There are many trick questions you need to navigate in the early stages of a relationship, with the number one being: “So, how many people have you slept with?”
Do you overestimate, or underestimate? Or maybe you tell the truth? It’s an utter minefield. But research has now solved this dating dilemma, and found the ideal answer to the question.
Researchers from Swansea, Bristol and Nottingham universities found that both men and women would most like someone who, ideally, has slept with three people.
After that, interest falls, or at least it did for the study’s 188 participants.
But, at least the expectations were even across the sexes.
The study’s authors wrote:
Contrary to the idea that male promiscuity is tolerated but female promiscuity is not, both sexes expressed equal reluctance to get involved with someone with an overly extensive sexual history.
If this seems particularly low, don’t despair. The participants’ average age was 21, which could explain why their willingness to date someone dropped after three. The researchers noticed this so they tested older participants again, and found they were more forgiving.
The researchers also found that, if considering someone for a long-term relationship, participants preferred someone who had had only two sexual partners before.