relationship data

Heartbroken? Cardiologists explain why your heart might *actually* be broken

 

Signs_He_Doesn't_Love_You.jpgIn the wake of a breakup, you might say that you’re “heartbroken”, a phase characterized by deep sadness and loss. The feelings are sharp and intense, but are they just feelings?

 

Research shows that the gut wrenching, kick-to-the-stomach feeling that comes after losing someone you love is not just an emotional experience; the effects of a broken heart are grounded in real physiological changes.

 

To understand how the pain is processed, neuroscientists at Columbia University looked at brain activity in unmarried people who had experienced an unwanted breakup in the previous six months. Participants were asked to look at pictures of friends and exes while being touched with a hot probe. Interestingly, the pictures of the exes and the hot probe caused the same parts of the brain to light up. The pictures of friends had no effect. This study revealed that the part of the brain that processes physical pain also processes the pain associated with emotional loss, and your body will respond in many unfortunate ways in the wake of pain.

 

Heart

 

After a breakup, a heart may temporarily enlarge while the rest of the heart functions normally or with even more force. This condition is called stress-induced cardiomyopathy also known as broken heart syndrome. Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center noted an especially precarious window for developing a heart problem: During the first 24 hours after experiencing loss, a person’s risk of suffering from a heart attack increases 20X.

 

According to the American Heart Association, broken heart syndrome is similar to experiencing a heart attack. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain, but no clogged arteries, a characteristic of a traditional heart attack.

 

Unfortunately, your heart isn’t the only place that will experience stress in the wake of a break up.

 

Skin

 
Breakouts can be attributed to many things—diet, hormones, cosmetics—but the stresses associated with a breakup can also send your skin to a bad place. Researchers at Wake Forest University studied 94 students in Singapore to isolate the causes of breakouts. They found that breakouts were 23 percent more likely to occur during periods of high emotional strain.

 

Hair

 Some people experience hair loss after losing a partner. The emotional stress can trigger an auto-immune condition which attacks your hair follicles or increases the production of androgen, the chief cause of female pattern baldness. Luckily, this issue is only temporary, and as you recover from your break up, your hair should grow back.

 

Muscles

After a break up, the body will produce an influx of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. These stress hormones can help you react quickly in dangerous, short-term situations, but in longer term traumatic situations, these hormones can exhaust your muscles. The extra cortisol will tell your body to send more blood to you muscles, but with no physical outlet, the muscles will swell and feel sore.

 

The Stomach

The cortisol produced in the wake of a break up will also wreak havoc on your digestive track. The extra cortisol will divert blood away from your GI, causing irregularity. If your stomach is already sensitive, you might experience additional cramping or diarrhea.

 

Best ways to counteract the nasty effects of a break up?

Endorphins. Curb those wild stress hormones by pulling yourself off the couch and breaking a sweat. “Exercise also leads to the release of brain chemicals like endogenous opioids that can create feelings of contentment,” says Dr. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. “It may even get your dopamine flowing.” The stress stemming from a painful break up is real, and physical activity is the best way to help your body release and process the pain.

 

 

Where to Live and Let Love Find You

Where to Live and Let Love Find You.png

It’s Valentine’s Day. Don’t sulk alone in your apartment watching Netflix. If you’re single and ready to mingle, maybe you should move to a new city where love will find you.

Unlucky in love? It’s not you, it’s your city. The dating pool in the nation’s largest cities varies quite a bit. To help people find the places that will give them the best chance to find their soul mates, our friends at Trulia examined U.S. Census data in each of the 100 largest metros. We’ve focused our efforts not only on where you can find plenty of single men and women, but where you’re more likely to find those more or less educated, divorced or not, and places where populations skew young or old.

For now, we limited our study to those seeking the opposite sex, since government data isn’t quite as good when it comes to same-sex statistics.

Taking a guess at what people care about most, we looked specifically at the ratio of single men to single women, the age range of these singles, how many hours they typically work each week, how much education they have and whether they were previously married or not. Note that we only analyze those at or over the age of 21.

For example, if you’re looking for a marriage-material guy– a man in his 30s with at least a college degree who works the standard 40 hours a week or more and has never been married, head directly to San FranciscoSan JoseSeattle or Austin, Texas. San Francisco has the second highest ratio of single male to single female (0.972), where 52% of adult men are single. Of this dating pool, 19.8% are in their 30s and 55.7% work at least 40 hours a week.

If you’re looking for a man…

Best places to find marriage material guys.jpg

For women, searching for your dream guy, find out your dating destination: Click here to take the quiz.

FgYXRCljR6maPTQpVGoY_ValentinesDay_titlecardManEdition.png

If you’re looking for a woman…Best places to find Ms. Independent.jpg

For men, searching for your dream girl, find out your dating destination:

Click here to take the quiz.

Looking for a woman quiz.png

On the flip side, if you’re looking for Ms. Independent – a woman in her forties with at least a graduate degree, works at least 40 hours a week and you don’t care if she’s been married before, go East. You’ll have the best luck along the Eastern Seaboard metros of WashingtonAtlanta, Raleigh, N.C., and Baltimore. For instance, in the D.C. suburb of Silver Springs, Md., 44.4% of adult women are single – of which, 14.6% are in their fab forty years and 38.8% work at least 40 hours a week.

If neither of these profiles are your cup of tea, then take the quiz yourself to figure out where you should live to if you’re looking to find love.

To dive a little deeper into the traits of singles, we first looked at where the odds are in your favor when it comes to the guy-to-gal ratio. In our study, singles includes anyone who has never been married or was formerly married and age 21 or higher. A larger or smaller guy-to-gal ratio may tell you whether you’re more likely to be surrounded by men or women if you are sitting in a typical bar or restaurant.

  • Looking for men? Cities with the more single men to single women tended to be on the West Coast rather than the East Coast. Specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area – which includes both the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas have some of the highest single men to single women ratios. But it will cost you – these are two of the priciest markets in the nation and the center of Silicon Valley. If those markets are too rich for your blood, consider Bakersfield, Calif., which took the lead in the ranking of where men outnumber women, as well as Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
  • Where are all the single ladies? Look to Sarasota, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Winston-Salem, N.C., which had the highest ratios of single women to single men. But if you’re looking for a big city option, Philadelphia and New York had the 8th and 9th highest single women to single men ratios.
  • Where Single Men Outnumber Single Women.jpg

Where Single Women Outnumber Single Men.jpg

Next, we looked at the age range – 20s, 30s, and 40s – of these singles for each metro, broken down by gender.

  • If you’re looking for a mate just hitting the Dirty Thirty era, you should head to San Francisco, Austin, Texas, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
  • On the other hand, Upstate New York metros such as Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, and Syracuse have a very low percentage of single adults in their thirties. Same goes for metros in neighboring states, Akron, Ohio and Montgomery County, Pa.
  • Looking for a date that Taylor Swift would describe as “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time?” Madison, Wis.; Virginia Beach, Va.; San Diego; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and El Paso, Texas have some of the highest share of single adults who are in their twenties.
  • Meanwhile, six Florida metros Sarasota, Daytona Beach, Cape Coral, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale have some of the smallest share of singles in their twenties.
  • Want someone who’s firmly adulting? Move to places such as Winston-Salem, Indianapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, Greensboro, N.C.; Las Vegas, or Miami where you’ll find more singles in their 40s.

When it comes to education, are you looking for someone who’s book smart or street smart?

  • If you are sapiosexual—someone who’s attracted to intelligent people—the data shows that you should move to San Francisco, Silver Spring, Md., Washington D.C., Cambridge, Mass., or San Jose. These metros have some of the highest percentage of single men and women with at least a college degree or graduate degree.
  • If lack of a diploma isn’t a deal breaker, then inland California might be the place to go. Riverside, Fresno, and Bakersfield has some of the lowest percentages of single adults with a college degree.

Methodology

2014 5-year US Census American Community Survey data gathered via IPUMS-USA at the University of Minnesota were used for this study. For the quiz, we restricted the data to non-married adults with at least a high school degree and aged 21 or older, but younger than 50. There were two underlying factors that determined which metro is the most suitable for the quiz taker. The first factor was the single adult male to single adult female ratio. The second factor was what percentage of the single adult male or female population fit your demographic criteria specified by one’s quiz answers. Rankings of the 100 metro areas based on these two respective factors were used in order to generate a final ranking that is tailored to the quiz takers’ preferences. For the explanation portion of this report that comes after the quiz, the data includes all those who are 21 years of age or over and are currently non-married unless specified otherwise.

Are You Open to the Possibility of Real Love?

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael NormaniStock_000023385179Small

If you’re a Linx member, you know that finding true love can be difficult under any circumstance, and especially challenging when trying to navigate work schedules, family obligations, travel commitments, and, of course, personal preferences. At Linx, we always encourage seeing someone at least two times if you feel even a hint of a spark, and to be as open as possible when thinking about the details of what you expect your match to be/do/look like.

While it’s true that our physical type is often something we cannot control (or even influence) it’s also equally true that you can be surprised — and extremely satisfied — by a relationship with someone who doesn’t look like every one of your exes. (Those relationships didn’t work out for a reason, you know.)

Make sure you know the difference between what you need and what you want; you may want tall, dark, and handsome, but do you need all three? You may like natural blondes with small waists and high arches, but is the character of a woman ever really linked to the size of her waist or the shape of her feet?

In my circle of friends, many of the deepest and most fulfilling relationships actually started with a connection that was barely on the warm side of ambivalence. And believe it or not, that can be a good thing. When someone doesn’t fit your preconceived notion of what makes an ideal mate, it’s easier to relax, throw out your expectations and projections, and get to know them. You can find yourself drawn to their inner qualities instead of being mesmerized by their outer attributes. You give them a chance without realizing it, and you can find yourself comfortable and and connected in a way you couldn’t anticipate.

At Linx, we do out best to bring you a match who is ideal on all fronts. But occasionally, we ask that members stretch themselves, and be open to someone younger or older, darker or lighter, shorter or taller than they requested. We do that because we know our members very well, and we often see opportunities where two people make sense together, even if it’s unlikely to be a case of love at first sight.

We also ask people to be open because it’s practical. We have thousands of people in our database of all shapes and colors and sizes, but we don’t always have the match you want in the package you expect. The more narrow you are about your physical type and restrictions, the harder it is to meet someone — and that’s true whether you’re a client of Linx, or not.

Here is a video that breaks down the odds of love for one single 25-year-old woman in New York City. The numbers might surprise you, and when you watch, keep in mind that hair color, eye color, height, body type, shoe size, graduate degrees, minimum salaries, past relationships, and favorite sports team are NOT part of this equation. 😉 We don’t know the odds for the Bay Area, but maybe a quant-minded Linx member would like to provide the answer for us?

Are you really open to the possibility of true love? Or are focusing on a lot of tiny details that stand in the way of having your emotional needs met?