Online dating services and chatrooms have become the most popular way for gay people to get a date – no less than 87 per cent of gay men and 58 per cent of gay women claim to have used them over the last 12 months.
Yet research suggests that the right match remains elusive in Britain’s gay community: over the same period only 18 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women have had a serious relationship.
A major move towards redressing the balance is the launch of gay-parship.co.uk the UK’s first online dating service geared specifically to gay men and gay women who are looking for a serious relationship. The secret lies in the scientifically researched psychometric test that is the basis for the service’s matching process.
According to the study, commissioned to mark the launch of gay-parship.co.uk, 47 per cent of gay men and 41 per cent of gay women are actively looking for a serious long-term relationship. Just 16 per cent and 18 per cent respectively are looking for a series of casual flings.
They are working hard at meeting someone. Over the past 12 months 71 per cent of gay men and women have visited a chatroom or registered with an online dating site, while 47 per cent have placed or responded to a personal ad and 12 per cent had joined a more traditional dating agency. But all this activity hides an undercurrent of pessimism: when questioned further, two thirds of people who are looking for something more serious – that’s 72 per cent of gay men and 59 per cent of gay women – said they often doubted they would ever find someone.
So what’s what’s holding the gay community back from finding someone special?
Nearly a third (29 per cent) of gay men and women admitted that high standards and excessive expectations were proving a barrier, while a further 32 per cent claimed they just didn’t attract the right people. But the biggest barrier to meeting someone is shyness, cited by 42 per cent of gay men and 29 per cent of women. In general 87 per cent said they like to flirt, but fear of rejection prevented them from making the first move. 32 per cent had trust issues, having been hurt in a previous relationship and 21 per cent put it down to work-life balance with a pressured career leaving little time for the pursuit of love.
Dr Victoria Lukats, psychiatrist and dating and relationship expert for Pasship, the established and fast-growing dating brand behind gay-parship.co.uk, commented:
“Our research finally dispels flawed stereotypical assumptions that gay men and women are less likely to want to form a serious relationship. Until now, the gay online dating services haven’t catered for those looking for a more serious relationship.”
Unlike other online dating services, which tend to encourage users to select dates largely on the basis of photos, self-descriptions and potential sexual attraction, gay-PARSHIP’s heart lies in a unique psychometric compatibility test. It is the key to a methodology which ensures that the service’s members are only matched with people who could be genuinely right for them.
gay-PARSHIP.co.uk and its established heterosexual counterpart, parship.co.uk, help British singles avoid the trauma of trying to find that needle in the haystack. The service’s proprietary psychometric compatibility test was developed by a team of leading scientists and psychologists in Hamburg, working with the results of 40 years of research and 80,000 personality profiles. The test evaluates the characteristics, values and interests which determine the dynamics of a relationship. When an individual is matched with someone who has the right balance of similar and complementary characteristics, the outcome is likely to be a lasting relationship.
Comprising 80 questions, the Parship, test is free of charge to all gay-parship.co.uk members and takes around 20 minutes to complete. The results provide a fascinating insight into the subject’s personality and form the core of the personal profile for each member of the service. Immediately the test is completed, the new member is presented with a selection of potential partners, each assigned a compatibility score determined by the psychometric test. The member then chooses which potential partners he or she would like to contact, and uses PARSHIP’s secure, anonymous system to initiate and sustain online communication.
Dr Victoria Lukats, explains how the scientific matching works: “gay-parship’s psychometric test follows many of the principles of the personality tests now used by many large companies to screen potential employees, but its focus is on the personality traits, attitudes, lifestyle habits and interests which are believed to determine compatibility in relationships. By answering a series of simple questions, it is possible to build up an accurate profile by quantifying these various attributes. Other members from the database who would make a compatible match can then be identified.”
“Generally speaking it’s similarity that provides the basis for a successful match but there are some areas where too much similarity can lead to a clash (for example, two extremely assertive people). Parship takes these all these factors into consideration when matching members.”
Founded in 2001, PARSHIP, is Europe’s largest scientific dating service, and currently welcomes over 2.2 million members, having tripled its membership in the last 12 months. Building on the success of its UK service for heterosexuals, launched in June 2005, PARSHIP is now offering single gay people in the UK the opportunity of meeting potential partners and dramatically increasing their chances of establishing that longed-for long-lasting relationship – all through the appliance of science.
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