those who met their partners through their friends were slightly more likely to have sex within a month of meeting than those who met through family members. A similar study conducted in France found that couples who met at a nightclub were much more likely to have sex within a month (45 percent) than those who met at, say, a family gathering (24 percent), which is not surprising since one typically does not have sex in mind at family events.

Which countries are most promiscuous? Try Finland or New Zealand. Most promiscuous US states? Nevada, Arkansas and Rhode Island.

College is generally a good place for a fling — unless you go to Harvard.

Via The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work:

Based on my study of Harvard undergraduates, the average number of romantic relationships over four years is less than one. The average number of sexual partners, if you’re curious, is 0.5 per student. (I have no idea what 0.5 sexual partners means, but it sounds like the scientific equivalent of second base.) In my survey, I found that among these brilliant Harvard students, 24 percent are unaware if they are currently involved in any romantic relationship.

While online dating gives you a better than average chance of meeting a future spouse, it’s also good for just getting it on.

30% of women using online dating have had sex on the first date:

Thirty percent of respondents engaged in sexual activity on their first encounter. Seventy-seven percent of respondents who met an online partner did not use condoms for their first sexual encounter.

Why is this?

Researchers believe having all that profile info up front along with email flirting leads to “accelerated intimacy” upon first meeting:

“Online dating can lead to feelings of accelerated intimacy,” says Paige Padgett, PhD, the author of the study and a research associate in the UT School of Public Health’s Division of Epidemiology and Disease Control. “You are able to disclose deeply personal information faster than you would if you were just meeting face to face for the first time,” she explains… Because all of the nitty-gritty preliminaries are out of the way before you actually meet the person, Padgett believes that this may foster a sense of relationship before there is an actual relationship.

(And if you’re going to go the online route, here’s how to make yourself most appealing.)

So the dual use of online dating sites raises a question:

What should you talk about if you’re on the hunt for something less-than-serious and want to see if your partner’s on the same page?

OkCupid found that a “yes” answer to “Do you like the taste of beer?” is the best indicator of who has sex on the first date.

Or simply joke about sex. Research shows the people who laugh are less likely to be focused on long-term relationships.

Via Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love:

…in one observational study at a bar where male humorous sexual remarks ran rampant, it was noted that the women who laughed at such jokes did indeed seem sexually interested in the men, whereas (obviously) the women who didn’t laugh were not sexually interested. These humorous sexually loaded attempts could be conceptualized as a test to gauge interest and receptivity to a sexual encounter.

So alcohol and double entendres work for James Bond and they can work for you.

(And one might note that 007 never ended up with one of the Bond Girls because he asked his aunt if she could set him up with someone nice.)

What’s Next?

Other posts you should read on sex, marriage, and love:

Join 45K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

TIME Malaysia

Malaysia Is Becoming a Global Hub For Internet Scams Preying on the Lovelorn

IAC Will Turn Match Dating Service Into a Separate Business
The Match.com website is displayed on laptop computers arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The ease of obtaining visas, opening bank accounts and arranging money transfers are all part of Malaysia's newfound criminal appeal.

Lax student visa regulations and a high-tech banking system has made Malaysia a global hub for Internet scams, according to U.S. officials, with money being swindled out of unwitting Americans and Europeans by racketeers prowling online dating sites.

The conmen typically hail from Nigeria or Ghana and dupe lonely, middle-aged men and women from the U.S. and Western Europe through matchmaking services like Match.com, reports Reuters. A dozen new cases are reported to the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur every week, with scam complaints forming four-fifths of new work for duty officers.

“This is a serious issue hurting many Americans financially and emotionally,” said a U.S. embassy spokesperson. “We would hope that through publicity more Americans would be made aware of these scams.”

While most Internet users have received — only to swiftly mock and discard — some crude Nigerian scam emails, these tricksters are more sophisticated, and slowly build trust as a budding romance ripens. Then the request for money comes, normally a relatively small amount at first; but once the hooks are in, the victim struggles to turn down subsequent heftier demands without admitting to having been hoodwinked.

“Some victims find it very hard to break away from the relationship, even when they’ve been told it’s not real,” says Professor Monica Whitty, an expert on Internet fraud psychology. “So the criminal admits to scamming the victim but says that they also fell in love with them at the same time, and they get back into the same scam.”

But it is not just lovelorn Americans who are being swindled; other foreign embassies in Kuala Lumpur are dealing with similar complaints, reports Reuters. Whitty says that at least 500,000 U.K. citizens have fallen prey to such “sweetheart scams” since the phenomenon was first reported around 2007.

Slightly more men than women are duped by fraudulent lovers, but men are less likely to seek recompense out of embarrassment.

“Some people mortgage their houses to pay these criminals,” Whitty says, “but often the devastation they feel is more about the loss of the relationship than the money — of realizing they’ve been duped.”

And worryingly, such scams appear to be growing more common; last year, U.S.-based IT security developer SOPHOS ranked Malaysia as sixth globally in terms of cyber crime threat risks, as the total cyber crime bill topped $300 million. The ease of obtaining visas, opening bank accounts and arranging money transfers are all part of the nation’s criminal appeal.

“Scammers are increasingly using targeted social engineering attacks against their victims due to the extremely high success rate,” Ty Miller, an Australian security expert and founder of Threat Intelligence, tells TIME. “This not only affects individuals, but also organizations.”

Awareness and technology are key to tackling this scourge, says Miller, who is running a fraud-prevention course in Kuala Lumpur in October. “Techniques can be deployed that allow malicious individuals to be tracked,” he says, “which as time goes on will build intelligence to unveil the identity of the perpetrators.”

Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, says all involved nations must share information and jointly investigate cases according to agreed procedures and technical processes.

“Various authorities from the various countries involved should work together rather than blaming each other,” he said by email. “These countries need to synergize their efforts, in order to effectively address this scam problem.”

TIME celebrity

Watch Paul McCartney Help This Guy Propose to His Girlfriend

Who could say no?

+ READ ARTICLE

When Paul McCartney noticed that one of his fans was standing next to her boyfriend at a concert in Rochester, New York, holding a sign that “He won’t marry me until he meets you” and the boyfriend with one that says “I have a ring. And I’m 64,” he knew just what to do.

In this charming video, McCartney brings the couple onstage and has them sing the Beatles hit “When I’m 64,” about not-so-young love, before successfully proposing. They have the perfect backing band for it.

TIME

Watch a Man Drop the Ring During a Skydiving Proposal

This is literally why we can't have nice things

+ READ ARTICLE

To show how much he cares, Brandon Strohbehn decided to propose to his girlfriend of 18 months by pulling out a ring during a tandem skydiving excursion. And then drop it. On purpose. Because we live in an era of Jimmy Kimmel.

Strohbehn’s prank was revealed after the 12,500-foot plunge was over when he got down on one knee and gave his beloved the “real” ring. She said yes.

May they enjoy the years ahead of pretending to eat their children’s Halloween candy for kicks.

[Metro]

TIME relationships

How to Dump a Cheater: Say It With a Freeway Banner

Why get mad, when you can publicly humiliate the jerk instead?

Revenge fantasies can be fun, but are often illegal, immoral or just too complicated. But two women in the United Kingdom appear to have found a simple way to get back at their lothario — who was allegedly dating both of them at the same time — with maximum impact.

On Wednesday, a banner appeared on a bridge above a busy freeway near the cities of Newcastle and Gateshead, which read: “Steve Frazer You’re Dumped! By Both of Your Girlfriends.” A joint selfie of the two women and a photo of the (alleged) cheater were emblazoned on the banner as well.

To be clear, we have no idea what the backstory is behind the banner — nor does anyone else who’s gone public, anyway. The most obvious scenario would be that the ladies, who bare a disturbing resemblance to each other, found out that their man was dating both of them and were pissed. (Wait, wasn’t there a movie about this?)

Whatever the case, we’re pretty sure Steve was squirming in his car seat when he saw the banner, which was taken down later in the day. As one tweep noted, “Not a great day for Steve Frazer”.

TIME movies

9 Best Quotes from The Notebook

The romantic drama celebrates its tenth anniversary this week

For fans of The Notebook, it still isn’t over—even on the tenth anniversary of the film’s release. It’s been a decade since Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, found a love “that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more,” Duke (the nickname the older Noah goes by, so as not to scare the older Allie, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s) says.

While some may not enjoy the film, fans of the young southern love story have given it an almost cult following in the past ten years. For those fans, here are nine of the best quotes from The Notebook:

“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life…But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”

Duke says these words at the beginning of the film before he begins reading the story of Noah and Allie to, well, Allie.

“I wanna go out with you!”

Although Noah might have pushed Allie’s hand by threatening to fall off the top of a Ferris Wheel if she didn’t go out with him, she found a way to get back at him:

“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”

Ah, to be young and in love and to want to be reincarnated as the same animal. It says, “I’ll be whatever you are.” And birds make a reappearance when Allie and Noah reconnect years later—much to the chagrin of one viewer—as they boat through a beautiful lake full of swans.

“It was an improbable romance. He was a country boy. She was from the city. She had the world at her feet, while he didn’t have two dimes to rub together.”

But Noah and Allie defied the odds with their love. Also, these words, which Duke reads to an older Allie from the notebook, sound oddly similar to the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.”

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that’s what you’ve given me.”

Allie waits years to read these words, written in a letter to her from Noah a year after they broke up. Allie’s mother hid the letters for years, tearing at the hearts of both Allie and the audience members who were also in tears as she finally read them.

“It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over.”

The words repeated by Notebook fans the world over. They come just before Noah and Allie kiss in the rain (in a completely non-cliche manner) and rekindle their love years after it began. It’s never over.

“I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me…everyday.”

The way Noah begs Allie to stay with him instead of her fiance has endeared his character–and more importantly Ryan Gosling–to many adoring fans in the past ten years.

“Read this to me, and I’ll come back to you.”

Even though no one says this in the film, the inscription to the notebook shown at the end of the movie reveals that Allie wrote it for Noah to read to her. Cue the waterworks.

“Do you think our love, can take us away together?”

That last scene. In case there was a dry eye left at this point, Noah and Allie’s simultaneous passing provides a sweeping (albeit unrealistic) end to the tearjerker, especially when Noah responds, “I think our love can do anything we want it to.”

TIME Culture

9 Reasons The Notebook Still Sucks a Decade Later

The Notebook Everett

If you already know this is going to make you angry, just stop reading now

I will admit that when I first watched The Notebook, it was under less than ideal circumstances. I was 13, and I watched the DVD (rented from Blockbuster—yes, Blockbuster still existed) with my parents while on vacation. My view of what many argue is the best part of the movie—that one scene in the rain—was obscured by a book my mother was desperately waving in front of the TV in an effort to preserve my innocence. And I’m pretty sure I missed a good 15 minutes of the plot setup making popcorn. But I remember thinking the film was sappy and stupid.

Most people don’t agree with me. The 2004 film, which is based on a 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel, is now a cultural phenomenon. In particular, the famous kissing scene is now so iconic that it’s constantly clipped and parodied. It’s also developed into an audience favorite: it may have a score of 52 from critics on Rotten Tomato, but audiences have given the 2004 romantic drama an 85.

So given how much people love this movie, I decided to give it another shot. At 13 I hadn’t yet fallen in love or had my heart broken, and I probably didn’t have a firm grasp on what Alzheimer’s really was. So as a world-weary 23-year-old who is far more susceptible to tearjerkers, I re-watched The Notebook for its 10th anniversary. And it was even more terrible than I remember. Here’s why.

1. This is not a healthy relationship

When it comes down to it, we actually know very little about Noah and Allie as a couple. Here’s what we do know: they like to put themselves in dangerous situations; people are always walking in on them having sex in that one house; and they fight all the time.

The first bad sign was when Noah climbed up on that Ferris Wheel and threatened to kill himself by letting go if she didn’t go out with him. Sure, it seems cute in the movie, but imagine if a guy did that in real life. You would think he was seriously unstable. Another bad sign: on their first date, he almost got her run over by a car by lying in the street. Excellent.

Then we see them laughing a lot together and shoving ice cream cones in each other’s faces—you know, cliché scenes that movies use to indicate people are in love. But we also see them screaming at each other. This usually ends with her slapping him in the face or punching his chest. After she’s bruised him a bit, they start making out. (Could people make out that much in public in the 1940s?) I get it. They’re passionate: They fight and then they have great sex. That’s their thing. But that doesn’t translate to long-term stability and reading to each other in the nursing home. Just saying.

2. You know she ends up with Noah

I’m not even going to use a spoiler alert on this one because anyone who can put two and two together will realize James Marsden’s character would not be telling a love story in which Ryan Gosling’s character is portrayed in such a positive light. Knowing the end of the movie doesn’t necessarily ruin it, but I’ve gotten into arguments with friends about the merits of this film in which they posit that there is a moment when you think just maybe Rachel McAdams is going to end up with the wrong guy. She’s not. She’s going back to Noah because Noah is telling her the story at the end. Sorry, Lon. You never had a shot.

3. E from Entourage deserved to go with a little more dignity

But it was a war. Someone had to die.

4. The movie has at least five endings

  • Rachel returns with her suitcases to the house Noah built for her. They hug. Cut to black. You don’t get to see them when they’re old again, but let’s be real: they put Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling on the poster, not the old couple. You came to see the young, hot people kiss.
  • Rachel remembers Noah. They live happily ever after at least for that moment.
  • Rachel forgets Noah. A twist! The movie ends in a sad note. But this is Hollywood, so that’s not happening.
  • Noah has a heart attack. We assume he dies of a broken heart. But again, too depressing.
  • The actual ending: they die in the night together. Whether you think it’s cheesy or not, you’re pretty happy they’re dead at this point because it means the movie finally has to end.

5. The Princess Bride did the grandpa reading a love story schtick better

And It’s a Wonderful Life did the whole dream of one day fixing up an old house and then doing it schtick better.

6. Enough with the birds!

The director hits you over the head with a bird metaphor. There are weird CGI birds flying at old Allison at the beginning of the movie as she looks over the lake. Rewind to when they’re young and Allison demands that Noah say she’s a bird. He refuses to do it. Why? Because if she’s a bird, she might fly away. She whines a bunch, and finally he agrees she’s a bird, and he’ll be a bird too because he’ll go where she goes.

But of course he’s not a bird because she’s a pretty swan with money and opportunities, and he’s a land-bound animal without a cent to his name. So swan = rich girl. That’s why when they’re back in the boat seven years later rowing through, like, a thousand swans, he says the birds will “go back where they came from” like he assumes she will.

The credits roll at the end of the film against a background of—you guessed it—birds. Except this time the birds are a metaphor for their souls leaving their bodies? Because they’re flying away together? Like Allie wanted? Get it?

Conclusion: too many birds.

7. Allie’s dad has an evil person mustache

Which means you already know her parents are going to try to split them up.

This movie is filled with clichés: poor guy falls in love with rich girl; snobby parents pull them apart; fate “stepping in” so that Noah sees Allie just as he’s about to give up on her; Allie sees Noah’s picture in the paper as she’s being fitted for a wedding dress; kissing in the rain; Allie’s mom was faced with the exact same choice as she is; old people dying together. But you would have thought they would have been above slapping a cartoonish mustache on a villainous character.

8. Trying to get Allie to remember everything just seems cruel

I know it’s supposed to be romantic, but isn’t it a little bit selfish for Noah to try to make Allie remember everything when he knows she’ll forget in a few minutes? When she begins to forget, she finds herself in a vulnerable situation with what she thinks is a stranger and justifiably freaks out. Doctors rush in and giver her a sedative. It just seems mean. Even the kids are not on board with the plan.

9. I’m not alone. Top critics didn’t like it either

“There’s no way to endure the movie without earplugs and a blindfold.” —Peter Travers in Rolling Stone

“Cassavetes isn’t much of a director and he never settles on a mood, which he seems intent on ruining with hiccups of goofiness.” —Manohla Dargis in the Los Angeles Times

“Considering the sunny, relatively pleasurable romantic business that precedes it, the elderly stuff seems dark, morbid, and forced upon us.” —Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe

All that said, I really like both Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as actors. The plot wasn’t their fault. And yeah, that was a pretty good kiss. No wonder they dated in real life.

TIME relationships

These Cities Have the Most Open-Minded Daters

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Fremont Experience at night Mitch Diamond—Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, Vegas takes the "open minded" cake

There has been a lot of recent data stating that most daters are complete narcissists when it comes to romance and only want to pursue people who remind them of themselves. But according to a new study from dating site Zoosk, many online daters are open minded to pursuing people with different characteristics. And it turns out that Las Vegas, home to contortionists and “no judgement” policies, is the most flexible city when it comes to being “open minded” in romance.

Here are Zoosk’s results for the cities you should consider traveling to for singles who aren’t interested in dopplegangers:

Top 10 Most Open-Minded Cities for Dating:

1. Las Vegas, Nevada
2.Detroit, Michigan
3.Columbus, Ohio
4.Sacramento, California
5.San Antonio, Texas
6.Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
7.Indianapolis, Indiana
8.Jacksonville, Florida
9.Nashville, Tennessee
10.Memphis, Tennessee

Top 10 Least Open-Minded Cities for Dating:

1. Raleigh, North Carolina
2. San Jose, California
3. Birmingham, Alabama
4. Richmond, Virginia
5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
6. Washington DC
7. San Diego, California
8. Atlanta, Georgia
9. Riverside, California
10. Orlando, Florida

Zoosk also specifically broke down what cities are the most open minded in different categories, showing where people of one religion are open to dating someone from a different denomination, or where someone of one height would be more open to dating someone of a different height (although this assumes a 5’4″ is just as open to dating a guy who’s 5’10” as she is one who is 4’10”):

Zoosk

But don’t move just yet. Zoosk gathered data from matches who engaged in “deep conversation,” meaning that they exhibited interest by sending at least two messages to one another each. That means a conversation consisting of: “Hey sexy, I want to take you to the moon,” “Please stop,” “I’m revving up my engine to take you out of this world,” “Oh dear God,” shows sustained romantic interest.

TIME Romance

Enough With the Happy Couples Already

Simon Katzer & Getty Images

Madison Avenue loves romantic ads, but loses 103 million singles in the process

Let’s say you’re single. Let’s say you’re not happy about that fact. And let’s say you’re watching TV and you see a dreamy commercial of a happy couple hawking a happy product that seems to make them, you know, happy. Feel like buying? No, you don’t. Feel like throwing your shoe at the screen since it’s maybe the 15th ad like that you’ve seen tonight, and it’s interrupting a rom-com you’re watching that you’re kind of enjoying, but kind of resenting, too?

You’re not alone. Humans have always believed in the romantic ideal. We like our love stories clean and pretty and soft-focus and slo-mo. It’s the reason lovers die beautiful but tragic deaths in movies (Jessica Brown Findlay in Winter’s Tale, say) and on TV (um, Jessica Brown Findlay in Downton Abbey). It’s the reason Jane Austen movies end with the wedding, and not with the later, messier business of trying to get by in an era in which couples rarely bathed, lost their teeth by age 40 and were dead from typhus by 50.

In recent years, we’ve doubled down on our love of love—and that’s a very good thing. We’ve more fully embraced both interracial marriages (thank you, Cheerios) and same-sex ones (thank you, 59 percent of Americans who no longer take to the fainting couch at the sight of a wedding cake with two brides and two grooms). But that everyone-into-the couples-pool ethos has come at a funny time, too, and leaves a great many people out.

New marriages are at a record low—6.8 per 1,000 people—while the population of singles is at a record high: 103 million people over 18, or 44.1% of that group. For advertisers, that presents a problem. In a newly released study, consumer psychologist Lisa Cavanaugh of the University of Southern California administered seven different types of experiments to seven different groups of volunteers. All of the tests involved exposing the subjects to various kinds of so-called “relationship reminders,” such as greeting cards, advertisements and magazine stories. The ads portrayed multiple kinds of relationships—familial, romantic, platonic and more. The subjects were then shown different kinds of products and asked which ones interested them most.

Across the board, volunteers who were single and saw romantic relationship reminders were less inclined to buy luxury products and other high-end indulgences—just the kinds of goods advertisers most like to sell. People who were in relationships were at least marginally more inclined to go for the big-ticket goodies.

That is actually the opposite of what advertising theory says should happen. Romantic ads, Cavanaugh says, are supposed to be aspirational—buy the product and you get this guy or this girl. One would think that should be even more effective with singles; they’re still shopping for a mate, after all, while couples have made their partner purchase already. But singles go cool to the romantic come-on—and for a poignant reason.

“Relationship reminders often cause consumers to feel undeserving,” Cavanaugh said in a statement accompanying the release of the study. “By reminding people of relationships they don’t have, marketers inadvertently make consumers feel… less worthy of treating and rewarding themselves. Singles need to get some love from marketers too.”

This kind of self-denial is actually consistent with the experiences of most people who are—or at least recall being—single: You’ll take the cruise, buy the new furniture, get a bigger, better, more grown-up-feeling apartment when you have someone to share it all with. Until then, you’ll get by.

For both advertisers and consumers, that represents a strange blind spot. Do any self-respecting singles with a little disposable scratch really believe they’re not worthy—all by their solitary, unpaired, dinner-for-one selves—of buying whatever they bloody well want and can afford? Would any sane marketer give the brush-off to a 103 million-strong demographic? Yes and yes—and that ought to change. We may not all wind up single, but we all start out that way. Advertisers who ignore that truth leave money on the table. Singles who make the same mistake sacrifice a whole lot more.

TIME Television

VIDEO: Watch Bachelor Juan Pablo’s Home Movie That Kind Of (Sort Of) Says He Loves Nikki

… maybe.

+ READ ARTICLE

Juan Pablo Galavis adamantly refused to tell Bachelor audiences Monday night whether or not he loved his pick — but not fiancé — Nikki Ferrell, much to our and host Chris Harrison’s dismay. Even though he signed up to find love on a television show, Juan Pablo also made it pretty clear that he wanted his relationship out of the public eye and was offended that ABC producers would want to know how his love life was going. (Upon leaving the After the Final Rose special he Instagrammed a photo of the couple with the caption, “We are FREE.”)

So taking matters into his own hands, Juan Pablo posted a video compilation of Bachelor clips and home videos and pictures in a YouTube titled “Adventures in Loving You.” Juan Pablo explained the video as follows:

Thanks for these INTERESTING 4 months of HIDING, now that the CHARACTER of ‘The Bachelor’ is OVER, it is time for US to live our life for REAL.
Te ADORO
Juan Pablo

Juan Pablo also wrote the lyrics of the song. So… he does love her?

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