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Online Dating Magazine > Online Dating News > Dating and Romance's Top 10 Most Influential Moments in Dating and Romance for 2003

( - December 28, 2003) has announced its selections for the Ten Most Influential Moments in Dating and Romance for 2003, compiled by's dating experts.

"World events, mass media, law, technology and emerging social trends have all had a significant impact on the state of dating and romance in 2003," said Trish McDermott, Vice President of Romance and resident dating expert for "The year 2003 brought a unique evolution in the nation's thinking about many types of relationships, expanding our social opportunities while also inciting public debate regarding how, when and with whom we search for, find and form meaningful, loving relationships."'s Ten Most Influential Moments in Dating and Romance for 2003:

1) War in Iraq: With thousands of our troops in harm's way overseas, the cliche "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" has become a troubling reality to husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends who have found themselves separated, often for the first time, by these world events.

2) Older women/younger men: This year's much-publicized pairings of Demi and Ashton and Cameron and Justin acknowledged the growing acceptance of older women dating younger men. A 2003 study by AARP The Magazine confirmed that more than a third of single women in the U.S. ages 40 to 69 are dating younger men.

3) Older men/older women: The new movie "Something's Gotta Give" with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton is an example of a cinematic trend we saw this year -- movies showcasing the sexuality of older women. Actresses such as Diane Keaton and movies like "Calendar Girls" have stretched the age-related boundaries of what is considered sensual in film today.

4) Bachelor and Bachelorette series: Although Alex and Amanda, Aaron and Helene, Andrew and Jen and Bob and Estella may have all parted ways, Trista and Ryan officially tied the knot in December, proving that the hit format can deliver results beyond great ratings.

5) Bennifer: The most closely watched relationship of 2003, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's on-again, off-again union was the talk of the tabloids and every other magazine on the newsstands. They called off their much-anticipated wedding, but appear to have weathered the ups and downs and look as if they'll still be together to toast the New Year.

6) Online dating sheds stigma: The numbers were staggering. In the twelve months ending November 2003, an average of 40.7 million Americans per month visited at least one online personals site, according to comScore Media Metrix. And earlier this year the New York Times ran a much publicized feature story "Online Dating Sheds Its Stigma as"

7) Importance of physical attraction highlighted in new reality shows: Reality shows Average Joe and Mr. Personality increased public discussion of the role physical beauty plays in attraction and love. Mr. Personality, hosted by Monica Lewinsky, challenged Hayley to find Mr. Right among several masked suitors, in order to base her selection on personality rather than looks. On Average Joe, Melana was asked to choose a mate among a selection of average-looking "Joes;" then in the show's final weeks, some handsome hunks joined the cast. She picked the hunk over the nice, smart, successful, but average-looking, guy.

8) Metrosexuals: 2003 saw the rise in popularity of the Metrosexual male (heterosexual men who care about fashion and grooming). Coupled with the surprise hit "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," heterosexual men are getting the message that a beer gut and a sweatshirt won't get them very far in today's dating climate.

9) Email breakups: Carrie on "Sex and the City" may have found out about her "break-up" on a Post-it, but research shows that more relationship breakups are happening via email than ever before.

10) Gay and lesbian relationships and the law: This year marked two high-profile court decisions on gay and lesbian relationships and marriage. A 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down a Texas law that had made it possible for the state to arrest and prosecute same sex couples for sexual relations that were not illegal for heterosexual couples. And in Massachusetts, a November court decision declared that the right to marriage is guaranteed under the Pilgrim State's constitution, and "barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution."

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