Looking for Love

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For singles on the prowl, potential dates abound. In fact, 98 million Americans (46 percent of the population age 15 and older) are currently unattached and available. 1 However, single men may stand a better chance of hooking up: 54 percent of all women in the U.S. are single, compared with 46 percent of men. Many singles seem to be looking in new places, with about 22 percent taking the hunt online. 2 And it's more than a fling that they're in the mood for: Over half of singles who use online dating services (53 percent) say they have their sights set on a long-term commitment or marriage.

Once they find it, though, they may be in for a shock. An August 2001 Reader's Digest poll of 1,000 married adults found that almost 4 in 10 men (38 percent) wish they could ask their spouse to be more affectionate. Lack of trust is also an issue: 42 percent of men and 36 percent of women in the study said they had kept a secret from their spouse. Then there are the 16 percent of husbands and wives who say they've sometimes wished they could wake up one morning and suddenly not be married anymore. So much for living happily ever after.

1 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, March 2000

2 American Demographics/Harris Interactive, April 2001

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