9 sex & dating myths
True or False? Opposites attract.
“I have no idea how this could have gotten started,” says Wayne Anderson, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Missouri.
He says it’s rare to see a long-term relationship that’s been based on opposite personalities or preferences. We are more likely, he adds, to be attracted to “people like ourselves in terms of values and background.”
True or False? You can totally change him.
Any personal growth—and change—has to be motivated by him, says Andrea Syrtash, dating and relationship expert and author of He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing). “Trying to mold him into someone he's not or someone you want him to be is generally a recipe for resentment.
Bing: Can you change someone?
One of my basic relationship principles is that people want to be challenged—not changed. He wants to be challenged to become a better version of himself and who he ultimately wants to be, not the person you want him to be."
True or False? Women are attracted to different types of men at different points in time—and we’re talking week to week here.
Ever fancied a Ryan Gosling type one week and then gone all Hugh Jackman the next? “Women are attracted to different types of men depending upon their menstrual cycle,” says Anderson.
True or False? It’s better to live together before you get married.
The value of cohabiting before tying the knot essentially boils down to who you are as individuals, says UCLA psychology professor Thomas Bradbury, Ph.D.
For example, he says, couples who don’t live together tend to be more religious than couples who do, and those kinds of differences, not whether you live together before marriage, are more indicative of relationship success.
True or False? Pheromones aren’t real.
They’re totally a thing, and they help determine whom we’re attracted to, says Anderson.
For example, he says, recent research has shown that women are more drawn to the smell of some men’s T-shirts after the guy has slept in them a few nights.
True or False? Marriage kills your sex life.
No way, says Bradbury. A study from 1994 shows married people have sex more often than singles and about the same amount as couples who live together.
True or False? Guys are intimidated by successful women.
“Big myth!” says Syrtash. “Most men I've interviewed cite intelligence and confidence as must-haves…. A confident man wants a confident woman. Just make sure you're not so confident that you come off as arrogant or judgmental—those are generally deal breakers for men and women.”
True or False? A cool girl always keeps it all together in front of her guy.
“Men want you to be self-assured and also want to know that they're needed, so if a woman never shows any vulnerability, he may find it hard to get close to her,” says Syrtash. “Nobody wants to date Ms. Perfect.”
True or False? You should wait until the third date to sleep with him.
“The average man reports that he knows pretty fast if he's into you and wants to have a relationship,” says Syrtash. “If he sleeps with you and doesn't call you again, chances are he was never going to follow up and pursue you. Men don't generally analyze these things the way we think they do. Very few men will think, I really like her and am into her; but she slept with me…so I guess it's over! And as for the ones who do, do you really want to date them?" Bottom line: Do what you’re comfortable with, when you’re comfortable with it.