Those disturbing trends aren't likely to end any time soon.
In fact, they're likely to continue, bringing twin results: even higher anxiety levels, and impulses to entwine one's life with that of another."Stressful times can have a big effect on people's desire to be in relationships," said Gian Gonzaga, an e Harmony research scientist.
But ask people who were brave enough to check their 401(k) balances at that time: November was historic for other reasons too.
Not only did the Dow dip below 8,000, but the unemployment rate in California also climbed well above the national average (to 8.2%) and housing prices were down 40% from their peak just 18 months prior.
But for a lot of other Americans, it's decreased wealth -- both real and perceived -- that's keeping them home, inspiring them to spend less money and more quality time with their computers. While reported a 50% increase in profile views from November to December, a recent survey of 1,500 members found that 84% of them were "being more selective about first dates in today's economy.""There's this underlying anxiety I feel energetically everywhere I go," Fields said.
"Everybody I meet, there's this tentativeness."That tentativeness is extending beyond a singleton's willingness to seal the deal and make a first date.
Instead, his tack is to steer the date toward activities he can afford."It's not that I want to disguise it. Let's do this.' You balance out the money you have," said Hobbs, who likes taking dates to the movies, which costs him $23, or dinner at Olive Garden, for which he spends $30 to $50."You can find fun things to do without spending money," he said.
As an Indian single, do you feel like there's someone special out there for you but you just haven’t found them yet?"It's not about impressing the other person, because you can't [afford] to impress them."That's been the experience of Johnnie Hobbs of North Hollywood.The 26-year-old aspiring actor, tap dancer and writer has a full-time job at the Apple Store in Pasadena and says the economy "hasn't affected me that much." Still, he said, when he goes out, "You're trying to save money as best you can without telling the girl you're saving money.""It's a very thin line between sort of being that man and also understanding that I may not have the money right now," he added. You still have a chance to turn things around in the new year.According to Match Group Inc (NASDAQ: MTCH), the peak dating season starts the day after Christmas. Eastern time is the best time to sign up for online dating on that day, when Match expects to see a 42-percent increase in singles looking for a spark.Even more interesting, both e Harmony and reported especially high traffic on days when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted."We had our third busiest weekend of the year following the five-year low in the stock market," said Mandy Ginsberg, general manager of North America.