The typical median online dating site user is 38 years old, while the typical median dating app user is 29 years old—nearly a decade younger. Although the proportion of Americans who say that they personally use online dating has not changed dramatically since , familiarity with online dating through others i.
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Overall, college graduates and those with relatively high household incomes are especially likely to know someone who uses online dating sites or apps. However, every major demographic group is now significantly more likely to respond in the affirmative to this question than was the case when we first asked it in Similarly, college graduates and the relatively affluent are especially likely to say that they know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating—and once again, nearly every major demographic group is more likely to know someone who has done this compared with eight years ago.
Although a majority of Americans agree with two positive statements about online dating, a sizeable minority agree with two statements casting online dating or the people who use online dating in a more negative light.
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Nonetheless, attitudes towards online dating have progressed in a clearly positive direction in the eight years since our previous study:. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who have used online dating themselves have positive views about the process compared with the overall population. Yet even some online daters seem to find both the process itself—and the individuals they encounter on these sites—distasteful.
Each of these is discussed in greater detail in the section that follows. The relatively small number of online daters in our survey makes it impossible to conduct a detailed demographic analysis of these questions.
However, our sample size is sufficient to compare men and women, and any statistically significant gender differences are noted where appropriate. Two-thirds of online daters have gone on a date through these sites, and one quarter have used them to find a marriage or long-term relationship. Compared with eight years ago, online daters in are much more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites. Male and female online daters are equally likely to have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app.
Male and female online daters are equally likely to translate their experiences with online dating into a long-term relationship. Substantial numbers of online daters use paid dating sites, or use sites for people with shared interests or backgrounds.
There are no differences between male and female online daters on any of these behaviors. Although significant numbers of online daters are meeting potential dates and new partners, negative experiences can and do occur. We asked about two specific experiences and found that:.
Men and women are equally likely to say that they have encountered others misrepresenting themselves in their profile, but women are much more likely to have experienced uncomfortable or bothersome contact via online dating sites or apps. In addition to asking about the specifically negative experiences discussed above, we also asked about two other possible experiences that people might have with online dating and found that:. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.
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It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. We believe relationships should begin with respect and equality.
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