SINGLE IN THE CITY: Five (more) facts of love

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First Posted: 3/4/2014

I admit: I am a fact hunter.

Things like relationships and love seem unquantifiable, but, as I have learned, nothing escapes the influence of science. Below are a few interesting things you may not know about relationships, breakups, and love…

1. Research overwhelmingly indicates that men consume more sexually explicit materials (e.g. pornography) than women and are generally exposed to such materials at an earlier age.

The same study makes clear that women are classified as “porno opponents” while men are classified as “porno enthusiasts” — meaning men tend to use pornography more often and generally do not see its use as a moral dilemma.

2. In Mauritania, located in West Africa, women eat more than 16,000 calories a day.

At a glance, this may seem irrelevant, but it illustrates how body image is, in part, culturally defined. It’s something to keep in mind when you are fussing over losing weight to “look better,” whatever that means, or trying to fit into your summer swimsuit.

3. Long-distance relationships can lead to couples becoming closer and developing stronger bonds than normal relationships.

One reason for this is the spread of mobile media technologies — e-mail, texting, social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype — make communicating easier for long-distance couples. What’s more, I submit, having used these mediums myself, I find them easy, cheap, and convenient, creating a simple way to stay in touch with loved ones from miles — sometimes thousands of miles — away. These findings are significant because they contradict the commonly-held belief that long-distance relationships don’t work.

4. The majority of breakups are not mutual.

Almost half of the people in this study admitted to missing their partner, still loving their partner, and feeling that they could not be without their partner.

Like the ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus, couples that constantly renew, pushing their relationship rock up a hill, only to let to roll down and up again, are doing themselves a disservice, in my opinion, and ought to just end it. Finally, as the science suggests, if you are the person to end the relationship the first time, odds are that you will be the person to end it again… and again… and again… ad infinitum.

5. Rather than being full of “sugar and spice and all things nice,” as the old saying goes, it seems women — at least when competing against same-sex peers for the attention of a mate — use a variety of strategies, including gossiping and spreading rumors, using the silent treatment, socially isolating the rival, and degrading the competitor’s appearance.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Violence, though employed by men, is rarely used as a strategy by females to fend off would-be competitors.

There are good evolutionary reasons for this. As research has shown, physical aggression by females runs the risk of injury or death, which — if you’re a women who wants to have a child — is not a good reproductive strategy.