'Friends With Benefits' Relationships On The Rise

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platonic friendship
A new study by Match.com sheds light on the dating habits of American singles.

Just in time for Valentines Day, Match.com released its third annual Singles in America study, which, among other iteresting findings, shows a drastic increase in friends with benefits (FWB) relationships from 2011 to 2012. According to the study, a whopping 47 percent of singles had a friends with benefits relationship in 2012, up from a meager 20% the year before. What's more surprising? Many of these arrangements are turning into long-term relationships.

Commitment before intimacy?

According to the study, increasingly, women are asking for a commitment of monogamy before hopping between the sheets. This number is up to 37 percent in 2012, compared to only 25 percent in 2010.

Where are singles connecting?

According to the study, online dating ranks number one for meeting singles with a third of singles having dated someone they met online. Meanwhile, 20 percent of singles met their most recent first date online whereas only seven percent met the old fashioned way, at a bar.

How does the economy affect online dating?

According to the study, the struggling economy doesn't dramatically affect dating patterns. Yes, the need to love and connect remains strong.

To Google or not to Google

Almost half of the women reported doing their social homework before going on a date. That is, 48 percent of women research their date on Facebook before meeting in person for the first time. However, men aren't too thrilled with the digital snooping. Almost half of the men surveyed find it unacceptable. Match suggests that men clean up their Facebook pages before accepting a friend request from someone they'd like to date.

Who snoops the most?

Singles in their 20s are checking out their crushes' Facebook pages, text messages and emails more than any other age group.

For more on the study, visit blog.match.com/SIA

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and bestseller author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She's been helping singles find love online since 1994 and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

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Julie Spira

Dating Coach

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert, bestselling author, dating advice columnist and coach, and media personality.  She's the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and is writing The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners. Julie's been featured and quoted over 500 times in the news for her expertise on online dating and relationships including ABC News, BBC, CBS CNN, Cosmpolitan, E! Entertainment, ELLE, FOX, Galtime, Glamour, iVillage, Los Angeles Times, Mashable, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, New York Post, New York Times, Psychology Today, WIRED and Woman's Day. Her dating advice has appeared on eHarmony, JDate, Match, and Zoosk. Visit Cyber-Dating Expert.com and share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and Like Julie on Facebook.

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