TIME Magazine App Predicts when you should get married

young-woman-texting

TIME Magazine App Predicts when you should get married

Do you know when the perfect date for your wedding is? If not a new app can tell you. Brought to you by TIME Magazine, this new app predicts when you should get married. It works by first analyzing your Facebook friends’ relationship statuses and ages. Then it determines the median age of your friends’ marriages and proposes that you marry about the same age as they were.

In terms of their calculation procedure, the app only uses friends who have selected to include their date of birth in their Facebook profile, up to and including the year. Researchers for TIME believe that only a quarter of Facebook users include this information on their profile. The statuses the software recognizes are “engaged,” “married,” “in a civil union” or a “domestic partnership.” This is a small number of the average Facebook profile’s friends. One reporter using the app said that it only selected 10 out of her 900 Facebook friends as these were the only ones who chose to report their relationship status. Many others keeping their status private were then not counted in the app’s calculations.

Though it’s interesting it doesn’t seem as though anyone is planning their marriage or dating life around this app, nor should they. It makes one wonder what the point of this app is in general. Is it merely to elicit interest in TIME? There certainly isn’t a perfect date or age to get married. And with the inflated divorce rate, though it has dropped a bit for some groups, having artificial pressures or anxieties tossed atop an already large pile from one’s family and society seems ludicrous and outlandish. Certainly people today know that marriage isn’t something to be taken lightly. Though it has a fun aspect it can make someone who is single feel bad about their situation, as if there aren’t enough things that do that already.

Why not forgo this app and turn to a dating one instead? There are lots of them. Some select singles in your area and make it easy for you to chat with them. Online dating is a great way to do it too. Remember to give the person you meet a chance. Serial dating can be fun in the beginning but can wear you out in the end. If you are dating someone do not use this app to pressure them into marriage. Nor should you show the selected date to your significant other as anything other than a joke. It could backfire on you. Then you’ll be contacting TIME and all over the news for reporting that their marriage app broke up your relationship. Bet that isn’t something they saw coming. Who could have predicted it? If you’re thinking of taking it to the next level in your relationship read, Before You Say “I Do”: A Marriage Preparation Manual for Couples by H. Norman Wright & Wes Roberts.

How to Stop Pushing Nice Guys Away and Picking Jerks Instead

pickjerks

How to Stop Pushing Nice Guys Away and Picking Jerks Instead

Speak to a lot of single women of a certain age and they’ll tell you that there are no quality men out there. Some are over-developed man children, they say. Others are sad and sorry pushovers, nice guys who have no passion in life and so stir none in them. Then there are the jerks that seem nice at first but play games, ignore needs, act callously, are distant, disrespectful and drop them without a second thought. So is this an actual social paradigm in the modern world, a list of excuses for broken hearts or a lashing out of the scorned and unlucky in love? Dr. Jeremy Nicholson is a social and personality psychologist who studies relationships. He posits that women’s evolutionary selves and the box our modern society tries to place them in are at odds, placing women in what he calls a “double-bind.” To find out more about what he says and what women can do about it, you need to know about Dr. Helen Fisher. She is an evolutionary anthropologist at Rutgers University. Dr. Fisher says there are three kinds of love: lust, attachment—managing the home, parenting and so on, and attraction, which is what we feel when we like someone and wish to pursue a relationship with them.

For each person, these are different. We’re all like weirdly shaped puzzle pieces trying to find the right fit. Though we are supposed to get all three from one person, sometimes we are attracted to one, lusting after another and still only feel comfortable with the third. Each of these three feelings that we blend together and call love start from different needs. Though you may get all three from the same person, Dr. Fisher argues that the needs themselves are very different. For most women these feelings just happen. But if they look deeper they would notice that there are certain features or cues put out by a partner that makes her attracted to him. These include physique, resources such as income, social status, stability, intelligence, conscientiousness and ambition. In society today, however, a woman needs to be many things to be deemed worthy. She has to be good at her job, her relationship, look beautiful, have a great attitude and raise stunning children. That’s a tall order. To do so she’ll have to be smart, industrious, assertive and motivated. These women, in order to have a mate that fits into her plans, must be agreeable, supportive, cooperative, and so on. Yet, by an evolutionary standpoint, these are not the men who are high in status. Those are often disagreeable. They don’t cooperate and they aren’t supportive. So those men who are culturally desirable aren’t desirable from an evolutionary perspective.

What strategies can a woman employ then to successfully traverse this complex landscape of the heart? Nicholson suggests selecting one of four successful strategies. The first is coming to love in the role of the leader. The businesswoman can also be the superheroine or the dominatrix. She can lead the nice guy to the right places and enjoy the ride. The second is holding off and finding the right guy. Here she will follow him and enjoy his attractive, strong leadership qualities, but will select a mate who also has a kind heart and keeps her wants, needs and desires in highest regard. Next, there is mixed dating. This is having one male partner for the household affairs and partnership, while another is for sexual rendezvouses. This could be an illicit affair, an ethical, polyamorous relationship or something in between. Lastly, there is sharing, balance, communication and compromise. Each person is in charge of their own set duties and the couple works everything out together. Good communication and a solid foundation to work from are key. For more on that state of human affection read, Why We Love by Helen Fisher.

Men are caught in Gender Roles says study

gender roles

Men are caught in Gender Roles says study

Today society allows or even encourages women to take on traditionally male roles such as working outside the home. There are lots of households where for the first time the woman makes more than the man. However, according to a new study, men are caught in gender roles and it may be to society’s detriment. There has been tremendous change for the charge of feminism. We have seen dramatic transformations in American attitudes toward homosexuals. However, our concept on heterosexual masculinity hasn’t changed. Though we are seeing more stay at home dads, they make up only 1% of marriages. Men continue to be rare in traditional female industries such as childcare, nursing or secretarial work. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 51% of Americans believed that children were raised better if their mother remained in the home. Yet, a scant 8% said this about fathers. Even wanting time off was considered less masculine according to a study out of the University of Florida.

In our overtly masculine culture, even though gender roles have changed for women, any boy who exhibits feminine behavior is still ostracized. Sociology professor Barbara Risman of the University of Chicago said of this phenomenon, “If girls call themselves tomboys, it’s with a sense of pride. But boys make fun of other boys if they step just a little outside the rigid masculine stereotype.” Global Toy Experts did a survey and found that over 50% of women wouldn’t give their son a doll, but only 32% said the same thing about giving a toy truck or car to a girl.

Boys don’t veer off from masculine toys. Those that do, try on dresses, wear pink or like Disney Princesses are maligned by their peers and thought of as weird or strange by adults. Some students are even threatened and ridiculed. A story recently in the L.A. Times talked about a Los Angeles couple who was slurred on the internet because their son preferred traditionally female toys to male ones, even though he self-identifies with being a boy. Though between the years of 1971 to 2011 women have flooded into male industries such as law, finance, business, and the hard sciences, only 2% of men have gone into education, the arts and so on. How will this play out as our society progresses? Will we see a loss of femininity in our culture? Or will men become more feminine? In the decades to come even more sweeping changes are bound to shift our society. For more on this topic, read Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine.

Gender Roles have made a Dramatic Shift

stay-at-home-dad

Gender Roles have made a Dramatic Shift

47% of the workforce will be women by 2050. In 1950 that number was 30%. Though we take our ideas of gender roles, men the breadwinners and women the housekeepers, from outdated 1950’s style thinking, the truth is that throughout history men and women have worked together in different ways to provide for the family and manage the household. The number of women may even surpass the number of men in the short term. Gender roles have made a dramatic shift due to the Great Recession.

Traditional male employment industries such as construction and manufacturing took a nose dive. Meanwhile, the only industries that seemed to have survived and thrive are those traditionally the spheres of women such as healthcare, the service industry and education. So does that mean that men are flooding the household realm while the women work outside of the home? Though there has been an uptick in househusbands, research has shown that there is no flood of men into the home. A 2009 New York Times article points out that women who are laid off spend their extra time doting on the children. Time spent with the children remained low no matter if the man was gainfully employed or not.

While the focus used to be more on the job search and the nuts and bolts of finding employment, the emotional sphere seems to be making its way to the forefront as well. Psychologists are noting that men are becoming more able to communicate their emotions than in years past, expressing fears and anxieties about joblessness and other issues. Since the early days of humankind men have gone out and brought home the bacon, either by hunting, or by bringing home a salary. While modern feminism broke women away from traditional roles, men have been slow to adapt. Their egos are wrapped up in their jobs and providing. Though many feel at home being in the home, others chafe at the idea, feel it isn’t manly or are lost. Many social scientists and psychologists note that this breaking out of traditional gender roles is good in the sense that it brings egalitarianism into a marriage or cohabitating relationship. Still, women and men aren’t treated equal. Women still make less than men. Men and women are now free to define themselves. They are struggling with the gender roles of the past, but they are free to define their own future. For more on this topic read, The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family by Kathleen Gerson.

How to be Single and Love it

Friends drinking coffee

How to be Single and Love it

Some people love being single, others can’t stand it, but most of us are in-between. The truth is that being single makes you more independent, content and forces you to develop yourself, solve your own problems and seek happiness from within, qualities that make you an excellent catch. If you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, how are you ready to be with someone else? The first thing you have to do is get rid of all the negative voices that inhibit your love of being single. Society, family and others often send out the message that you have to be coupled up to be happy. But that’s changing; 40% of American households are headed by singles nowadays. You are in good company. Put your family at arm’s length. Read articles like this one about being single and loving it, and avoid all those that only talk about relationships. Spend time reconnecting with single friends, or making new single friends to go out with. If all your friends are coupled up it can weigh you down. Although on a girl’s or guy’s night out, who doesn’t want a taken wingman? But coupled friends don’t want to spend all night at the single’s bar. So it pays to have single friends you can dish with, complain to and go out with.

Next, make sure people know that you love flying solo. Look back on your relationships and realize that you’re much happier being single and well-adjusted than in a relationship and miserable. Reconnect with yourself. Take up a hobby you always wanted to try. Travel. Start a business. Go back to school. Reinvest in yourself. Do something that scares the crap out of you and conquer your fears. Renew relationships with old friends, and even old flames. See this as a time to suck the marrow from life’s bones. Start journaling. Make a dream board. Write a bucket list of the things you want to do with your time on earth and outline plans, benchmarks and ways to reach those goals. If you feel down about being single one day, get a pen and some paper and jot down five things you love about being single. Lastly, don’t wallow in singlehood, celebrate it. Every situation has a good and bad side. Find the good one’s of your single life and accentuate them. Find things that you couldn’t do if you were attached that really speak to you and start fulfilling that list. Develop yourself. Work on the relationship with numero uno. And when you are ready, the right one will appear to you and you will know what to do effortlessly. For more advice, read Single Is Not A Curse by Tony Gaskins Jr.