“Are You Interested?” Launches New Social Features

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"Are You Interested?" has a history of being on the cutting edge of innovation in the online dating industry. It was one of the first dating applications to launch on Facebook in 2007, and now has announced the arrival of several new social features designed to bring online dating and social networking together.

The updated AYI features include:

  • The ability to view mutual friends when looking for potential dates
  • The ability to search for singles through your friends
  • The option to search for singles with mutual or related interests

AYI hopes the new tools will make it easier for singles to connect online. As online dating shifts increasingly towards a "social dating" model, AYI's transition puts the site at the forefront of the movement.

What makes it especially unique is the influence AYI already had on the market: the service already claimed millions of Facebook users with Facebook-connected profiles, who were regularly active before the launch of the new features.

Facebook integration benefits users by creating a more robust experience and generating a significantly larger number of search results. Facebook-connected singles, who represent the majority of AYI users, have a greater chance of meaningful connections because shared interests and friends can be taken into account in the matching process.

SNAP Interactive, owner of AYI, CEO Clifford Lerner says, "AYI has always been a progressive and innovative dating site and we believe these social feature launches really raise the bar in the dating space. Historically, there has been a large disconnect between the way singles meet online versus in the real world. Offline, singles commonly meet through friends and interests. That same experience really hasn't been possible online - until now."

The goal for AYI, like many online dating services, is to revamp the industry so it more accurately replicates the way singles meet in real life. "Our deep integration into Facebook Platform," Lerner continues," coupled with the significant scale of our interest and social graph puts us in the unique position of being able to integrate friends and interests into online dating in a meaningful way. It also provides singles with an online dating experience that more closely mirrors the way singles traditionally meet in the real world."

AYI's new features, combined with the real-time updating of AYI user profiles using Facebook's Real-time API, shows that AYI will continue its history of innovation. With over 65 million installs on Facebook, it looks as though AYI will be a leader in the social dating scene for a long time.

eHarmony offers Free Communication April 12 to 16

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A eHarmony free communication weekend (FCW) is happening right now in the U.S. and Canada. It started today and runs to 11:59pm PST on Tuesday April 16th. No credit card is required and all members can communicate with their matches for free during this 5 day event.

If you want to take eHarmony for a test drive this 5 day FCW is worth checking out. You get to create a profile, review your matches and communicate with them all for free. This allows you to try out most of eHarmony’s services for no cost and it will give you a good idea of the type of matches you will receive and how the whole online dating process works at eHarmony. This dating site calculates your highly-compatible matches based on their algorithm which has years of research invested into it. The only things not included during this event is viewing photos, skip straight to mail and Secure Call.

eHarmony’s last free communication weekend happened in March (see Story). For further facts on this dating site you can read our detailed eHarmony review. Comments and user reviews are also available from this page.

The State Of Dating In America: Dating & Marriage Trends

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How do American singles view dating and marriage today? Have our values changed much over the years? And do they vary by age and gender?

The State Of Dating In America report is here to answer all of your questions on dating in America in 2013. Up first: What is the greatest societal threat to marriage today?

Nearly half of singles agree that infidelity is the single biggest threat to marriage today. Other pressing threats are:

  • Financial problems (18%)
  • Lack of family values (13%)
  • Acceptance of divorce / Same sex marriage (8%)
  • Other (5%)

Some love being single. Some are terrified of it. Which side do you fall on? And would you ever consider going back to an ex to not be single?

  • Most people - 53% - say no.
  • Women are less likely than men to avoid singlehood by getting back together with an ex.

Faith is an important part of the equation when choosing a long-term partner. How important is it for you to share the same religious background as the person you date/marry, even if their faith is not as strong or is stronger?

  • Some singles say they're "Just looking for someone I like," but most take faith into consideration when evaluating a potential date.
  • 16% say they would only date someone of the same faith. 19% say they would only marry a partner who shares their faith.
  • In general, men are less concerned about dating or marrying someone of the same faith.

When online dating, your options are nearly endless. Dating multiple people is the quickest way to experience as many different dates as possible in order to find the one you really want. Do you believe it is acceptable to date more than one person at a time?

  • Almost 2/3 of singles believe it is at least somewhat acceptable to see more than one person at a time, although their comfort levels vary.
  • Non-online daters are more likely to feel that nonmonogamy is unacceptable at any time.
  • Younger singles are also significantly less likely to believe it is ethical to date multiple people simultaneously.
  • Singles over the age of 45 are most likely to feel that nonmonogamy is acceptable.

With all the factors that go into choosing a mate, and the incredible pressures that come along with marriage, it would certainly be simpler to stay single. But would you be disappointed if you remained single the rest of your life? The majority of 18- to 24-year-olds (62%) say they would be disappointed if they remained single for their entire lives. As singles get older, however, they tend to care less about remaining single.

Study finds Partners of Different Sizes have more Problems

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If you're thin and your partner isn't, you might also encounter more problems.

A new study found that couples with mixed weights experienced more conflict than couples who were about the same weight. Mixed weight couples were identified as one partner having a healthy weight while the other partner was overweight.

Mixed weight couples expressed more anger and resentment towards their partners than same-weight couples. These feelings intensified when they ate together.

However, researchers found that these couples had less conflict when the overweight partner felt supported by the other partner in their efforts to diet and exercise.

This study reveals that communication can be an underlying issue in relationships. Most of our frustrations and resentments with our partners stem from something other than what the actual argument is about - in the case of the study - weight. When people aren't communicating well with each other, there's a lot of potential for conflict, anger, and misunderstanding to develop. Over time, this can break down a relationship.

It's important to be upfront with your partner about your feelings. But it's also important to understand you can't change someone else. Weight has become an obsession in our culture, and many people have developed unhealthy habits and unhealthy body images associated with their weight. If your partner feels bad about himself, then it's not going to be helpful if you are goading him about his weight or telling him he has to lose it to please you. Ultimately, it is about perspective and health. If you fear your partner is going to become sick because of his weight, then instead of increasing frustration levels when you talk about it together, have a doctor or health professional intervene and give you both the facts. But if it's about your preference for a certain look, then it's important to be a little more self-reflective and accept your partner for all the qualities you do love about him, outside of his weight.

Acceptance is part of relationships. If you find yourself getting increasingly frustrated with your partner, it's important to ask how you can support him. As the study showed, those who felt supported felt less conflict and anger. Offer to exercise or diet with him. Praise him for all of his accomplishments, like skipping dessert after dinner each night. There are plenty of ways to show your support.

The study was conducted by researchers at The University of Arizona and The University of Puget Sound.

Dating Sites: Finding the Right Match

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When you’re first starting out in online dating, the sheer amount of choice can be a bit overwhelming. Before you even start to think about a profile, you’re confronted with a myriad of online dating sites - and they can be as different from one another as any other place you might meet someone new. How to choose? Well, with a little self-reflection, the decision might become a little easier.

First, dream up a potential match. Then take notes. Is there any defining characteristic that absolutely takes priority above all others? For example, is sharing the same religion a must? How about the same political perspective? If something like that is an absolute must, it might be a good idea to examine niche sites. In a niche site geared to your interest, there’s no need to filter out the ones who don’t fit your priorities; they wouldn’t have joined the site if you didn’t already have that in common. One of the base ways to finding a dating site like this is to use our search tool. You can search for dating sites by specifying your own personal attributes and what type of match you are looking for. From here our site will return the top dating sites that match your criteria.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to step outside your personal box, maybe date someone completely different from your past relationships, or are just open to love in whatever form it happens to take, you’ll want to think broader. A more generalized dating site offers the best of both worlds. You can limit your options using a custom search, but you can also throw expectation to the wind and peruse the profiles of people you might not otherwise meet.

Whether or not you choose a niche site or one simply geared toward meeting your match, it’s probably a good idea to try one that is as popular as possible. The more popular the site, the larger the pool of prospects. Plus, many people have accounts at more than one site, so it’s entirely possible that everyone you would meet on a tiny site is already at one of the big ones - along with many more who aren’t on the smaller site. Many people keep an account at a large, general site and a smaller niche site with minimal overlap, just to keep all their bases covered.

The best way to find the site that works for you is to just give it a shot. Many sites offer free trials, or allow you to skim the site without an account. Some are free altogether. Remember: the goal is to find a site that is the best fit for you. Your friends and family may have had different experiences, but the match you’re looking for is for you, not them. By jumping in and finding the site that is the best fit for you, you’ll be even more comfortable and confident in your decisions as you move to the next step - finding someone with whom you’re compatible.

Report: The State Of Dating In America

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What happens when you bring two of the world's biggest dating sites together, and throw an independent research firm into the mix?

A whole lot of interesting info happens, and the State of Dating In America report is born.

JDate and Christian Mingle teamed up with a handful of experts to survey more than 2,700 singles about dating, relationships, love, and sex. All respondents met the following criteria:

  • English speaking
  • Male or female
  • Located in the United States
  • Between the ages of 18 and 60
  • Single marital status
  • Online or offline dater who is currently not married and dating or planning to date in the near future, OR is in a relationship with a partner for less than two years

The lengthy report sheds light on the complexity of the contemporary dating landscape, and reveals a significant trend toward more open-minded stances on issues surround sex, gender roles, and dating. Singles these days have a more liberal attitude than ever before:

  • 87% think online dating is a great way to meet people.
  • Both men and women believe it's safer to meet someone online than in a bar.
  • 85% say it's acceptable to have sex before marriage.
  • 91% of Jewish singles and 84% of Christian singles would live with a partner before marriage.
  • 78% of single Christians and 60% of single Jews are open to marrying someone with kids.
  • Most singles, regardless of their gender, say it doesn't matter who is the breadwinner in a family.

But oddly, despite those trends towards liberalism, Americans hold on to traditional values when it comes to marriage and family:

  • 78% of men and 55% of women believe that a man should pay for the first date.
  • 62% of 18- to 24-year-olds would be disappointed if they never married.
  • Both men and women say their mothers have the biggest influence over who they marry.
  • Nearly ¾ of singles would prefer to settle down with a partner who shares their religious faith.

Faith can also account for differences in attitudes and habits when it comes to dating and relationships. Jews are three times more likely than Christians to use an online dating site, though a larger majority of Christians say online dating is a great way to meet potential mates. Jewish singles rank intelligence as more attractive than humor, while Christian singles feel the opposite way. Jewish singles prefer coffee for a first date, while Christian singles would rather meet for dinner.

What they do agree on is family: singles of both faiths agree that the number one key to a successful relationship is that their partner's family treats them well.

To find out more about the dating sites which brought us this information you can read our JDate review and our Christian Mingle review.