Saturday, October 21, 2017

Were You Meant To Be Single? That’s OK

I’m just going to say it: some people were meant to be single. Not that they couldn’t fine someone if they wanted— but for some people they want to be single and they’re happier that way. In a society that pushes coupledom in every book, movie, and advertisement, it can be hard to accept. It’s pathetic how much we try to make people feel like they’re doing something wrong for being on their own. Because there’s nothing wrong with staying single and, for some, it’s definitely the right fit.
“To some, concluding that you were ‘meant to be singlemeant to be single‘ may sound like a bad thing. Not to me. I’d just change the wording – I think I’m single at heart,” says Dr Bella Depaulo, who has done extensive research on the benefits of flying solo. “I love living single (except for the singlism) and never did have those reveries about some lavish wedding with the bridesmaids and the big white dress. To be single at heart, I think, means that you see yourself as single. Your life may or may not include the occasional romantic relationship, and you may or may not live alone or want to live alone, but you don’t aspire to live as part of a couple (married or otherwise) for the long term.”
Why is it so important? Well, we pressure too many people into being in relationships— and, let’s be honest, everyone should know how to be independent.

Everyone Should Be Happy Single

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OK, so maybe not permanently— but at least for a while. Being in a relationship can be great and that the right option for many. But it’s still important for everyone to be happy single, at least for a while. Whether you want to be in a relationship or not, being happy single means that you’re secure, independent, and won’t get into a relationship for the wrong reasons. It keeps you grounded and boosts your confidence. If you find being single difficult and are desperate to get into a relationship, it’s time to start focusing on yourself. Look at what’s making you unhappy and spend some real time on self-improvement. Once you feel great on your own, you can decide whether or not a relationship is right for you.

And It Might Be Forever

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It may just be that you want to stay single— for a lot of reasons. If you don’t like being beholden to anyone, if you don’t like to plan for the future, if you feel like your job, your passions, or your friends are your number one priority, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to stay on your own. In fact, some studies have shown greater fulfillment levels for single people than those in relationships. So we need to stop thinking of it as a sign of loneliness or because someone isn’t desirable. Sometimes, being single is just a sign of being an effing amazing person all on your own and having your priorities set in a direction. What’s wrong with that? Maybe you’ll date around, maybe you won’t. But you’ll always go back to that independent life.
There’s a tendency to villainize or patronize single people that is so freaking annoying. Being single is a legitimate choice that allows so many to flourish. If you feel uncomfortable being single, make sure that you try it for a while and learn to be happy on your own. You may find that you like it to much you never want to change it— and that’s totally OK.

How To Deal With Dating Burnout

Maybe you love going on Tinder dates five times a week. Or maybe you did love it, but now it’s getting old. Or, if you’re anything like me, maybe even just the occasional date is getting overwhelming and everyone you meet is leaving a sour taste in your mouth. If that sounds like you, listen up. Because it could be dating fatigue— or even dating burnout.
“When you have dating burnout, you become less emotionally available,” Psychology Today explains. “You go on countless dates, but you don’t feel much for any of them. You wonder if it’s the people you’re meeting, or if you’re no longer capable of having feelings at all. Your self-worth is shaky, and you feel hopeless, sad, and helpless. Dating feels more like a chore than an exciting opportunity. But, you continue going on dates because dating burnout is better than the pain you imagine if you stopped trying.” But you know what? Stopping trying isn’t the worst thing the world— especially if you only do it for a little while. Seriously, it’s OK to give yourself a break sometimes. Here’s what you need to know about dating burnout and what you can do about it. Because dating is supposed to be fun remember?

If You’re Not Enjoying It Anymore, Give Yourself A Damn Break

The comment about it feeling like a ‘chore’ is an important one. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you should be enjoying it, if you’re not then you’re not. Don’t push yourself. Because if you’re not enjoying the process, you’re going to take it out on the person you’re going out with. You’ll be totally underwhelmed— and it often won’t be their fault.

Breaks Can Be Short Or Long

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As soon as you’re feeling jaded and cynical about datingcynical about dating— just stop. There’s no reason to overthink it, because taking a break doesn’t mean you’re giving up for good. Take a week off dating, take a month off. Hell, take longer. It’s whatever feels right for you. You don’t need to feel like you’re throwing your hands up in the air completely, you’re just giving yourself an opportunity to reset and come back to it feeling fresh and, more importantly, positive about the idea of meeting someone.

Use The Time To Touch Base With Yourself

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Breaks can be so useful, because they give you a change to get back in touch with yourself. Remember what you love doing and all the great things about being single— this will keep you from dating just for the sake of dating. But also remind yourself of why you are dating, what you’re looking for in a person and what you want out of a relationship. Giving yourself some time to feel more grounded and in touch with yourself will make dating a much happier prospect.
If you really want to meet someone, you may feel the pressure to keep on the dating wheel. But dating while feeling pressured, needy, or just plain tired isn’t going to do anyone any good. Take a break and get back in touch with what makes you feel happy. Then, when it seems like a fun idea, ease your way back in. It shouldn’t feel like a job— so if it’s not adding to your life, you simply don’t have to do it.

7 Signs Someone Definitely Isn’t “The One”

If you’re on a never-ending fight to find “The One”, chances are you’re going to see what you want to see. So many of us want to be in a good, healthy relationship — that’s natural. But an obsession with “The One” can lead to some big relationship mistakes, because you’re missing the signs. Don’t feel bad, so many of us have done it, but no matter how long you’ve been in a relationship, there’s always time to get out of it if you realize it isn’t want you want – and go find one that is.
If you realize that someone isn’t “The One”, don’t panic. You can handle it.”When you reach a point that you realize they aren’t “The One,” be courageous and direct,” marriage and family therapist Esther Boykin tells Bustle. “The old saying, ‘It’s not you …’ is actually a good starting point. The truth is that it’s neither of you, it’s the ‘us’ that doesn’t work.”
And how do you realize that it’s not working? While every relationship is different, there are some signs that mean it’s just not right— for anyone.
So here are seven signs someone definitely isn’t “The One”, because it’s about a lot more than just loving each other:

1. All You Have Is Passion

Yes, it’s great to have passion, so much passion that you can’t keep your hands off of each other. And you deserve that. But you need so much more. “Imagine life with this person in five to 10 years, when the excitement has worn off, and ask yourself if you have the skills and desire to compromise on the issues that are incompatible now,” marriage and family therapist Esther Boykin tells Bustle. “We like to think that love conquers all but the reality is that you need more than love to if you want a relationship to go the distance.” Make sure you’ve got a strong foundation.

2. You’re Not Yourself With Them

This might seem basic, but it’s more common than you think. “If you’re in a relationship with someone and feel like you need to censor yourself, or stifle parts of who you are to make it work, that’s a red flag that they may not be ‘The One’,” Boykin tells Bustle. I’ve watched so many friends be in relationships where they aren’t relaxed and comfortable— I’ve done the same myself. You’re just so desperate to keep your partner happy, even if you’re not. Make sure you can really be you or the relationship just isn’t worth it.

3. Your Gut Is Telling You Something

It’s amazing how we can completely ignore our own intuition, our own gut instinct, when we don’t like what it’s telling us. “Everyone has an inner voice,” Boston-based clinical psychologist Bobbi Wegner tells Bustle. “Follow it. Pay attention to the immediate feelings you have when you think of the person.” That little knot in the pit of your stomach? It knows.

4. You Disagree On The Fundamentals

You definitely want kids? Need to travel? Insist on saving money? We all have our deal breakers. And you know what, you’re allowed to have deal-breakers. “If you are in love with someone, but you question your compatibility, you need to ask yourself what types of issues you are incompatible about,” psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. “Are they deal-breakers, or are they minor concessions that you can live with never agreeing on?” If they’re deal-breakers, they’re just not the right person for you.

5. You Don’t Miss Them

“This is so normal, it weirdly slips under the radar: You’re not looking forward to seeing them,” New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle “When you’re feeling the love, you want to connect — whether it’s in person, electronically or by sending and receiving a love letter in the mail.” It’s great to be independent. In fact, I think spending time apart and missing each other can be great for your relationship. But if you never miss them, never feel a need to message or call them, something’s up.

6. They Shut You Down Emotionally

Emotional support is a non-negotiable. “Someone who is emotionally unavailable and seems unwilling or unable to be present with you during difficult times is unlikely to be the right one for you,” Boykin says. “A healthy relationship requires you both to be able to show up emotionally for each other, especially when things are hard.” Whether they’re apathetic or just totally self-involved, not being there to support you just isn’t OK.

7. The Trust And Respect Isn’t There

Maybe you never had it to begin with — or maybe you lost it somewhere along the way. Bottom line? If you don’t trust and respect that person, they’re not right for you. And if they don’t trust and respect you, they’re not right for you. “Once trust and respect is lost, then so is the relationship,” relationship trainer Daniel Amis tells Bustle. “In order for a relationship to be successful, it has to be built on a strong foundation, which includes trust and respect.” You’re worth it.
It can be hard to admit that a relationship isn’t working, but it’s so important to be realistic with yourself when someone isn’t “The One”. Not only will it get you out of a bad relationship, it’ll make sure you’re open and single when someone comes along who actually deserves you.

Do Dating App Algorithms Work? Here's Why They're Often Wrong, According To A New Study

If you've ever felt like your 90 percent matches on dating apps are 0 percent matches in real life, it's not just you. A new study in Psychological Science has found that dating app algorithms can't predict how much people actually like each other once they meet. Does this mean we shouldn't even be paying attention to those match scores?
For the study, researchers from the University of Utah, the University of California, Davis, and Northwestern University had people answer over 100 questions on things that have been proven to correlate with what they want in a partner, like their politics and what kind of relationship they're looking for. Then, they had everyone meet through four-minute speed dates. They predicted the likelihood that people would want to go on another date using one of the most effective algorithms available and compared these predictions to the actual outcome of the speed dating event.
None of the answers to the questions were able to predict how likely two people were to want to date. It could only predict how many people they liked and were liked by in general. "These results suggest that compatibility elements of human mating are challenging to predict before two people meet," they concluded.
However, the study's lead author, Samantha Joel, told The Cut that while these questions may not predict who hits it off, they could give dating app users valuable information about whether or not someone's right for them in the long-term.
Most dating apps don't know how good their algorithms are because they don't ask users whether they went on dates and how their dates went, Dale Markowitz, a former OkCupid engineer, tells Bustle. So, most dating apps optimize their algorithms based on how much people press "like" buttons, message each other, or exchange contact info, which may not predict actual relationship success.

However, Markowitz points out that four-minute speed dates may not be the best measure of how well the algorithm predicted compatibility either, since someone's willingness to date someone after a speed date will be based mostly on physical attraction. "Any algorithm that doesn't take into account physical attractiveness is likely going to be way off," she says.
Another issue is that a lot of dating apps ask questions that aren't actually proven to predict compatibility, says Markowitz. For example, some ask about personality traits like extroversion and openness that might seem like they predict people's compatibility but aren't proven to. The traits that do matter can be unpredictable, which is why you see random questions on OkCupid like, "Do you like the taste of beer?"
"The idea is to throw everything at the wall — every possible question that could be related to romantic chemistry — and see what sticks."
"The idea is to throw everything at the wall — every possible question that could be related to romantic chemistry — and see what sticks," Markowitz says. And it seems like this approach has merit, because the questions that have worked the best on OkCupid aren't the ones you'd expect. The ones with the most power to predict long-term potential are "Do you like horror movies?," "Have you ever traveled around another country alone?," and "Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?"
Even then, people may not answer the questions honestly — especially on apps with questions like whether you'd prefer to date someone of your own race, how messy you are, and whether or not you're annoying.

If you leave OkCupid because you got into a relationship, the site will ask you for the username of the person you're dating. But it's hard to know if people are actually more likely to get into a relationship with someone with a high match score or if they're just more likely to message them in the first place.
So, dating app algorithms are probably good at predicting things like who will message or swipe right to who; however, when it comes to how you'll get along in person, their effectiveness remains unknown.