Owners of financial-based dating websites like SeekingArrangement.com and WhatsYourPrice.com claim the current government shutdown is responsible for its recent boost in membership. The former site, which links wealthy older singles with attractive younger ones, reported a 50% increase in average daily sign-ups since the government shutdown began.
Those working at the site were surprised by the massive amounts of sign-ups, which they claimed were unusual for the time of year. “We usually have a lull in September and October. For us to peak at the end of the month in September, and this week in general, it makes no sense for us to have a growth like this,” Jennifer Gwynn, public relations manager for Seeking Arrangement, told NPR.
The seemingly nonsensical jump in users has now been associated with the government shutdown.
Gwynn elaborated on her theory. “Half of the new members are single moms, so we’re thinking that it’s tied directly to the government shutdown, since programs like WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), that help more than 9 million moms, have been stalled. It would make no sense for growth otherwise,” she said.
While the connection between the government shutdown and the site’s rise in membership may seem like a stretch, Gwynn claimed that the spike in sign-ups only began following last Sunday, the first day of the shutdown. She also explained that bad economic times typically lead people to sites such as SeekingArrangement, in which users can potentially be linked with a wealthy romantic counterpart.
WhatsYourPrice, a site in which users bid money in order to determine who gets to take willing, cash-earning participants out on a date, also claims that they’ve received a significant jump in membership for the time of year, although company spokesperson Angela Jacob Bermudo claims the data is not as high as that of Seeking Arrangement.
As the government shutdown continues, the best some can hope for is to find true love (or at least a little bit of extra cash).