We’re seeing a whole new faction of people turning to Internet dating sites these days: married people in search of extramarital affairs. AshleyMadison.com, a service targeted to the already wed, reports that each year it sees its largest influx of married moms signing up for the service the day after Mother’s Day. (Evidently far too many dads fail to impress.)
Since the cheating site launched, online dating—and 21st-century dating in general—has continued to stray from convention. Take, for instance, a new site that pairs wealthy men with beautiful women for far-flung travel adventures; think Millionaire Matchmaker travel edition. Dating sites in the more traditional vein are spicing things up with online games and apps: Match.com lets singletons play games to get to know one another, while OKCupid and Badoo have released meet-up apps to match up singles in close proximity.
Online dating endures because it works: 17 percent of e-daters report that a long-term relationship or marriage resulted, and couples who met online get married an average of 23.5 months quicker than those who met otherwise. Offline, there are “pheromone parties,” which require that participants bring along a Ziploc bag with a recently well-worn T-shirt—primed for many noses to sniff. Smells like a marketing gimmick to us.