One In Four Americans Find Long-Term Success With Online Dating

October 21, 2013
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Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Country crooner Johnny Lee probably didn’t have the Internet in mind when he sang “Lookin’ for Love (in All the Wrong Places)” for the Urban Cowboy soundtrack back in 1980. Even if he had, it is likely not many hook-ups were going on, as the Internet was used mainly by computer scientist types back in the day.

However, the Pew Research Center’s Pew Internet & The American Life Project has found in a new survey that one in 10 Americans have used online dating to look for love or a relationship, with 66 percent of these users finding a real-world date with someone they met online.

According to the Online Dating & Relationship Report, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of these persons have reported that online or mobile dating sites resulted in meeting a spouse or long-term partner. The study also found that public attitudes about online dating have become far more positive in recent years.

Nearly two-thirds, or 59 percent, of all Internet users did agree with the statement that “online dating is a good way to meet people,” which is a 15-point increase from the 44 percent who agreed with that statement in 2005; while 53 percent of Internet users agreed that “online dating allows people to find a better match for themselves, because they can get to know a lot more people.” That is a six-point increase from the 47 percent that agreed with that statement in 2005.

The survey also found that 21 percent of respondents agreed that “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” which is an eight-point decline from the 29 percent who agreed with that statement in 2005. This survey also looked for responses to the statement, “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date,” and 32 percent of Internet users agreed.

“Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites,” the survey noted. “Some 66 percent of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43 percent of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005. Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23 percent) say that they themselves have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app. That is statistically similar to the 17 percent of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 2005.”

The study further found that 42 percent of all Americans know an online dater, while 29 percent reported knowing someone who had used online dating to find a spouse or other long-term relationship.

While the Pew Research Center study reported largely positive opinions on dating, many have also had negative experiences using online dating; with more than half (54 percent) of online daters stating that they felt that “someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile,” and even more seriously, 28 percent said they had been “contacted by someone through an online dating site or app in a way that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable.”

Women were reportedly much more likely than men to have experienced uncomfortable contact via online dating sites or apps. The study found that 42 percent of female online daters experienced this type of contact compared to 17 percent of men.

The study was based on the findings that looked at Americans’ use of the Internet, which came from a telephone survey that was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International in April and May of this year. It had a sample of more than 2,200 American adults aged 18 or older. Pew noted that it had a margin of sampling error of 2.5 percent.

Source: Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

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