Although online dating is forsaking its stigma as being a haven for the desperate, adults who use dating sites and mobile applications to find love are still in the minority, according to a new study.
The study, released by the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan organization, found that 38 percent of Americans who are “single and looking” say they’ve used an online dating site or mobile app. The report is the first of its kind to note the growing significance of the use of mobile dating applications, where 3 percent of all adults say they’ve used such an app on their cellphone.
In fact, the proportion of Americans who say they met their current partner online has doubled within the last eight years, where 6 percent of Internet users who are in a current marriage or committed relationship met their partner online, as opposed to 3 percent in 2005.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of Americans who are married or in a relationship say that they met their significant other offline. Only 5 percent of all committed relationships in America today began online.
The report is part of the Center’s Internet and American Life Project and was based on a telephone survey of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older, that was conducted in May.
Here are some other interesting takeaways from Pew’s Online Dating and Relationships survey:
• 11% of Internet users (representing 9% of all American adults) say that they have personally used an online dating site. As recently as 2008, just 3% of American adults had used online dating sites.
• Modern online daters are more likely to follow through with dates with people they met online than ever before. Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% in 2005.
• Familiarity with online dating through friends or family who have used dating websites has dramatically increased since 2005. Some 29% of Americans now know someone who met a spouse or other long-term partner through online dating, up from just 15% in 2005.
• Despite mostly positive experiences, many online daters report negative incidents. Half (54%) of online daters have felt thatsomeone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile, while 28% 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.
Read the full report here.