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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Online dating across the life span: Users' relationship goals.

  • Author(s): Menkin, Josephine A
  • Robles, Theodore F
  • Wiley, Joshua F
  • Gonzaga, Gian C
  • et al.

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Utilizing data from an relationship questionnaire completed by new users (N = 5,434), this study identifies prioritized goals in new romantic relationships and whether importance of these goals differs by participants' age and gender. Overall, users valued interpersonal communication more than sex appeal. Older users rated sexual attraction as slightly less important than younger users did, but they still highly valued the goal. Women placed even greater emphasis on communication over sexual attraction compared to men. However, although men valued sexual attraction more than women at all ages, only the youngest women valued interpersonal communication more than young men.

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