How did we do it
The Pew Research Center has long studied the changing nature of romantic relationships and the role of digital technology in the way people find potential matches and navigate web-based dating platforms. This specific report focuses on patterns, experiences, and attitudes toward online dating in the United States. These findings are based on aOpinion pollConducted October 16-28, 2019 among 4,860 US adults. This includes those who participated as members of the Pew Research Center.American Trends Board(ATP), an online survey panel recruited through a national random sampling of households, and Ipsos KnowledgePanel respondents who indicated they identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). The sampling error range for the full sample is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.
Recruiting ATP panel members by phone or email ensures that nearly every adult American has a chance to be selected. This gives us confidence that any given sample can represent the entire US adult population (see ourMethods 101random sampling explainer). To continue to ensure that each ATP poll reflects a balanced cross-section of the nation, the data is weighted to reflect the adult US population by gender, race, ethnicity, party affiliation, education, and other categories.
See the report for more information.methodologyAbout the project. It also includes questions asked and responses from the public.top line.
Vonpersonal adswhich began to appear in publications around 1700VCR dating servicesDating back decades, dating platforms have evolved throughout history. This trend continued with the rise of online dating sites and mobile apps.
Today, three in 10 American adults say they have used an online dating site or app, including 11% who have done so in the past year, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted March 16-28. of 2019. . For some Americans, these platforms have been instrumental in making meaningful connections: 12% say they have married or been in a serious relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app. Overall, about a quarter of Americans (23%) say they have dated someone they met through a dating website or app.
Previous Pew Research Center studies of online dating show that the proportion of Americans who have used these platforms, as well as the proportion who have found a spouse or partner through them, has increased over time. In 2013, 11% of American adults said they had used a dating site or app, while only 3% said they had entered into a long-term relationship or married someone they met through dating. online. It is important to note that there are some changes in the wording of the questions between the Center's 2013 and 2019 surveys, as well as differences in the way these surveys were answered.1Still, it's clear that websites and mobile apps are playing a bigger role in the dating environment than in years past.2
Recent research shows that online dating is particularly popular among certain groups, particularly young adults and those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). Nearly half or more of 18-29 year olds (48%) and LGB adults (55%) say they have used a dating site or app, while around 20% of each group say they are married or have had a relationship. relationship with someone They met through those platforms. Americans who have used online dating offer a mixed view of their time on these platforms.
On a broad level, online dating users tend to describe their overall experience on these platforms positively rather than negatively. Additionally, most online daters say that it has been at least somewhat easy for them to meet other people they find physically attractive, who share common interests with, or who are similar to someone they would like to meet in person. But users also share some of the disadvantages of online dating. Approximately seven in ten online daters believe that it is very common for those who use these platforms to lie to appear more desirable. And by a wide margin, Americans who have used a dating site or app in the past year say the experience left them more frustrated (45%) than hopeful (28%).
Other incidents show how dating websites or apps can become a venue for bullying or bullying, especially for women under 35. photo they didn't ask for.
Online dating has not only disrupted more traditional ways of finding romantic partners, but its rise comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation are also changing, as more people delay or choose to marry to remain single.
These changing realities have sparked a broader debate about the impact of online dating on romantic relationships in America. On the one hand, somelightness and efficiencyOpportunities to use these platforms to search for dates, as well as the site's ability to expand users' dating options beyond their traditional social circles. Others offer a less flattering narrative about online dating, from concerns aboutfraud or harassmentto the belief that these platforms facilitate superficial rather than meaningful relationships. This survey shows that the public is somewhat ambivalent about the overall impact of online dating. Half of Americans believe that dating websites and apps have had neither a positive nor a negative impact on dating and relationships, while a smaller proportion think their impact has been mostly positive (22%) or mostly negative (26%).
In this report, "online dating user" and "online partner" are used interchangeably to refer to the 30% of respondents to this survey who responded in the affirmative to the following question: "Have you ever owned a website or company?" online dating app?
These results come from a nationally representative survey of 4,860 American adults conducted online October 16-28, 2019 using the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel. The following are some of the most important findings.
Younger adults, as well as those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, are particularly likely to use online dating sites or apps.
About 30% of Americans say they have used an online dating site or app. Of those who have used these platforms, 18% say they currently use them, while another 17% say they do not use them but have used them in the last year.
The online dating experience varies significantly by age. While 48% of 18-29 year olds say they have used a dating website or app, the figure is 38% for 30-49 year olds and even lower for people over 50 years. Still, online dating isn't entirely foreign to people in their 50s or 60s: 19% of adults 50-64 say they've used a dating website or app.
In addition to age, there are also clear differences according to sexual orientation.3LGB adults are about twice as likely as straight adults to say they have used a dating website or app (55% vs. 28%).4And in a pattern consistent with the abovePew Research Center research, college graduates and those with some college experience are more likely than those with a high school degree or less to say they've dated online.
There are only slight differences between men and women in their use of dating sites or apps, while white, black, or Hispanic adults are just as likely to say they have used these platforms.
At the same time, a small proportion of American adults report that they have found a partner through online dating sites. About 12% of adults say they have married or started a serious relationship with someone they met through a dating website or app. This also follows a similar pattern to common usage, with adults under 50, LGB, or those with a higher level of education being more likely to report finding a spouse or engaged partner through these platforms.
Most online daters say they have found it at least somewhat easy to find others they are physically attracted to or share interests with on dating sites or apps.
Online dating users tend to describe their overall experience of dating sites or apps positively rather than negatively. Approximately 57% of Americans who have used a dating site or app say their own personal experiences with those platforms have been very or fairly positive. Still, about four in ten online daters (42%) describe their personal experience with dating sites or apps as at least somewhat negative.
For the most part, different demographic groups tend to view their online dating experiences in similar ways. But there are some notable exceptions. Online partners with college degrees, for example, are much more likely than those with a high school diploma or less to say their own personal experiences with dating sites or apps are very or fairly positive (63% vs. 47% ).
At the same time, 71% of online partners report that it was at least somewhat easy to find people they found physically attractive on dating sites or apps, while around two-thirds say it was easy to find people who enjoyed their hobbies or interests. or appeared to someone you would like to meet in person.
While most different demographics find their search easy rather than difficult, there are some differences by gender. Among online daters, women are more likely than men to say that finding people they are physically attracted to has been at least somewhat difficult (36% vs. 21%), while men are more more likely than women to say they have found it difficult to find others who share their hobbies and interests (41% vs. 30%).
Men who have dated online in the last five years are more likely than women to feel that they haven't received enough messages from other users.
When asked if they received too many, too few, or the right number of messages on dating sites or apps, 43% of Americans who have dated online in the past five years said they did not receive enough messages. while 17% say they received too many messages. Another 40% think that the number of messages they received was correct.
There are significant gender disparities in the amount of attention online daters receive on dating sites or apps. Men who have dated online in the past five years are much more likely than women to feel they haven't received enough messages (57% vs. 24%). On the other hand, women who have dated online during this period are five times more likely than men to think they have received too many messages (30% vs. 6%).
The survey also asked for online data about their experiences receiving messages.of the people they were interested in.In a similar pattern, these users are more likely to report receiving too few messages than too many messages (54% vs. 13%). And while gender differences persist, they are much less pronounced. For example, 61% of men who have dated online in the last five years say they haven't received enough messages from the people they're interested in, compared to 44% of women who say so.
Approximately seven in ten online daters think that people lie to appear more desirable, which is very common on online dating platforms.
Online daters widely believe that dishonesty is a common problem on these platforms. A clear majority of online daters (71%) say that people on these platforms often lie about themselves to appear more desirable, while another 25% think this is commonplace. Only 3% of online daters think this is not common on dating platforms.
Smaller but still significant fractions of online data believe that people creating fake accounts to scam others (50%) or people receiving unsolicited sexually explicit messages or images (48%) are very common on the sites and dating apps. love affair On the other hand, online daters are less likely to think about harassment or bullying, and data breaches such as data breaches or identity theft are very common on these platforms.
Some users, especially young women, report being subjected to rude or harassing behavior on these platforms.
Some experts claim that theOpen character of online dating.— that is, the fact that many users are strangers to each other — has created a less civilized dating environment and therefore makes it more difficult to hold people accountable for their behavior. This study concludes that a significant part of the online data was exposed to some type of bullying measured in this study.
About three in 10 or more online dating users say someone has continued to contact them through a dating site or app after saying they weren't interested (37%), sending a message, or making a sexual message explicit with images of things they did not have. ask for (35%) or use offensive names (28%). Fewer online daters say someone has threatened to physically harm them through a dating site or app.
Younger women are particularly prone to encountering any of these behaviors. Six in 10 online dating users aged 18-34 say someone has continued to contact them through a dating site or app after saying they weren't interested, while 57% report another user sent them a message or a sexually explicit image that you do not. task. Other negative interactions are more violent: 19% of younger users say someone has threatened them with physical harm on a dating site or app, roughly double the number of men in the same age group who say so.
The likelihood of encountering such behavior on dating platforms also varies based on sexual orientation. A staggering 56% of LGB users say someone on a dating site or app has sent them an unsolicited sexually explicit message or image, compared to around a third of straight users (32%). LGB users are also more likely than straight users to say that someone on a dating site or app continues to contact them after saying they are not interested, calling them a mean name, or threatening to physically harm them.
Online dating is not universally considered a safe way to meet someone.
The creators of online dating sites and apps.sometimes i foughtwith the perception that these places could facilitate uncomfortable, or even dangerous, encounters. and although there issome advicesWhile much of the stigma surrounding these websites has diminished over time, nearly half of Americans still consider the prospect of meeting someone through a dating website unsafe.
About 53% of Americans overall (including those who have or have not previously dated online) agree that dating sites and apps are a very or reasonably safe way to meet people, while a proportion a slightly fewer (46%) believe that these platforms are not much. or an insecure way to meet people.
americans who haveNeverThose who have used a dating site or app are particularly skeptical about the safety of online dating. About half of adults who have never used dating or an app (52%) believe these platforms are not a very safe way to meet other people, compared to 29% of those who have previously dated online.
There are some groups that are particularly wary of the idea of meeting someone through dating sites. Women are more likely than men to believe that dating websites and apps are not a safe way to meet someone (53% vs. 39%).
Age and education are also associated with different attitudes towards the subject. For example, 59% of Americans 65 and older say it's not safe to meet someone this way, compared to 51% of people 50-64 and 39% of adults under 50. . they are particularly likely to say that dating sites and apps are not a safer way to meet people compared to those who have some college experience or a bachelor's or university degree. These patterns are consistent regardless of each group's personal experience with dating sites or apps.
Pluralities believe that online dating has neither helped nor hurt dating and relationships, and that relationships that start online are just as successful as those that start offline.
Americans, whether or not they have personally used online dating services, have also weighed the pros and cons of online dating. About 22% of Americans say that online dating sites and apps have had a mostly positive effect on dating and relationships, while a similar proportion (26%) believe their impact has been mostly negative. Still, the majority of adults, 50%, say that online dating has had neither a positive nor a negative impact on dating and relationships.
Respondents who said the impact of online dating was mostly positive or negative were asked to explain in their own words why they felt that way. Some of the most common reasons given by those who believe online dating has had a positive effect center around its ability to expand people's dating pools and allow people to rate someone before agreeing to meet in person. These users also believe that dating sites and apps make the dating process easier in general. On the other hand, people who say that online dating has had an overwhelmingly negative effect often cite dishonesty and the idea that users are misrepresenting themselves.
The majority also believe that whether a couple met online or in person has little to do with the success of their relationship. Just over half of Americans (54%) say that relationships where couples meet through a dating website or app are just as successful as those that start in person, with 38% saying believe those relationships are less successful, while 5% think they are more successful.
Public opinion on the impact or success of online dating differs between those who have used dating platforms and those who have not. While 29% of online dating users say that dating sites and apps have had an overwhelmingly positive effect on dating and relationships, the figure for non-users is 21%. People who have used a dating site or app are also more positive about relationships formed online. About 62% of online daters believe that relationships where people meet through a dating website or app are just as successful as those started in person, compared to 52 % of those who have never dated online.
What is the advantages of online dating? ›
Online dating is mostly a safe and convenient way to meet new comers. Most users can choose all their preferred area, which makes it practical to meet other folks via across the globe. Therefore, they can get in touch with others whom live in different parts of the world. That's the proper benefit of online dating.What are the problems with online dating? ›
- Are young people equipped to deal with risks of online dating?
- Exposure to online grooming.
- Consequences of sexting.
- Online harassment.
- Privacy concerns.
- Seeking validation from others.
- Limited social interaction.
Being in a healthy and supportive relationship can actually have a big boost on your happiness level, according to several studies. Being in love has a big effect on your oxytocin level, which promotes bonding and comfort. This is why you love being around your partner, and why just being near them can boost your mood.What are the negative effects of dating apps? ›
- Cause Stress & Anxiety. Sometimes less is more when it comes to dating. ...
- Poor Body Image. With online dating, you miss that personal connection during a first impression and many view dating apps as being based on physical attraction. ...
- Lower Self-Esteem.
Dating provides an opportunity for individuals to learn how to relate to others and experience the joys and sorrows of developing a "couple" relationship. Dating permits couples to interact in various settings, to test compatibility and to learn what tolerance and commitment are all about.How does online dating affect society? ›
Online dating has not only disrupted more traditional ways of meeting romantic partners, its rise also comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation also are changing as more people delay marriage or choose to remain single.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.Why are people so against online dating? ›
Some of the most common complaints around dating online are rejection/getting ghosted, meeting up with a date who wasn't who they claimed to be, and the superficiality of selecting people to connect with based largely on appearance.Why is online dating so stressful? ›
Time spent swiping is one of the biggest predictors of anxiety linked to dating apps. That's because the gamification model many apps use are designed to keep you on the dating platform longer, rather than to get you off of them and into whatever IRL relationship you're looking for.Is online dating a good thing or a bad thing? ›
Online dating appears to be a practical way to date for most people. According to the study, roughly 60 percent of participants have had positive experiences with dating platforms. Many people have success finding romantic partners online, whether they're looking for something casual or long term.
What are the 3 most important things in a dating? ›
- Intimacy. You may think of the sexual aspect of relationship when you hear the word intimacy, but this relational building block covers so much more. ...
- Commitment. ...
One of the main purposes of dating is for two or more people to evaluate one another's suitability as a long term companion or spouse. Often physical characteristics, personality, financial status, and other aspects of the involved persons are judged and, as a result, feelings can be hurt and confidence shaken.How does online dating affect self-esteem? ›
Online dating has been instrumental for some in forging meaningful connections, long-term relationships or even marriage. But not everyone has a positive experience. Many others say dating apps have been detrimental to their self-image. And research suggests "swiping for love" can even feed symptoms of depression.What are the dangers of dating from the world's perspective? ›
Perspectives from online daters
The risks that participants identified were risks of lies and deceit, sexual risks (including pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual violence), emotional and physical risks, and the risks of encountering dangerous and untrustworthy people online and in person.
- It builds confidence. Dating apps fluctuate your self-esteem. ...
- No awkward dates. Each time a tinder date falls short of my expectations, I end up ordering a few drinks to calm my nerves. ...
- There's less anxiety. ...
- There's less shame being single.
Called the "3-4 rule," Nobile's method requires that singles learn four key principles about their prospect by the end of the third date. Those tenets are chemistry, core values, emotional maturity, and readiness. According to Nobile, this method allows daters to assess chemistry and long-term compatibility.What are the 3 C's of dating? ›
Relationship dynamics will go up and down based on communication, compromise and commitment, the 3C's.What are the three C's dating? ›
A strong and healthy relationship is built on the three C's: Communication, Compromise and Commitment.What is a major disadvantage to 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.Why is traditional dating better than online? ›
Traditional dating allows you to gather some really important information about a person you're interested in. Meeting someone face-to-face prohibits them from being able to misrepresent their physical description, such as body type, size, age and level of activeness.
Is there a stigma against online dating? ›
But the stigma remains among those who have never used a dating app or site. 65% of them had a negative view of online dating, and almost half said they think relationships are less successful if they begin online.How do you spot a creep on a dating app? ›
- They have little information about themselves on their profile. ...
- They didn't put much thought or effort into their photos. ...
- It doesn't seem like they even read your profile. ...
- They don't really have anything interesting to say.
- Being on dating apps feels like a part-time job. ...
- We started chatting and then there was radio silence. ...
- I'm matching with the wrong type of person. ...
- First dates feel like interviews, and no one lives up to their profile (or my expectations)
In a survey from the Pew Research Center, 71% of dating app users claim other users lying about themselves to appear more desirable is a regular occurrence. From the same survey, six in 10 female dating app users ages 18-34 say they have been sent unsolicited sexually explicit messages.Why is online dating better than real life? ›
The good thing about online dating is that you don't have to meet the person until you feel comfortable. If you don't like them, you can easily block them and never deal with it again; something that's super hard to do IRL. It's also easier for introverts to flourish online as it takes away the social awkwardness.Why is online dating better than offline? ›
Pro: You can determine if there's chemistry in person sooner. Con: You're limited to your existing social circles or regular activities and will meet less people. Pro: It's pre-dating, without the pressure of wondering if you're date's profile is accurate.What are the advantages and disadvantage? ›
As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.