Do women really go for ‘bad boys’? Here’s the science that settles the question


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Women, do you agree?

And there may be all sorts of other reasons why some people end up dating “bad people”. They may be repeating patterns of behaviour they’ve become used to in past relationships or they may find the world of dating stressful and end up making bad decisions. Or they may simply have bought into myths of dating and behave accordingly. But, for the most part, the evidence suggests that both women and men prefer nice partners and are turned off by jerks.

The problem with the nice-guys-finish-last stereotype, aside from going against the grain of years of scientific evidence, is that it may compromise the possibility of forming meaningful relationships. Perpetuating this myth not only creates unhelpful expectations about how we should behave, but trying to live up to the myth can sometimes damage relationships.

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The Conversation

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She’ll Text Me, She’ll Text Me Not


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Does it feel like an eternity waiting for your text to be replied to? Specially, when you know the person has read your texts.

One area where there was a lot of debate was the amount of time one should wait to text back. Several people subscribed to the notion of doubling the response time. (They write back in five minutes, you wait 10, etc.) This way you achieve the upper hand and constantly seem busier and less available than your counterpart. Others thought waiting just a few minutes was enough to prove you had something important in your life besides your phone. Some thought you should double, but occasionally throw in a quick response to not seem so regimented (nothing too long, though!). Some people swore by waiting 1.25 times longer. Others argued they found three minutes to be just right. There were also those who were so fed up with the games that they thought receiving timely responses free of games was refreshing and showed confidence.

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AZIZ ANSARI & ERIC KLINENBERG — Nautilus

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Ending a marriage, with grace and respect


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This is not easy.

A year later, when I follow up with Jade, she emphasizes how the ritual of uncoupling helped her to see the writing on the wall. “At first I thought it was a little New Age-y, but I was also proud to be doing it and even shared it with some friends. We were doing something right, despite all the wrong that had come before. I often wondered, How is he going to leave? Is he just one day going to wake up, say, ‘Okay, bye,’ and walk out the door? The separation ceremony put an end to my ruminations. I desperately needed a way to help me accept that he loved another woman and it was really over.”

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Esther Perel — Ideas.ted.com

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What’s the best age gap in a relationship?


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Have you heard of “half their age plus seven” test? This is the convention around the age gap between partners that is considered okay.

What evidence there is, therefore, vindicates the choices of OKCupid’s users: women should pick men who are as close as possible in age to them, while men should look for younger women. A true economist, however, would look for better evidence, perhaps by comparing the marital bliss of random couples with varying age differences. Unfortunately for them, but luckily for the rest of us, people make their own choices – and are free to ignore silly rules of thumb.

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Soumaya Keynes — 1843

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