Recession Boon Time For Online-Dating Sites

eHarmony says they’ve noticed their site traffic increases on days when the Dow drops by more than 100 points. I guess add them to auto parts stores as another counter-cyclical investment. [Economist] (Photo: andronicusmax)


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  1. JartMaster_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Sorry, Dr. Neil Kermit-Warren really gets on my nerves. As does the “Goof looking for her ball” commercial.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    After getting rejected from eHarmony twice, I take anything they have to say with two grains of salt.

  3. bologna_wallet says:

    In these tough economic times, finding a sugar daddy can be crucial

  4. Baron Von Crogs says:

    People get laid off, more free time means more time to cruise the net for a date.

  5. unobservant says:

    My stocks are falling… I just need someone to hold me.

  6. ElizabethD says:

    No surprise. Misery loves company.

  7. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    I’ve read this before – about how dating site membership goes up when times are tough. Good for them, and good for the folks trying to find a date, I suppose.

    But for me personally, I think going the route of online dating is essentially “giving up.” I may be single at the moment, but I can still meet women the ol’ fashioned way: talking to them face-to-face.

    Now…time to get off commenting on stories at The Consumerist and find myself a date!

    • nakedscience says:

      @Yoko Broke Up The Beatles: And not everyone is you, and has the time to meet people “the old fashioned way.” I’m 27 years old. I remember BBSing back in the day, and of course interneting. I’ve met a LOOOOT of awesome people online through the internet. Some have been dates, others just friends, others still were dates who later became friends.

      It’s just another resource for people to use. It’s not “giving up” and it’s getting kind of old, that people in 2009, still think that way.

      • Saboth says:


        I agree with you. Why is it “giving up” to use a dating website, but hookups through facebook or myspace is “cool”? I mean…how many people can you actually meet in a bar or through social scenes? Typically it is the same people over and over in a bar, and most of the time, not someone you’d want to marry. Do you know anything about them? The best thing about online dating is you can check through information right off the bat that you might not learn for 3-4 dates in person.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @nakedscience: They’re also great for photoshopping that picture of myself to get rid of that third arm, paint in some teeth, and become ripped.

        I get off on seeing disappointed faces in person, so, I know my love life is at least satisfying me.

    • Megan Squier says:

      @Yoko Broke Up The Beatles: Some people can’t get a date because of simply being a little socially awkward. Talking to someone online is MUCH easier than working up the courage to talk to some random stranger in person for a lot of people.

      I’m a pretty friendly person but I could never start a conversation with a member of the opposite sex I was interested in without stammering and stuttering and making myself look like an idiot. My husband is the same way. Two dorks in a pod! We met online; the ONLY way we would have met because neither of us would have had the courage to talk to the other if we happened to meet in public. After a first meeting at a bowling alley everything fell into place and the rest is history.

      • nakedscience says:

        @Megan Squier: And it’s a great resource for those of us who are pretty great at the social thing, but don’t always seem to meet quality people, or because we’re busy, or because it’s just another resource to utilize.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @Yoko Broke Up The Beatles:

      So far I haven’t tried it, although I’ve met two of my best friends online (never actually met in person but we’ve been phone friends for several years now). You never meet anyone good at a bar. The problem here is it’s hard to find people my own age because I’m too old for the college crowd and too young for the retirees. Everyone my age (early 40s) is already married. Or they’re just gross. :P

      No matter what, though, eHarmony is not getting my money. They discriminate against gay and lesbian people and I’m not giving them any money. I’ve had too many friends of that persuasion. I don’t think it’s right.

  8. Saboth says:

    I’m glad I am done with the dating sites. I was on each of them at least some period in my life. Yeah, I wasn’t much for going to bars and such, and worked a lot. What you end up with is like a 5 to 1 male to female ratio on there, because guys have no qualms about using technology to date, but women are embarrassed. Of the women that are on there, around 5% are attractive, 10% are acceptable, and the rest are…”well I have a few (100) extra lbs, my mom says I am cute and I have 3 kids and no job”.

    • ShirtNinja says:

      @Saboth: You forgot the email farming robots . . .

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Saboth: “like a 5 to 1 male to female ratio on there, because guys have no qualms about using technology to date, but women are embarrassed.”

      *like a 5 to 1 male to female ratio on there, because guys tend to drastically overrate their attractiveness as a mate, and women don’t like to be harassed by losers.

      Fixed it for you!

      • nakedscience says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): THANK YOU!!!

        If I see one more, “I want an attractive, FIT woman!” on a profile for a chubby, balding man I’ll scream.

        • floraposte says:

          @nakedscience: Heh. I think there’s a fair amount of that going on in both the male and female postings. But I’m word-oriented, so online’s always been a good way for me to get a sense of somebody, so when I get the time to do the process I’ve found the dates through eHarmony to be worthwhile. It’s got nothing to do with the Super Sekrit Relationship Science, it’s just having a chance to find out if you can communicate on a satisfactory level.

          • nakedscience says:

            @floraposte: No, that type of ting is definitely skewed. Just look on tv: The ugly fat man always gets the hot, skinny girl. This is not a new phenomenon.

      • Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): More like 1 to 5 male to whale ratio on there. I mean Christ, Ive been known to occasionally, drunkenly been a chubby chaser. But I’m not Captain Ahab.

        • nakedscience says:

          @Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator: That’s not offensive or sexist at all. *eye roll* Something tells me you’re single.

          • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

            @nakedscience: Brawndo the Thirst Mutilator is like pouring a 20,000 hp nuclear submarine into your face. Clearly he gets ALL the chicks. Because of electrolytes.

          • Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator says:

            @nakedscience: I don’t see how it’s sexist or offensive. No more than you’re statement “If I see one more, “I want an attractive, FIT woman!” on a profile for a chubby, balding man I’ll scream.” Kind of hurts when the shoe is on the other foot apparently. I guess it’s wrong for men to say they don’t want a fattie, but ok for women to say they don’t want a baldie? Tsk tsk tsk , I was hoping double standards were all behind us.

            And btw, I’m actually much happier being newly single (I called off the engagement), than having to constantly make someone else happy at my expense.

            • nakedscience says:

              @Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator: Uh, you clearly do not understand. Men who usually say, “I want a FIT, attractive woman!” are generally chubby and not nearly as attractive as they think they are, and are hypocrites.

              • Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator says:

                @nakedscience: I disagree. I think all men say that. It just happens that the some of the ones on the dating sites are chubby and not very attractive. But as I pointed out many of the women on those sites are chubby and not as attractive as they think either. So the net affect there cancels out. But to counter your statement about the hypocritical males, its like women saying they want to find their “soul” mate, and then dating a string of felons on work-release program.

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):
        Ah ha ha ha! That’s one of the reasons I’m reluctant to use it!

    • ceriphim says:

      @Saboth: When I was (briefly) on Match it was the other way around, tons of women. The caveat, however, was they were all 30+, single mothers. Very few under-30’s with no kids.

      The aggravating thing was I specified no children, I’m not ready to deal with being responsible for another life. Then they would send me email with my “matches”. Lo and behold, 90% of them had kids.

      For the record, okCupid is full of win. There are tons of good people on there, from 18 to 60…

  9. Megan Squier says:

    My husband and I were both rejected by e-harmony before we met through Yahoo personals.

    It seems like e-harmony has this crazy thing with not taking people who are a little eccentric. Their personality profile is totally bogus! Its like you have to fit a certain mold to be accepted in to the anals of Dr. Neil Clark Warren.

    No socially awkward yet talkative, tightwad, loner, 80’s GM car loving, Cornholio obsessed, Christian Conservative Libertarians allowed! This is basically what my husband and I are. Mildly eccentric and somewhat juvenile at times but still hardworking and mature.

    How does Dr. Warren know exactly what makes a life long couple and what doesn’t anyway? Yeah he may have marriage counseling experience but no man can say for sure which matches will work. The guy’s service is WAY over-priced anyway and I’m frankly sick of Tanyalee and what’s his name. Based up the commercials though, it looks like they’re trying hard to scare away the nerd set anyway.

  10. chrisjames says:

    “We need a positive PR move that doesn’t sound like an outright advertisement. How about we try to shoehorn our dating services into current affairs? That’ll get people’s attention.”

  11. Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator says:

    “Lowered Expectations….” ~ Just like your stock portfolio.

  12. Anonymous says:

    eHarmony doesn’t tell you that it takes hours and hours to fill out their questionnaires. Probably with so many lay-offs more people have time to do it. They also don’t tell you that 20% of the folks that spend hours filling them out will get told “too bad” at the end. I spent two afternoons after work filling out their stuff and after all that work I find out they just flat out refuse to match me for no apparent reason. At least they could be honest and perhaps save some people all that trouble at the beginning.

  13. trujunglist says:

    I need a date, but I hate dating sites. I’m too anti-social even for the internets! Why can’t we stop pretending and start gettin’ busy? That’s what I want to know!

  14. Apeweek says:

    I sell lottery products, which also appear to be counter-cyclical. The worse things get, the more lottery tickets get sold.

  15. WeAre138 says:

    I refuse to believe that any of the couples in their commercials are real. They all seem to act just a little to well. Completing each others sentences… awww how cute (and scripted). Oh, and that one with Joshua and Tanya Lee talking about “dancing at 5 in the morning with drywall dust all over them” – Seriously? Sounds more like a an episode of Friends to me.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am a firm believer in online dating. You can set the criteria and find your potential match, having fun meanwhile ;) But like most of people, I am always on the lookout for FREE ones. Right now, I am on and Both free, and contacting people is easier than other paid sites. Match, eHarmoney – ughh … am too lazy to fill in the lengthy forms.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is an awesome post. You know the recession has brought out the frugality in people. Where people are holding on tight to their wallets, but in a time where people are finding more free time, the one industry that is booming is online dating. Career focused single men and women find that in this day an age a partner in crime (hehe) is an area that they havent dedicated a whole lotta time in. It’s no wonder online dating has spiked.