I'm a slow lover. Okay, that didn't come across in the way I intended but according to a recent poll by Match.com, I fall into the category of people who "want to get to know everything about a potential life partner before they tie the knot."
Welcome to the age of slow love.
My partner and I have been together for 10 years and engaged for three. I'd probably describe us as a bit lazy, comfortable in our ways and too disorganized to plan a wedding across two continents. So, I'll stick with slow love - it has a much more romantic, almost Jane Austin-like sound about it.
In this article about the ways casual sex is improving marriage, author Dr. Helen Fisher, Chief Scientific Advisor to Match.com (how's that for a job title?), explains what was learned from a national study called Singles in America.
The study found that 54 percent of American singles believe in love at first sight (sigh) and 27 percent of respondents reported having had a one-night stand that turned into a long-term committed partnership. Yet, the article goes on to say that "between 43-50 percent of American marriages will fail, and some 67 percent of cohabiting couples report that they are terrified of the social, legal, emotional, and economic consequences of divorce." Not exactly the pretty picture we hoped for is it?
So how does hope and fear fit into the picture of casual sex? Helen has come to believe today's singles "are motivated by romance," but are filled with trepidation - cue more one-night stands and longer periods of courtship which ultimately results in a dizzying combination of fast sex on the road to slow love.
No one said relationships were easy. "One-night stands, hooking-up, friends with benefits, living together, pre-nups, civil unions. These all spell caution," says Helen, "but they also spell logic—because our brain is soft-wired to attach slowly to a partner."
So while we are still writing the rules of modern day courtship, the ultimate goal is happy partnerships. Whether or not you arrive there fast or slow - that's up to you.