Increase in online dating

Wired asked the dating site Ok Cupid for photos of 400 of the highest-rated profiles in 10 major US cities, and the results were intriguing.

They found that over 80% of users with the hottest ranked profiles had strong eye contact.

Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents.

And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.

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That is statistically similar to the 17% of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 2005.

If you're not pulling info directly from Facebook, the username or handle you select can make a big difference in how potential partners perceive you online.

Research suggests straight men are more attracted to women whose usernames suggest physical attractiveness (such as "Blondie" or "Cutie"), whereas straight women are more attracted to men whose usernames suggest intelligence (such as "Cultured"). Some research suggests that names in higher in the alphabet may be linked with measures of success such as education level or income, and these names are also likely to show up higher in search results.

One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.

General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships.

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