We debunk 11 common dating myths

Is the first date spark really that important? Should we treat dating as a numbers game? We debunk a few dating myths and find out what the population really thinks when it comes to finding love.

Dating is a numbers game

If you treat dating like a numbers game then it will become just that, but stacking 'em high may mean you're not giving people enough time to show their best self. More importantly, all that energy spent on dating numerous people means you're not showing your best self.

Just think, repeating your best stories, answering the same questions over and over again, it's going to leave you a little deflated. 

Just think: quality over quantity.


A first date spark is a must

People who are looking for that spark upon meeting, that certain chemistry, perhaps put a little too much emphasis on just this. Romantic love grows in different ways and sometimes there's a lot to be said for a slow burner. 

Dating should be quite simple. If you've had a nice time then consider seeing them a second or third time, if there's still nothing, then it may be time to call it quits. However, the much-desired spark can mean most call it quits after the first.

No one knows exactly what that initial spark is. Is it love at first sight? Is it lust at first sight? Or simply attraction? If you've ever become attracted to a friend, or had a friend develop into more, you know that the spark can come over time. In fact, 54 per cent of singles say they have fallen in love with someone they weren't initially attracted to.


Lust at first sight is essential for love to bloom

Lust at first sight does not have occur for a relationship to blossom. As our health expert, Susannah Hickling says, "There are three core brain systems for mating and reproduction—the testosterone system triggering sexual desire, the dopamine-rich regions of the brain promoting romantic attraction and the oxcytocin-related region prompting feelings of long-term commitment.

It seems these brain systems don’t work in any particular order"

Similarly, there is nothing to say that when lust takes over and develops into sex on a first date, or a one night stand, that a relationship won't develop. In reality 27% of singles say that they've had a meaningful and committed relationship develop from what they thought was a one night stand. That figure is echoed when it comes to friends with benefits too.

Read more love facts from Susannah Hickling here


Men take longer to fall in love

According to his research into human sexuality, Sex and Relationship Coach Jordan Gray says, "On average, men actually fall in love faster (at the beginning), and fall out of love slower (after a break up) than their female counterparts. 

While men have this trend in relationships, it would also be worth noting that men are highly encouraged to not show their emotions from a young age (“don’t be so sensitive”, “boys don’t cry”, etc.) 

So even if they are feeling a huge rush of emotions at the beginning or end of a romantic relationship I would wager that they are also more likely to publicly stifle any signs of their infatuation or sadness."


Beware of the rebound

The end of a relationship can be a very positive thing for many people and can leave them feeling good about themselves. Typically when you're feeling good about yourself you are at your most attractive. 

Most of the time this is not the case and people can feel a little vulnerable, desiring to surrogate the feeling of their past relationship with a new sexual partner. Enter with caution!


Online dating is desperate

One in five relationships in the UK starts online, and it's predicted that 70 per cent of the population will have met online by 2040. Compare this to the 6 per cent of relationships that start in bars and pubs, we can get a clear picture of where we are heading.

Most people turn to online dating on platforms such as Omegle, OKCupid and Tinder because their lives are busy, or they don't meet many people with similar interests to them. 

Paula Hall, a relationship counsellor at Relate says that "[Couples who meet online] are more likely to be on a level playing field and share the same agenda. Any relationship that forms is more likely to be based on a shared value system, the same interests, the same legwork as opposed to a relationship based on chemistry alone, which, as we all know, is the quality that tends to fade first in a relationship.”

If you're over 40 and curious about online dating, join Reader's Digest Dating


Men don't want to date successful women

Well, this one really is a bugbear. 87 per cent of single men would consider dating someone with a successful career, even if that means they make more money than them. 44 per cent think that it's very important that the woman they date have a successful career.


Men should always ask women out

Just to add to the previous statement, there is no rule book when it comes to dating and 90 per cent of single men are completely comfortable being asked out by a woman.

If the urge takes you, do it, it doesn't matter what your gender is. If you don't ask, you don't get.


Gay and lesbian people experience love differently

The average fall in love rate for each sexuality is as follows:

Heterosexual singles report falling in love an average of 3.5 times in their life.

Gay men report falling in love and average of 4.5 times.

Lesbians report falling in love 3.1 times.


Sexual attraction isn't important for seniors

Sex over 70 is still very important. In fact, over 80 per cent of people aged 70 wouldn't consider dating someone they weren't sexually attracted to—even if they had everything else going for them.

Take a look at these other sex myths that need busting


Older people are more prudish when it comes to dating

Actually, the over 50s are more open to casual dating than their youthful counterparts. They are just as likely to have one night stands, and friends-with-benefits relationships.

Find out what challenges the over 50s face when it comes to dating

All stats come from Match.com


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