The Dating Game: Mobile Technology Redefines The Rules For Singles

“Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships” study, released by ChristianMingle and JDate, highlights how mobile is changing traditional norms in dating and relationships

LOS ANGELES (July 23, 2013) – According to a study jointly commissioned by ChristianMingle®.com, the largest and fastest growing online community for Christian singles, and JDate®.com, the iconic community responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined, navigating relationships in today’s mobile world comes with new rules, increased dependence on technology and surprising expectations around how people prefer to communicate.

The study, Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships, surveyed 1,500 U.S. singles between the ages of 21 and 50, and reveals qualitative and quantitative insights based on gender, generations, geography, device types and operating systems. The results depict how mobile technology has changed the norms of dating and courtship.

“Mobile technology is now ingrained in every aspect of our lives, so it’s no surprise that your phone is a powerful tool for all modern-day relationships,” says Katie Linendoll, Emmy award-winning tech expert and TV personality on SPIKE, ESPN and TODAY. “The results of this study confirm that singles are looking for the most convenient ways to connect, and utilizing mobile tech is the best way to do that.”

Below is a snapshot of several key findings that reveal the impact mobile devices have on dating and relationships:

GENDER: Breakdowns reveal how men and women use their devices to woo each other.

  • Approximately one-third of both men (31 percent) and women (33 percent) agree it’s less intimidating asking someone on a date via text vs. making a phone call.
  • After a good date, a majority of the men and women surveyed agree it doesn’t matter who initiates the next communication.
  • 46 percent of singles have become upset with someone they are dating over their text response time, with more women (52 percent) getting upset than men (40 percent).
  • More men (44 percent) than women (37 percent) believe mobile devices make it easier to flirt and get to know someone.

GENERATIONS: Exercise your thumbs. Dating a millennial requires constant communication.

  • Texting is the most frequent form of communication, particularly for those ages 21 to 26, who report texting several times a day before going on a date (50 percent), during a casual relationship (43 percent) and during an exclusive relationship (62 percent).
  • Younger singles, ages 21 to 26, expect more instantaneous text responses compared to singles ages 43 to 50 (14 percent vs. 7 percent, respectively).
  • While they sleep, nearly 20 percent of all singles not only keep their phones on, but also in bed with them. That number is highest among those ages 21 to 26 (25 percent). This habit decreases with age, as only 18 percent of singles ages 35 to 42 and 10 percent of singles ages 43 to 50 do the same.
  • The morning routine has certainly changed, as the first thing more singles do than anything else is check their phones. A majority (56 percent) of singles ages 21 to 26 do it, while 33 percent of singles ages 43 to 50 do so as well.

GEOGRAPHY: Location may define your mobile habits. West coasters aren’t as connected or addicted to their mobile devices as East coasters.

  • More singles in the West (42 percent) would ignore a call or message if it came in during a date than would singles in the Northeast (33 percent).
  • When casually dating someone, singles in the Northeast text more frequently than singles in the West (32 percent vs. 24 percent).
  • Singles in the Northeast feel more dependent upon their mobile devices than those in the West (54 percent vs. 45 percent).
  • More singles in the Northeast use their smartphones at the bar, in the bathroom/on the toilet, and on the subway than singles in the West.

PREFERENCES: Till text do us part? Daters must mind new manners when putting their best phone forward. The survey reveals that mobile devices add a new list of etiquette rules to follow when it comes to finding that special someone.

  • While texting is the most used feature on singles’ mobile devices, 68 percent still want to talk on the phone or in person to schedule dates (vs. 20 percent who prefer texting to schedule dates).
  • 78 percent of singles expect to communicate within 24 hours after a good first date.
  • 96 percent of singles keep phones out of sight during a date. But, don’t judge a phone by its case: somehow, some way, 67 percent still find a way to check their phones during a date.
  • And, for those trying to hide the sneak peeks at the phone, they can drop the discrete act. 81 percent of singles find it acceptable or would not be offended if their dates responded to a text, email or phone call while on a date, as long as the responses were accompanied by reasonable explanations.
    • More than 50 percent of singles said they would consider breaking up with someone they were casually dating via text and an incredible 24 percent would consider ending an exclusive relationship in 160 characters or less.

OPERATING SYSTEMS AND DEVICES: Careful iPhone owners, Android owners might get that KOTC (kiss on the cheek) first.

  • Android users have a greater urge to communicate with someone they are trying to get to know before a first date with 39 percent texting several times a day (vs. 32 percent for iPhone users).
  • iPhone owners are more protective of their mobile devices than those who own Android devices. Almost 50 percent of Android users would allow someone they are dating to look through their mobile device compared to just 37 percent of iPhone users.
  • Android users may be more polite daters, showing up iPhone users when it comes to picking a person up at home, paying for the first date, eating at a nice restaurant and sending a text message after a good date.

SUMMARY: Again and again, survey participants reported how mobile technology has changed communication patterns and created myriad expectations and preferences that now define dating etiquette in a mobile age. Texting, which once was considered rude and passive, is now required to stay in touch. Additionally, “he said, she said” is still very real, as men and women differ in terms of how communication is received and perceived. Overall, the study concludes that having a mobile device makes it easier to stay in touch, even if it means connecting on the other end of a text.

  • 55 percent of singles feel their mobile devices make it easier to meet and get to know people they may be interested in dating.
  • 64 percent of singles feel the quality of relationships with those they are dating or interested in dating has improved due to their mobile devices.
  • Half of singles report using mobile online dating websites or applications.

“Mobile devices, especially smartphones, have had a profound impact on dating and relationships. Beyond making communication more convenient, mobile technology shapes expectations and perceptions of when and how singles should communicate,” said Greg Liberman, CEO of Spark Networks®, the company that owns and operates ChristianMingle and JDate. “We commissioned Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships to ensure we are doing everything we can to strengthen our communities in an ever-changing technology ecosystem. Although the results are fascinating in and of themselves, more importantly, they help drive our product roadmap, making it even easier for our members looking to form meaningful relationships to connect with other singles not only from the desktop, but through their smartphones and tablets anytime, anywhere.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To view the full report or to see expert analysis of the results, please visit www.stateofdatingreport.com. For media inquiries, please contact Heather Spilsbury, spilsbury@formulapr.com. Please visit Google Play Store to download the ChristianMingle Quick View™ app and JDate’s JPix™ app or visit iTunes App Store to download ChristianMingle Quick View and JPix. For additional information about the ChristianMingle and JDate communities, please visit www.ChristianMingle.com or www.JDate.com.

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PR Contacts

Formula PR: 310-578-7050

Heather Spilsbury, spilsbury@formulapr.com

Mira Yellin, yellin@formulapr.com

About Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships

Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships was jointly commissioned by ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, and conducted by the independent research firm Amplitude Research. The survey was completed online May 8-13, 2013, by 1,500 respondents aged 21 to 50. Respondents included 50 percent men and 50 percent women, smartphone owners and users, and singles (including divorced and widowed) who were either currently dating, planning to date in the near future, or in a relationship for less than two years.

About ChristianMingle

ChristianMingle® (www.ChristianMingle.com) is the leading and fastest growing online community for Christian singles. In addition, ChristianMingle is a part of Gospel Media Group®, a premier network of online resources which is also comprised of Believe.com® (www.believe.com), Faith.com™  (www.Faith.com), DailyBibleVerse.com™ (www.DailyBibleVerse.com) and ChristianCards.net™ (www.ChristianCards.net).

About JDate.com

With more than 750,000 active members worldwide, JDate® (www.JDate.com, www.JDate.co.uk, www.JDate.co.il and www.JDate.fr) is the premier online community for Jewish singles.  An iconic cornerstone of the Jewish community, JDate is responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined.

About Spark Networks

Spark Networks®, Inc.’s (www.spark.net) mission is to create iconic, niche-focused brands that build and strengthen the communities they serve. Spark Networks’ portfolio of consumer websites is anchored by ChristianMingle and JDate, and also includes, among others, BlackSingles.com® (www.BlackSingles.com) and SilverSingles®.com (www.SilverSingles.com). Spark Networks’ shares trade on the NYSE MKT under the ticker symbol “LOV” (NYSE MKT: LOV).