Are Smartphones Changing Our Dating Habits?

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Many of us agree that we can't live without our smartphones. It can even be addictive to check texts, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter through a handheld device which travels everywhere we go. No matter where we are, we are not alone. Our smartphones are by our sides.

According to a recent study conducted by JDate and ChristianMingle.com, our smartphone obsession has affected our dating behavior, too. Their report entitled Mobile's Impact on Dating and Relationships is based on an in-depth survey of 1,500 singles regarding their smartphone habits, and reveals an increased dependence on technology and expectations around how people prefer to communicate.

The study found that 55% of singles feel their mobile devices are making it easier to meet and get to know people for dating. A majority of 64% say that the quality of relationships with those they are dating has improved thanks to mobile technology.

Respondents also felt that it's less intimidating to ask someone on a date via text than by making a phone call. About 31 percent of men and 33% of women agreed, although respondents over the age of 43 said they prefer to ask someone out by phone instead of text. More men than women (44% compared to 37%) believe it's easier to flirt and get to know someone via text.

If you've had a good date, the majority of men and women say it doesn't matter who initiates contact, but it does matter how long it takes to respond. Forty-six percent of singles have become upset with someone they are dating over their text response time, with more women (52 percent) getting upset than men (40 percent). Seventy-eight percent of singles say they want to communicate within 24 hours after a first date, so goodbye three-date rule!

Daters are getting better about phone etiquette while on a date. Ninety-six percent keep their phones out of sight during a date, but beware if you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom - your date is probably checking her phone (or maybe posting a tweet or status update about your date)! Sixty-seven percent said they find a way to sneak a peek at their phones during a date.

It seems that our smartphone addiction is growing and won't be going away anytime soon. The study found that nearly 20% of all singles not only keep their phones on when they go to sleep, but also in bed with them.

Mobile technology has changed the way we date, as well as our expectations and accessibility. Sometimes though, it's okay to shut your phone off. Your date will appreciate it.

Study: How Mobile Technology is Changing Dating

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Mobile technology may be changing how we date, according to a recent study by popular dating websites ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Texting is fast becoming the preferred method of communication in relationships, including asking someone out for the first time or even for breaking up.

The study found that approximately one third of men (31%) and slightly more women (33%) find it easier to ask someone out on a date via text rather than making a phone call. Also, 55% of singles feel their mobile devices make it easier to meet and get to know people they may be interested in dating. And 64% of singles feel the quality of relationships with those they are dating or interested in dating has improved due to their mobile devices.

The study notes that mobile devices make it easier to break up, too. More than 50 percent of singles said they would consider breaking up with someone they were casually dating via text and an incredible 24% would consider ending an exclusive relationship that way.

Technology has been a part of dating for a while. Online dating started as a novel idea that gained popularity over time. Mobile technology has provided us with even more access to meeting people and dating, since our phones travel with us. We can meet a friend at the bar, open a mobile app and see if there are any other singles at the same bar that we might be interested in dating. You have so much information at your fingertips, and you can communicate via your phone. So it makes sense that daters are gravitating to their phones to connect with more people.

The study found some other interesting results:

  • Seventy-eight percent of singles expect to communicate within 24 hours after a good first date. And after a good date, a majority of the men and women surveyed agree it doesn't matter who initiates the next communication.
  • Don't be coy. Forty-six percent of singles have become upset with someone they are dating over their text response time, with more women (52%) getting upset than men (40%).
  • Texting is the most frequent form of communication, particularly for those ages 21 to 26, who report texting several times a day before going on a date (50%), during a casual relationship (43%) and during an exclusive relationship (62%).
  • 96 percent of singles keep phones out of sight during a date. But, somehow, 67% still find a way to check their phones during a date.

The study surveyed 1,500 U.S. singles between the ages of 21 and 50.

Google Zeitgeist on Dating for 2012

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Say what you want about Google (and believe me, I have), but I can think of no one better to gather the biggest stories of the past 12 months and determine exactly what defined the year 2012.

And they did. It's called Zeitgeist, and it's an annual tradition that analyzes over one trillion search queries in almost 150 languages to showcase what the world searched for. Using data from multiple sources, including Google Trends and other internal data tools, Google has turned the year's searches into a report that reflects 2012.

The report is divided into two sections: Trending and Most Searched. The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011. The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2012, ranked in order of the queries with the largest volume of searches.

Here's what Zeitgeist has to say about the most searched dating services of 2012:

  1. PlentyOfFish: POF - the site formerly known as PlentyOfFish - is one of the most popular free dating services on the Web. Since its launch in 2003, POF has appeared in music videos, launched mobile apps, and conducted a contest with Lady Gaga. For a review of this service see our Plenty of Fish page.
  2. Match: Match.com may be the most famous dating site in the world. Match has helped millions of singles look for love in 24 countries and redefined the way modern singles meet. Most recently, the company announced Stir, local events by Match.com. For a review of this service see our Match.com page.
  3. OkCupid: OkCupid is famous for its lighthearted and affordable approach to online dating. The site is free to use, and features fun quizzes and multiple-choice questions designed to bring out users' personalities and encourage community interaction. For a review of this service see our OkCupid page.
  4. eHarmony: eHarmony is where it's at for singles looking for long-term relationships. Its famous matching questionnaire, developed by eHarmony Labs, takes a scientific approach to love that promises to find a deeper level of compatibility. For a review of this service see our eHarmony page.
  5. DateHookup: Online daters really like free stuff. DateHookup is another no-cost service for singles that made it into the Zeitgeist top 10. This year it hit the big times after being bought by Match.com and OKCupid owner, IAC/InterActiveCorp. For a review of this service see our DateHookup.com page.
  6. Zoosk: Zoosk distinguishes itself from traditional dating sites by putting the focus on its social networking capabilities. It's currently available in 25 languages and more than 70 countries, and shows no signs of stopping in 2013. For a review of this service see our Zoosk page.
  7. ChristianMingle: "Find God's Match For You," says ChristianMingle, a faith-based site created to bring Christian singles together for friendship, dating, and marriage. With over 8 million members, the largest and fastest growing online Christian community. For a review of this service see our ChristianMingle.com page.
  8. AdultFriendFinder: AdultFriendFinder is an online sex and swinger personals site that helps members meet new friends and sex partners. What started as a small niche site quickly grew in popularity - it even debuted the music video for Flo Rida's "Touch Me."
  9. JDate: JDate is one of a number of demographically focused online match-making websites operated by Spark Networks. JDate offers both free and premium plans to Jewish singles looking to date within their faith. For a review of this service see our JDate page.
  10. SinglesNet: SinglesNet offers singles a feature-rich environment with free online dating tools like online chat, personals, and dating forums. IAC added the site to its ever-expanding dating services roster back in 2010. For a review of this service see our Singlesnet.com page.

So what do you think...did the Zeitgeist report accurately capture the spirit of online dating in 2012?

JDate.com Review Update

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JDate.com is a popular Jewish dating site that has been in business since 1997. We have just finished updating our JDate review with the latest information about what the service offers to its members, and the features it provides which will make your online dating experience not only eventful but exciting. The last major update to this review happened just over 2 years ago. So what has changed since 2010 with JDate.com? Here is a list of the major changes we found:

  • JDate now offers a mobile website and iPhone dating app
  • For most subscription terms it is now much cheaper to use JDate
  • No more audio or video chatting
  • Kibitz Corner - Tell members more about yourself and catch someone’s eye with your witty or profound response
  • Redesigned member dashboard that allows for easier navigation and searching
  • Updated dating profile and color code personality test questions
  • Revamped Likes & Interests
  • JMag and JBlog are updated much more frequently. A lot more JDate Videos are now available

To find out more about this popular Jewish dating site and the changes please read our updated JDate.com review.

Spark Networks First Quarter 2012 Financials

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Spark Networks just released their first quarter financial results for 2012. Their revenue of $14.6 million for the quarter is up 25 percent when compared to last year. Unfortunately they still had a net loss which was $1.7 million (due to marketing costs). Jewish Networks posted $6.6 million in revenue with for the first time the Christian Networks beating them by having almost $6.9 million in revenue.

The average paying subscriber as a whole was up 36 percent when compared to Q1 in 2010. Spark Networks in quarter 1, 2011 had 240,706 subscribers. Jewish Networks was down 6 percent with 86,433 subscribers and Christian Networks was up 163 percent with 124,158 subscribers. The Other Networks saw subscribers decline by 23 percent to 30,115.

For the full 2012 Q1 release visit the Spark Networks News Room.

Related Story: Spark Networks Fourth Quarter 2011 Financials

Spark Networks Fourth Quarter 2011 Financials

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Spark Networks fourth quarter and full year end results were released on March 1st. For the last quarter revenue was $12.9 million and for the entire 2011 year it was $48.5 million. The net loss for the reported quarter was $1.1 million which gave the year 2011 a total net loss of $1.6 million. As a whole revenue was up 19 percent when compared to 2010 and up 27 percent when quarter 4 in 2011 is compared to quarter 4 in 2010. This is in large part thanks to the Other Affinity Networks which saw revenue increase by 78 percent throughout the year.

Subscribers also grew 21 percent for the year and 32 percent in quarter 4 (when compared to the same quarter in 2010). Average paying subscribers for the entire company for quarter 4 2011 was 212,850. For the year the number of average paying subscriber was 196,850.

Spark Networks 2 big sites are JDate (which is part of the Jewish Networks) and Christian Mingle (which is part of the Other Affinity Networks). Subscriber and revenue remand flat for the Jewish Networks. Revenue for quarter 4 was $6.9 million with 87,101 subscribers. The Other Affinity Networks saw revenue of $5.9 million and 123,139 average paying subscribers for quarter 4, 2011. When compared to last year's quarter revenue increased by 114 percent and subscribers increased by 89 percent.

For the full 2011 Q4 release visit the Spark Networks News Room.

Related Story: Spark Networks Third Quarter 2011 Financials