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Poll: Online dating 'acceptable for majority in Mena'

Dubai, November 8, 2012

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of Mena residents believe that online dating is "very/somewhat acceptable”,  according to an Al Aan TV poll conducted by YouGov.

However, 32 per cent feel it is “very/somewhat unacceptable”, the poll said.

About 80 per cent of Mena residents believe it is not acceptable for someone who is married to meet, in person, an individual of the opposite sex, whom they initially met online, the study said.

The poll which was conducted between October 24 and November 3, showed that majority of respondents believe online relationships are acceptable, common and becoming increasingly popular but it seems it is slightly more acceptable for males to engage in online relationships, than for females.

The percent of respondents that think it is acceptable for a:
• Single man talking to women online – 59 per cent
• Single women talking to men online – 49 per cent
• Single man meeting a woman he met online – 48 per cent
• Single woman meeting a man she met online – 36 per cent
• Married man talking to women online – 31 per cent
• Married women talking to men online – 21 per cent
• Married man meeting a woman he met online – 19 per cent
• Married women meeting a man she met online – 15 per cent
• Man to marry a woman he met online – 50 per cent
• Woman to marry a man she met online – 44 per cent

Despite 1/3rd of respondents views that online relationships are unacceptable, 83 per cent believe these relationships are common - with a third thinking they are extremely common (typically, 18 to 24 year old, singletons who are studying/not working). The majority of respondents (77 per cent) believe online relationships are becoming much more popular.

The majority of respondents (89 per cent) agree that online relationships are not the same as a real, in person relationships, but 68 per cent still say they constitute infidelity and 79 per cent believe social media sites make it easier for people to cheat on their partners.

This may explain why over half of the sample think it is acceptable, when married, to have complete access to a partners social media accounts.

If they found out their partner was having an online relationship (by this we mean having romantic involvement without real life interaction) with someone they had never met in real life, the majority of respondents claim they would get angry and confront/talk to their partner about it - however 15 per cent would want a divorce.

Irrespective of this, 93 per cent claim they trust their partner when they are online but when asked if they have ever checked their partner’s emails/social media accounts, 28 per cent admit they have. This highlights the fact some respondents may say they trust their partners but still feel the need to check their online accounts. – Reuters




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