Between sex robots, vajazzling and inappropriate love affairs, love in 2010 was larger than life.
Once upon a time, people used to meet a cute singleton, fall in and out of love, have a string of failed relationships, stumble upon The One and live happily ever after. Or else they grew closer and closer to a close friend of the opposite sex, eventually declared their love for each other and lived happily ever after. Or they went on a string of bad online dates only to discover that their soulmate was working in the next cubicle, and they lived happily ever after.
Once upon a time, people used to meet a cute singleton, fall in and out of love, have a string of failed relationships, stumble upon The One and live happily ever after. Or else they grew closer and closer to a close friend of the opposite sex, eventually declared their love for each other and lived happily ever after. Or they went on a string of bad online dates only to discover that their soulmate was working in the next cubicle, and they lived happily ever after. Or perhaps this is just the impression we've received from watching movies like High Fidelity, When Harry Met Sally and Kissing Jessica Stein.
Despite our somewhat-idealized beliefs about love and romance, there's no question about this: love changed in 2010. It got bigger. It became more dramatic. It went viral. Here, we've rounded up the top 10 relationship trends of 2010.
1. Men fell in love with strong women. No, by "strong," we don't mean independent, assertive or successful. Obviously, men are still completely terrified of those women. Rather, according to a study conducted in Australia, we learned that the body part men really notice is the bicep. Yup. Men love long, shapely arms. Which only makes us resent our frumpy sweater collection even more. (Is winter over yet?)
2. Affairs got freakier. There was a time when the most horrifying couplings appearing in the news headlines were between teachers and their students but, this year, we saw a grandmother hook up with her grandson (and have a kid with him), a 3-year-old get engaged to a 5-year-old (pictured), a woman marry the man who'd fired her, and an Indonesian dude marry a cow. We oftentimes wonder if we've somehow slipped into the twilight zone. 6 Inappropriate Relationships That Intrigue Us
3. Dating sites went even more niche. We've grown accustomed to niche dating sites: there are those for smart people, eco-friendly people, book nerds, farmers and more. In 2010, dating sites became especially exclusive... and just a little bit insulting. While we were initially chagrined to see dating sites for beautiful people, in August 2010, we learned that there was also a dating site for ugly people. Knee-jerk reactions aside, we're not even sure how one would market to such a demographic. Can a company succeed when its entire premise revolves around insulting its target client?
4. Women became more beautiful. In a crazy sort of way. They began using edible beauty products. Drinking caffeine developed to improve their skin. And getting butt lifts (which, in one case, proved to be fatal). Anything to attract the perfect guy. Not that extreme beauty treatments are anything new. But it went beyond that. This year, it wasn't only about instantly-noticeable beauty improvements. We also went below the belt and tried out—among many other things—vajazzling.
5. We were told to date the opposite of our type. Why did it take us so long to realize that abandoning our romantic wish lists—and refusing to base our romantic decisions on that visceral feeling in our nether regions—was the answer to everlasting love? Einstein knew it all along when he wrote that insanity was "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Which makes complete sense. Because when we stopped dating older men with tongue piercings and bleached hair whom we'd met at a dance club the other night, everything totally fell into place!
6. Relationships with pillows, robots and other inanimate objects were on the rise. While sexy time with sex dolls has existed for quite some time, more and more people have been taking these "relationships" to the next level as of late, and completely eschewing real human intimacy. On the heels of a late 2009 story, in which a man married a video game character, the Roxxxy Sex Robot was born, a man married his pillow and—in Japan—they even developed a robot baby. Most recently, a woman announced that she was marrying herself. Apparently, you don't need two to tango.
7. Weddings replaced the circus. The tasteful, intimate affair is so early '00s. What with the traveling circus falling out of public favor, fame-seeking newlyweds everywhere stepped it up to fill the void. Choreographed dance numbers at weddings, which were then "leaked" to YouTube, became commonplace. This trend became so pervasive that it was even skewered in an episode of The Office. And getting down on the dance floor ain't the half of it. In addition to dance numbers, we also saw a rise in ridiculously themed weddings, elaborate marriage proposals and—in the case of Katy Perry and Russell Brand—tigers. The 7 Most Outrageous Wedding Stunts
8. Weird infidelity-related lawsuits happened. Like the case of the woman who sued her husband's mistress... and won $5 million. And then there's the woman who sued her phone company... for inadvertently exposing her infidelity! Ladies: look within (or at least look look at the jerk you're married to)!
9. Spurned lovers used their creative juices. The last time we had our hearts broken, we drowned our sorrows in trashy TV and oatmeal cream pies. This past year, however, people got pretty creative with their payback. Among the many stories to grace the headlines was the one in which a married man's mistress put up a billboard declaring their love after her mister went back to his wife. And then there's the guy who created a bonfire with his cheating girlfriend's wardrobe and laptop. Or the one in which a love triangle turned lethal during a fatal parachuting "accident." Even Taylor Swift got into the act by allegedly writing a song about John Mayer's poor treatment of her. Talk about going public with your dirty laundry.
10. Finally—possibly due to all the other crazy trends mentioned on this list—we saw an explosion of divorce trends. There's the saga divorce, in which couples split after the age of 50 because their children have finally left home. There's divorce clustering, which tells us that divorce is—gasp!—contagious. And one of our favorite trends of 2010 was the shift—if ever so slight—from divorce being the most feared, criticized, horrible event in one's life to an experience that, while feared, criticized and no-question horrible to go through, might actually be for the better, both for the happiness of the individuals involved and their families. From the uptick in Japanese divorce ceremonies to a host of authors writing about the upsides of their divorces to celebs like Christina Aguilera divorcing for the kids, we hope that the "good divorce" is a trend we continue to see in 2011. The end of a relationship is hard enough; there should be at least some positives to it.
We can only imagine what 2011 will bring!
Did we miss an important 2010 relationship trend? Let us know in the comments below.