A Look Back at the 5 Top Relationship Trends of 2014!
As you and your sweetie kick off the new year, let's take a look at the top relationship trends that developed over the last year to see what couples like you should keep doing long into 2015.
The Cheap Date
There was a time when setting a “date night" seemed cliché and overrated, but with busier schedules, couples know that to fit in time for some play, they need to set the day. Proof of that: In 2014, Travelzoo reported more than $20 million in revenue from their Local Deals! Thanks to those discounts and others like it through Amazon, Groupon and LivingSocial, couples can mix up their routines without going broke. There's also a physiological effect that occurs when trying new experiences with your partner. They trigger the pleasure center in your brain … the same area that was activated when you and your S.O. first fell in love. Doing new and fun things with your partner actually tricks your brain into thinking that you have a fresh romantic connection. Bonus!
As much as you might hate using this word, what else would you call a couples' selfie?! Ever since Ellen kicked off the most shared group selfie at the 2014 Academy Awards, more people have gotten together to snap and share their own version of the “usie." Couples have jumped on the trend and are posting usies to showcase their experiences and trips. Just remember to not go overboard with gramming those pics. Thomas P. Farley, a.k.a. “Mister Manners," warns couples: “It's wonderful that you're beaching in Bali (or skiing in St.Moritz), but be wary of posting one too many adorable 'usies' of you and your significant other on social media. Otherwise, your friends will likely get sick of you and your endlessly cute adventures." You know those couples … the ones who feel the need to document every leg of their vacations, and instead of showing you inspirational shots of the food and locations, they have to show you what they're eating while they eat it and what they're doing as they're enjoying it. Sure, you should absolutely share some shots … but no need to fill our feeds with every second of your travels. Yeah, don't be that pair. Restraint is key.
No Screens in the Bedroom
It took us all a few years to realize that the presence of screens (everywhere!) takes us away from intimacy and connection in our romantic relationships. Um, mood killer! A turning point for me occurred when I woke up spooning my iPhone. In 2014, more couples kept their screens — televisions, computers, tablets and smartphones — out of the bedroom, or have at least created more boundaries so their partners aren't competing with technology for their attention. Internet usage in the U.S. is dominated by “real time" entertainment (we're talking about on-demand viewing folks), which threatens to take even the most attentive partner away from his or her loved one. Just stop logging or tuning in when you're together in the boudoir, so the only temptation is your S.O.
Technology isn't a always bad thing for couples, if you know how and when to use it. Cue: video flirting! Sharing a sassy video message or making a sweet face-to-face call on your phone or computer is the latest sexy trend for couples who want to stay connected when they're apart. More couples have been using Skype's video message offering to send a “thinking about you" recording, logging into Facetime to say hello when traveling on business or using the new Samba app, which allows users to record a quick video and view their partner's reaction to it.
The “Girlfriend Trip" is a growing trend, says Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of the Frommer Guidebooks and Frommers.com. Hollah! “There's a booming industry of women-only tours and on most of them, the participants are women who are in relationships but who like to get away with their female friends from time to time. This is often because the men don't enjoy traveling as much as the women (or so the women report)," Frommer says. There's no such industry for “men-only" outings, she adds, explaining that might be the case since men stay somewhat local (fishing, camping, golf outings) when hanging out with friends. So grab your girlfriends and go away without guilt! It's not only good for you to have the break, but it's good for your marriage since a number of happy couples report that they have a dynamic life together and an active life apart.