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August 2012

Dating in the Deep End


In high school and college it was basically decided for us. You didn’t venture outside your class much, and if you did, you had external motivations like “prom” that got you into a year or two out of your age range. Fast forward to graduation caps flying, careers beginning, and the sudden deepening of the dating pool that you were wading around in for the past 20 something years... 

Suddenly, it’s all adult swim, and we’re backstroking around without too much awareness of age-Or are we? Are the perceptions of dating someone older (or younger) rooted in our own gender restrictions that we place upon ourselves? Or are we just following the unmentioned rules of the dating pool?

 It’s Just Lunch® was fascinated by this topic, so we did a survey (of course) a couple months back. What we found was that the idea that men prefer to date younger women, and women prefer to date older men, is still alive and well.

Only 8.7% of both men and women said that this age-old rule is the only way to go; with 44.6% saying that people may date a range of ages, but they’ll end up following the crowd.

35.7% of singles went out on a limb and said that age “appropriateness” plays a role in whom they chose to date, but in the end, they would be open to dating someone outside their age range. 

Only 11% threw out the rules entirely and said “Who Cares!...Age is just a number.”

So what does all this mean? That the rules are totally up to you! Have fun in the pool, at whichever end you chose to swim.

Politics On A First Date??!!!


Whoa, really? Aren’t there enough obstacles to get through....

What (not) to wear, where to go, what friend is gonna answer your 911...etc. Do we really need to add politics into the mix? Can’t we just stick with high-school nicknames and favorite stories about our pets? 

Maybe for the first thirty minutes. But if you really want to make it to the second drink, or even a second date, reality has to set in at some point, right?

So, we at It’s Just Lunch® decided to poll this awkward topic out to the daters all over the country, to see how they felt about tackling politics while they’re figuring out if they even like the person across the table from them yet.

Surprisingly, almost an even percentage of women (21.4%) and men (19.6%) said that bringing up your favorite animal in the middle of cocktails is perfectly fine on a first date and was good way to connect on an intellectual level. They agreed again, nearly 36% across the board that broaching the subject was risky, however it could make for some good conversation. Only 15% of all those surveyed said talking about politics on a first date was absolutely taboo. 

Our take? If you feel like taking a slight risk to find out more about your date, you could end up connecting on a much deeper level than you ever had before on a first date!

Stopping to Smell the Rose


There sure is a lot of buzzing about online dating these days. The water-cooler which was once a glorious place to waste a few minutes of a very long day is now ruined with profile speak. Heck, you can’t even peacefully grind your teeth in the 10 items or less line without being subjected to a fascinating conversation about choosing the right “user name”. 

According to the commercials, featuring the most attractive people (models), with the whitest teeth you’ve ever seen (caps), there’s a hot model with perfect gums that practices your exact religion, subscribes to your favorite reading materials (Wow! They read too!), and is just waiting for you to jump online and find them. And if for some reason, you two don’t hit it off, there are 100 more just like them.

So does all this dental work live up to its promise? Are people really falling in love left and right like an episode of the Love Boat on ecstasy? 

According to a recent study*, what online dating has accomplished is a platform where  “romantic browsing triggers” happen. Instead of considering a potential partner on specific characteristics that would align with your true ideals, speedy decisions are made, based upon finding, “the best” profile, which of course includes a picture. This study found that when folks were faced with many profiles (up to 90), they made faster decisions, and wrote potentials off quicker, instead of weighing important information. These hasty decisions demonstrated that people forgot what they were really looking for in a mate. In contrast, those who had to select from say four people, considered real options, and complex information for a potential partner. This same study also found that going on a REAL date was more productive in truly getting to know someone, than just online chatting. 

The morale of the study? Take time to smell the rose. Focusing on what you want, going out on a date, and then deciding what comes next. We at It’s Just Lunch® are proud of our 20 years of dating success stories. No user names, no photos, ...ever. Just lunch with someone specifically matched to your interests and values.



*Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P. W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H. T., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Online dating: A critical analysis from the perspective of psychological science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(1), 3–66.


Been There Done That


Have you ever been out on a couple of dates with someone and THEN found out that they had been married before? A little surprising for sure. Like finding out that at the starting point that your 5K is really a 10k maybe. But you’re heart’s already in it, you’ve been training and you’re there to run the race. So at this stage of the game, does it really matter?

We at It’s Just Lunch® wanted to find out from both men and women if this kind of revelation was really a RED FLAG situation or not, so we decided to take a poll.


Almost 42% of single men and women said that the person being married before was a cautionary sign, but they would allow their date to explain, when they were comfortable.

36% of the singles we surveyed said that their date being married before was a good thing; because they had been married or been in a long-term relationship before, and someone who had been married could relate to their experience.

Interestingly enough, only 3.7% put on the brakes and pulled the fire alarm claiming that “something wasn’t right” and this was a genuine RED FLAG moment.

So to sum it all up? Maybe in this day and age there are more opportunities to connect with people who have shared the same vulnerabilities in dating, romance, and love that you have had. And that shared experience, can be a foundation for building something new and improved together.