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BACK National Singles Week Research Indicates Singles are Dating More This Year and are Optimistic They Will Find the Relationship They are Seeking

Friday, September 19, 2003 - 06:16

With the upcoming celebration of National Singles Week on September 21-27, surveyed more than 800 single adults, both users and non-users of online dating services, to better understand what it's like to be single today. The research indicates that overall, singles remain optimistic in their dating outlook, have become more proactive in their search for someone special and are dating a bit more today than they were two years ago. Online dating, perhaps because of the depth and diversity of romantic opportunity on sites like, appears to be a positive influence on the outlook of today's singles.

The Single Life In 2003

The research indicates that while singles are generally optimistic they will find the relationship they are seeking, their level of optimism has held steady over the last two years. Sixty-five percent of singles surveyed indicated they are optimistic they will find the relationship they are seeking in the next year, identical to the percent who indicated this in 2001 research. In the 2003 study current users of an online dating service (76%) were more likely to say they are optimistic than were singles who have never used an online dating service (61%).

The research indicates that singles are going on more first dates these days. In the 2001 study 49% of singles reported they had not been on a first date in the last 12 months, versus only 41% reporting they were dateless over the last year in the 2003 research. Current users of online dating services are dating more than singles who have never tried online dating. While 49% of singles who have never used an online dating service reported having gone on at least one first date in the last 12 months, 81% of current users of an online dating service reported they've been on at least one first date over the past year.

More than half of the singles surveyed (54%) report they are seeking a committed relationship or marriage. Singles who are currently using an online dating services were more likely to indicate they were seeking commitment or marriage (62%) than were those who have never used an online dating service (49%).

Dating Protocols

Men may be relieved to know that more singles are reporting they find splitting the tab on the first date to be appropriate today, with 37% of the singles in the 2003 survey reporting this. In a poll in 1999 only 23% of the singles surveyed thought it was appropriate to go Dutch on the first date. Men in the 2003 survey were more likely than women to say they date partners who earn less money than they do, with (32%) of men reporting this, versus only (16%) of women.

The survey revealed that singles have become more open to finding love online, with 70% of those surveyed in 2003 saying they believe it is possible to fall in love with someone they met on an online dating service, a significant increase from the 53% of singles who reported this in a similar survey in 2000. The research also indicated that singles are becoming more comfortable with being proactive in their dating efforts, with 46% reporting they actively search for dates that will lead to romance and love in the 2003 research, up from 40% in 2001.

2003 Brings Singles More Opportunities To Connect

"Singles have a lot to celebrate this year during National Singles Week, as the online dating phenomena has created an extraordinarily large pool of millions of available romantic partners, and continues to introduce features and services to make connecting fast, efficient fun and entertaining," said Trish McDermott, vice president of romance at In the last 18 months has introduced video and voice features, as well as events, travel, mobile phone dating and personality assessments services.

"We continue to believe that dating is a numbers game, and the size and diversity of the membership base, along with advanced searching and matching features, means we can deliver on the promise that there is someone for everyone on the site," continued McDermott. One site feature allows members to search by keyword to customize matching results based on interests, beliefs and attitudes. Recently, a keyword search for men who used the term "hip hop" in their profile yielded more than 850 responses. When searching for a woman in New York City between the ages of 35-45 who mentioned the word "symphony" in her profile, 50 matches were returned. And a third search for men in Texas ages 25-45 who mention "horses" in their profile returned 200 matches.

About is a leading subscription-based online dating site, offering adults worldwide a fun, private and secure environment for meeting other singles.'s personals businesses, including, which operates, claim more than 857,000 paying subscribers and more than 18 million members. The Company estimates it is responsible for arranging hundreds of thousands of relationships for its members. powers paid online dating on MSN; EarthLink; BET Interactive and is the premier provider of personals for Love@AOL, offering the service across AOL,, CompuServe and offers wireless dating with MatchMobile ( ), and events and vacation opportunities for singles through its sites and, both operated by its affiliate, MatchLive, L.L.C., and is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI)


CONTACT: Bridgette A. Cush of, +1-214-576-9514,

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