Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Online Dating - What Women Want

A new report from England's Durham University about Internet dating, Love On The Net, has found that women, instead of looking for a sole companion for all of their lives, are much more likely to choose different men for the different stages of their life.

English women ages 48-62 showed that, although mid-life women still have faith in love, they are more romantically realistic than ever before.

Which can mean up to four or five different partners as they age.

Durham University sociologist Judy Richards says she found that, although women are sometimes uncomfortable with and unnerved by their single state and their sexuality in mid-life, many of them are taking a totally new look at sex and relationships.

She says her research indicates there are four distinct romantic/sexual stages for women looking for a man today.

The first is "looking for fun," the second is "looking for Mr. Right," the third is "looking for Mr. Right Now - especially a younger man," and the fourth and final stage is "looking to settle down with someone close to their age to share life and similar experiences with."

For women intimidated by dating later in life, Richards says Internet dating has proven to be a positive asset, despite it being a solitary occupation.

She points out that mid-life women, many of them unused to the competitive world of dating, find it an easier, less stressful and a safer method of connecting than meeting someone outside.

Lori Miller, spokesman for Lavalife, the largest dating website in Canada, says there's a significant increase in membership on their site from boomers and older men and women.

"In the past two years, we've definitely seen about a 20 per cent increase in those joining who are between 40-60.

"It's a whole new world at those ages and we're interested in what they need that's different from the younger members and finding ways to meet this."