LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 21, 2014) - Singles are becoming more open minded when it comes to gender roles, dating expectations and infidelity, according to a report jointly released today 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. The two category-leading brands surveyed more than 2,600 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 and 59, on topics of significance in today's complex dating climate.

"In today's modern world there are so many factors contributing to blurred lines and mixed messages when it comes to dating and relationships," says Rachel Sussman, Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. "I see clients every day who are struggling with how to navigate muddled waters in a new or long-term relationship, and this study by ChristianMingle and JDate confirms these issues exist across the country." Sussman has partnered with ChristianMingle and JDate for a second consecutive year to analyze the findings and provide her expert insights.

The definition of cheating in a relationship is not always black and white. Singles reveal there are several shades of grey when it comes to defining infidelity, with women's attitudes in particular becoming slightly more liberal:

  • Eighty-six percent of men and 92 percent of women consider having sex with another person repeatedly as being unfaithful in a relationship.
  • Is sexting acceptable? In 2013, 82 percent of women and 56 percent of men believed texting or online flirting counts as being unfaithful. In 2014, the number of women who believe a flirtatious message is considered cheating dropped significantly to 68 percent, while men observed a slight decrease to 51 percent.
  • In 2014, 90 percent of women, vs. 100 percent in 2013, agree passionately kissing someone else is cheating. The number decreases for men as well, with only 75 percent agreeing vs. 86 percent in 2013. 
  • Cheating is not always a deal breaker. Nearly a quarter of singles would consider marrying someone who was unfaithful to them while dating.
  • Either infidelity or honesty is on the rise. Twenty-eight percent of respondents admit to having been unfaithful in a prior relationship, which is a slight increase from 2013, when only 22 percent admitted to infidelity. 

Findings reveal that while dating preferences and deal breakers vary, hygiene and friends play a significant role in finding lasting love:

  • Don't skip a shower before a date. For men, the top three dating deal breakers are hygiene (35 percent), smoking (24 percent) and weight (14 percent); and for women, it's hygiene (34 percent), unemployment (21 percent), and a tie for third between drinking habits and smoking (16 percent each).
  • Hitting it off with a date is only the first step to long-term success. The majority of singles (66 percent) would break up with someone if he or she didn't get along with their friends.
  • Thirty-nine percent of women think the man should be the primary breadwinner, but only 23 percent of men agree, a decrease from last year's 32 percent of men. Interestingly, in 2013, women didn't feel as strongly with only 34 percent stating the man should be bringing home the bacon.

The hand that reaches for the check on a date may not match traditional expectations, as first-date rules and etiquette continue to progress:

  • Is chivalry dead? Expectations for who foots the bill have changed over the past year, with only 69 percent of men saying the man should pay (vs. last year's 78 percent).
  • Is this a date? Sixty-nine percent of singles are at least somewhat confused about whether their outing with someone they're interested in is in fact a date or not. Sussman says, "My clients are often telling me they're confused about whether they're on a romantic date or casual meet-up, which makes it difficult for them to go into the situation with a clear strategy."
  • If a prospective partner gets drunk on the first date, 72 percent of men would look past it and go out with her again, though it's much tougher for men to get a second chance with women (only 41 percent of women would give a drunk first date a second chance).

"For the second consecutive year, we've turned to singles across the nation to understand the changing norms in dating and relationships, and what makes singles tick in their pursuits for lasting, meaningful relationships," said Greg Liberman, Chairman and CEO of Spark Networks®, the company that owns and operates both ChristianMingle and JDate. "The thought-provoking insights uncover that 'traditional' dating etiquette and standards continue to evolve." 

The stigma of online dating is a thing of the past:

  • Eighty-five percent of singles say online dating is socially acceptable and two out of three singles know people who have met through online dating.
  • Ninety-four percent of respondents believe online dating expands their dating pool.
  • Eighty percent of singles agree online dating is better at finding a match than family members and 78 percent agree online dating is better at finding a match than friends.

To view the full report by ChristianMingle and JDate or to see expert analysis of the results, please visit www.stateofdatingreport.com. To arrange an interview with Rachel Sussman or a spokesperson from ChristianMingle or JDate, contact yellin@formulapr.com.

About ChristianMingle
ChristianMingle (www.ChristianMingle.com) is the largest and fastest growing online community for Christian singles. In addition, ChristianMingle is a part of Gospel Media Group®, a premier network of online Christian resources which is also comprised of Believe.com® (www.believe.com), an inspirational faith-based lifestyle destination designed to serve the Christian community and help Christians build and live the life God intended, Faith.com™ (www.Faith.com), DailyBibleVerse.com™ (www.DailyBibleVerse.com) and ChristianCards.net™ (www.ChristianCards.net). ChristianMingle is owned and operated by Spark Networks®, Inc. (www.spark.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 leading online community for Jewish singles, responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined. JDate is dedicated to building and strengthening the Jewish community, and ensuring that Jewish traditions are sustained for generations to come. JDate is owned and operated by Spark Networks®, Inc. (www.spark.net).

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, Believe.com, Faith.com, DailyBibleVerse.com, 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).

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