We like to think that the amount of people we've hooked up with pre-wedding proposal ain't nothing but a number, but new research finds that having less than a handful of sex buddies before getting hitched can mess with happily ever after. Um, 'scuse us?
For the study, published online through the Institute for Family Studies, Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Ph.D. analyzed data from the National Survey of Family Growth (collected in 2002, from 2006 to 2010, and from 2011 to 2013) and found that women with exactly two pre-marriage sex partners had consistently higher rates of divorce than women in the three to nine range.
Hm, we're intrigued.
While the data doesn’t indicate a reason as to why two is the worst number, Wolfinger has a theory. “Two just gives too much opportunity for direct comparison,” he says. “The second one is that one who got away."
But if there are three, four, five…chances are that you have a better sense of what’s out there (and what's not). In other words, those dudes don't seem so special or important, he says. Light bulb moment, right?
On top of that fun yet totally useless fact, he found that divorce rates have dropped for women who marry as virgins and for people who’ve shacked up with one or two partners. On the other hand, more women who’ve slept with 10+ people before saying "I do" are calling it quits.
It's worth noting that this study was not published in a scientific journal and doesn't take other factors into account for divorce rates besides pre-marriage sex partners. (You know, like the quality of the actual relationship outside their sexual past.) So let's all take this info with a ginormous grain of salt.
Regardless of your number, Wolfinger notes that as premarital sex has become less taboo, it's making less of a dent in people's marital bliss. And that's progress.