First online dating

This question was asked of everyone in a marriage or other long-term partnership, including many whose relationships were initiated well before meeting online was an option.

Looking only at those committed relationships that started within the last ten years, 11% say that their spouse or partner is someone they met online.

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Half (54%) of online daters have felt that someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile.And more seriously, 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.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.Even today, online dating is not universally seen as a positive activity—a significant minority of the public views online dating skeptically.

At the same time, public attitudes towards online dating have grown more positive in the last eight years: Additionally, 32% of internet users agree with the statement that “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” This is the first time we have asked this question.Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents.And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.Some 6% of internet users who are in a marriage, partnership, or other committed relationship met their partner online—that is up from 3% of internet users who said this in 2005.On an “all-adults” basis, that means that 5% of all committed relationships in America today began online.Some 42% of Americans know someone who has used online dating, up from 31% in 2005.