Monday, March 30, 2009

Dating, an anti-cyclical business?

A most intriguing article in the latest issue of The Economist states that dating sites seem to be doing rather well in the recession. The correlation between the Dow Jones falling by more than 100 points and the increase in the traffic of one of the dating sites was arguably the most astonishing of all facts presented in this article.

clipped from

Online-dating websites prosper in the recession

It may be that people have more time to devote to their private lives as the economy slows; that uncertain times increase the desire for companionship; or that living alone is expensive, whereas couples can split many of their costs.

25% of women said stress about the state of the economy made them more inclined to seek a long-term relationship. The company also noticed that the number of visits to its website was higher than average on days when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 100 points.

Back in September, users were sending 6,000 on-site instant messages a day, says Sam Yagan, OkCupid’s boss. Now that number is over 18,000.

“The majority of relationship discord stems from economic troubles,” he says. Instead of fighting, married people are taking stock of their lives. “They want to do something that makes them feel better about themselves,” Mr Biderman says, “and $49 is a tiny expenditure for a life-altering affair.”

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