Say you’re a scientist, conducting research in Antarctica. Say it’s cold. Really cold. So, so cold. And lonely.
Say, though, that you’ve brought a valuable piece of equipment with you on your trip: your smartphone. And say that—thanks to the life you lead on your home continent—said smartphone has Tinder, the geolocation-based dating app, on it.
Well: Should you find yourself in that circumstance, you could actually get yourself a date! Yes, in Antarctica! New York magazine tells the story of a couple connected, over the snowy tundra, via Tinder. She was a researcher doing work at a deep field camp in the Dry Valleys. He was doing research, too—at the U.S.-funded McMurdo Station on Ross Island. Bored, and “just for fun,” he fired up his Tinder.
At first, no matches. He extended the app’s location radius.
And there she was: a match!
Facebook might understand your romantic prospects better than you do.
In a blog post published yesterday, the company’s team of data scientists announced that statistical evidence hints at budding relationships before the relationships start.
As couples become couples, Facebook data scientist Carlos Diuk writes, the two people enter a period of courtship, during which timeline posts increase. After the couple makes it official, their posts on each others’ walls decrease—presumably because the happy two are spending more time together.
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Science can teach you new things, or it can provide official validation for things you’ve long known to be true. And with things like love and sex, it’s sometimes nice, comforting even, to impose a structure on the chaos, to realize that every lap you take around the track falls into the well-worn groove of humanity—that a lot of the time, we do the same things, for the same reasons. Over and over again. Like having rebound sex to get back at your ex. For example.
They say to get over somebody, you need to get under somebody else. By “they,” I mostly mean “best-friend characters in romantic comedies.” Though such questionably helpful bon mots abound in our interpersonal relations and pop culture, there wasn’t much scientific evidence to back them up. Until now.
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I knew, very literally, that love wasn’t going to happen overnight. I am not a patient person. Nor am I very accepting of change. But I also knew that if I really wanted to meet someone as much as I was saying I did, I might have to step outside my Comfort Zone, which is what I call my flannel pajamas, and into the big, hopeful, scary world of Internet dating.
It didn’t start out so badly. My friend Jenna came over on a Wednesday night, because it was February first, and we decided that something like this should happen on a first day of the month. We poured ourselves glasses of wine and set about describing ourselves in the best, most attractive, most unique, most intriguing ways we possibly could. We were truthful, though. Mostly. I mean, yes, technically I’m five-eleven and a half, but I’m not going to round up to six feet online, am I? Is this what guys are thinking when they list their heights as five-ten even though you know, in your heart, that they are five-seven? But in reverse? Goddammit. This is why online dating is terrible.
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An archival film teaches the high school kids of yesteryear about how physical to get on a date.
When should you disclose medical conditions to a date? When is illness too much for a relationship to survive?
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Greater distance apart actually predicted more intimacy, communication, and satisfaction.
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By the time you swear you’re his, / Shivering and sighing. / And he vows his passion is/ Infinite, undying. / Lady, make a note of this — /One of you is lying. ― Dorothy Parker
Edward Royzman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asks me to list four qualities on a piece of paper: physical attractiveness, income, kindness, and fidelity. Then he gives me 200 virtual “date points” that I’m to distribute among the four traits. The more I allocate to each attribute, the more highly I supposedly value that quality in a mate.
This experiment, which Royzman sometimes runs with his college classes, is meant to inject scarcity into hypothetical dating decisions in order to force people to prioritize.
I think for a second, and then I write equal amounts (70) next to both hotness and kindness, then 40 next to income and 20 next to fidelity.
“Oh wow,” he says.
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Two billion dollars. That’s how much online dating companies are expected to make in 2013 by helping lonely hearts find love on the Internet. The industry has been growing steadily for half a decade, so it’s no wonder that older digital yentas like Match.com and eHarmony.com are seeing competition from app startups like the enthusiastic Let’s Date, the gay and bisexual service Grindr, and the somewhat-forward Down (if you must ask the question “to do what?”, maybe you’re better off sticking with eHarmony). A number of these kinds of apps have earned the reputation of being meant for hook-ups rather than dating, whereas eHarmony and Match.com emphasize just the opposite: Both sites often crow about the number of marriages that started on their sites.
Hinge wants to be somewhere in the middle. It’s a “social app” that helps people find and rate friends of people they know on Facebook, which they say is better than the free-for-all on sites like OkCupid. ”Our goal is to create more high-potential first dates,” said the company’s founder, Justin McLeod, at The Atlantic's forum on small business on Wednesday.
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In a few days, many college freshmen will be going home for the first time since August. They’ll retreat to what is comfortable – spending time with family, old friends, and for some, a high-school sweetheart. Thanksgiving will also be a time for big questions, particularly for those freshmen still in high-school relationships. Did they take advantage of their first three months in college, or did they lose out by spending too much time on Skype? During their first trip home, freshmen have to decide whether they stick it out with their first love, or succumb to what is known as the “Turkey Drop”— the phenomenon of high-school couples breaking up when they come home for their first Thanksgiving.
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