THE BLOG
04/29/2011 01:47 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2011

What Is Normal? New Survey Polls Global Beliefs On Health, Relationships, Behavior

After four years of dating, Brett, anxiously gets down on one knee and proposes to Shannon.

After a long, awkward silence, Shannon says…no.

Shannon later tells Brett that she can’t imagine spending the rest of her life with somebody that does not take better care of himself.

Needless to say, the rest of that conversation did not go well and that was the end of Brett and Shannon.

When Brett and Shannon first starting dating their normal consisted of eating healthy, exercising, and making sure they looked their best for one another.

The second year of dating, their normal changed to exercising less and neglecting their diet. Over the course of the year, they both put on weight and accepted it as the normal cycle of a relationship.

Into the third year, Shannon recognized she needed to get back on track. She started eating healthy again and made exercise a normal part of her day. Brett did not. Shannon tried everything she could from preparing healthy meals to withholding sex, hoping he would get the message.

Month after month Brett kept saying he would begin exercising and eating and healthy again, “tomorrow”. Shannon, frustrated, finally gave up on Brett’s “tomorrow,” which ultimately lead to her saying “no” to his proposal.

Fitness, health, nutrition, and self-image are all vital elements of a person’s dating life or relationship.

Holistic Health Counselor, Ingrid Arna, who has worked closely with individuals and couples on issues of health, nutrition and self-image states, “Does love grow and acceptance fortify your union or does the anger override your affection? I commonly see frustration can grow into anger or the constant struggle alone can break a relationship.”

One couple’s normal might include exercising daily and maintaining a healthy diet. Does that mean that they are going to have a more fulfilling relationship than a couple that does not exercise or eating healthy? Maybe, maybe not.

What is normal in today’s society when it comes to a person’s fitness, health and self-image in dating and relationships?

Do people feel they should just accept each other just the way they are? Or, do they secretly wish their partner would take better care of themselves? These questions and more are about to unveiled!

I, joined by industry’s leading relationship and sexuality expert, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington, and Sociologist and Director of the Center for Social Science Research at George Mason University, Dr. James Witte, am launching the world’s largest online, interactive study titled, “The Normal Bar.”

The Normal bar has partnered with five high profile media platforms, in order to reach millions of people. The survey will uncover the norms, typical attitudes and behaviors that we all can’t help wonder about in the confusing arena of life. The Normal Bar compares people around the world, sorting by ethnic differences, income, gender, age and religion and utilizing an unprecedented statistical database.

The Normal Bar does not advocate that everyone be “normal” -- it simply lays out what the norms look like in today's society. By discovering what works and doesn't for people around the world, readers can create a healthier, happier and more fulfilling “normal” within their own relationship.

“Evaluating your normal is a great tool to understanding what we want from life and why we want it. Often today, we move at rocket speeds and take little time to process, question and evaluate our values. When our values are realized we are on the road to long lasting happiness and that is what we all want right?” -- Ingrid Arna

By participating in this ground breaking interactive survey, you will find out how your normal compares to the rest of the world in a variety of topics such as fitness, nutrition, health and self-image.

There are other topics included in the interactive survey you might also enjoy such as sex, trust, money, communication, affection, romance and unusual activities/obsessions.

After completing a short, general interactive survey, you will have 17 topics to choose from. Choose one, two, or take them all to see how your normal compares!

All of the findings and advice to help people create a more fulfilling normal will be published by Crown Books Publishing Group, a division of Random House in the book titled, "The Normal Bar" by myself, Pepper Schwartz, and James Witte -- set to hit book shelves in 2012.

How normal is YOUR normal? Click here to find out and participate- Enjoy!