Internet dating sites are becoming increasingly popular, especially among middle-aged people and homosexuals. The Internet could soon overtake friends as the most effective way to make love affairs, according to the US survey by Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford University.
In Belgium, 1.5 million people are single and this number continues to grow. More than 34% of these singles consider the internet as a good way to meet, says a study by Microsoft in 2010 while in 2008, they were still only 16%.
Today, the Internet appears, after friends, as the second most popular method to find a partner. This trend can be seen everywhere in Europe, according to a study by Parship , one of the most important dating sites in Europe.
The traditional ways of meeting like friends, going out and work are thus gradually abandoned. Indeed, a study published in the United States shows that the Internet plays a key role in helping singles find a partner. Researchers have discovered that it is increasingly becoming a place for dating, especially for homosexuals and people aged 35 to 44. Among couples who meet online, 61% are homosexuals compared to 23% for heterosexuals, says the study, conducted on 4,002 adults. According to Michael Rosenfeld, lead author of the study, “young people meet more traditionally but for middle-aged people who have a fixed environment and are struggling to meet new people, the Internet is a miracle. “
“It is possible that in the next few years, the internet is supplanting friends as the most effective way of dating,” says Rosenfeld. Indeed, currently less than 20% of American heterosexuals meet their partner through friends or family. For homosexuals, this number barely reaches 5%.
Internet brings love to your home
This study also reveals that adults with Internet access at home are more likely to have a romantic relationship than those who do not. Just over 82% of adults with Internet access at home are married or in a relationship, while those without internet at home are just under 63% in this situation, the study said.
According to François Lamotte , webmarketing expert, the word “love” is the subject of about eight million searches every month. Dating-related searches are the most common. He also observes that there is twice as much research on the part of men than women.
Real social phenomena, online dating sites are exploding. Among the best known in Belgium are Meetic, Lovers, Rendezvous and B2, which has more than 13 million members worldwide and 20,000 new registrants each day. The love marketing market has become highly competitive; it has a growth rate of 30% per year. Some sites are even listed on the stock market. The European dating market is estimated at 550 million euros in 2011.