Getting married on 7-7-07, 10-10-10, 11-11-11… what’s the big deal?

People are strange creatures.  We trust Chinese fortune cookies as wisdom, but if your Happy Meal said “You will live a long and prosperous life,” you’d laugh at it.  We bought gallons of water, flashlights and batteries in preparation for Y2K.  Tap water is bad to drink in any city, it seems. We think a fried chicken sandwich is healthy if we don’t eat the bun – where do these ideas come from?

We believe them.  Somewhere along the line, it got in our heads that certain things are true without any basis or evidence.  We believe in all sorts of superstitions like black cats and four-leaf clovers that we might as well call them stupidstititions.

So when 7-7-07 became the biggest wedding date of our lifetime, people started rushing to tie the knot on other “lucky” days like 9-9-09 and most recently 10-10-10.  What’s next?  11-11-11 is a Friday, but  12-12-12 is a Wednesday.

Is there a cosmic significance to any of these dates?  “Well, it won’t happen again for another 1,000 years.”  That’s true, it won’t.  And it also won’t be 10-12-10 for another 1,000 years, either.  We’ll see 4-14-11 in 6 months, but it won’t be the fourth month and the 14th day and the 11th year again until 3011.  Who cares?  The Jewish calendar says we’re in the year 5771, and other ancient societies would be arguing different dates too if they hadn’t been killed by the Roman Empire or by diseases spread from European colonization.

Over 30,000 couples got married on 10-10-10.  More than twice that on 7-7-07.  “A lot of repeating numbers are lucky in a lot of cultures. With divorce rates what they are, you need to have everything going for you that you can, I guess,” said a wedding company owner in Denver.

No one gets married with the intention of getting divorced (except maybe gold diggers), but we’re aware that many people do get divorced. However, if you examine the numbers closely, you’ll find that the saying “Half of marriages end in divorce” is actually a myth, too.

First of all, the divorce rate has gone down steadily since 1980, and rapidly in the last 5 years.  Per 1,000 married women, it was 22.6 in 1980 and steadily dropped  to 17.3 in 2005, according to the National Marriage Project.  In these tough economic times, people might be sticking together to save money because in 2009 it was only 16.4 divorces per 1,000 marriages.

A New York Times article also explains the myth that one out of every two marriages end in divorce, analyzing the numbers so you don’t have to.  The truth?  It’s never been more than 41% and, as the divorce rate is going down, it’s probably in the high 30’s now.  So the odds of getting married (and staying married) are in your favor.  Really.

Younger generations are also more patient about marriage than previous ones, and that wisdom that comes with age may be helping.  27% of couples who got married between 1975 and ’79 got divorced, compared with only 16% of those who got married between 1990 and 1994.  The average women get married now is between 30 and 32, where you’re less likely to make stupid decisions than when you’re 18.

So relax.  Don’t put too much stock in your wedding date.  Just remember your anniversaries, and you’ll have no trouble being in that majority that actually has a successful marriage.  And if you’re looking for a wedding DJ, I’m available.  :)

5 Date Tricks To Make Him Want You

Maura Kelly from Marie Claire wrote this list of Five Subliminal Tricks To Try On A Date that I wanted to share with you. If you’re worried about how to get from Date #1 to Date #2, this cheat sheet may help.

1. Reach out and touch.

Being touched by someone, even briefly and unintentionally, increases liking for the person. Men love it when a girl laughs and touches their shoulder.  We have no idea why.  Make it seem accidental or natural, like touching his hand briefly and saying, “I know!” will definitely get his mojo rising.

2. Get the dude to hold a hot cup of joe.
According to Ruud Custers, a psychology professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, research has shown that when you get someone to hold a cup of coffee, he will see you as a warmer person whereas the opposite is true for anyone holding a cold drink. It’s a weird association thing, but basically if one thing is hot, then it’s easy to assume everything in the situation is hot.  Including the date.  So pretend you’ve got to get something out of your bag and ask him to hold your coffee for a minute.

3. Be smooth. (Or soft. Or fluffy.)
A very recent study published in the Science journal found that when participants were asked to work together to assemble puzzles, they would say that cooperating with their partners went less “smoothly” if their puzzle pieces were covered with sanding paper. See? It’s that crazy word-association stuff again. In other words, go to a restaurant or bar where the chairs and couches feel good, or wear a smooth or soft sweater.  Ask us to touch it.

4. Imitate him.
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. A study out of Raboud University, in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, found that waitresses who simply repeated the orders of their customers back to them received larger tips. Occasionally repeat something your date says and ask, “Is that right?” or some other comment.  Don’t play the Shadow Game.

5. Make sure he’s in a place full of things he likes.
More association stuff!  Ruud just finished a study about how if we are in a place (like a bar) in which there is a stimulant (like a band) that another person finds pleasurable, he will come to associate the pleasure of that stimulant with the people around him. So stalk his Facebook profile, and take him to see a band or a club that plays his kind of music, or maybe see a movie that he’s likely to be a fan of.

The truth?  Men are simple creatures.  If we have fun on a date, whether it’s because of the other person or not, then we’ll assume the other person had something to do with it.  “I had a really good time last night” could have nothing to do with you, but the psychology of it is that he’ll (and you’ll) interpret it as “I had a really good time last night with you.”

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to… sex.

Marie Claire ran a recent article investigating sex addiction, particularly female sex addiction.  We all know about male “sex addicts” like Tiger Woods and Jesse James, but we don’t hear about female sex addicts.  Are they out there?

First of all, what is sex addiction, anyway?  New York-based sex therapist Mavis Humes Baird defines it as “any sexually related activity that is having a destructive effect on your life.”  Well, then, cheating on a person and causing the relationship to end would technically count as a destructive effect, wouldn’t it?  I don’t think we should consider them sex addicts, that’s just a cop-out for infidelity.

Obviously, there are serious sex addictions – if you can’t browse Craigslist without contacting 12 strangers for  “Casual Encounters” or if you start missing work because you just had to watch another 17 hours of porn – those are diseases that need treatment.  And yes, women get them, too:

To Veronica, a 39-year-old social worker in Seattle who became hooked on porn in the throes of a bad breakup, sex addiction is no joke. “My boyfriend stopped sleeping with me, and I was looking for other ways to get off,” she explains. “Soon I was masturbating to porn with the window open, hoping someone would see me.” By day, she was a buttoned-up temp at a law firm; by night, she was online, having sex chats with strangers and watching hard-core videos. Then one evening, she stumbled upon child pornography. “It made me sick to my stomach,” she says, “but I kept looking.” The next day, she found an SAA meeting.

So, is sex addiction real?  I believe it is, but cheaters do use it as an excuse to have affairs – “I can’t help it, honey, I’m addicted.”  Well, if you’re addicted to drugs, you’d best believe I’d leave you.  And if you’re addicted to sex, I’d leave you, too.  (Unless you’re only addicted to sex with me.  That’s okay.)  I’ll support a person who’s fighting an addiction and help them get treated, but I won’t date them.

So if you’re in a relationship with someone who says they’re addicted to sex, male or female, either A) they’re making excuses for cheating or B) they need to get help.  Regardless, you should end the relationship immediately and deal with A or B accordingly.

[t-shirt image from zazzle.com

Halloween Costume Ideas for Couples

Yipes, Halloween is only four weeks away and I have no idea what to be this year.  Last year, I was Boogie Howser M.D. and the year before that I was Michael Phelps, but now I’m part of a couple and I’ve always thought it would be cute to be part of a “couple costume.”  I found a few great ideas from The Nest here and here:

Married With Children – Al & Peggy Bundy

Great idea, but you’d really need to make sure you’re going to a party where there’s ugly couches, wouldn’t you?

Pop Rocks & Soda

Or you could do Mentos & Soda, and put on a show!

Nightmare Before Christmas – Jack & Sally

Someone should totally do a version of Ben Folds’ “Zak & Sara” about Jack and Sally.

Peanut Butter & Jelly

“We decided to make inexpensive, easy costumes last year by being Peanut Butter and Jelly. We had bread on our backs made of felt, so when we hugged we made a sandwich!”

Those are all cute, but I don’t think any of them encapsulate me and @MissBrittz (although I do love the idea of being Al Bundy). Obviously, a costume has to represent you a little bit. If you don’t like Star Wars, then you wouldn’t dress up as Darth Vader, would you? And as a couple, I think the costume should represent what the couple’s into together.

Some other couple costume ideas that have crossed my mind:
– Jim & Pam Halpert (from “The Office”)
– Red Sox fan & Yankees fan (we could stage a huge, public fight)
– Pac Man & Ms. Pac-Man (“Act 2: They Meet”)
– Inception (is it your dream, or is it mine?)
– Woody & Bo Peep (Toy Story)
– Superman & Wonder Woman (I just want to see her in that oufit…)
– Peter Pan & Tinkerbell (or any Disney couple, really)
– The Dish & The Spoon
– Mario & Princess Daisy (or a group costume with Luigi, Bowser, etc!)
– Winnie The Pooh & Jar Of Honey
– Kanye West & Taylor Swift
– Justin Bieber & Kim Kardashian
– “Glee” (group costume, anyone?)

Do you have a great couple costume idea?  Leave a comment!