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relationships

We've all been there. You finally land a date with the guy/girl of your dreams, only to realise that the two of you couldn't be less compatible in the bedroom. 

At this stage it's easy to throw in the towel and call it another lost chance, but according to a new study, the first time isn't exactly a great indicator of how good you could be together. 

In a survey of 2,000 Americans, 58 per cent of those in relationships described the first time they slept with their significant other as awkward or terrible. 

The research, conducted by OnePoll and Pure Romance, also found that the majority of us feel anxious when having sex with a new partner, with issues like body confidence and the fear of not pleasing your partner often getting in the way. 

What's more, the study also found that three in ten (33 per cent) people would call it quits with someone if the sex wasn't good the first time round. 

And as for the rest of us, the average person will tolerate four or five bad sexual encounters before breaking things off. 

So, what exactly makes for a bad sexual experience

For men:

  • Not reaching orgasm

  • Lack of foreplay

  • Partner wants man to go down on them but won’t reciprocate

  • Going too fast

  • Erection difficulty after drinking

For women:

  • Lack of foreplay

  • Going too fast

  • Not reaching orgasm

  • Dirty sheets

  • Partner wants woman to go down on them but won’t reciprocate

But all hope is not lost. 71 per cent of those surveyed don't believe that the first time dines the relationship, and agree that figuring out each others likes and dislikes should be a fun and bonding experience. 

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try (and try) again! 

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We've all been casually swiping left on a loop until a gorgeous Golden Retriever stops us in our tracks.

Be it a golden-furred Labrador beauty, a tiny terrier puppy with baby paws or a King Charles; dogs melt our hearts and urge us to swipe right.

Many of us believe that inserting dog photos into our dating profiles will garner us more dating app matches, but now a representative from OkCupid may just have confirmed this.

Elite Daily spoke to Michael Kaye, Global Communications Manager at OkCupid, and according to him, adding pictures of dogs in your dating app profile is proven to make it more successful when it comes to matches;

"We actually have millions of dog mentions in OkCupid profiles," Kaye says.

"Users with dog mentions have a higher probability of initial conversation over those with cat mentions. They also have a higher reply rate."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OkCupid also discovered that a love of dogs is something most people agree on; 

"We found that 81 percent of men and 80 percent of women on OkCupid like dogs," Kaye continues. "Additionally, 84 percent of women and 80 percent of men either own a dog or would love to."

Kaye also claims that has been a 422 percent increase in dog mentions on OkCupid profiles since 2017. Everyone must be catching on to the trend…

Gabrielle Aboodi, the Senior Account Executive for Tinder, also told Elite Daily that dating app users are in love with doggos.

"Users typically respond to photos that include animals or travelling shots," she says, adding that roughly 10 percent of both men and women include dogs in their photos.

UK-based pet food company Webbox carried out a two-week social experiment called Pet Wingman, where they tried to find out whether including your dog in your Tinder or Bumble profile boosted your chances of finding a match, and the results were positive.

Women saw an increase of 69 percent more matches when they included a dog in one or more of their pictures, while men saw an increase of 38 percent more matches.

For Tinder, women received 117 percent more matches, 150 percent more messages, 100 percent more super likes, and 122 percent more total interactions.

Men on Tinder received 30 percent more matches, 75 percent more messages, 200 percent more super likes, and 53 percent more total interactions.

Dog photos lead to just as much success on Bumble as they did on Tinder for male users of the app.

For Bumble, women received 22 percent more matches, 100 percent more super likes, and 30 percent more total interactions, while men on Bumble received 45 percent more matches, 40 percent more messages, and 39 percent more total interactions.

"Bumble users often include photos of their pets on their profiles, but they can also use Bumble filters and badges to specially match with people that are also dog lovers," Bumble's Global PR Coordinator Sang Lee commented.

"In fact, our data shows that our pet badge is one of the most popular badges alongside our star sign badge."

There you have it, single ladies and gents. Ruffly the entire population loves woofers, so kickstart that photoshoot and add some swipe right-worthy paw pics to your profile.

You'd be barking mad not to (sorry…).

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There comes a certain point in every relationship when you both form a mutual agreement to say bye-bye to loud clubs and over-priced taxis, and hello to Netflix binges and pizza meal deals.

On the surface we'll tell ourselves that we're never going to be that couple, but deep down we're secretly loving those lazy Saturday nights spent on the couch with our other halves. 

And while social media has led to belive that the key to a happy relationship lies in a trek across South East Asia or at the bottom of a zipline in Switzerland, it turns out the answer is actually much simpler.

According to Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, relationships should “be as boring as possible.”

Speaking to Business Insider, he said: “That sounds really weird to people but if you think about it, a really happy 80-year-old couple that’s been together for 60 years, the reason that they’ve been together for 60 years, it isn’t because they took all these private jets and they had these crazy vacations and “Oh my God, look at their pictures.”

“It’s because that they were able to be boring together.”

It seems that the happiest couples actually live simple lifestyles, spending a lot of their time at home, cooking dinner and talking about the same old stuff day in and day out.

We know what you're thinking – why would you want to spend your life with someone who bores you?

Well, you don't necessarily have to leg it to the nearest library and pick up the most mundane human you can possibly find, but when you do find that special someone it's important that you're comfortable being bored around each other.

Mark continued: “A lot of people…don’t want to be a boring person, like we really want to be interesting people and have interesting lives but the problem is that, that conflicts with what makes a relationship good in a lot of cases.”

“A lot of cases, what makes you an interesting and complex person, makes you a really horrible person to be with romantically.”

“In a strange way, I feel like we need to cultivate more boredom in our lives, like boredom needs to be okay again. It needs to be seen as a good thing and I think it’s definitely a good thing for relationships.”

Hear, hear!

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So, love it or hate it, there's no denying that The Notebook has earned its reputation as one of the most romantic movies of all time.

And even though it has become one of the ultimate romantic film clichés, we're not sure we'll ever get bored of the young couple's rollercoaster love story.

But, while Noah and Allie might seem like the ultimate couple goals, relationship experts aren't buying it.

According to Stylist, a group of romantic experts recently sat down with Time Out to discuss some of the best and worst romantic films of all time.

The list was surprising to say the least, but perhaps The Notebook was the most puzzling choice of all.

We know what you're thinking. How could a romantic expert of all people decide that this was a bad film?

Well, according to psychotherapist, Gupreet Singh, Nicolas Sparks' story is actually too perfect.

He explained: “Noah restores a house for Allie. He writes letter after letter waiting for her. They die holding hands. Talk about idealised love! If you believe in it you start to think: I shouldn’t settle for less.”

“But most average couples are nothing like that. We are humans, we are fallible. Love is imperfect because we are.”

Now, we're not saying he hasn't got a point, but isn't it nice to fantasise every once in a while?

The Notebook was never meant to be a factual retelling of true events, but instead a fictional account of love at its best and at its worst – and in that sense, we think it did a pretty good job.

Sure, most of us probably won't find anyone willing to send us handwritten letters every day for a year, but it's nice to see that this kind of true love really does exist – even if it is just up on the big screen.

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Fancied yourself as a star-crossed love? Ever wonder if you and your other half were meant to be?

Well we have the answer right here, from your best traits in love to who you're best matched to, we got you covered! 

Aquarius (January 20- February 19)

A fire sign, to attract an Aquarius you need to be up for some deep conversations. Super loyal and committed, they like to view their other halves as equals and give them the space they deserve. Enter a Leo or a Sagittarius- independent yet intellectual! 

Pisces (February 19- March 20)

You're just a big softie aren't you, you Pisces?! Don't look to to a Pisces for a short fling- they're in it for the long-haul. Deep in their hearts, Pisces-born are incorrigible romantics. They need a strong and stable earth sign, like a Virgo or a Taurus to keep up with them. 

Aries (March 20- April 19)

You know that person that blurts out the 'L' word way to early in a relationship? That's an Aries for you! They love the first rush of knew love, but need a stimulating and complex partner to keep them interested in the long term. Best matches are with a balanced and diplomatic Libra or an equally feisty Leo. 

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

The careful and steady bull, a Taurus is slow to open up- but definitely worth it once they do! Stubborn to the point of infuriating, a Taurus won't back down and will cling on to those they love with dear life. Paired with a confident Scorpio or an emotional Cancer will make for the strongest relationships. 

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

A Gemini will be a talker, so unless you're willing to stay up swapping childhood tales until 3 am then move on. Communication and physical contact are key for a Gemini- and they could even come across as a bit of a flirt. Choosing a partner with the same zest for life, like Aquarius or Sagittarius, is super important. 

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Cancer's wear their hearts on their sleeves. Gestures are important to Cancers than superficial chat and they love the romance in the little things. A lover of their own space, in the long term a Cancer would much prefer someone that will chill on the couch with Netflix over a wild adventure. They suit equally homely signs like a patient Taurus or a committed Capricorn. 

Leo (July 23- August 22)

Ah Leo, the king of the jungle and ruler of all. They like to be in control of a relationship, it's their way or they highway. But when in love, they are fun, loyal, respectful and very generous towards their loved one. A partner for a Leo needs to be someone that can handle their own and express themselves- such as a Aquarius and Gemini. 

Virgo (August 23- September 22)

Opposites will always attract a Virgo. Logical and reserved, they require a lot of time and patience to get to know. On the outside they are charismatic but they guard their hearts and true feelings closely. They need an partner that's not afraid to say how they really feel, and show them the way to open themselves up to more communication. The work best emotional signs like Pisces and Cancer. 

Libra (September 23- October 22)

Libra's love the idea of 2.5 kids and a white picket fence, but their status as an air sign means that they're flexible. However, this flexibility might mean they give more to a partner than they really should, for a Libra to thrive they need clear communication and boundaries. Matched best with an Aries or Sagittarius, a Libra will provide the stability for these fire signs. 

Scorpio (October 23- November 21)

Oh, hello Scorpio! The most sensual (cough, cough) of all the signs, are passionate about their partners. However quick they adapt to physical relationships, it takes them a bit longer to enter relationships and build trust and respect for their other halves. But once you have it, it's yours for life. They work best with signs like Taurus and Cancer, signs of multiple layers a Scorpio can keep peeling. 

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)

If you're looking for a merry-go-round of fun than look no further than a Sagittarius! Playful and humorous, to keep a Sagittarius interested you need to keep presenting them with exciting adventures. They love to mix things up so they need a partner, like a Gemini or an Aries, that will hold the map on their spontaneous road trips. 

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Capricorns are a tough nut to crack, it can often be years once their walls fully come down. But once you manage to worm your way into a Capricorns heart you're there forever. Not big talkers, they will show how much they care in gestures over words. Romance for a Capricorn looks more like a cleaned house than a bundle of flowers. Their hidden sensitvity matches them best with a steady Taurus or a home-bird like Cancer. 

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Getting bored of the same 'ole carry on in the bedroom? It might be time to step outside of your comfort zone and discover the wonders that lay beyond the boudoir. 

New research claims that having sex in places around the house can help boost relationship satisfaction and overall happiness. 

The team at House Method asked 1,000 people about their favourite places to get down to business. 

Results showed that couples who have sex outside the bedroom boast 10.5 per cent greater relationship satisfaction, while 33 per cent were more satisfied with their sex lives. 

Rather unsurprisingly, the living room proved to be the most popular non-bedroom location for couples to get freaky, closely followed by the bathroom.  

Attics, closets and gardens were the least preferred spots, which is hardly surprising, really. 

What's more, it seems that couple who enjoy sex outside the bedroom actually have more sex in general, averaging at 10.9 times a month, compared to just 5.8 times for bedroom-only couples. 

Of course, depending on your living situation, non-bedroom sex isn't always an option. 

All of the people who participated in the survey lived with their significant other – making it 100 times easier to have sex when and where you want to.   

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Female masturbation has long faced stigma, yet male masturbation is socially accepted as normal, and even healthy. Yet the advantages and benefits of self-pleasure for women can be easily overlooked.

A new study by TENGA took a dive into the world of self-lovin', and highlighted the impacts it has on everyone around the globe. 

The sex toy company surveyed 10,000 people from nine different countries worldwide to investigate how much masturbation has impacted their lives. The result? It's pretty damn important to people.

According to the results, 91 percent of people in the United Kingdom indulge in masturbation, or have at one point or another. That's around 60 million people, which is impressive.

Unfortunately the survey didn't use Irish people as participants, but we reckon the UK is close enough of an indicator.

When the surveyed population were asked why they masturbate, they responded with three dominant reasons; to satisfy their horniness, to achieve sexual pleasure or to relax/relieve stress.

Other reasons were boredom, to help them sleep, to give them body confidence, to become a better sexual partner or because their partner didn't want to have sex with them at the time.

Other research showed that British men and LGBTQ+ are more likely than other group to masturbate, and men and younger generations tend to start younger – around the age of 13.

93 percent of men said that they had masturbated before, while 88 percent of women claimed to have indulged themselves in self-pleasure before. Women tended to start at the later age of 15.

The stereotype is that women don't masturbate as much as men, but science has disproved this on multiple occasions. Girls love self-love, face the pleasurable facts.

Women who currently use a sex toy were found to be more satisfied with almost every aspect of their sex lives than women who don’t – especially when it comes to quality of masturbation and frequency of orgasm.

When asked how often they masturbate, 61 percent of British participants confirmed they do it at least weekly – a greater share than in almost every other country surveyed. 

Those UK people surveyed said that they are horniest in the month of July (summer lovin'), touch themselves most between 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. and, normally take to their bedrooms to do it.

Sexual therapists and health experts agree that masturbation has many benefits, including letting go of sexual shame, better sex, improved body image and a stronger libido. It also releases stress-reducing endorphins in women. 

64 percent of Brits surveyed consider masturbation to be a form of self care or therapy, and 52 percent think it impacts wellness or state-of-mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While men tend to orgasm all or most of the time, women are significantly less likely to orgasm as frequently.

Nearly 80-90 percent of people find masturbation to have a positive effect across most aspects of their lives, including their mood, health, energy and productivity levels, and their relationships.

Among the 41 percent of Brits who have regular masturbation routines, men usually watch porn but women prefer to use their imaginations. Interestingly, British fantasise about previous partners more often than their current one. Hmm…

Finally, when asked what celebrities were fantasised about, the most common answers were Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Hardy, Mia Khalifa, Christian Grey, Johnny Depp and Emma Watson.

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If you've ever got freaky in the sheets and accidentally took an elbow to the eye – don't fear, you're not alone.

Though it can absolutely murder the mood and you're left completely mortified, amorous accidents and mishaps are more common than you think. 

So you can stop blushing as 99 percent of participates in a recent Superdrug Online Doctor survey said during sexy sessions, they've experienced some sort of misery in this department.

It may not surprise you that the most common form of misfortune was bumping heads with one's partner – I'll go get the ice.

Out of the 800 people quizzed, 45 percent of men and women said they've taken a tumble out of the bed mid-session – although this could be down to overenthusiasm – take it easy lads. 

Onto some of the weird and wonderful ones, almost 12 percent of women and 8 percent of men accidentally vomited during sex – delightful.

Whilst 13 percents of both sexes reported wetting themselves when getting it on – if this does happen, make sure your mum isn't the one washing the sheets.

via GIPHY

Although it can end in tears or laughter – it seems we aren't too proud of ourselves when it comes to coughing up the truth to our doc.

The survey found that we will lie and create all kinds of tales to avoid telling the doctor that we injured ourselves getting the ride.

But how are we sustaining these accidents? Turns out we are uncoordinated messes – well almost half of us are.

Almost half of women who were surveyed said it was down to their lack of coordination, while 35.5 percent of men blamed the same problem. 

Lack of flexibility came in as second, with a quarter of women saying it was a reason for really awkward sex – so stop trying to push our legs over our head, thanks. 

For men, nearly 20 percent of them said lack of stamina and endurance was the culprit for the cricket silence. 

So do we learn from our mistakes and does awkward sex make us more cautious for future lovemaking marathons? – Yes, my friends, they do. 

29 percent said they avoided 69 standing up position like the plague after a previous failed attempt.

Others were less athletic, but they all shared something in common – penetration from behind.

Doggy style, reverse cowgirl, and the kneeling wheelbarrow each made the top five on the list of banished positions. 

Moving to those sexy locations, while it seems steamy in the movies, if you've ever attempted this in the real world – you know the results are far from the Hollywood glam.

Cue the awkward moments, positions and generally just being uncomfortable AF. 

So it comes as no surprise that 27 percent who got their wings in the mile-high club said they wouldn't repeat the experience – have you seen the size of those loos? Just no.

No one wants to see their neighbours going at it – no matter how hot you think you are and a quarter of people thankfully said they wouldn't get it on in a public patio or back garden again. 

Additionally, cemeteries made the list of awkward locations to avoid, as well as the ocean and the shower.

We don't have a solution to eliminate those "I wish the ground would open and swallow me whole" situations.

But I hope you can relate to these saucy encounters to realise that awkwardness is all apart of life – including sex. 

Let's hope the next time you can get laugh it off and get back at it.

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Seeing loved up couples in movies and real life can make you feel pretty miserable about your single status, but fear not, because science has some good news for you.

Apparently, unmarried women are actually happier than those who are married. The Guardian stated that unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup ever.

This is according to behavioural science professor Paul Dolan.

He even claimed that unmarried women will live longer than their married peers.

The happiness expert said, “We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.”

He explained that marriage helped men calm down, however, women didn’t benefit as much. Marred men take fewer risks and even live longer.

“She, on the other hand, has to put up with that, and dies sooner than if she never married. The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children,” he added.

So, if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps about your bare engagement finger then cheer up because it turns out being unmarried is actually way better than we expected.

However, if Ryan Gosling was to turn up and pop the question, we’d have to take one for the team and say yes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sorry, science.

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Sexual fantasies might sound slightly taboo but it turns out that there are some pretty unexpected things going on in your partner's mind.

And it's not all threesomes and sex with an ex, we were shocked to discover. 

A study carried out by Superdrug Online Doctor found out that men's fantasies are emotional as well as physical – who knew, huh?

And it seems that those sexy daydreams aren't doing any damage to your relationships as 4 in 5 of those who do fantasise consider themselves either satisfied or very satisfied with their partner. 

While fantasising about sex is obvs up there for both men and women, we're also thinking about more innocent hanky panky such as cuddling and kissing. 

Yes, 16.8% and 29.7% of men respectively fantasied about cuddling and kissing. 

The figures show that women are 30% more likely to fantasise about kissing than men but men are 7% more likely to fantasise about sex…not too shocking tbh.

And sharing is deffo caring or so the stats say as it shows that those who share their fantasies with their partner are 13% more satisfied with their sex lives – get sharing, lads. 

So, lets get down to the nitty gritty – who are these people in our fantasies? 

The results show that fantasies usually involve an ex, a friend or a stranger but more often a stranger. 

Men were more likely to think of an ex or a friend while women opted for the stranger.

Interesting, right?

Do you think sexual fantasies are okay and if so, would you talk about them with your partner? 

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Let's imagine for a moment that the annual occasions which help to punctuate our year were comparable to the various elements that help comprise your standard Catholic mass.

Christmas is – no prizes for guesses – the moment the priest tells you to go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

"We did it, lads. We made it. And now there's a roast at home!"

Halloween is the slow walk back to the pew after Communion  – you haven't quite made it to Christmas, but you're almost there.

"Not long to go now, gang. Hold tight."

And Valentine's Day is the moment you're forced to shake hands with everyone around you.

"Jesus, are we still doing this? Sorry… sorry… and also with you."

You understand the sentiment behind it, you know you should probably embrace it, but Jesus Christ, it's awkward, it's unnecessary and it's something you tend to forget about until the bloke next to you shoves a meaty palm in your direction.

There's a common misperception that men are the ones who dismiss Valentine's Day as a moneymaking scam while us women dreamily trail our hands along shelves which are heaving under the weight of doe-eyes teddy bears, just hoping our other half will see fit to present us with one in February.

For Jaysus sake.

There are very few women I know who wouldn't, when presented with a soft toy clutching a satin loveheart, not immediately think "And where am I supposed to put the shaggin' thing?"

Common folklore would also have us believe that the single, ready-to-mingle Pringles among us actively loathe couples on Valentine's Day, but they're not the only ones.

The truth is, couples loathe couples on Valentine's Day.

Couples loathe everything on Valentine's Day, in fact.

The loathe the pressure, they loathe choosing cards, they loathe their attempts at sentimental prose, they loathe the fact they can't get a table at their favourite restaurant, and they really loathe being told that they're lucky they're in a relationship on February 14.

Because, really, what difference does it make? Single or taken, you still end up envying the couples who seem to do it… well… right.

Just picture it — while you're hissing at your other half across the table of your fourth favourite restaurant (pre-covid), your peripheral vision is drawn to a couple behaving exactly how they should be – in love.

While you're muttering that your other half doesn't have the decency to help you into your coat, you notice some bloke practically carrying his girlfriend's handbag.

And while you question your inability to eat without getting it all over yourself, you spot two gobshites practically feeding each other across the table.

Valentine's Day is little more than 24 hours which abruptly throws your relationship into the spotlight, and forces you to acknowledge its various shortcomings while you agonise over everyone else's strengths.

And if you're one of those couples that doesn't hate Valentine's Day, rest assured everyone hates you.

And it's mostly because we're jealous.
 

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Moving in together is a big step.

Yeah, it's exciting and the thoughts of having your own place with the person you're mad about sounds fab but think of it realistically.

All privacy is gone and you no longer even have your own personal space, your own bedroom. 

So what about…separate rooms?

It might not be as horrifying as it sounds as a survey of 2,000 couples suggests that sleeping apart could lead to better quality sex.

The research found that four in ten couples sleep apart most nights, and that of these, 34% claim they have better quality sex and more of it, while 38% say that sleeping apart improved their relationship.

Sounds great to us.

So what were the reasons for not sleeping together? 

They included different sleep cycles, their partner moving around too much in bed, having different shift patterns, and snoring. 

A good night’s sleep can help our sex lives, as it increases sexual desire and pleasure so separate beds might do the trick. 

Now it can reduce opportunities for intimacy – 24% of those who slept separately said they had sex less frequently as a result.

So to ensure sexy time stay near the top of the list, schedule sex or just making time for skin-to-skin contact during the day to replace the late-night spooning.

Mind coach Anna Williamson told Metro, ''If your partner is restless in the night, perhaps they snore or breathe heavily, and as a result, keep you awake or disturb you throughout the night, it can be a good idea to sleep apart from your partner in order to catch up on some much-needed sleep.''

She continued, ''Physical contact is essential in keeping a relationship connected. Touching each other releases feel good, love endorphins, and often being in bed can be the best time of the day to communicate effectively with each other. Pillow talk is a really emotionally positive thing to do and it can help you feel safe and secure as you both hopefully drop off to sleep together.''

So why not try it out and see if it works for you and your partner?

Yo never know, it could be the spark to lit both your fires…

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