How Your Drinking Habits Are Affected By Where You Live And How You Love

The trifecta of Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and Spring Break make March one of the year’s busiest drinking months in America. So naturally, we wanted to learn more about the role alcohol plays in the lives of singles, and how drinking habits are affected by where they live. The PlentyOfFish Research team got to work on a comprehensive research study of 11 million US singles between the ages of 21 to 50 to discover which states and cities have the most heavy drinkers. What did they discover? The Southeastern United States is home to some of the heaviest drinkers in the country, with Jacksonville, North Carolina singles being 64.4% more likely to drink often. Not far behind is New Orleans, with singles from the Big Easy being 50% more likely to drink often.

Drinking Habits And Where You Live

Here are the top 10 cities with the heaviest drinkers from the PlentyOfFish analysis:

1. Jacksonville, North Carolina – 64.4 % more likely to drink often
2. Jackson, Mississippi – 63.9 % more likely to drink often
3. Norfolk, Virginia – 62.4 % more likely to drink often
4. San Bernadino, California – 62.3 % more likely to drink often
5. Killeenn, Texas – 56.5% more likely to drink often
6. Temple, Texas – 56.4% more likely to drink often
7. New Orleans, Louisiana – 55.4% more likely to drink often
8. South Lake Tahoe, California – 46.9% more likely to drink often
9. Portsmouth, Virginia – 46.7% more likely to drink often
10. Tyler, Texas – 46.4% more likely to drink often

Other city-wide findings:

  • Phoenix singles are 1.6% more likely to drink often
  • Chicago singles are 15.3% more likely to drink often
  • LA singles are 4.7%more likely to drink often
  • San Francisco singles are 10.9% more likely to drink often
  • Provo, Utah singles are 199.4% more likely not to drink
  • Gallup, New Mexico singles are 107.6% more likely not to drink

New York City singles:

The Research Team also took a closer look at singles in the Big Apple, and here’s where they found New York’s biggest drinkers:NYC-Boroughs

  1. Bronx singles are 3.3% more likely to drink often
  2. Brooklyn singles are 2.5% more likely to drink often
  3. Manhattan singles are 1.3% more likely to drink often
  4. Queens singles are 24.8% less likely to drink often
  5. Staten Island singles are 31.2% less likely to drink often

Here are the top 10 states with the heaviest drinkers from the PlentyOfFish analysis:

1. Hawaii – 32.7% more likely to drink often
2. Washington DC – 30.8% more likely to drink often
3. Mississippi – 30.0% more likely to drink often
4. Louisiana – 29.3% more likely to drink often
5. Texas – 25.3% more likely to drink often
6. Alaska – 22.9% more likely to drink often
7. Georgia – 16.4% more likely to drink often
8. Alabama -16.3% more likely to drink often
9. South Carolina -11.0% more likely to drink often
10. Virginia – 9.2% more likely to drink often

States with the fewest heavy drinkers:

  • Minnesota singles are 27.2% less likely to drink often
  • Wisconsin singles are 26.1%  less likely to drink often
  • Connecticut singles are 20.3% less likely to drink often

Drinking Habits And How You Love

The PlentyOfFish study also uncovered a statistical correlation between longest relationship length and alcohol consumption, as well as the type of relationship singles are looking for. What was discovered? It turns out that the shorter someone’s longest relationship was, the less likely they are to drink often. Less surprisingly, the more casual you are about dating, the more you drink: chart_1 (2)

  • Men whose longest relationship lasted less than one year are 45% more likely to not drink
  • Women whose longest relationship lasted less than a year are 50% more likely to not drink
  • Women whose longest relationship was either very short (less than one year) or very long (more than 10 years) are most likely to be non-drinkers. Women with a relationships that lasted 2-6 years are more likely to drink
  • Men who are seeking casual dating or no commitment at all, are 55% more likely to drink often
  • Men who want to marry are 81.5% more likely to be a non-drinker
  • Women who are seeking casual dating or no commitment at all, are 79.5% more likely to drink often
  • Women who want to marry are 73.0% more likely to be a non-drinker

(Research Credit: Morgan Cabot Design Credit: Christina Martin)

TO BROWSE SINGLES IN YOUR AREA WHO SHARE YOUR INTERESTS, VISIT PLENTYOFFISH.COM

The Bachelor: Where They’ll Be In A Year

The verdict is in, and after a season wrought with controversy, walk-outs and an exceptionally outspoken cast, The Bachelor’s final rose has been handed out – and the last woman standing is Nikki! 

Everyone has there own opinion about how things played out in the finale, and all “un-proposals” aside, we know that the Bachelor alumni don’t always have the best track records of happily ever afters. That’s why we’ve decided to dust off our magic ball to see what the future holds for some of Season 18’s most memorable stand-outs.

ClareBachelor5

After getting jilted by Juan Pablo in an excruciatingly awkward exchange on the beach , Clare doesn’t go down without a fight, proclaiming “I would never want my children having a father like you,” before she leaves. Her pointed insult ties into the desire to settle down and have children she expressed numerous times on the show. She’s established in her profession, confident in who she is, and ready to find love and start a family.  We’re pretty confident that in under a year, Clare will be in a serious relationship with someone who can tell her he loves her for more than “hooking up”. But in the meantime she’s got her dog friend Elbie, to keep her company and the reminder that there are always plenty of fish in the sea.

SharleenBachelor2

Sharleen is the articulate Opera Singer (and fan favorite) who exited stage left on Episode 7. When she decided that Juan Pablo’s whispers of sweet nothings and hair stroking did not a relationship make, she showed herself the door and won viewers hearts. We think she would have made an excellent choice for the next Bachelorette, but she’s also super serious about her budding career. We bet that in a year from now, Sharleen will be riding a professional high, and The Bachelor will be nothing but a fading memory.

Andi and ReneeBachelor4

After clashing with Juan Pablo during their “nightmare” overnight date, Andi was the next woman to make a dramatic exit from the show. But now the Atlanta-based assistant district attorney is ready to look for love again, and was announced as the next Bachelorette last night. Andi’s assertive personality and strong sense for what she wants is going to make for a great season, and we’re willing to bet that her journey will end with a proposal.

Renee is the Real estate agent and single mom who got eliminated in the 8th Episode’s Rose Ceremony. Renee is grounded and sweet, not to mention already engaged! This doesn’t come as a surprise to us though, as all signs were pointing to her finding a lasting relationship – and soon.

Nikki Bachelor3

Nikki and Juan Pablo are together as of “After the Final Rose,” but what’s next for the pair? An engagement and eventual wedding? Maybe, but it just so happens that we have an inside scoop on some key indicators of compatibility that we know make for successful couples, and apart from sharing similar values when it comes to education and profession, the two don’t have all that much in common. Factoring in the age difference, respective life stages, and reality of becoming  a stepmother setting in for Nikki, we’re predicting an interesting year ahead for her. Specifically, we see her in Thailand on post-breakup girls trip by this                                                                               time next year.

Juan Pablo Bachelor1

The Bachelor himself may be 32 years old, but we’re not so sure he’s ready to settle down just yet. His reluctance to propose on the finale is understandable, but it will be very telling to see how his real-life relationship with Nikki plays out. We’re predicting a few weeks of silence, followed by a few weeks of tabloid speculation, followed by a People.com statement about an amicable breakup. This time next year, we’re predicting Juan Pablo will be focusing largely on raising his daughter and enjoying some dating on the side. 

Haven’t found your bachelor yet? ‘It’s OK’! PlentyOfFish has 76 million singles waiting for you! 

Singles and Sochi: The Sexier Side of the Winter Olympic Games

It looks like some singles aren’t watching the Sochi Winter Olympics for the love of sport! Here at PlentyOfFish we wanted to turn up the Olympic heat by surveying our users from across the US and Canada to identify the sexiest male and female athletes and the most and least attractive sports according to singles.

The survey also combined internal analytics to determine whether a mutual interest in sports plays a meaningful role in forming relationships.The survey showed that nearly 1 in 2 single men are watching the Olympics because the athletes are sexy, and roughly 1 in 3 single women admit to watching a sport purely for the sex appeal. More than a quarter of all singles admit to fantasizing about these athletes – so let the games begin! The Top 5 Sexiest athletes from the singles survey include:

Top 5 Sexiest Male Athletes Competing at Sochi:

  1. Bode Miller (Skiing) 22.4%
  2. Henrik Lundqvist (Hockey) 15.6%
  3. Charlie White (Figure Skating) 6.1%
  4. Bobby Brown (Skiing) 3.4%
  5. Shani Davis (Speed Skating) 1.4%

Top 5 Sexiest Female Athletes Competing at Sochi:

  1. Lolo Jones (Bobsleigh) 14.9%
  2. Linn Haug (Snowboarding) 14.2%
  3. Anna Fenninger (Skiing) 11.2%
  4. Anna Sidorova (Curling) 10.8%
  5. Tina Maze (Alpine Skiing) 8.6%

The Sexiest (And Least Attractive) Olympic Sports:

  • Snowboarding and Ice Hockey are considered the sexiest Winter Olympic sport by single women, each earning 27.3% of the votes
  • An overwhelming 43.6% of single men consider Figure Skating to be the sexiest Winter Olympic sport
  • Men and women agree that curling is the least attractive Winter Olympic sport – (41.7% of women and 28.3% of men)
  • 49.1% of singles consider Beach Volleyball the sexiest Summer Olympic sport
  • 51.9% of singles consider Weight Lifting to be the least attractive Summer Olympic sport

Sexiest Winter Olympic Sports Graph 1


An Increase in the Likelihood of a Relationship from Interest in the Following Sports:

The PlentyOfFish Research Team combined this survey with internal analytics to determine if a mutual interest in sports can play a role in forming a relationship between two people. Researchers discovered that singles who shared a love for hockey were 4-times more likely to leave the site in a relationship with another single who also loved hockey. A common interest for skiing increased a singles chance 3-fold of leaving the site with another person who loved the sport. From a sample size of 50,000 couples, an increase was identified in the following sports:

  • Singles who share a love of Hockey are 4.4 times more likely to form a relationship
  • Singles who share a love of Skiing are 3.8 times more likely to form a relationship
  • Singles who share a love of Swimming are 2.8 times more likely to form a relationship
  • Singles who share a love of Biking are 2.8 times more likely to form a relationship

Likelihood to form a Relationship Olympic Sports Graph 2

Olympic Viewership and Fantasies:

  • 38.7% of singles are planning on watching coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games
  • 31.2% of single women and 49.5% of single men have watched Olympic coverage because they found the competing athlete(s) sexy
  • 25.5% of singles admit to fantasizing about an Olympic athlete

It Doesn’t Have To Be Terrible: Recipes To Save Your Valentines Day

Valentines Day is coming… so maybe you’re on the hunt for some date night ideas with your special someone, or maybe you’re casting your eyes to the ceiling and frantically grabbing for wine as you assemble your pack of single girlfriends. There’s also the possibility that you couldn’t care less about what day of the year it is.  Anyway, regardless of your attitude towards the big day, you’ve gotta eat!

So whether you’re planning to celebrate with friends, family, or a date this year, let’s all take the spoon out of the Nutella jar and consider some other reasons for celebrating this romantic holiday. Perhaps most notably, an excuse to whip up the Valentines Day recipes below:

1.  Fig and Olive Tapenadechocolate 4

  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • French bread or specialty crackers

Be sure to make this appetizer a day beforehand, so they flavors can blend and you have less to cook on the day-of. So this seems like a bit of an exhaustive ingredient list, but hit the spice aisle at the grocery store, and  once you throw this together it looks great and tastes delicious! The one time I made this for a few girlfriends, they congratulated me on serving my first adult dish. Despite this compliment-disguised insult, I knew they were impressed.

Directions

  • Combine figs and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, and liquid has reduced. Remove from heat, and stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne. Add olives and garlic, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
  • Unwrap cream cheese block, and place on a serving platter. Spoon tapenade over cheese, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with slices of French bread or specialty crackers. DELISH.

2.  Shrimp Crepes

crepes.shrimp1My dad made these crepes on his first date with my mom, who says she knew right then and there that she was going to marry him. This is no coincidence. They are THAT good. Get to work.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4-1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 envelope Bearnaise sauce

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs and butter. Combine the flour, sugar and salt; add to milk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat; pour 2 tablespoons batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.
  • For filling, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add broccoli, onions, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 7-9 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove mixture from the pan and set aside. Add the shrimp, wine or broth, and remaining garlic and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Saute until shrimp turn pink, about 4 minutes. Return broccoli mixture to skillet.
  • Spoon filling down center of crepes; roll. Place in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile, prepare Bearnaise sauce according to package directions. Serve with crepes

3.  Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Look at you, making the quintessential Valentines Day dessert! Firstly, be sure to whip these up about an hour before your guest(s) arrive because they require a bunch of cooking paraphernalia and you’ll need to clean up. Also, you can pop them in the fridge so they’ll be delicious and cold by the time dessert rolls around. Not only are these bad boys a healthier alternative to heavier store-bought desserts, they keep really well in the freezer for days afterwards.choclate 3

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20) washed and dried very well

Directions

  • Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof  bowls.  Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. As a ghetto alternative, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.
  • remove chocolate from heat when smooth. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper, or whatever you have laying around. Holding the strawberries by the stem (if possible), dip them into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
  • Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. Serve with champagne*

Happy Valentines Day!

 

40 Days To Love: CREATING YOUR PROFILE – WEEK 1

Maybe you’ve had a profile on PlentyOfFish for a while, or maybe you’ve never even considered online dating in the past, and now you have no idea where to start. Either way, this is where we’re stepping up to help you highlight your best features and channel your best self into your PlentyOfFish profile. Take a deep breath, and you’ll be ready to tackle one of the most important aspects of a successful online dating profile…

STEP 1: YOU’LL NEED…

Creativity: The best profiles can articulate who they are and what they’re looking and do it with a lot of humor and self awareness.

30 minutes: This is about how long it takes to create a well thought-out profile. If you don’t have photos, it may take longer.

3 photos of yourself (we’ll get to this in our next post): You’ll want a great head photo, a full length photo and a photo of you doing something active.

An understanding of your breakers and makers: What do you need in a relationship? What could you not live with in a relationship? Before putting yourself out there, you need to know what you’re looking for so you can identify a compatible match when you see one:)

A positive attitude: If you’re not in a positive and optimistic state of mind, it will come through in your profile in one way or another. If  your outlook on dating and relationships is bleak at the moment, wait until you have renewed energy and optimism before creating your profile.

STEP 2: YOUR USERNAME

Your username is a chance to provide some insight into your passions, and creativity, maybe even making someone smile with the use of only a few characters. If you choose something attention-grabbing and memorable, you’ll surely stand out in the crowd – in the best way. On the flip side of this, you want to stay away from generic, negative, or insulting handles that could offend someone, because you need to keep in mind who you want to attract! And when in doubt, why not use a pun!

Choose an adjective and a noun: A great trick for coming up with a username is to choose an adjective and a noun that describe you, stick them together and voila – you’ve created a unique username.

Real life examples: “RelaxedWanderer”, “Champagne_dame”, “SillyWestCoastGirl”, “MissionMan2014”:

Incorporate your interests: Mentioning what you love about life and highlighting your pastimes in your username is a great way to provoke interest particularly if the person you’re writing shares similar interests.Think of your favorite movies, bands, special travel destinations and even pop culture references, and incorporate those.  I mean, what’s not to like about a world traveler!?

Real life examples: “snow2surf”, “Globe_Trotting_Girl”, “KettleBellsQueen”:

Use alliteration if possible: The use of alliteration is a great tool to create interest and a nice ring to your username. It will also make your username more memorable and stand out from the pack.

Real life examples: “Rustic_Rocking_Running”:

Don’t use random numbers or your year of birth: Usernames that include an incessant amount of random numbers are a waste of a username and make it impossible for someone to remember if your message gets misplaced for some reason.

Real life examples: “Nate.r.m86”, “hsh109483”, “Zzz1982”:

No sexual connotations: If you’re looking for a relationship, never use the word ‘sex’, ‘xxx’, ‘sexy’ or any other connotation of this word in your username or headline. Anyone looking at your profile will automatically categorize you as someone who is looking for something casual.

Real Life Examples: “sex-bomb69”:

No pet names: These names will come in handy when you’re in a relationship and thinking up pet names. But until then, do not use ‘cutsie’ words to describe yourself. This is a turnoff for both men and women.

Real Life Examples: “Princess cuddlebunny”, “bunny.love.92”, “shoppingaddict15”, “lovemuffin123”:

STEP 3: HEADLINE

Your headline appears on numerous pages on the site, so it’s critical that it grab someone’s attention in a positive way.

Consider pop culture references: Try thinking of the last line in a movie that made you laugh, or lyrics from a favorite song, pose a question or even a joke! Try to avoid melancholy sounding stuff like, “Just looking for a good woman”…You and everyone else!

Keep it clever and fun: If you can make someone laugh, or challenge them, they’re usually curious to learn more. If you can accomplish one of these goals in your headline, you’ll increase the likelihood that a potential match will click on you and perhaps even message you. Here are some great examples:

  • “The guy below me lives with his mom!”

  • “I’m out boating, leave a message!”

  • “Free high-fives”

  • “Here, you can have the remote”

Funny right? The whole idea is to lighten the mood and spark some conversation. For some more headline inspiration, visit: http://www.edatingdoc.com/online-dating-headlines/Screenshot Username and Headline

STEP 4: CHOOSING YOUR INTENT

If you’re looking for a Relationship, say so!

Not sure exactly what it is you’re looking for yet? No problem. But if you’re genuinely interested in finding a relationship, don’t be afraid to say so! If you select “looking for no commitment” or ‘want to date but nothing serious”, don’t expect people to read between the lines and assume you are “open to a relationship if you meet the right person”. If you’re wavering between selecting “Looking for a Relationship” and “Dating but nothing serious”, choose the former. This will attract more serious matches and ensure you’re not wasting your time responding to people who aren’t interested in a relationship.

STEP 5: YOUR PROFESSION

What to write in the Profession field: This field is not a yes or no question. This field is meant to disclose what you do for a living. Your profession is more important than you may think in determining how compatible you are with a match, so it’s important to be accurate. So skip the ‘Yes’, ‘Got one’ and ‘Just Ask’ and be honest about how you earn a living.

If in doubt. list the industry you work in: If you aren’t comfortable disclosing your exact position or the company you work for, it’s OK to be more general for the time being. For example, if you are a legal aid, there’s nothing wrong with entering “legal” under profession and then elaborating on your first date!

Step 6: SHARING YOUR INTERESTS 

Think about specific things you like to do in your spare time. Include things like food, sports, musical preferences, creative hobbies, lifestyle related activities – anything really! If you have trouble listing these off, ask a friend to describe you. The more you beef up your interest list the better equip our matching algorithmic is to come up with people who are best suited to you. Screenshot Interests

STEP 7: WRITING YOUR PROFILE DESCRIPTION

Writing about yourself isn’t always easy, but everyone is in a similar boat. Consider getting your friends to describe some special qualities you possess, or take a pen and paper and jot down a few of your most unique traits.

Keep it to 3 paragraphs: One of the last steps in creating your profile is your written description (which is often the hardest part). Try your best not to put this off until later. If you do, you may never get to it and this will diminish the number of quality messages you receive. Keep your description to 3 short paragraphs: who you are, what you like to do, and what you’re looking for in a future partner.

Use examples, and be specific: Although you want to cast a wide net when online dating, you also want to attract people that share similar interests and values. If you’re too broad and general in your description you won’t hone in on those you’re most compatible with. A good way to avoid being too general is to use examples and context:

“I’m an active woman who loves to hang out with friends” —> “I play on a soccer team twice a week and love catching a football game with friends on the weekends”

“I’m adventurous and love to travel” —> “Last summer I was eating brie and a baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower and next year I want to experience the beaches of Thailand.”

Highlight important things about yourself while keeping things light: Talk about what you’re interested in and why. Speak about your passions and experiences, even adventures you would like to embark on. Did you experience a life changing event or amazing trip recently? It will provide a great conversation starter and people will be impressed by how forthcoming you are. Just don’t forget to use spell check*

Be positive: Try to keep everything positive and upbeat! Be aware of using phrases that start with “I don’t like…” or “Don’t contact me if…”. These phrases can come across as being negative and can reflect poorly on your character…especially when someone only has a few sentences to judge you on. Instead, communicate the same message with a positive twist. Rather than, “Don’t contact me if you don’t even have a job”, why not consider “I’d love to meet someone who is as driven and ambitious as I am.”

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

This week’s challenge is to dedicate 15-30 minutes of your time to improving your online dating profile. Small tasks can include updating or rotating your images, listing at least 15 interests on your profile, or dividing up your description into 3 paragraphs that highlight exactly who you are and what you’re looking for.

Now that you have all the ingredients of a great profile, you’re ready to get out there and meet new people! 2014 is YOUR year!