Analysis of online dating sites

These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.

One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app.

Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.

Around one in ten online daters (13%) agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” and 29% agree that online dating “keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” Familiarity with online dating through usage by friends or family members has increased dramatically since our last survey of online dating in 2005.

Compared with when we conducted our first study of dating and relationships in 2005, many more Americans are using online tools to check up on people they used to date, and to flirt with potential (or current) love interests: Young adults are especially likely to flirt online—47% of internet users ages 18-24 have done this before, as have 40% of those ages 25-34.

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 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters.

Additionally, 22% 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—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.

Some 42% of Americans know someone who has used online dating, up from 31% in 2005.

And 29% of Americans now know someone who met a spouse or other long-term partner through online dating, up from just 15% in 2005.

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