Popular dating website Match.com has released results for its Singles in America survey series and revealed some surprising new trends in how we pursue love.
The study tells us that the Internet is now the most popular place to meet a partner, with nearly a third of singles reporting that they have dated people they met online. While finding a potential mate this way may still seem dubious to some (see: Manti Te'o's nonexistent girlfriend), the numbers suggest that more singles are willing to give it a shot.
Helen Fisher, chief scientific adviser for Match.com, tells HLN that online dating will only continue to grow in popularity due to two social trends: women moving into the paid job market in cultures around the world and the aging world population.
"We are now seeing a lot of older women and men back on the dating market in middle age, and these men and women have long ago stopped going to bars or social events where they are likely to meet new people.
"They already know all their friends and don’t tend to leave their social circles enough to meet new people socially. So, online dating will continue to be an effective way, perhaps the only way, for older people to meet potential mates. "
Facebook plays an integral role in how we date as well. The survey found that 48% of women research a man on Facebook before a first date (even though almost half of single men -- 49% -- think that's a totally uncool thing to do).
Fisher says that one of the biggest reasons that digital romance works is that it’s quite compatible with the human brain.
"Some form of dating service has been around since the dawn of time," she told HLN. "The Internet is just the newest, simplest, easiest, cheapest way to do the same old thing: meet people."