Is online dating worth it? (2023)

The search for love in the digital age is pretty daunting. If you've heard stories from your friends about their bad dates, it's reasonable to reach out to appscarefully. but the sameon line datingIt might encourage some weirdly bad experiences, but there are also a lot of benefits. Many of us know couples who are so perfect that it's almost impossible to believe they met on opposite sides of a screen.

When it comes down to it, does online dating really work? While you might worry that it's not a good idea (or even a waste of time), like all love affairs, it has its pros and cons. We decided to take the issue to a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship professional.Lisa-Marie Bobby, Ph.D., on the growth of self-advice and coaching.

meet the expert

Lisa Marie Bobby, Ph.D., is a marriage and family therapist with over 15 years of experience. She is the founder and clinical director ofIncrease self-advice and coaching, the award-winning author ofExaholics, and the host oflove, happiness and successPodcast.

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Dating apps can lead to superficiality and ghosting, but they also have many positive aspects. "Although online dating has some disadvantages compared to dating in real life, the volume of opportunities is much greater," says Bobby. “It increases the chances ofmeet someoneare you really compatible with ".

So let's get over our fears and put the internet to the test. Keep reading for expert advice on how online dating really works.

best dating apps

What the research says about dating apps

Research shows that online dating is on the rise. A Pew Research Center study conducted in October 2019 found that 30% of Americans have used online dating, up from just 11% in 2013.Of these, 12 percent haveto marryor were in a serious relationship with someone they met through online dating, a notable increase from just 3% in 2013.

Online dating seems to be a convenient way for most people to meet. According to the study, around 60 percent of participants had positive experiences with dating platforms. Many people are able to find romantic partners online, whether they are looking for something casual or long term. Overall, most participants found it relatively easy to find potentially compatible partners in terms of those they found attractive or with whom they shared hobbies and interests.

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However, research shows that online dating has negative side effects, especially for young women. According to the survey, 60 percent of women aged 18 to 34 say someone on a dating app or site continued to contact them after they said they weren't interested, while roughly the same percentage of women in that age group said who had not solicited sex using explicit images or messages.

Bobby says that the reason for many of the negative aspects of online dating could be the lack of what she calls a "common community". "Going online through online dating is much more like meeting a virtual stranger and having to make meaningful connections with little real-world experience," he says. "Furthermore, the lack of community or shared relationships makes it easier to be ghostly or reckless without worrying about the consequences to your reputation or well-being in your community."

How to make the most of online dating

Before downloading an app or two and creating your profile, Bobby recommends doing a little soul-searching. The last thing you want to do is hang out with people online, strike up a conversation, and realize you have no idea what you want in a partner or relationship.

"Spend time and energy realizing who you are and what you really want in a relationship and thinking about who your ideal partner is," says Bobby. "Also think about what your ideal partner is looking for in a potential partner and how you can authentically connect with them."

It's also important to do some research on the app you're planning to download and how it works. Then spend some time and energy on your profile. Choose images and messages that show who you are, what you like and how you present yourself to the world. If it's clear that you haven't put any thought or effort into your profile, potential partners might assume that you'll take the same approach in a relationship.

Once you've created your profile, don't expect to find "the right person" right away and be prepared to spend a lot of time looking for potential partners. But since we don't have all the time in the world to steal, it's crucial to have a system in place for weeding out those you can't stand. "Develop a process that helps you cut through the confusion and find out who someone really is as quickly as possible," she says. "A five-minute phone call usually tells you everything you need to know."

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sácalowrite smsfor a phone or video call as soon as possible to get a better sense of mutual interest and compatibility. Even if you feel uncomfortable, it can save you a lot of time and disappointment.

What to Avoid When Using Dating Apps

Chances are if you've been involved in online dating, you have some bad dating stories. Often, the cause of these negative experiences is that your expectations do not correspond to reality. Bobby says that while online dating does require some "marketing savvy" and the ability to essentially sell yourself online, you shouldn't sacrifice truth to look what you deem "best."

"Never misrepresent yourself or try to make yourself look like something you're not," she says. "You can have interactions online, but they quickly fade if you're different from what your potential partner expected." will not like or accept on your profile. Be authentic and you will attract people with similar values.

On the other hand, avoid falling victim to someone you suspect is fraudulent in their profile when you realize flags. Not everyone has social networks or updates them regularly, but most people who do will be happy to share their profiles with you if asked. And most of the time, if someone is genuinely interested, they'll call or video chat with you before the meeting, even if they feel a little awkward. Going on a "cold" date with someone you're not sure about can end up being a waste of time and a disappointment.

Finally, if you're going to get that date or that first date, it's important that you and your potential partner feel some chemistry, but don't rely entirely on it. "When evaluating potential partners, don't make the mistake of putting 'chemistry' before character," says Bobby. Too much wit and charm can send butterflies in your stomach, but it can also be a sign that the person is a "player" or even a narcissist.

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Look for depth, emotional intelligence, empathy, friendliness, value matching, and psychological flexibility when along term relationshipis your goal

How likely are you to find "The One" online?

Ahealthy relationshipIt's totally possible whether you're meeting people in person or online, but the two methods differ for a number of reasons. The fact is, there are positives to meeting IRL. When two people meet naturally, it's probably because they already have something in common, like friends or hobbies. "That natural convergence of circumstances, relationships or interests is a force for a new relationship," says Bobby. "They offer a potential partner more opportunities for authentic connection, as well as more social pressure to treat each other decently, even if they don't make a good match in the end."

But that doesn't mean that online dating can't be just as successful. Since everyone is available on a dating site (presumably), you have plenty of opportunities to introduce yourself and find a good match. If you attend social events where you are likely to meet new people, the number of singles looking will be much smaller than on a dating app or site where everyone is in the same boat as you.

"Singles looking for a relationship are looking for connections online," says Bobby. "This reality means there's a high chance of finding 'the one' because they're in the same place and looking for you too!" Being upfront about what you want further increases your chances of finding a good match.

Regardless of your intentions, there seems to be something for everyone when it comes to online dating, just be clear about your expectations. Embrace new experiences, learn a little about yourself, and don't forget to have fun. You might even find your dream partner.

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6 basic rules for dating


What is the success rate of online dating? ›

7. Over 13% of Online Dating Users Got Engaged or Married From a Dating Platform. Only 13% of users got engaged or married from meeting someone on a dating site, though. Meanwhile, 23.7% claim that they've never had more than a date or two.

What are disadvantages of online dating? ›

However, some of the drawbacks to dating online include the time, effort, lack of success, unwanted sexual messages, and the risk of people misrepresenting themselves.

Is dating in real life better than online? ›

Comfortable and mutual friends

Real life feels more natural and comfortable compared to online dating. Also, in real life dating, you can be introduced to someone by a friend and you won't have to feel awkwardly weird texting someone in a dating app that you even aren't sure if their profile is real or not.

What is the risk of online dating? ›

What are the risks? Online internet dating has become a serious problem, with people exposing themselves to the risks of fraud scams, stalking and sexual abuse.

What percentage of men date online? ›

According to a survey of adults in the U.S. using online dating services, 59 percent of women and 50 percent of men have used dating apps and websites to find an exclusive romantic partner.

What age group uses online dating the most? ›

18 to 29 years

What should you not talk about online dating? ›

Don't tell stories of past relationships that didn't work, financial struggles, family problems, illnesses, or other tough topics. Save that for after you've met in person at least once.

What causes a person to try online dating? ›

Here are some more reasons for you to give online dating a shot. You have hundreds and thousands of people at the tip of your fingertips. You can meet as many people as you want from the comfort of your home. It introduces you to people who you wouldn't generally meet in real life.

Is online dating stressful? ›

It's reported that dating app users face three times the amount of stress compared to non-users. With online dating, you miss that personal connection during a first impression and many view dating apps as being based on physical attraction. This can lead to comparing yourself to others and increased self judgement.

Do normal people use online dating? ›

Online dating is more common among younger adults than among older people. About half of those under 30 (53%) report having ever used a dating site or app, compared with 37% of those ages 30 to 49, 20% of those 50 to 64 and 13% of those 65 and older.

Where do most couples meet? ›

Introductions through family or friends are the most common way people meet a partner, but meeting partners online is common among some groups. Looking at adults whose dating days are behind them – at least for the time being – friends and family were the most common source in helping them find a match.

What is the most popular online dating? ›

  • Match. Best for Long-Term Relationships. Jump To. ...
  • Tinder. Best for Casual Dating. Jump To. ...
  • Kippo. Best for Gamers. Jump To. ...
  • Bumble. Best for Woman-First Dating. Jump To. ...
  • Clover Dating App. Best for Community Socializing. ...
  • Hinge. Best for Beautiful Profiles. ...
  • OkCupid. Best for Thoughtful Questions. ...
  • eharmony. Best for Test Takers.

Is online dating a red flag? ›

Online Dating Red Flags

It is important to get to know the person, not the profile. If the person you matched with sends you sexually-explicit pictures without your consent, this is a clear red flag. Another red flag is if they ask you to send sexually-explicit pictures right away.

Why does online dating have a bad reputation? ›

One of the biggest user concerns is sexual violence that can occur when users meet up in person. Even though there is an uptick of female dating-app users taking precautions such as charging their phones, or informing family and friends of their plans, daters remain vulnerable to sexual violence.

What is the safest dating website? ›

Here's a list of totally safe dating sites and apps where single people can meet one another and build real friendships and relationships.
  • Match. Browse Free » ...
  • EliteSingles. Browse Free » ...
  • eharmony. Browse Free » ...
  • Zoosk. Browse Free » ...
  • SilverSingles. Browse Free » ...
  • ChristianMingle. Browse Free » ...
  • ...
  • BlackPeopleMeet.
Jan 26, 2023

Which dating site has the highest success rate? ›

What Dating Site Has The Highest Success Rate? eHarmony is a dating site that has the highest success rate. For people looking to build a serious relationship, it's reassuring to know that this dating site has seen more than 2 million users find love on its platform.

How soon should you meet an online date? ›

It's better to meet up sooner rather than later, says dating expert for Match Hayley Quinn. One to two weeks is the optimum about of time, according to Quinn, as it gives you time to get to know them, but not too much time that you overthink or the spark fizzles.

How many people meet their spouse through online dating? ›

The Knot 2021 Jewelry & Engagement study found that one in four couples meet online, which means the other 75% meet in real life, such as through mutual friends, at weddings, in school, or at bars and restaurants, among other places.

What age range is Bumble for? ›

To become a member of Bumble, you'll need to be 18 years of age or older. If you're not yet 18, we'll happily welcome you to the Hive when you're old enough. If you're 18 years of age or older and your profile has been blocked for being underage, reach out to our Support team here so they can help fix that for you!

What is the male to female ratio on Tinder? ›

Tinder has a gender imbalance, with 75% of users identifying as male. In some countries, such as India, the male to female disparity is even larger, while in Europe it is closer to 50/50.

What percentage of people meet through online dating? ›

Dating goals

According to a 2019 study, almost half of U.S. online users had met or know someone who had met a romantic partner via a dating website or app. By the end of that year, around 77 percent of adult online users reported having gone on a date with someone they had met online.

How do you tell if a guy you met online is a player? ›

How to Spot a Player (Online and Off)
  1. He comes on strong. ...
  2. He says he's “open” to a relationship. ...
  3. He makes sex jokes early. ...
  4. He only texts you late at night. ...
  5. He doesn't ask personal questions. ...
  6. He asks for sexy pics. ...
  7. He gives over-the-top compliments. ...
  8. He won't introduce you to his friends.
May 31, 2018

How many people should you talk to at a time on a dating app? ›

What's the sweet spot when it comes to the number of folks someone can create a meaningful connection with? According to one dating app expert, it's three.

When should you sleep with a guy you met online? ›

The simple answer is - when you're ready and you want to. That tends to be early on in the piece for me (2nd date for current relationship of 3+ years) because that first sexual encounter is about meeting MY own needs and curiosity.

Does online dating make it harder to find the one? ›

Digital dating is now the second most common way that couples get together, after meeting through friends. But there are certain properties of online dating that actually work against love-seekers, the researchers found, making it no more effective than traditional dating for finding a happy relationship.

What is the dark side of dating apps? ›

Users, especially women, have for long complained about the proliferation of fake profiles, the abusive and creepy behaviour encountered on these platforms, the many scams, and the general bad behaviour, and sometimes even assault, when they go out on dates.

What is dating fatigue? ›

Simply put, dating fatigue is a burned out emotional state in which you feel disillusioned, unmotivated, and completely over the whole “searching for the one” journey. “It might feel like no matter what you do, dating leads nowhere,” says relationship psychologist Dr. Cheryl Fraser.

How long should you stay online dating? ›

Three weeks is the sweet spot for switching from online to offline. Studies show you have the best chances of happiness if you talk to someone online for about 3 weeks before you meet in person. Wait any longer, and reality might not match your expectations, leading to disappointment.

What percentage of online dating profiles are fake? ›

Some sites estimate that as many as 10% of dating profiles are fake. That means that for every 10 people you see on a dating site, one of them is likely not even a real person.

What is the percentage of finding love online? ›


While your best chance at finding love is through a friend-which is how 63% of married couples say they met their partner-you still only have a 17% chance that you will like the person you're set up with.

Has anyone had success with online dating? ›

Yes, they really do. Many people happily find love on apps after turning 40. A 2020 Pew report found nearly one in five adults between ages 30 to 49 have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they met on a dating app or site.

How many online relationships actually work out? ›

Some 12% of adults say they have married or entered into a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app.


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3. Why Dating Apps Don't Work For Many Men (The Truth)
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4. How to stop swiping and find your person on dating apps | Christina Wallace
5. I tried online dating for 2 years (And this is what happened)
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6. Is Online Dating Worth It?
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