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James T

Page history last edited by jt_thizzle@... 9 years, 4 months ago
  • Online Dating Services, And How People Initiate And Maintain Romantic Relationships


by: James Taylor




     The topic of this wiki research project is to find out how people use online dating and Social media websites like Match.com, Facebook, and eHarmony to initiate and manage relationships.  This research project will cover the communication patterns and social relationships that people create as they interact on these websites. With today's internet capabilities,  social media sites like Facebook, Match.com, and eHarmony  allow consumers to use their services to initiate, manage, and destroy romantic relationships. We can analyze these communicative patterns through research, data, interviews, and scholarly articles to gain a better understanding on how people communicate and build relationships on social media websites.


What Is Online Dating


     According to Wikipedia (2011), online dating is a way for people to turn virtual connections into reality over the internet. The internet is full of match-making, personals, and singles event sites. All of these websites can satisfy almost any persons preference and lifestyle. Dating sites  help create romantic matches based on a questionnaire that links the common interests between people. On the website Match.com (2011), Studies found that "people who had more in common, tend to stay together longer." Membership rates vary per site depending on the amount of time any user is registered. Online dating is ultimately a service that allows people to communicate and inevitably create romantic relationships.



              The screen grabs pulled from these top 3 online dating websites highlights the detail you would find.


Facebook, Match.com and eHarmony.

    According to Wikipedia (2010) Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of  Facebook which is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004. It is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. As of January 2011, Facebook which will have more than 600 million active users. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics. The name of the service stems from the name of the book given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other better

     Founded by Gary Kremen, Wikipedia noted, " Match.com is an online dating company which reportedly has more than 20 million members, made up of a 49/51 male/female ratio,and Web sites serving 25 countries in more than 8 different languages." Its headquarters are in Dallas , Texas and the company also has offices in West Hollywood, Tokyo, Rio, and Beijing. Match.com is owned by AIC and employs more than 340 people worldwide. Match.com has nearly $342.598 million in revenue and 1.3 million paying subscribers.

     Neil Clark Warren founded eHarmony. Wikipedia states, "It  is an online dating website grounded in relationship science that matches single men and women for long-term relationships. To optimize the matching process, eHarmony operates eHarmony Labs, a relationship research facility, and publishes eHarmony Advice, a relationship advice site." eHarmony, which was launched on August 22, 1998, is based in Pasadena, Ca. It has members in more than 150 countries and operations in the U.S., Australia, Canada, the U.K. and Brazil. The company is privately-held, with investors.


                                                                                                                                                                                          YouTube plugin error

This video is a Match.com commercial that was used in 2008 to attract user's to it's site.


Online Dating vs. face to face interaction 


       Recent studies suggest that online dating is a widespread and popular activity on the internet. Stephure, Boon, Mackinnon, & Deveau (2009) noted, "In 2004, dating websites and ads generated nearly $470 million in consumer spending, ranking first amongst all online content" . He says, that same year, "the number of new visitors to online dating sites was estimated at 40 million per month in the U.S and 7 million in Canada" CBC marketplace (2004). Until the invention of online dating sites in the 1990's, finding a romantic relationship typically required that individuals meet face to face in order to determine their relational capability. Scholars Madden and Lenhart (2006) noted, "today's younger adults have come of age in an era in which internet dating and online personals ads exists at a reasonably well-accepted, rather taken-for-granted means of meeting others. However, relationships based on CMC (computer mediated communication) will be different from a relationship developed F2F (face to face).

     Mcquillen (2003) noted, "CMC relationships can be compared to interactions at a costume party."  Each person becomes the character represented by the costume in which they are wearing. Partially due to the self-presentation and the manipulation of one's perceived self. He further noted, therefore, " you may not know who you are talking with, but the greater shock may appear when you realize that old tried and true systems were unreliable because the quality of information upon which your perceptions were based upon, were obviously less than interpersonal quality" Mcquillen (2003). Relationships are not being initiated with 'real' people these day's. They are started with individuals editing and glorifying images to share with others online, in order to get others to fall in love with them. 



This video Highlights the major online dating websites and the worldwide spread of online dating. The photo represents that traditional form of F2F dating that most Americans have been accustomed to for generations.


Online Dating Users

     Younger adults normally have been introduced, and are accustomed to the social uses of the internet.According to Stephure, Boon, Mackinnon, & Deveau  (2009) stated, the internet is a"social and relationship building tool (certainly social network sites such as Myspace and Facebook have provided online resources designed for the maintenance of relationships) than individuals whose early life did not include the internet, and thus more likely to view the process of meeting romantic partners online as a simple and natural extension of their efforts to meet partners through face to face means. More recent statistics demonstrate that  interest in online ads and dating sites is still at a all time high. According to Madden & Lenhart (2006), around "74% of the approximately 10 million American users who are single and actively seeking romantic partners have used the internet as a means to meet potential dates." Yet today, Baby Boomers are making the biggest appearance in the online dating scene. Goehner (2010) notes, at Match.com, the 50-65 age group is online dating site's fastest growing demographic, up 89% in the last five years. Baby Boomer's have lagged for years behind younger generations in embracing new technologies, now they are overcoming this obstacle. 


Online Dating Initiation Patterns 

  Online dating sites that require their users to pay and take a detailed questionnaire argue that they are more likely to attract people who are more serious about finding love. Carstensen (2003) noted, the "Socio-emotional Selectivity Theory, given that intimate relationships play a central role in regulation. It further proposes an individuals need for a more emotional and meaningful relationship should increase with age. Baker(2005) explores in her research how users met their relational partners. she noted, " I conducted my research, because I wanted to know how users knew that a relationship might develop and how people communicate with each other in cyberspace" Baker (2005). Her inquiry is later followed up by data suggesting that intimacy formed online leads to patterns of accelerated sexual desire, once the relationship moves from online to face to face. People use these online dating services for one main reason, to find true love. This is the most common pattern found between users who join these dating websites.

     According to scholar Lijun, T (2007), "With the development and widespread use of the Internet, more and more people make friends online. Such friendship can shift to other settings."  He Further noted, many online friends also meet each other face-to-face. Therefore, online friendship can be performed in different social spaces. We can use this information to analyze how friendship patterns are performed in  the three different  social spaces: the website itself, another online setting, and offline space. His studies suggests that the more spaces the friendship expands into, the more intimate and rewarding it becomes. 


      According to a study taken by Stephure, Boon, Mackinnon, and Deveau (2009), "when asked what they were looking for in an online relationship, the considerable majority of participants expressed interest in seeking fun, companionship, and someone to talk to. Most also reported interests in developing casual friendships and dating relationships with online partners. Fewer people reported using the Internet for the specific purposes of identifying potential sexual or marital reasons."


Table 1: Proportion of Participants Seeking Different Types of Relationships Online (Number of people surveyed = 176 )


Type of relationship           Percentage

Casual friendship                    80.6%

Dating partner                          76.6%

Marriage partner                      49.1%

Someone to talk to                   87.4%

Fun                                                92.0%

Companionship                        82.4%

Sex                                                       4%

This short video describes some of the reasons online dating is successful. It also highlights communicative patterns between user's on top dating sites like eHarmony.

Reasons People Choose Dating Websites

     According to The Economist, "The rise of these dating sites has been driven by several trends in society. One of these is that people now move around more often for work, distancing themselves from friends and family members who could play matchmakers." Another is that people are living longer and still have the time to find love. For elderly users, online dating sites are a way for them to connect to people out of their reach. Either they don't have the time to create new hobbies, they know everyone in their friends and family circle, or they are not likely to become acquainted with someone new. According to Goehner (2010), "Many Baby boomer's sign up for online dating post divorce or after a long dating hiatus." They are buzy people, online dating allows them the convenience to learn about new people on their own time schedules.

     Also depressing times are some of the leading reasons people turn to online dating. Time's journalist Fetini (2008) stated, " People are afraid of being alone even in good times, but that fear is especially heightened nowadays." Even for those people who still have their jobs, Online dating is more effective during these tough economic times, because it is cheaper. The new year can also be a depressing time for singles. The Economist (2010) noted, " For online dating agencies, it is a golden opportunity as people who have spent the holidays ruminating over unsatisfactory or non-existent love lives, hoping to find romance-ideally before February 14th."


Relationship results


     Online matchmakers claim their record of producing successful unions is better than most expect. For instance, "eHarmony, a prominent online dating service, concludes it was responsible for an average 4.8% or 542 people getting married everyday in America between the start of 2008 and the end of June 2009."The Economist (2010). Once viewed as a last resort for lonely geeks, The Economist (2010) stated, "Online dating services have gradually shed much of the stigma formerly associated with them. Although they are still popular with tech types, they now attract millions of people from many walks of life." Their hope is to create match-making based on social media sites like Facebook that will provide users with a more accurate envision of other user's lives. Which in return will lead to more profits these dating sites, and better relationship connections for user's.


Online Dating Services


  • Date.com - Owned by Avalanche, LLC (find info for Matchmaker.com and Amor as well)
  • Chemistry - Owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC)
  • eHarmony (find info for Compatible Partners as well)
  • FriendFinder.com - Owned by FriendFinder Networks (find info for other FriendFinder dating sites as well)
  • Lavalife (Coming Soon)
  • Match.com - Owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC)
  • PerfectMatch.com (Coming Soon)
  • PlentyOfFish.com
  • SingestNet.com (Coming Soon)
  • Spark.com - Owned by Spark Networks (find info for JDate.com and MingleMatch dating services as well)
  • Yahoo! Personals
  • Zoosk



Scholarly Sources:


*1. Baker, A.(2005). Double click: Romance and commitment among online couples. Cresskill, 37(2) 220-224 doi:10.1080/15358590701597144


*2. Ellison, N. (2007). Double click: Romance and commitment among online couples. Journal of  Communication, 15(2) 404-414 doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2007.00349_2.x.


*3. Lijun, T. (2007). Development of online friendship in different social spaces. Information Communication & Society, 13(4), 615-633.



*4. Manning, J. (2007). Ethnographic understandings of online love. Review of Communication, 7(4) 220 doi: 10.1080/15358590701597144.


*5.McQuilen, J (2003). The influence of technology on the initiation of interpersonal relationships. Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities,123(3) 616 doi:10.1177/1461444806059871.


*6. Mcmillin, S. (2006).Coming of age with the internet a qualitative exploration of how the internet has become an integral part of young people’s lives.New Media & Society, 8(1) 73-95 doi:0.1177/1461444806059871.

 Non-Scholarly Sources: 

1. Carstensen, L.(1995). Evidence for a life span theory of socioemotional selectivity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4 151-162.


2. Fetini, A. (2008, December 24).  A Bull Market for Online Dating. Time Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1868694,00.htm. 


3Goehner, L. (2010, November 26). Online dating enjoying a boom among boomers. Time Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2033283,00.html.


4. Love at first byte. (2010, December 29) The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/17797424?story_id=17797424.


5. Martinez, A.(2009, October 27) Online Dating Looks For Love on Social Media. SF Gate Retrieved from http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-10-27/business/17186265_1_social-networks-facebook-dating .

6. Stephure, J., Boon, D., Mackinnon, L., & Deveau, L. (2009). Internet initiated relationships: Associationsbetween age and involvement in online dating. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication14(3) 658-681  doi: 10.1111/j. 1083-6101.2009.01457.x.


Pew studies



Madden, M., and Lenhart, A. (2006, May 5). Online dating. Pew & American Life study, Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2006/Online-Dating.aspx




*Online dating services (2011, April 19). Wikipedia Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_dating_service


   * Online dating looks for love on social media (2009, October 27). SF Gate Retrieved from  http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-10-27/business/17186265_1_social-networks-facebook-dating


      * Current online dating and dating services facts & statistics (2010, December 24). eSilver Strike Consulting Retrieved from  http://www.datingsitesreviews.com/staticpages/index.php?page=online-dating-industry-facts-statistics


          *US consumer spending for online content reaches $1.8 billion in 2004 on strength of entertainment/lifestyles category(2006, October 20).Online Publishers Association Report Retrieved from https://www.comscore.com/press/pr.asp?id=559







Comments (26)

Jay Barton said

at 12:02 am on Apr 21, 2011

Dude, I got choked up during your match.com "baby" commercial. I never knew you were such a softy! And I think you win the award for the most fonts used. And longest title... I think to ensure the victory here you should consider going with something like "Online Dating Services, And How People Initiate And Maintain Romantic Relationships While Kick'n It On A Levy SomeWhere Or Maybe In A Boat With Their Feet Up And A Beer In One Hand And A Fishin' Pole In The Other." Jus messin, homeboy. Great job gettin 'er done!

jt_thizzle@... said

at 8:54 am on Apr 21, 2011

Thanks Jay, You are too funny!

jt_thizzle@... said

at 8:57 am on Apr 21, 2011

and iI kept having problems with the fonts so I said the Heck with it! lol

uismiguel@... said

at 10:50 am on Apr 21, 2011

Things are looking good so far, we will see the final presentation. Keep up it JT

uismiguel@... said

at 6:24 am on Apr 27, 2011

Hey JT, you are working hard on the project, i hope it is done by tomorrow.... I am excited; i have been working all night on my project and it is looking great so far...

gre_89@hotmail.it said

at 11:58 am on Apr 27, 2011

James, I know a few friends who found their girlfriends and boyfriends through online dating websites. I did not know about it, but it seems that online dating is wide spread. Good job!

uismiguel@... said

at 4:42 pm on Apr 27, 2011

I am done with my project JT, you can take a look at and comment the positive and negative about it.... It was an arduous work, but i made it...

Jenna Saenz said

at 4:44 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Oh looky here! this Wiki looks so familiar! hehe Love the topic! (I wonder why...? :) ) Did you read some crazy stories about online dating like Justine and I did? Oh man.. some were literally.. CRAZY! Nicely done Sir! Can't wait to see the final project!!!

jt_thizzle@... said

at 7:50 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Can ne one tell me why my page has like 20 different fornts i made them all the same but it still looks different help???

jt_thizzle@... said

at 7:50 pm on Apr 27, 2011


ericadeguzman@yahoo.com said

at 1:03 am on Apr 28, 2011

Hey, your Wiki is coming along nicely! And i really appreciate the layout of it and how easy it is to follow. Good choice of media as well :) quick question though.. the due date for the Wiki's have changed correct? From thursday at 9am to friday at 9am? Anyway keep up the good work!

Serena Sharma said

at 10:41 am on Apr 28, 2011

Looks like you found a lot of good info! Good stats too, can't wait to see your presentation!

Daniel Preston said

at 12:54 pm on Apr 28, 2011

WOW JT this looks great. You really looks like you spent a lot of time working on this.

uismiguel@... said

at 4:02 pm on Apr 28, 2011

JT, your work looks good, but i see lots of gaps in between the headlines. the presentation will be exciting no doubt. Good Job!

jt_thizzle@... said

at 8:53 pm on Apr 28, 2011

@ Erica Friday @ 9am

Justine Cranford said

at 11:07 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Battle of Online dating wikis, Jenna and Justine the in right corner and James taylor in the left whos going to win the smack down!!!lol good job buddy I think we should after one another and have a vote..lol jk I look forward to your presentation.

Bobby Menbari said

at 11:18 pm on Apr 28, 2011

You should compare info with the other groups...great job!

Adrian Aujero said

at 12:08 am on Apr 29, 2011

I am really surprised at all the info on online dating. The internet has completely changed the way we meet people

dbooth said

at 12:40 am on Apr 29, 2011

Great page, you were really creative with your setup.

Aubrey Lee said

at 1:50 am on Apr 29, 2011

James Taylor! Your wiki looks awesome. I learned alot about online dating soooo thanks!! Good use of media as well! Nicely done sir! :)

Juleane said

at 8:49 am on Apr 29, 2011

Online dating is something I only know through movies so this is an entirely different way to intake this kind of information.

Your use of media was really well done I really enjoyed that in your presentation!!! I did not know that Facebook had a "personals" section and I think that would be a whole other brand of chaos added to the Facebook toll in terms of privacy and security. One thing in particular got me, seeing as the new and upcoming demographic of individuals that use dating sights are 50 and above, I have to say I don't know how to take that. Whatever makes people happy I guess. Overall, I liked the connection of your topic to the purpose of the wiki --- communication. Online dating sites put an entirely different spin on how one interacts with others and the Internet itself.

Match.com video took the cake! :)

reilingss2b7@... said

at 6:39 pm on May 2, 2011

online dating is crazy! defnitely is soaked into the media too! i always ask my self if it actually works and have wanted to try it. your wiki definitely showed the good and bad of the system to me!

dbooth said

at 5:34 pm on May 3, 2011

I thought you had a unique touch to your wiki. You were probably the only person who used that font and gave it that look, so it was something that captured my attention. Like I mentioned in class my Dad and his lady met through online dating so I am moderately well versed in the topic. It seems like a pretty smart thing to do, especially if you were someone who was really career focused. If you spend all your time at the office or in the books in hopes of getting into the office, then there isn't really time to go club hopping and on all kinds of blind dates. They try to match you with people you are similar to you, so you know there is a higher chance of meeting a better match. To me its just playing the odds better.

Lena Zubaid said

at 3:08 pm on May 9, 2011

James, your font is so small!!! I like your topic, even though someone else already did it. I like how you gave it a different title than just online dating, which separates your topic from the other group’s topic. I think you did a good job on making yours different from the others. I like how you included Facebook as a site to date people online, it is true but most people do not see that. You did a good job of presenting your information and I like how you compared online dating to other types of dating. I like your videos and statistics too. Also, nice job including all dating sites at the bottom. Good job.

Jay Barton said

at 10:46 am on May 11, 2011

*In Addition to Comments Above*
Good job on the presentation, James. I thought you funny and charismatic up there. I also thought it was cool that you basically did online dating to bag on it...Lol! Nice job this semester JT! Catch a ton this summer my man!!

ericadeguzman@yahoo.com said

at 8:42 pm on May 11, 2011

James, great job on your wiki! And very entertaining and informative presentation the other week! I liked that your wiki focused more on why people date online and the results rather than delving too much into the different online dating websites out there. It seems like you worked really hard on your research and putting this page together and your end result really paid off! I also thought it was nice that you weren’t afraid to admit that you yourself have tried online dating. Nothing to be ashamed about because online dating has become such a social norm and you are a great example of that. Well done!

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