Whether you’re single or in a relationship, we’ve got you covered in 2021 and are ready to reveal what awaits your zodiac sign in the love department! Astrologer Susan Taylor reveals everything you need to know and whether you should start stocking up on Kleenexes!
Could 2021 be THE year?Check out this compatibility chart on where to begin.
Doing This After Watching TV Slashes Your Risk of Divorce, Study Says
One of the primary problems that destroys romantic relationships is poor communication—specifically on the subject of the relationship itself. When you and your partner avoid sharing your feelings and concerns about your relationship, it’s nearly impossible to find solutions that will bring you closer together and form a stronger connection where both parties’ needs are being met. And while this type of open, often vulnerable, communication can be difficult, there are ways to make it less intimidating. In fact, there’s one very easy way to lower your risk of divorce, according to an Oct. 2020 meta-analysis published in Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science: watch TV shows and movies featuring couples and talk about them.
For a 2013 study, psychologists looked at 174 couples to see how effective certain activities were at improving their relationships. The researchers divided the couples into four groups, assigning each group to either complete the highly regarded premarital relationship enhancement program (PREP); attend workshops offered by CARE, a program designed to build empathy and compassion; watch movies and discuss the onscreen relationships depicted; or do none of the above. Read on to see how the couples in each group responded.
1. Watching and discussing movies that feature a romantic relationship lowered divorce rates.
According to the study’s findings, the couples who weren’t assigned to the workshops or movie-discussion exercise had a divorce or separation rate of 24 percent in the first three years of marriage. For those in the CARE, PREP, and movie-watching groups, the divorce rate was around 12 percent, a 50 percent decrease from the group that did nothing to improve their bond. That means that watching a few movies with your partner and then talking about them is just as effective at lowering your risk of divorce as attending time-consuming relationship workshops.
“Instead of doing these 14-hour workshops where they have to come to campus, [couples can improve their relationship by] just watching three movies at home and having discussions about their relationship that they ease into by talking about the relationship on screen first,” study co-author Ron Rogge, PhD, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at University of Rochester, said in a statement.
2. Dramas are the most effective genre.
The only necessary criteria for the films you choose for the exercise is that they prominently feature a romantic, ideally long-term, relationship, Rogge told People. However, Rogge says that dramas seem to be more effective than romantic comedies because in the latter, the characters typically don’t become a couple until the end. Some films used in the original 2013 study included True Lies, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and American Beauty.
3. And TV shows can serve as a similar form of couples therapy.
While the initial research focused solely on movies, Rogge says television shows are a perfectly acceptable alternative for busy couples with little free time to invest in a full-length feature. The important thing is the discussion that is sparked by whatever it is you and your partner choose to watch.
4. The exercise also improved the relationships of unmarried couples.
Follow up research conducted in 2016 found that the positive impact of these discussions surrounding onscreen romantic relationships wasn’t limited to married couples, either. The exercise had a similar effect on unmarried couples at various relationship stages, the research analysis said.
If you’re single you already know: it’s rough out there in today’s dating market. For one thing, dating apps provide an endless stream of potential partners to choose from, which research shows only makes the selection and matching process harder. On top of this, you’re contending with more timeless dating woes including questionable chemistry, mysterious motives, and baggage on both sides. Given that many men also report feeling generally mystified by what women want in a partner, it’s a wonder anyone gets together in the end.
Thankfully, a new study has shed some light on the question of what women want, and demystifying it may just help some people couple up. The study, published in Science Advances analyzed data from online dating exchanges and determined that in the hierarchy of desirable qualities, being highly educated was considered the most attractive quality in men.
“Desirability is associated with education most strongly for men, for whom more education is always more desirable,” the researchers explained. Those with higher degrees had higher message rates from online daters, and tended to interact more with women who were themselves considered “highly desirable.”
That said, if you don’t happen to hold a degree, don’t despair: there are several more subjective qualities which women tend to rank as highly important in a potential partner, but are less likely to be included in this type of ranking. This means you may very well attract a partner with your wit, charm, or warmth—especially IRL, where she can get to know the person behind the profile.
If there’s one thing research shows women really want in a partner, it’s kindness. In fact, one international survey that polled over 14,000 people across 45 countries found that this was considered the single most important quality in a potential mate.
Intelligence and education are often intertwined, but they’re not the same thing—and research shows that many women value intelligence in a man regardless of whether there’s a degree to confer it. There are plenty of bright and curious people without top tier degrees, so be sure to share your other passions and accomplishments with pride.
You can’t exactly put your generosity in your online dating profile, but if you demonstrate this desirable quality in person, research shows that women will notice. An August study from Indiana University found that this tends to create a “halo effect” that increases a man’s overall attractiveness.
While cockiness is likely to ultimately put women off, demonstrating confidence helps others buy in and see you through a rosier lens. Show off your best qualities while also taking ownership for your quirks or shortcomings—or in other words, just be yourself. Do that, and your odds of finding the right fit should multiply.