Biggest Relationship Trends Of 2011
- Next1 of 13Serendipity: Miramax/Photofest
- Previous Next2 of 13The Break Up: Universal Studios/Photofest
- Previous Next3 of 13The Wedding Singer: New Line Cinema/Photofest
- Previous Next4 of 13He's Just Not That Into You: New Line Cinema/Photofest
- Previous Next5 of 13Up In The Air: Paramount Pictures/Photofest
- Previous Next6 of 13Shopgirl: 20th Century Fox/Photofest
- Previous Next7 of 13Prince William & Kate Middleton: Splash News
- Previous Next8 of 13Made Of Honor: Columbia Pictures/Photofest
- Previous Next9 of 13Serendipity: Miramax/Photofest
- Previous Next10 of 13Golden Girls: NBC/Photofest
- Previous Next11 of 13First Wives Club: Paramount Pictures/Photofest
- Previous Next12 of 13Juno: Fox Searchlight/Photofest
- Previous Next13 of 13Knocked Up: Universal Studios/Photofest
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The Way We Loved1 of 13
By Natasha Burton
As 2011 winds down, we're taking a look back at the relationship-related news, trends and research that emerged over the course of the year. (Tech-enhanced flirting! A royal wedding! Elderly roommates!) Should old acquaintance be forgot, at least you'll remember these fun facts!
Waiting To Wed2 of 13
When the 2010 Census data was released in May, we learned that, for the first time in modern history, there are now more non-married people in the United States than married ones. With the average couple waiting until their late 20s and 30s to tie the knot—and more of them choosing to live together (some with no plans to wed at all)—the formality of marriage appears to be taking a backseat to simply creating a happy, stable relationship.
11-11-113 of 13
While marriage rates are down, nearly 60,000 couples did tie the knot on this recent date, some because they believed that the repetition of the number one was a good omen, others simply because they wanted an unforgettable way of marking their anniversary. Couples who missed the once-in-100-years occasion can schedule a celebration for next year's 12/12/12.
Staying Together4 of 13
While the current economical situation is tightening many married couples' budgets, it's also keeping them together, for better or for worse. Experts say that while divorce rates have dropped, cheating might be on the rise, as more people sign up for websites like AshleyMadison.com, which helps married people have affairs. "We're not a recession-proof business; we're a recession-growth business," says Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman. "Who wants to pay $40,000 for a divorce when you can pay $49 for an affair?"
Digital Flirting5 of 13
In 2011, racy texting became the go-to way to flirt. The trend grew among both adults and (unfortunately) teenagers, getting national attention as texting evolved into "sexting," a term that earned its place in Oxford English Dictionary in August. Social media also played a role in relationships this year, as we saw a high-profile political scandal fueled by salacious tweets, courtesy of former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Sugar-Daddy Dating6 of 13
Nowadays, there's an online dating destination to accommodate nearly everyone's relationship needs—whether it's loving pets or being a redhead. This year, "sugar daddy" sites spiked in popularity, perhaps signaling that such May-December arrangements are now less taboo, especially in this economy. "Unemployment rates are high, the cost of living is rising, and loans are difficult to come by," says Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com. "Sugar-daddy dating, which gives young women the hope of an easier life and less financial worries, suddenly seems a lot more appealing."
Royal Wedding Romance7 of 13
On April 29, nearly 22.8 million people watched Kate Middleton marry Prince William. While their lavish ceremony was rooted in tradition, Will and Kate's wedding also heralded modern marriage ideals, with the couple dating for years before tying the knot in their late 20s (hence the not-so-nice nickname "Waity Katie"). And that oh-so passionate balcony kiss proved that being proper doesn't mean being prim.
DIY Wedding Details8 of 13
When it came to non-royal weddings, many brides-to-be took matters into their own hands by adding homemade touches to their big days, as websites like DIY Wedding and Pinterest became popular idea outposts. Whether these women headed to their local craft store for supplies to make place cards and favors on their own or they found a gifted DIY-er on Etsy, homegrown creations took center stage as one of 2011's biggest wedding trends.
Changing Signs9 of 13
Early in 2011, astrology devotees and people who just enjoy reading their horoscopes alike were shocked (even outraged) to learn that their zodiac signs may have changed. In January, Minnesota Planetarium Society announced that the moon's gravitational pull on the Earth has been altered over the millennia, shifting the zodiac sign dates that the Babylonians set over 5,000 years ago by one month. Thankfully for those attached to their signs, this proposed shift was widely rejected.
Real-Life Golden Girls10 of 13
Women typically live five to ten years longer than men do, and a new trend is emerging among these older, and often widowed, ladies, according to CBS News. A growing number of older women are choosing to live with roommates in order to pool resources, and to have someone else on hand in case of an emergency. We like the idea of moving back in with our BFFs later in life—who better to watch Sex and the City reruns and reminisce about our youth with?
"Momunes"11 of 13
Older women aren't the only ones seeking roommates. This year we also saw a rise in "momunes"—households in which single moms live together. Organizations that match single moms looking for roommates (such as CoAbode) have been around for about a decade, but this living arrangement is now becoming more of a norm due to today's economy.
Gender Reveal Parties12 of 13
Moms- and dads-to-be are now incorporating a "gender reveal" of their forthcoming little ones into their baby shower, or having an entire party dedicated to unveiling whether their child will be a girl or a boy. And they're not just making an announcement: One popular new way to reveal your baby's sex is to have your doctor tell your local baker whether to put either blue or pink filling in a cake you've ordered. When you cut the cake at the party, the baby's sex is revealed.
Fatherhood's Effects13 of 13
Becoming a father is a life-changing experience for a man. But scientists only recently discovered in 2011 just how life-changing daddy duty really is. Not only does fatherhood lower a man's testosterone, but also, another study shows that being a dad can make a man more responsible and cause him to shed bad habits like smoking and drinking. However, we wouldn't rely on these findings to help change the bad boy you're pining over into your Prince Charming.