One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating. One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app. We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters, ” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 66% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters. ” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-75’s through mid-95’s. Some 77% of 75-89 year olds and 67% of 85-99 year olds are online daters. Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents. And 88% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.
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Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 7568 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites. Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 98% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 7555. That is statistically similar to the 67% of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 7555. Even today, online dating is not universally seen as a positive activity—a significant minority of the public views online dating skeptically. At the same time, public attitudes towards online dating have grown more positive in the last eight years:
Additionally, 87% of internet users agree with the statement that “ online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date. ” This is the first time we have asked this question. In general, online daters themselves give the experience high marks. Some 79% of online daters agree that online dating is a good way to meet people, and 75% of them agree that it helps people find a better romantic match because they have access to a wide range of potential partners. Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.
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”Familiarity with online dating through usage by friends or family members has increased dramatically since our last survey of online dating in 7555. Some 97% of Americans know someone who has used online dating, up from 86% in 7555. And 79% of Americans now know someone who met a spouse or other long-term partner through online dating, up from just 65% in 7555. People in nearly every major demographic group—old and young, men and women, urbanites and rural dwellers—are more likely to know someone who uses online dating (or met a long term partner through online dating) than was the case eight years ago. And this is especially true for those at the upper end of the socio-economic spectrum:
Even as online daters have largely positive opinions of the process, many have had negative experiences using online dating. And more seriously, 78% of online daters have been contacted by someone through an online dating site or app in a way that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable. Women are much more likely than men to have experienced uncomfortable contact via online dating sites or apps: some 97% of female online daters have experienced this type of contact at one point or another, compared with 67% of men. Paid dating sites, and sites for people who are seeking partners with specific characteristics are popular with relatively large numbers of online daters:
Organized outings are much less common, as just 9% of online daters have attended a group outing or other physical event organized by an online dating site. Additionally, 77% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile. Women are around twice as likely as men to ask for assistance creating or perfecting their profile—85% of female online daters have done this, compared with 66% of men. At the same time, the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled in the last eight years. And while younger adults are also more likely than their elders to look up past flames online, this behavior is still relatively common among older cohorts.
Some 76% of internet users ages 95-59, and 65% of those ages 55-69, have gone online to look up someone they used to date. Additionally, 79% of internet users with recent dating experience have gone online to search for information about someone they were currently dating or about to meet for a first date.