Match.com, the global leader in online dating, today named its selections for the most influential dating and romance moments of 2004. This year revealed some noticeable shifts in traditional dating dynamics, along with emotional issues highlighted during the Presidential campaign.
"What goes on in the world and what we experience in popular culture can have a direct impact on our relationships," said Kristin Kelly, senior director of public relations for Match.com. "As the recognized dating expert, Match.com has identified the trends and factors that had an influence on what it means to be dating and in love in 2004."
Match.com's Ten Most Influential Moments in Dating and Romance for 2004: - Love trumps money: In the dating criteria specified by single women, income has become less important when choosing a mate. While Britney Spears, Julia Roberts and Mira Sorvino have all opted to marry an "average Joe," the trend is not limited to Hollywood. Women on Match.com have become less specific about income, as the percentage who specified an income preference for potential mates decreased by 20 percent in the past three years, from 76 percent in 2001 down to 56 percent in 2004. - Seniors click with online dating: According to Nielsen/NetRatings, seniors represent the fastest-growing online demographic overall. As older singles become increasingly Internet savvy, many are turning to online dating sites to find companionship and romance. Online dating appeals to older singles because it lets them ease back into the dating scene at their own pace, connect with other eligible singles from the comfort of their own home and take some time to get to know a person a little before going on a first date. On Match.com alone, senior membership has tripled since 2000. - Farewell, Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha: This year saw the final episode of HBO's monumental series "Sex and the City." During its six-year run, the show focused on the friendship of four single women living in Manhattan and chronicled their dating and relationship experiences, often shocking viewers with the characters' sexual frankness. Carrie delivered the show's parting line, "The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." - Ladies first: Women are more comfortable than ever when it comes to making the first move in dating situations, and online dating has helped make that more acceptable. Statistics show that it's working to their advantage -- according to a January 2004 survey of more than 300 married people who met on Match.com, 27% of the women surveyed admitted they made the first move in contacting their current husband via email on the site. - Politics and dating: Politics got personal this year, as the Presidential election sparked heated debate about beliefs and values, and many singles were determined to date along party lines. But politics may not make such strange bedfellows after all. A Match.com/Gallup survey of singles found that 57 percent would be open to marrying someone who held significantly different political views than their own. - Same-sex marriage ignites a national debate: While a few local municipalities wed gay and lesbian couples this year, a variety of states said "I don't" to gay marriage in the November election. It's clear that the subject of gay marriage will continue to be a high- profile issue on the local and national levels. Fifty-one percent of singles in a pre-election Match.com/Gallup survey said that marriages between homosexuals should not be recognized by the law as valid, while 41 percent of singles said they should. - War in Iraq: As military deployments have stretched on indefinitely, the conflict in Iraq continues to redefine relationships in 2004. In the absence of face time, many husbands, wives and significant others rely on email, letters and phone calls to express their affections for loved ones while they are far from home. Many singles stationed overseas have been able to stay connected with other eligible singles by using the Internet. - Online dating achieves mainstream status: With 30 million to 40 million people logging on to online dating sites each month in the United States, online dating went from progressive pastime to mainstream phenomenon in 2004. A popular dating expert quoted recently in The New York Times said, "Every single woman in my neighborhood is on Match.com. It's like brushing your teeth." - "He's Just Not That Into You:" This New York Times bestseller by former "Sex and the City" staffers Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo declared a no-excuses, no rationalizations mantra to help women recognize when they are wasting their time in dead-end or one-way relationships. By offering a glimpse into the male phyche, the book empowers women to set the bar higher in a relationship or move on. - Single dads are sexy: Single women find single dads sexy, according to Match.com research, and the phenomenon was highlighted this year by such shows as UPN's new sitcom "Kevin Hill." Seventy-four percent of the single women on Match.com indicated that they are open to dating someone with children. What makes a single dad so attractive? Could be qualities like generosity, loyalty, responsibility and frequent displays of public affection with the little ones. About Match
Match.com is the world's biggest online dating and personals property, according to the October 2004 global ranking of the Personals category by industry-leading independent measurement firm comScore Media Metrix. Match.com operates leading subscription-based online dating sites in 32 countries, in 18 languages and spanning six continents. The site has more than 15 million members globally. Since its launch in 1995, Match.com has led the way in providing adults worldwide with a fun, private and secure environment for meeting each other and finding meaningful relationships. Based on resignation survey data, Match.com calculates that more than 200,000 Match.com members met the person they were seeking on the site in 2003 alone. Match.com powers online dating on MSN across Europe, Asia, the United States, Australia (NineMSN) and Latin America and is the premier provider of personals for Love@AOL, offering the Match.com service across AOL.com and AOL.co.uk. Match.com is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI).
CONTACT: Kathleen Roldan of Match.com, +1-415-913-3136,
Web site: http://www.match.com/