The Science of Happily Ever After – With Social Scientist & Author Ty Tashiro

Welcome to CarpeDM’s Black Women Deserve Series: Empowering our community one class at a time. This is a video series curated exclusively for the CarpeDM community where industry experts share advice aimed at helping our members improve their dating lives and find love. 

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In the search for love and a happy long-term relationship, we’ve all asked ourselves why dating is hard and how to choose a life partner and avoid unhealthy dating relationships. In this Black Women Deserve Series; social scientist, relationship expert, and author of The Science of Happily Ever After, Dr. Ty Tashiro, explains the science of dating and why we struggle to break the cycle of bad relationships and low relationship satisfaction. Learn more about Dr.Tashiro!

Author, Dr. Ty Tashiro

In his five-part video series, Dr.Tashiro looks at the studies and research data behind romance, relationships, and modern-day dating to help people pinpoint why we struggle choosing mates and how we can make smarter choices in modern life dating. Additionally, the series will equip you with the skills on how to get out of a toxic relationship and prepare you to avoid bad relationship advice.

Dr.Tashiro explains while there may be no formula for love, there’s certainly science behind it. Ready to learn the science supporting what kinds of dating factors are most predictive of satisfying and stable relationships? Let’s dive into the series!

Dating State of Our Union: The hard data behind dating and marriages! 

While it can be hard to tell how well you’re doing when it comes to navigating life and love in the modern age, a little bit of context about what's going on with relationships may give you a better sense of the state of our unions. Modern life dating has brought new challenges and opportunities, and it’s essential to stay informed and adaptable to thrive in this evolving space. 

Dating research is an essential part of Dr. Tashiro’s practice. His work is based on the science of dating, psychology of human behavior, and how dating data reflect people’s ability to maintain emotionally stable, healthy, and happy long-term relationships. 

In the first episode of this series, Dr. Tashiro sheds light on U.S. marriage statistics to help us understand the current state of dating and marriages. If you ask single people about the current dating scene, we’d bet most of them would have a negative view, mostly because of dating apps and swiping culture.

Surprisingly, 92% of people will get married at some point in their lives. However, nowadays, people are waiting longer before getting married. In the past, women from the Baby Boomer generation (1946 – 1954) typically got married around 21 years old, and men around 23. But nowadays, the average age for women to marry is about 29, and for men, it's around 30.

Another surprising stat is that 88% of unmarried people say they want to get married. The takeaways: most people want to get married and most people will get married! It’s just that we’re doing it a lot later than we used to. The numbers look good but Dr. Tashiro explains that it’s one thing to get married, it’s another thing to have a good marriage. A good marriage comes down to two factors: 1) a relationship that is happy and 2) a relationship that will last. Hence, a relationship that ends happily ever after!

We don’t need data to tell us most people want happy, stable relationships. But how many people actually find this? The data reveals that around 40% of couples find their happily ever after. We know what you’re thinking! But that’s less than half of couples. Dr. Tashiro sees this data optimistically. Instead of seeing it as bad news, Dr. Tashiro suggests we consider this as a glass half full scenario. We should look into what it is that those 40% of couples are doing in their dating lives to help predict a future marriage that will be happy and stable. The good news is that science has valuable insights and Dr. Tashiro shares his tips and tricks to leveraging scientific findings to choose a partner who will give us the best chance at finding our happily ever after! 

Love: Glass Half Full

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Establishing the Framework to Your Happiness

How do you think about choosing a great romantic partner, avoiding bad relationship advice and common dating mistakes people make? Let’s establish the framework. Dr. Tashiro explains you get only three wishes when choosing your ideal partner. We make all these wishes for partners but we don’t realize that we’re narrowing the field of possibilities based on these wishes. Now he’s not saying you don’t deserve the best! Dr. Tashiro says we run into challenges with wishes when we don’t prioritize which wishes are the most important.

How to Get the Best Return on Your Investment

According to Dr. Tashiro, one of the things that's helpful is to know some of the ways that we squander our wishes for the ideal partner. We can also look at what research tells us about which types of partners give us the best return on investment. For example, if you choose certain traits for your ideal partner, which of those traits would provide a significant long-term return on investment when thinking about your long-term happiness and satisfaction? 

Most people tend to choose friends and romantic partners who they think meet what is supposed to be an ideal checklist. They'll tell you it's all about kindness, good character, and finding a stable, reliable partner. But here's the kicker – based on dating research, when it comes to actual actions and decisions singles make, it all boils down to two big factors. Can you guess what they are? 

Dr.Tashiro explains, if you watch what people do based on online dating studies or speed dating studies, you can track what traits singles are emphasizing. Singles choose to message someone or ask them out on a date based on two factors: physical attractiveness and socioeconomic status. Heterosexual men tend to place a premium on looks first and wealth second. Heterosexual women, on the other hand, put wealth at the top of their wish list, with looks coming in second.   

But here's the plot twist: putting too much emphasis on looks and wealth might not be the magic recipe for relationship satisfaction and stability. Dr. Tashiro’s research shows that these attributes don't necessarily deliver the long-term happiness we're after. Looks don’t get you anything as far as long term happiness! While wealth does matter to a certain extent, there's a diminishing return just above the poverty line. You want a partner who can contribute towards financial stability but beyond that wealth really doesn’t matter all that much for happiness. 

Relationship Happiness: Wealth

So, what does seem to matter in choosing a partner and how do we choose well? 

When it comes to picking the right partner, it's not about tossing a coin and hoping for the best. Nope, you've got to be strategic. One way to do that is by focusing on what psychologists call personality traits. These are the building blocks of the kind of love that stands the test of time.

  1. Extraversion: how talkative you are. Are you the life of the party or the calm observer?
  2. Openness to experience:  how much are you open to new things
  3. Agreeableness: how kind and pleasant you are.
  4. Conscientiousness: how much you have your act together. Do you both have your ducks in a row, or is one of you flying by the seat of their pants? 
  5. Emotional Stability: how steady your emotions are and how capable of looking on the bright side of things you can be.

And here's the inside scoop – these five traits have been put under the microscope in numerous studies to see how they affect long-term relationship satisfaction and stability. Dr. Tashiro weighs in and says that agreeableness is a bit of an unsung hero. A partner who's nice, kind, and agreeable can bring a ton of goodness to the table. They've got that knack for empathy, a knack for understanding your feelings and thoughts, and a generous, open-hearted approach to relationships. Agreeableness contributes to relationship wealth!

But wait, there's more! Dr. Tashiro also tips his hat to emotional stability as the unsung champion of healthy relationships. If there’s one trait that is most predictive of long term happiness and stability in a marriage, it is marrying someone who is emotionally stable. In the rollercoaster of life, you need a partner who can ride out the storms with you, providing that all-important reassurance and steadiness.

Relationship Happiness: Emotional Stability

The verdict is in, we overinvest in money and looks and underinvest in physiological traits. But don’t feel bad, Dr. Tashiro shares this happens to the best of us. There you have it, folks. When you're on the quest for a love story that's the stuff of legends, keep agreeableness and emotional stability in mind. They are your secret sauce for that "happily ever after" you've been dreaming of. 

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Capitalize on the Good Things and Build Relationship Wealth

So, you’ve selected your top three wishes and asked someone out who meets those wishes and is emotionally stable. Now what? Dr. Tashiro shares red flags and green flags to look for as your interactions in a new relationship grows. By identifying these flags, you’ll be able to avoid falling into the trap of a toxic relationship by learning when and how to get out of a toxic relationship.

Red Flag: Lack of Personal Accountability 

The reality is that things will go wrong in a relationship. Things going wrong is part of life! Let’s be honest, no matter where you stand on the relationship spectrum –– single, dating, engaged, married: navigating life and love in the modern age – is challenging. We’ve all experienced different types of unhealthy relationships and face similar challenges when it comes to love and romance in today’s fast-paced, casual dating world. Dating while black is especially harder (black dating is for another blog topic!).

Psychologists are interested in how people think about what caused something to go wrong. The way people think about what caused something is predictive of how good the relationship is going to be. The blame game is a red flag and can show signs of a dysfunctional relationship. If you get the sense that your partner is playing the blame game and constantly pointing fingers at you for everything that goes wrong in the relationship – it’s a bad sign for the relationship. It's like a slow erosion of trust and the slow build-up of resentment…not exactly the ingredients for a happy, lasting love story, right?

There are plenty of words to describe a bad relationship and we need to get good at spotting the different types of unhealthy relationships so we can steer CLEAR of them. Take, for example, a partner who can't be bothered to own up to their part in the relationship's lows. Or perhaps someone with a hefty dose of low self-esteem, prone to emotional drops or roller coasters, poor self-accountability, and an inability to celebrate your wins. All these signs point to harmful behavior and a path that doesn't lead to "happily ever after." 

Green Flag: Capitalization

Capitalization is when things go right! Partners love to share wins and how a partner responds to your win is really important. It’s their chance to capitalize on the good thing that’s happened to you. Dr. Tashiro says this is what builds relationship wealth! Capitalization also builds a couple’s emotional wealth because it shows that a partner is interested in your well being. Sign us up!

Relationship Green Flags

Finding a Partner in Online Dating

In his final video of the Black Women Deserve Series, Dr. Tashiro shares what to look for in an online dating profile when searching for a partner. While Dr. Tashiro specifically reviews CarpeDM’s dating app interface, his findings can be applied to any dating app profile. 

When looking at different profiles, it's all about understanding the traits and characteristics that science has proven to be the best predictors of long-term satisfaction and stability in a relationship. Dr. Tashiro shares that he loves the CarpeDM interface because profiles are a treasure trove of information. 

CarpeDM Dating App Interface
Start with profile pictures

Dr. Tashiro shares that we should be as flexible as possible when we're thinking about physical attractiveness. Be open-minded when you consider factors like body type and height – flexibility is key. When examining dating profiles for women or for men, it's essential to look beyond superficial attributes and determine instead what qualities you look for in a life partner to ensure long-term relationship satisfaction. So, when it comes to finding that special someone, remember, looks aren't everything. Sure, they matter to some extent, but don't get too hung up on physical attractiveness. It's not the magic formula for a happy, long-lasting connection. 

Write a good dating profile

According to Dr. Tashiro, one of the best things about CarpeDM is that the dating profile description of your potential match provides a detailed look into how this person could interact with you and how the two of you can interact together. Moreover, you’ll be able to choose a life partner who aligns with your desires and values. 

Furthermore, it's essential to find someone who aligns with your preferences, but don't get too caught up in nitpicking. Dr. Tashiro puts it this way: “My eyes would actually go a little further down in the profile. I'm drawn to open-ended responses in the bio where people can write anything they want and the spaces where they can choose what to put down.” As a psychologist, he has a keen eye for specific keywords that offer insights into a person's character. He keeps an eye out for words like "love," "creativity," and "passion." Want advice on writing a good dating profile? Ask your CarpeDM Matchmaker for successful dating site profile examples.

Avoid a mismatch

While physical attractiveness and socioeconomic status are areas for flexibility, children and religion are not. First, Dr. Tashiro says to look for whether the person wants children and then determine if the answer is congruent with your desires. Researchers have found that religion becomes a big deal once you have children because there’s a potential to disagree about beliefs and practices to instill in your children. Luckily, CarpeDM profiles include information about children and religion because we understand these two things when mismatched ultimately contribute to unhappy partnership.

Dr. Tashiro finally focuses on the expectation for commitment and what people are looking for. He shares that we tend to be hopeful and think we can change a partner’s mind. But if you want different things, it will ultimately create a lot of conflict. 

CarpeDM Dating App Interface
Video chatting

Video chatting is a great opportunity to learn how thoughtful someone is about what they choose to talk about and what they want in a relationship. Dr. Tashiro says ask yourself, does open communication come up spontaneously on a call? To respect your time and avoid awkward and unnecessary first dates, CarpeDM requires a 5-10 minute video before messaging. 

Read more about how video is evolving online dating, especially for black women.

Let’s recap what Dr. Tashiro taught us!

Dr. Tashiro’s insights on the science of dating can help singles navigate the complexities of modern day dating, whether you're single, dating, engaged, married, or navigating life and love in the modern age. When it comes to the quest for a lasting and fulfilling relationship, you’ve got to consider a few key factors. We’re talking about identifying types of unhealthy relationships and what qualities do you look for in a life partner. It’s like a roadmap to finding love that lasts. Keep up with Dr.Tashiro's work revolutionizing the way we search for love on social!

And what's even better is that you don't have to go it alone. There are online platforms like CarpeDM that are your ticket to exploring the world of a romantic love dating site and black love relationships. We provide you with a unique opportunity to connect with potential partners while giving you the knowledge to spot and gracefully navigate signs of a dysfunctional relationship. Whether you're a male partner looking for love or one of the awesome black singles dating, the insights from our Black Women Deserve Series can help you make informed choices in the exciting world of modern life dating.

So, embark on this journey armed with The Science of Happily Ever After and the tools from the CarpeDM dating app to Meet professional black singles. Black men dating – are you ready to meet black women? Grab your phone and submit a CarpeDM dating profile. Love is in the air, and it’s never been more within reach!

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