Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.
Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.
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.
Two thirds of online daters—66%—tell us that they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app.
That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.
If you haven’t found quite what you’re looking for on an online dating site, you aren’t alone.Many online daters enlist their friends in an effort to put their best digital foot forward.Some 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.You saw some of them that morning on your way to church – out running, walking dogs, grocery shopping.You met up with some of them when you gathered for worship – they arrived early or snuck in late or maybe they served communion or taught your kids or sung harmony.I have no doubt that marriage is difficult too – just an admittedly different type of difficult.It’s not that we’re not okay flying solo; it’s just that having a companion who knows us, teams with us, and is intimately connected to us is a desire found in us.Despite the wealth of digital tools that allow people to search for potential partners, and even as one-in-ten Americans are now using one of the many online dating platforms, the vast majority of relationships still begin offline.Even among Americans who have been with their spouse or partner for five years or less, fully 88% say that they met their partner offline–without the help of a dating site. Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic.Today, 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds report ever using an online dating site or mobile dating app versus only 6% in 2013.