DALLAS, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Match.com, the world's largest online dating site, today released findings from its third annual 'Singles in America' study – the largest and most comprehensive national study of singles' romantic dating habits, sexual practices, and lifestyles in history. Prior to the first study in 2010, little thorough research had been conducted or shared on singles, a population that reflects one-third of the U.S. population (107 million singles, according to the most recent U.S. census). The 2012 study debuts the inclusion of married individuals in order to gain a greater understanding of sex and love and to compare the lifestyles, attitudes and trends of singles versus married men and women.
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Now in its third generation, the extensive study reveals distinct trends as it continues to disprove long-held misconceptions associated with singles' lifestyle choices and ideologies and documents the rising impact of technology in society.
"The media portrays long-term love and commitment as being doomed. Sexting, new attitudes about virginity, the rise of 'friends with benefits,' emerging 'Internet etiquette' and women's rising roles in courtship all presage a dramatically new dating landscape. But even the bad economy can't kill love," said Dr. Helen Fisher. "Despite all we hear about hooking up and divorce, we now have significant data that shows American singles (including men) are earnestly seeking respect, trust, transparency and commitment in a relationship. Over the three years of this study, women have consistently wanted more independence, while men have expressed more interest in romance. Nevertheless, both sexes believe a relationship can last, and both continue their primordial drive to find and keep love."Highlighted trends revealed by the study include:
- Friends with benefits: An emerging stage in (pre-commitment) romance? 47% of singles have had a friends with benefits relationship in the past (40% of women and 53% of men). With a drastic year-over-year increase, these arrangements are turning into long-term relationships more than ever before (2012: 44%, 2011: 20%).
- Despite the rise of casual sex in America, more women are insisting on commitment before intimacy with a new partner. Women increasingly want to wait until they are in an exclusive relationship before having sex with a partner (37% of single women in 2012, 31% in 2011, and 25% in 2010).
- The struggling economy is not dramatically affecting people's dating patterns. Nearly 2/3 of singles say they have not changed their dating habits over the last three years (2012: 57%; 2011: 60%; 2010: 61%).
- Think you'll meet your next date at a bar? Think again. Connecting online ranks #1 amongst places where singles meet . A historically unprecedented number of single Americans are now turning to the Internet to find love: nearly 1/3 of singles (27.5%) reported that they have dated someone whom they met online. In addition, 20% of singles met their most recent first date online vs. 7% who met at a bar.
- A sex perk of marriage: more orgasms. 47% of married people achieve orgasm 91-100% of the time vs. 38% of singles.
- Romantic love survives long-term. Over 80% of married men and women would marry the same person again, while 76% married men and 73% women are still very much in love with their current spouse (8-10 on a scale of 10 being " deeply in love").
- Does a date's height, debt and virginity really matter? 71% of women are not likely to date someone shorter than themselves; 42% of singles would not date a virgin (33% of men and 51% of women); and 54% of singles would not date someone with considerable credit card debt (> $5K).
- In the bedroom, singles put you first. 97% of singles say it's more important to satisfy their partners sexually than be satisfied themselves.
- Nearly half of single men want to meet a woman's parents before commitment. 48% of men want to be introduced to their date's parents before becoming exclusive (vs. 35% of women).
- Older singles care just as much about sex as younger singles. When asked what would make them happier, 30% of singles 70+ and 25% of singles in their 60s answered "more sex" (in comparison to 28% of singles in their 20s and 27% of singles in their 30s).
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