As thousands of Australians jump online to find love this month, eHarmony has studied the communication patterns of more than 100,000 Australians and uncovered the top indicators that impact attraction and connection online and help determine whether two people will click.
Jason Chuck, Managing Director of eHarmony Australia, says: "On any given day there are millions of interactions taking place on eHarmony. By analysing these communications we're able to learn what behaviours and hobbies make sparks fly between singles and gain an insight into courting in the 21st century digital age."
Top habits and hobbies that help or hinder love
1. Hobbies - Dogs, club-hopping and keeping fit are turn-ons... and offs
Interestingly, men and women have very different views on the hobbies and pastimes that they find attractive in the opposite sex.
Women are more likely to chat up men who volunteer, however men are less likely to pursue women who do so. Similarly, men are most attracted to social butterflies that enjoy going to bars and clubs, whereas this same pastime is a major turn-off to women.
eHarmony's relationship expert, Dr Gian Gonzaga, says that women tend to look for men who are kind, intelligent, adaptable and loyal, whereas men seek out partners who are active and social.
"Men who volunteer possess qualities that are important to women, like kindness, which is why this hobby resonates so highly with women. On the flip side, women also want someone who is loyal to them, and a man who is always at the bar may be perceived as more interested and loyal to his mates."
"Because their social lives tend to be driven by their romantic partners, men prefer women who are active and social, which is why pastimes like going out to bars and clubs, keeping fit and being adventurous rate highly," says Dr Gonzaga.
Top hobbies that turn men on/ off
Turn on Turn off
Going to bars & clubs Using the computer
Adventure activities Reading
Going to the beach Watching TV
Dining out Going to movies
1. eHarmony.com.au experienced a 50% increase in registrations w/c 31 December, peaking on 1 January when over 14,000 Icebreakers were exchanged between those matched on the site.
Top hobbies that turn women on/ off
Turn on Turn off
Volunteering Going to bars & clubs
Adventure activities Shopping
Walking the dog Going to beach
Anything outdoors Playing sports
Playing music Exercising
2. Humour - We don't like people with the same sense of humour (and we really don't like 'dark' humour)
Dry, sarcastic, slapstick - there are many types of humour but eHarmony's research reveals that women are most likely to approach men with an ironic sense of humour, followed by those with a dry sense of humour.
Men on the other hand, are more likely to make the first move with women who possess a sarcastic or joker sense of humour.
Dark humour is the least appealing to both men and women.
3. Food - Even junk food addicts want a healthy partner!
Celebrity chefs and cooking programs appear to be having an effect on women's tastes, with men who have a passion for gourmet cuisine more likely to attract members of the opposite sex.
Conversely, women who are healthy eaters and vegetarians/vegans have the most appeal to men.
Both men and women - independent of their own eating habits (whether healthy or junk food addicts) - are most likely to communicate with members of the opposite sex who are healthy eaters.
4. Money - Avoid splurging or being a penny pincher
Financial compatibility - or lack thereof - can be a cause of conflict for otherwise happy couples, which is why it's best to be open and honest about your views on money early on in a relationship.
eHarmony's research shows that men tend to communicate more with women who save and spend their money equally, followed by those who save it wisely.
Women, on the other hand, are less discerning - happily making the first move with men who save as well as with those who spend freely.
Dr Gonzaga attributes this to the fact that in the early stages of a relationship women tend to be less concerned about a partner's financial habits, focussing instead on other qualities and values.
"It's always interesting comparing the differences between men and women, especially when it comes to our hobbies and interests. It shows that while ultimately singles are looking for someone who they are compatible with, they don't necessarily want a carbon copy of themselves," says Dr Gonzaga.
California-based eHarmony, Inc. (http://www.eharmony.com) was founded in 2000 and is a pioneer in using relationship science to match singles seeking long-term relationships. Its service, available in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, presents users with compatible matches based on key dimensions of compatibility that are predictive of highly successful long-term relationships.
About the research
Data used in this release is based on information gathered from analysis of 101,017 Australian users who completed the Relationship questionnaire (RQ) on the http://www.eharmony.com.au website between January and December 2012.