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New Research Analyzes Global Perceptions About Online Dating and Success Rates

( - February 11, 2007) A new study by research firm Synovate has found that 49 percent of people believe that online dating is a great way to meet others while 48 percent believe it is a "waste of time".

Globally, 15 percent of respondents said they had used an online personal ad or online dating service to meet a potential romantic interest, with the French (29 percent), Filipinos (21 percent) and Americans (15 percent) being the biggest online daters.

In a bid to find out what makes online daters click, Synovate surveyed 4,386 people from Brazil, France, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Romania and the United States to determine their online dating perceptions, learn who has used the internet to find a romantic partner and the level of success that they've had.

29 percent of the French and 21 percent of Filipinos have used the internet to find love, but over one third of people who aren't online daters believe only "desperate people" use the internet to look for love.

"The internet has become the matchmaker of our time," says Steve Levine, Senior Vice President for Synovate in North & Latin America. "As it continues to grow, and becomes even more integrated in our lives, we should expect to see more people trying online dating."

The research also dispels the long-held belief that a person's photo was the main factor in determining whether a person would initiate communication. Of those surveyed, 25% said that the photo was most important while 39% say the written profile and another 32% saying shared interests and hobbies.

Online daters across the globe vary in how long it takes them to move contact offline. Thirty two percent of Filipinos are in no hurry, waiting at least a month from the first correspondence to meet while one-third of the French, Americans and Brazilians tend to wait more than a week but less than a month. Many Romanians don't waste their time – 16 percent said that they meet within a day! – but Koreans are more hesitant as 54 percent said they never end up meeting face to face.

The French report the most disasters when moving online correspondence offline, with 58 percent having had a terrible date with someone they met through the internet, although two-thirds said that they had had more good dates than bad ones. Americans are also familiar with online dating disasters. Over half indicated that they’ve had at least one disaster date with someone they met online, but 64 percent said that they'd had more good dates than bad ones.

Online daters who do end up meeting face-to-face have a remarkable success rate, with 25 percent of all respondents having met their spouse or life partner through online dating. Americans (42 percent) and the French (28 percent) are the most successful in taking online love offline, while for most Filipinos (3 percent) online dating doesn't usually lead to long term love.

Almost one-third of those respondents who would not consider online dating believe that it could be dangerous, a perception that may be reinforced by the 77 percent of consumers globally who believe that most people lie in their online dating profile.

Americans are most convinced that people are dishonest in their online dating profiles (84 percent), followed closely by Brazilians and Filipinos at 82 percent each.

Online Dating Stigma Still Exists
But when it comes down to it, it may simply be a case of online dating being seen as the domain of the desperate and dateless. With close to one-third of respondents globally stating that "only desperate people use online dating", it may be a long time before many people can shake the desperado perception and start looking for love online.

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