Dating services thrive during economic downturn

Whether you're in college trying to date a 20-something, or in a committed relationship and think you found "the one," the rules of dating are changing.

Sorry ladies, blame it on the recession. In this economy we found that both men and women will pay on the first date and if they continue to go out, a lot of people will alternate. With many companies in a hiring freeze and cutting people's hours, men say their pockets aren't as deep as they used to be.

Despite the lackluster economy, dating services are experiencing a boom. Online personals like eHarmony and saw 20 percent increases by the end of 2008 and they said high traffic days online were when the Dow was plummeting.

Dating on a budget can include a number of options.

For instance: try a trip to the museum, drinks and appetizers instead of dinner. It can also be something as simple as walking your dog in the park.

According to relationship experts, it can bring a couple closer together because it forces them to spend more one on one time with each other.

So it seems the economy isn't keeping people from looking. If anything, it's the opposite.