What’s your opinion of online dating? If you are single and seeking a relationship, your first thought might be either ‘I must hook up with some friends and head into town, check out the talent at our favorite bar,’ or ‘I must try this internet dating site I’ve heard so much about.’ The latter option is easily the most intriguing because this is an area of social interaction which is growing in popularity at a tremendous rate.
It was once a source of stigmatization, with misconceptions about online dating being the last resort for desperate singles. Anyone who had been unsuccessful in meeting someone in the real world and exhausted all the other matchmaking scenarios could get behind their web browser and order a partner along with their Friday night takeaway. But the truth of the matter tells a completely different story, one which is demonstrated by some interesting facts. Here are five of the more surprising stats about online dating that will banish any lingering suspicions you might have.
Undoubtedly, the Internet presents ample opportunities for people to hide behind a mask. People using social media often use fake profile thumbnails or present wildly exaggerated images of themselves, editing out any unsavory details in their posts, or inventing aspects of their private lives to add more color to their character. But the nature of online matching means people won’t get very far if they’re economical with the truth. The sense of integrity around dating sites has grown, and the proof of this is borne out by the statistics.
A survey about online dating in 2005 found less than half of respondents thought it was a good way to meet people, while almost one-third considered those drawn to using them were desperate. Ten years later the same question provoked very different responses. The numbers who thought dating sites were a recommended place to connect with other singles had jumped up to almost two-thirds, while the people under the impression only sad individuals used online matching sites had dropped to less than a quarter.
Who is using these sites
Feedback has consistently revealed the largest age demographic who get into online dating are adults under 25. This is hardly surprising given we live in a world increasingly reliant on technology, with Millennials being the most likely to embrace aspects of gadgets or smartphones, such as dating apps. Even so, the rise in popularity has been dramatic in recent years, with figures revealing the share of 18-24-year-olds dating online has zoomed from only 10% back in 2013 to over 27% today. So almost one in three under-25s is into hooking up with a potential partner in a virtual environment.
The other surprising stat when you break the people using this form of dating according to age is how popular it is with over-55s. Far from being less likely to be tech-savvy, it seems a growing number of 55-64-year-olds (especially divorcees, widows etc.) are going online. The total of those engaging has doubled since 2013, and now 12% of this age demographic are dating.
From online to offline
A third stat that is fairly eye-popping is that 33% of those who have connected with other singles online have never actually made it as far as a date. For sure, two-thirds of those embracing this form of matchmaking have made the transition from simply flirting via their web browser to a face-to-face date in the real world.
But for a third of those who have gone through the process of signing up, creating an alluring description then flirting online, their connection has been no more than pixels on a screen.