The most Googled relationship questions answered by an expert
Back in the day, if you really wanted to know something, you had to ask around. Your friends, your mum, your teacher... which could make it pretty awkward when the topic was ahem... sensitive.
But now, oh boy, you can Google all sorts of things.
RELATED: How to break out of a sex rut
And when it comes to relationships, it appears that a lot of us look to the search engine of love to navigate our dilemmas.
Analysing Google trend data from January 2019 to January 2020, health and wellbeing brand Gear Hungry have uncovered the luuuuurve questions that are constantly at the front of people's minds, and not only that, but they lent us their resident relationship and behavioural expert, Paul Howell, to answer them for us.
What is cheating?
Either we really don't know what cheating is, or we're all just trying to feel better about our actions.
The search for the answer to this subjective question has increased but 147 per cent worldwide, a spike which Paul puts down to our 'fast paced' and 'churn and burn' mentalities, which can often mean we're 'too busy' to communicate our boundaries and feelings properly.
"In terms of a relationship this can lead to one party acting exclusively whereas the other is not of the same mindset", he explains. "Some regard texting with romantic or flirtatious intention as cheating whilst others are very black and white and believe that cheating only applies to sex."
It appears there is neither a right nor wrong answer, and the line can only be drawn from couple to couple. "What I can encourage is to communicate boundaries early on and be transparent with regards to your beliefs throughout the relationship. This safeguards feelings and builds a foundation for a healthy relationship with its own rules."
Do they like me?
Turns out we haven't progressed much from the old 'he likes me, he likes me not' sing song. And with dating apps still all the rage, knowing how your love interest is actually feeling only gets trickier in 2020. The answer? Screw them (not literally) and look after number one.
"Dating can ignite an array of insecurities", says Paul. ‘It can lead us to question ourselves which in turn, sees us forget to acknowledge our own personal feelings. It may be harder than it sounds but focus on your feelings towards a person rather than analysing how they may feel about you. Guesswork is hardly ever productive and more importantly, rarely accurate."
Is texting cheating?
Aaaand we're back.
Increasing a whopping 333.3 per cent in the last year and a 250+ uplift in December alone, whether texting is cheating appears to be a HUGE grey area for many of us. According to Paul, social media plays an instrumental role with regards to blurring the lines of what is ‘appropriate messaging’.
"It is no secret that our smart phones serve as an escapism to our everyday stresses", he says. " Browsing social media not only kills time but distorts the lines between digital and reality. Several times I have found that people communicate in a somewhat inappropriate manner outside of their relationship as a result of forgetting that their actions online are transferable into reality, causing harm to them and their partner."
We guess the real question is, do we think sliding into Channing Tatum's DMs count?
How to break up with my...
Haven't nailed the 'it's not you, it's me' speech yet? Don't worry, you're definitely not alone...
‘How to break up with my boyfriend’ has seen a small increase of 115.89 per cent, whereas ‘How break up with my girlfriend’ has received WHOPPING rise of 526.42 per cent, 400 of which was attributed to December alone.
"The sparse difference in numbers is not really a surprise", says Paul. "December often sees couples revaluate their current situation and asses if they are truly happy. A cynical mind could conclude that individuals turning to Google for insight on how to break up with their partner reveals that they are looking for excuses but honestly, in my experience this is not the case. It is often through a sense of guilt that leads them to Google as they seek assurance and ways to limit the damage/hurt feelings that their decision may inflict."
Sex on a first date
There used to be a lot of stigma around having sex on the first date, so it's no real surprise that people are searching for answers here.
"Sex on a first date is a topic that everybody has an opinion on", says Paul. "It is of course prescriptive to two people and its eventuality no way means that the relationship cannot lead to long term commitment. Communication is key, as is honesty. Such an uplift in searches suggests that many are still mindful of how it is perceived however, in my opinion its best to go with the age old ‘go with how you feel, not what others tell you’."
Image credit: NBC
Have you ever Googled these relationship questions? Who do you go to for advice?