When Does a Date become a Relationship?

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There is a murky time in almost every relationship where you wonder, "are we still just dating, or are we officially a couple?" And while you might want to know where you stand, it can be difficult to bring it up in conversation. After all, things have been moving along so well. Why ruin it with such a serious topic?

But then again, you don't want to waste time. You want to know where the relationship is headed.

So, how do you judge for yourself? How long do you date each other before you have the conversation about making it exclusive?

A recent poll conducted by DatingSitesReviews.com found that most people (54%) consider how long you've been dating the most important factor in determining your relationship status. In other words, the longer you've been dating, the more you can consider yourself an item. The majority of respondents (26%) felt that if you were dating for more than two months, you were in an official relationship. Nineteen percent felt that dating one to two months granted you the right to call it an exclusive relationship. Only 9% felt that two to four weeks constituted some kind of commitment.

When a Date becomes a Relationship

1/1: When does dating someone become a relationship?

Less than 2 weeks 0.00%
2 - 4 weeks 9.00%
1- 2 months 19.00%
More than 2 months 26.00%
When you give or receive a gift 1.00%
Once you say I love you 19.00%
Once sex is involved 15.00%
When you move in together 1.00%
When you meet the parents 1.00%
When you go on vacation 9.00%

Another important factor besides how long you've been dating: saying those magical three words: "I love you." Nineteen percent of respondents felt that when you said these words to each other, your relationship was official.

One interesting finding was that people don't necessarily view sexual activity while dating as a casual thing. Fifteen percent of respondents felt that a relationship was official once they'd had sex. Nine percent felt a relationship turned serious when you went away on a trip together.

Surprisingly, a traditional gage like meeting your date's parents didn't really factor in to most people's opinion of when you become a couple. Only one percent felt that this was proof that your relationship was official.

And for those who date a bit more casually, only one percent felt that the defining mark of an "official relationship" was when you move in together. So, don't keep dating lots of people until you find someone you can share a bathroom with - most of the men or women you date will think you're an item well before that point.

Bottom line: most people felt that the length of time you've been dating is the gage by which to determine whether or not you're in a relationship. So if you've been dating someone for a while without discussing what you both want, then you might want to talk sooner rather than later.

Is Social Media Giving Online Dating a Boost?

Social Networks
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A few years ago, Match.com became a household name when it comes to online dating. Now that mobile apps like Tinder have gained popularity and people are looking to newer and niche online dating sites like JDate or How About We, people are starting to see what else is out there.

In fact, social media, and Facebook in particular, are becoming players in the game. While traditional sites rely on new sign-ups and static searches, social media-friendly dating sites and apps pull information from a vast pool of active Facebook profiles and introduce you to friends of friends in your network. This has become a big draw for people, because most singles feel more comfortable meeting someone new if they have a friend in common. This is especially true for women, who are sometimes skeptical of the safety of online dating.

According to an article in Wall Street Cheat Sheet, entrepreneurs are just beginning to understand the importance of utilizing social media in industries like online dating, which could mean big revenues in the future. LinkedIn has gained traction in the social media space because the platform focuses solely on job seekers and networkers looking for career opportunities. There is a sense of trust when someone comes recommended for a job by a mutual friend or co-worker, so companies are looking to the service to attract new employees. So why not apply the same principal to those looking for a date?

InterActiveCorp (IAC) is one of the largest publicly traded online dating companies. They own traditional sites like Match.com, Chemistry.com, and OkCupid. However, SNAP Interactive, a new player in the social media space is fast gaining ground. The company is the owner of AYI (Are You Interested?), one of the first dating apps launched using Facebook's social platform. It is currently integrated with 25 million Facebook profiles and has been downloaded and installed over 70 million times, according to its website.

What sets AYI apart is that it came to the market first and has an extensive membership base, so the information they are able to pull from Facebook to help people meet friends of friends is extensive. Search capabilities also include an interest graph which allows people to search according to specific interests and hobbies. In five years, revenues have grown from 425,000 to 19.1 million. Company executives are investing this revenue into new technology to improve the user experience.

The online dating space is still growing, but not surprisingly, it seems to be headed in the direction of social media.

eHarmony Free Communication Nov 21 to Nov 25 2013

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eHarmony notified us earlier today that they are currently having a free communication event. It starts today and runs for 5 days and ends Monday November 25th just before midnight (PST).

Free communication on eHarmony allows new and existing members to communicate not only by the guide communication process but through email as well. When you join during this promotion you will not only be able to create a profile and take the eHarmony famous matching questionnaire but you will be able to communicate with any matches you will receive in the next 5 days. The ideal time to join is now since it will give you 5 full days to try out the service to see if it is the right fit for you. Singles interested in finding a long-term relationships and who are willing to make a time commitment in not only filling out the questionnaire but to answer questions posed by your matches will get the most out of the eHarmony service. No credit card is required to join. The only thing not included during the free weekends is photos, secure call and skip to email.

The last free eHarmony communication weekend was at the beginning of this month (see Story). For more on this long-term matchmaking service please read our eHarmony.com review.

AreYouInterested.com Reveals Cities with the Pickiest Women

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Women can be picky daters. At least, that's the stereotype. We like our men to be incredibly hot, smart, successful, and charming, and we aren't willing to settle for anything less, right ladies?

Well, maybe that holds true for women in some cities, but not others.

According to data released from dating website AreYouInterested.com, women in Brooklyn are the pickiest daters in America (coming in ahead of Los Angeles and Manhattan). The website compiled this information based on 453,000 interactions of women ages 18 and up, noting that Brooklyn residents are the least likely to reply to messages from potential dates. Men would have more luck in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Behind Brooklyn, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Los Angeles also ranked highest for the pickiest daters.

But perhaps creativity has something to do with response rates. AYI.com also found that emails engaging the respondent ("where are you from?") worked much better than emails just saying "hi," or "what's up?" which fell flat.

Other interesting findings:

  • Women are 71% more likely to respond to someone if they have a mutual friend on Facebook.
  • Women are three times more likely to respond to a younger man than men are to respond to a younger woman. It seems cougars are in among AYI.com members!

The cities where women are most likely to get in touch after a potential date has reached out include Miami, St Louis, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon. So guys, on your next Vegas trip you might want to consider moving permanently.

AYI.com has an interesting base of users though - it's not strictly an online dating site, but identifies itself as more of a social discovery site. Members don't only join for dating purposes, but also to form friendships. Social discovery sites provide a place where people can meet and socialize online - to make friends, play video games, exchange music, or a number of different things - not just to date. Which means users who join stay around longer, even after they meet a significant other.

So are women picky about their friendships, too?

According to its website, AYI.com has more than 70 million installed users and over 3 million Facebook fans. It offers an integrated Facebook app, iPhone app, Android app and website, and works by connecting members to each other based on mutual Facebook friends and interests.

The company is owned by SNAP Interactive and you can find more details on them by reading our review of Are You Interested.

Meet MeetMe, A New Take On Social Dating

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Anything with a cutesy smiley face in the logo has to be good, right? Or maybe that's just my inner 13-year-old girl talking. Either way, when I discovered MeetMe.com and its accompanying kitschy logo, my curiosity was piqued.

MeetMe calls itself a social discovery application that connects members through games and apps on the web and mobile phones. MeetMe was initially founded under the name myYearbook by two high school students, Dave and Catherine Cook, and their older brother Geoff, during Spring Break of 2005. Following humble beginnings at the suburban New Jersey high school they attended, myYearbook partnered with game developer Arkadium to bring Flash based games and a virtual currency, called Lunch Money, to the site.

After that, there was no stopping the site's momentum. An entire virtual economy developed from the Lunch Money currency, including the ability for members to donate to their favorite charity using the Causes application. The site added Meebo instant messaging to provide real-time chat and Chatter, a real-time stream that incorporates media sharing and gaming. Games available inside the stream include Ask Me, Rate Me, and 2 Truths and a Lie.

myYearbook made further efforts to improve its members' experiences by launching applications for the iPad, iPhone, iPod, and the Android operating system. It also rolled out a new site design in 2010 that was created by crowd sourcing ideas from the site's members. Finally, in June of 2012, the site was renamed MeetMe and its current incarnation was born. With its fresh focus on introducing new people instead of reconnecting old acquaintances, MeetMe has seen a great deal of success.

Where MeetMe really excels is making the meeting process fun. There are matches and search options just like typical dating sites, but MeetMe has many more entertaining things to offer. Users can ask each other questions and follow a continuously updating live feed that features the answers of other local members. There's also a blind date game for braver souls, and a game called "Owned!" in which you can buy and sell friends using Lunch Money (and earn half the profit when you sell someone or your photo is bought).

Of course, there is also no shortage of more traditional games for users to play. You name it, it's there. Arcade games, casino games, word games, strategy games, card games...everything you could ever want to play is available, from air hockey, to blackjack, to a Pac-Man knockoff, to crossword puzzles and solitaire.

Admittedly, I'm not sure how a card game that's meant to be played solo can help you meet other people, but hey - at least you have the option.

To find out more about this dating service you can read our new review of MeetMe.com.

Meet Sam Yagan, The “Nerd King Of Online Dating”

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CNN Money has declared Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid and CEO of Match Inc., the "nerd king of online dating." I can't say it's the most flattering nickname I've ever heard, but I'm pretty sure Sam is too busy taking Scrooge McDuck-style dives into piles of money to care what CNN thinks of him.

Nicknames aside, CNN and Fortune actually seem to think quite highly of Yagan, who was recently included in the '40 Under 40' list and profiled by the magazine.

Yagan's journey to become one of the most famous names in the online dating biz started with almost no dating at all: he was engaged to his high school sweetheart, and his first company was a CliffsNotes-alternative called SparkNotes. Both ventures went well: he is still married to his high school girlfriend, and SparkNotes sold to iTurf, Inc. for $30 million in 1999.