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Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.
To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.
Two thirds of online daters—66%—tell us that they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app.
That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.
Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.
5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.Although many dating sites tout the superiority of partner matching through the use of “scientific algorithms,” the authors find that there is little evidence that these algorithms can predict whether people are good matches or will have chemistry with one another.The authors’ overarching assessment of online dating sites is that scientifically, they just don’t measure up.They also have a very small pool of educated, older men, and lots more women.Therefore they often come up with no matches at all, despite the fact that women with many different personality types in that age group have joined.