Technology putting a damper on love? New romance report gives insight


In this digital age of iPhones, Twitter, Facebook and online dating are the traditions of courting and romancing gone for good? Or are there some that remain that aren't reduced to a measly text message?

According to Harlequin's annual Romance Report, which polled single women in the U.S. aged 18 to 40, technology may be changing the way both sexes communicate, date, and experience romance, but "there are certain values that seem to withhold the test of time."

Whether you're off the market or thrust back into it, you may learn a thing or two from Harlequin, which happens to be one of the world's leading publishers of reading entertainment for women.

So what did its Romance Report find?

Sorry guys - the ball is still in your court when it comes to asking out a woman.

The report found that while 91 percent of modern-day women believe dating rules have become more flexible, 59 percent of these women still expect a man to ask her out. So get cracking men!

But these forward-thinking women, who appreciate some traditions, aren't afraid of embracing their sexuality either.

Forty-three percent of all respondents admitted to "sexting." Though 65 percent of those women will only "sext" while in a serious relationship, 36 percent of casual daters admit to sending a risque message after just a few dates. Twenty-seven percent of all respondents had sent nude photos via emails or text messages. So wearing your Birthday suit isn't just for Valentine's Day after all!

Harlequin's senior PR manager, Michelle Renaud, reiterates that women consider themselves more independent and powerful than ever before - yet the report finds that many of the traditional beliefs about romance, dating and relationships still persist.

"Additionally, we are seeing new challenges as women are managing their image on a digital level," she points out. "There is a real need to curate an online persona as much as a real-life presence in an extremely connected society."

What other traditional charms do women look for in a man?

Women love a man that can make her laugh. A sense of humor came in at 82 percent and a killer smile at 57 percent, making the two remain as the most popular "turn-ons" for women. In addition to the belief that men should ask women out, 54 percent still want men to hold the door for them, and 51 percent believe men should pay for the first date.

What does this mean for the state of marriage?

Marriage is still in demand. Fifty-six percent of the respondents reported that they feel pressure to be married or in a committed relationship. As if there's not enough pressure out there!