Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.
To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.
Current online dating site users explained their reasons for using online dating sites or apps with answers that included finding someone for a long term relationship or even marriage and the chance to meet people who just want to have fun.
According to another recent survey of dating site users, 66 percent of U. singles used online dating to expand their dating pool.
More than a third of recent marriages in the USA started online, according to a study out Monday that presents more evidence of just how much technology has taken hold of our lives."Societally, we are going to increasingly meet more of our romantic partners online as we establish more of an online presence in terms of social media," says Caitlin Moldvay, a dating industry senior analyst for market research firm IBISWorld in Santa Monica, Calif.
When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.
In addition, former e Harmony researcher Gian Gonzaga is one of the five co-authors."It's a very impressive study," says social psychologist Eli Finkel of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
"But it was paid for by somebody with a horse in the race and conducted by an organization that might have an incentive to tell this story."Does this study suggest that meeting online is a compelling way to meet a partner who is a good marriage prospect for you? But it's "premature to conclude that online dating is better than offline dating."The findings about greater happiness in online couples "are tiny effects," says Finkel,whose research published last year found "no compelling evidence" to support dating website claims that their algorithms work better than other ways of pairing romantic partners.
Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.
The share of 18- to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today.