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Press Releases

Romantic Relationships Benefit
Single Parents and Their Kids, Study Finds



PASADENA, Calif., June 4, 2009 – A new survey by eHarmony, conducted by Opinion Research Corp., finds that roughly half of single parents believe they (51 percent) and their kids (47 percent) are better off emotionally when the parent is in a committed relationship. Yet, more than two in five parents who acknowledge the emotional benefits of being in a relationship are not even dating.

“Single parents often get caught up in the daily stresses of earning a living and raising kids, which makes it harder to focus on themselves and their own longer-term well-being,” said eHarmony’s relationship expert and senior research scientist, Dr. Gian Gonzaga. “Kids certainly factor into a parent’s romantic decisions, but they’re not the only force that parents consider when seeking a new romance.”

The eHarmony survey asked single parents who are not currently dating about their motivations for dating again:

  • 87 percent said to have fun
  • 80 percent said for companionship
  • 61 percent said to have a mother or father figure in their child’s life
  • 60 percent said to share parenting duties
  • 37 percent said to appease their kids

While not a primary motivation for dating again, children are also not considered a major inhibitor, the study found. Single parents were asked about the dating and relationship challenges they face. Some of the challenges they reported included:

  • Finding the time to date (74 percent)
  • Getting back into the dating world (69 percent)
  • Finding the money to date (42 percent)
  • Finding a babysitter so they can go on dates (37 percent)
  • Telling a new love interest that they have a child (22 percent)

“What many single parents may not realize is that they are in a much better position now to have a great shot at finding a second chance at love,” Gonzaga said.

He noted that single parents often have the advantages of greater self-awareness and more-focused priorities. “People who have been in committed relationships have greater experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t in a relationship. Plus, having children can focus one’s priorities in life. The more that people know what they want in a partner, the easier it can be to find the right person.”

Single parents looking to meet someone new for a serious relationship also have more avenues available than ever before, which can help them overcome the hurdles of getting started.

“People who are coming back to dating often have few outlets to find a new romance. But online dating has given people an easy and safe place to find prospective partners. eHarmony gets to know each member’s values, attitudes, personality traits and interests, and then matches singles based on those criteria,” Gonzaga said. “This helps singles find someone who is compatible with them, who shares their same priorities, which can make starting a new romance much easier and ultimately more successful.”

Gonzaga also noted eHarmony’s successful track record in matching people together for happy long-term relationships, citing a Harris Interactive study that found, on an average day in the United States, 236 eHarmony members get married to someone with whom they were matched on the site.

In addition to its matchmaking service, eHarmony also offers free resources for single parents who want tips and advice about getting back into the dating pool: http://singlemoms.eharmony.com and http://advice.eharmony.com.

Survey Methodology
The eHarmony single parents survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation’s computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 252 self-identifying single parents age 18 years of age and older. Interviewing for this survey was completed from April 28- May 4, 2009. The margin of error was 6%.

About eHarmony, Inc. Santa Monica, Calif.-based eHarmony, Inc. eHarmony, Inc. (www.eharmony.com) was founded in 2000 and is a pioneer in using relationship science to match singles seeking long-term relationships. Its service presents users with compatible matches based on key dimensions of personality that are scientifically proven to predict highly successful long-term relationships. New peer-reviewed research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) ranks eHarmony as number one for producing the most marriages and the most satisfied marriages. Of all meeting places measured, eHarmony also had the lowest divorce rate.b On average, 438 people marry every day in the U.S. as a result of being matched on eHarmony, nearly 4% of new marriages.b Currently, eHarmony operates online matchmaking services in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Brazil.
bBased on data on 19,131 marriages from 2005 to 2012 by Harris Interactive, couples that met on eHarmony had significantly fewer breakups than couples who met via all other methods combined. Combining methods that account for less than 1% of marriages sampled."

* 2012 survey conducted for eHarmony by Harris Interactive.®

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