Romantic Relationships Benefit Single Parents and Their Kids, Study Finds

PASADENA, Calif.--()--A new survey by eHarmony, conducted by Opinion Research Corp., finds that roughly half of single parents believe they (51 percent) and their kids (47 percent) are better off emotionally when the parent is in a committed relationship. Yet, more than two in five parents who acknowledge the emotional benefits of being in a relationship are not even dating.

“Single parents often get caught up in the daily stresses of earning a living and raising kids, which makes it harder to focus on themselves and their own longer-term well-being,” said eHarmony’s relationship expert and senior research scientist, Dr. Gian Gonzaga. “Kids certainly factor into a parent’s romantic decisions, but they’re not the only force that parents consider when seeking a new romance.”

The eHarmony survey asked single parents who are not currently dating about their motivations for dating again:

  • 87 percent said to have fun
  • 80 percent said for companionship
  • 61 percent said to have a mother or father figure in their child’s life
  • 60 percent said to share parenting duties
  • 37 percent said to appease their kids

While not a primary motivation for dating again, children are also not considered a major inhibitor, the study found. Single parents were asked about the dating and relationship challenges they face. Some of the challenges they reported included:

  • Finding the time to date (74 percent)
  • Getting back into the dating world (69 percent)
  • Finding the money to date (42 percent)
  • Finding a babysitter so they can go on dates (37 percent)
  • Telling a new love interest that they have a child (22 percent)

“What many single parents may not realize is that they are in a much better position now to have a great shot at finding a second chance at love,” Gonzaga said. He noted that single parents often have the advantages of greater self-awareness and more-focused priorities.

“People who are coming back to dating often have few outlets to find a new romance. But online dating has given people an easy and safe place to find prospective partners. eHarmony gets to know each member’s values, attitudes, personality traits and interests, and then matches singles based on those criteria,” Gonzaga said.

He also noted eHarmony’s track record in matching people together for happy long-term relationships, citing a Harris Interactive study that found, on an average day in the United States, 236 eHarmony members get married to someone with whom they were matched on the site.

eHarmony also offers free resources for single parents who want tips and advice about getting back into the dating pool: and

Survey Methodology

The eHarmony single parents survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation’s computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 252 self-identifying single parents age 18 years of age and older. Interviewing for this survey was completed from April 28- May 4, 2009. The margin of error was 6%.

About eHarmony

Pasadena, Calif.-based eHarmony, Inc. ( was founded in 2000 and is a pioneer in using relationship science to match singles seeking long-term relationships. Its services, available in the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom, present users with compatible matches based on key dimensions of personality that are scientifically proven to predict highly successful long-term relationships. eHarmony, Inc. also operates a network of dating and relationship, wedding planning and parenting websites that give people resources and support to make better decisions at important times in their lives.


Becky Teraoka, 626.795.4814


Becky Teraoka, 626.795.4814