The virtues and disadvantages of online dating. (2023)

The virtues and disadvantages of online dating. (1)

how did we do it

The Pew Research Center has long studied the changing nature of romantic relationships and the role of digital technology in how people find potential partners and navigate web-based dating platforms. This specific report focuses on the patterns, experiences and attitudes surrounding online dating in the United States. These findings are based on aSurvey ResearchConducted October 16-28, 2019 among 4,860 American adults. This includes those who participated as members of the Pew Research Center.american trends panel(ATP), an online survey panel recruited through a nationwide random sampling of home addresses, and Ipsos KnowledgePanel respondents who indicated they identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). The sampling error range for the full sample is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

Recruiting ATP panel members by phone or email ensures that nearly every adult in the US has the opportunity to choose. This gives us confidence that each sample can represent the entire US adult population (see ourMethods 101example explanation). To continue to ensure that each ATP survey reflects a representative and balanced sample of the nation, the data is weighted to reflect the US adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, party affiliation, education, and other categories.

See the report for more information.methodologyAbout the project. You'll also find the questions asked and the audience's responses line.

Outside ofpersonal adsthis began to appear in publications around 1700VCR dating servicesOriginating decades ago, the platforms people use to find romantic partners have evolved throughout history. This evolution continued with the rise of online dating sites and mobile apps.

Today, three in 10 American adults say they've used an online dating site or app, including 11% who did so in the past year, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released March 16. It was held until October 28th. , 2019. For some Americans, these platforms have been instrumental in making meaningful connections: 12% say they got married or were in a serious relationship with someone they met through a dating website or app. In all, about a quarter of Americans (23%) say they've dated someone they met through a dating website or app.

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Previous Pew Research Center studies on online dating show that the proportion of Americans who have used these platforms, as well as the proportion who have found a spouse or partner through them, has increased over time. In 2013, 11% of American adults said they had used a dating site or app, while just 3% said they were in a long-term relationship or marriage with someone they met for the first time. It is important to note that there are some changes in question wording between the Center's 2013 and 2019 surveys, as well as differences in how these surveys were conducted.1Still, it's clear that websites and mobile apps are playing a bigger role in the dating environment than in the past.2

The latest research shows that online dating is particularly popular with certain groups, particularly young adults and those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). About half or more of 18-29 year olds (48%) and LGB adults (55%) say they have used a dating website or app, while about 20% in each group say they have been married. relationship with someone they met through these platforms. Americans who have used online dating offer a mixed view of their time on these platforms.

On a broad level, online dating users tend to describe their overall experience on these platforms positively rather than negatively. Furthermore, most online daters say that it was at least somewhat easy for them to meet other people they found physically attractive, shared common interests, or were similar to someone they would like to meet in person. But users also share some of the disadvantages of online dating. Roughly seven out of ten online daters believe it is all too common for those using these platforms to lie in an attempt to appear more desirable. And by a wide margin, Americans who have used a dating site or app in the past year say the experience left them more frustrated (45%) than hopeful (28%).

Other incidents show how dating websites or apps can become a venue for annoying or harassing behavior, especially for women under 35. For example, 60% of 18-34 year olds say someone on a dating site or app continues to contact them after saying they're not interested, while a similar proportion (57%) report receiving a message or a message. sexually explicit image. that he didn't ask for.

Not only has online dating disrupted more traditional ways of finding romantic partners, but its rise comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation are also changing, as more people delay marriage or choose to. stay single to stay.

These changing realities have sparked a broader debate about the impact of online dating on romantic relationships in America. On the one hand, somelightness and efficiencythe use of these platforms to look for dates and the sites ability to expand users' dating options beyond their traditional social circles. Others offer a less flattering narrative about online dating, from concerns aboutfraud or harassmentto the belief that these platforms facilitate superficial rather than meaningful relationships. This survey reveals that the public is somewhat ambivalent about the overall impact of online dating. Half of Americans believe that dating websites and apps have had neither a positive nor a negative impact on dating and relationships, while a smaller proportion believe the impact has been mostly positive (22%) or somewhat negative (26%).


In this report, "online dating users" and "online dating users" are used interchangeably to refer to the 30% of respondents to this survey who answered yes to the following question: "Have you ever used a dating site?" Online dating or a dating app???

These results come from a nationally representative survey of 4,860 US adults conducted online October 16-28, 2019 using the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel. Below are some of the most important findings.

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Younger adults, as well as those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, are particularly likely to use online dating sites or apps.

About 30% of Americans say they have used an online dating website or app. Of those who have used these platforms, 18% say they currently use them, while another 17% say they don't currently use them but have used them in the past year.

The online dating experience varies greatly by age. While 48% of 18-29 year olds say they have used a dating website or app, the number is 38% for 30-49 year olds and even lower for people over 50. Still, online dating isn't entirely alien to people in their 50s or 60s: 19% of adults aged 50-64 say they've used a dating website or app at some point.

In addition to age, there are also notable differences in sexual orientation.3LGB adults are about twice as likely as heterosexual adults to say they have used a dating website or app (55% versus 28%).4And in a pattern consistent with the above.Research from the Pew Research Center, college graduates and those with some college experience are more likely than those with a high school education or less to say they've dated online.

There are only minor differences between men and women in their use of dating sites or apps, while white, black or Hispanic adults are just as likely to say they have used these platforms.

At the same time, a small proportion of American adults report finding a partner through online dating sites. About 12% of adults say they have been married or engaged to someone they met through a dating website or app. Again, this follows a similar pattern to general usage, with adults under 50, LGB people, or people with a higher education level being more likely to report finding a spouse or partner through these platforms.

Most online daters say they have found it at least somewhat easy to meet other people they are physically attracted to or share interests with on dating sites or apps.

Online dating users describe their overall experience using dating sites or apps as positive rather than negative. About 57% of Americans who have used a dating site or app say their own personal experiences using these platforms have been very or fairly positive. Still, around four in ten online daters (42%) describe their personal experience with dating sites or apps as at least somewhat negative.

For the most part, different demographic groups tend to view their online dating experiences in similar ways. But there are some notable exceptions. Online partners with a college degree, for example, are much more likely than those with a high school degree or less to say that their own personal experiences with dating sites or apps are very or very positive (63% vs. 47%).

At the same time, 71% of online partners report that it was at least reasonably easy to find people they found physically attractive on dating sites or apps, while around two-thirds say it was easy to find people who shared their hobbies or interests. shared. or looked like someone they would want to meet in person.

While most different demographics describe their search as easy rather than difficult, there are some differences by gender. Among online daters, women are more likely than men to say that finding people they are physically attracted to has been at least somewhat difficult (36% vs 21%), while men are more likely than women to say that it was difficult to find them. Find others who share your hobbies and interests (41% vs. 30%).

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Men who have dated online in the last five years are more likely than women to feel that they don't get enough messages from other users.

When asked whether they received too many, too few or just the right amount of messages on dating sites or apps, 43% of Americans who had been online in the past five years said they didn't get enough messages, while 17% said they got too many messages. Another 40% think the number of messages received was correct.

There are significant gender disparities in the amount of self-reported attention online daters have received on dating sites or apps. Men who have dated online in the past five years are much more likely than women to feel like they aren't getting enough messages (57% versus 24%). On the other hand, women who dated online during that time are five times more likely than men to think they received a lot of text messages (30% versus 6%).

The survey also asked for online data about their experiences of receiving messages.of people who interested you.In a similar pattern, these users are more likely to say they receive too few of these messages than too many (54% versus 13%). And while gender differences persist, they are much less pronounced. For example, 61% of men who have dated online in the past five years say they haven't received enough messages from the people they're interested in, compared to 44% of women who say this.

Roughly seven out of ten online daters believe that people who seem most desirable are very common on online dating platforms.

Online daters widely believe that dishonesty is a widespread problem on these platforms. A clear majority of online daters (71%) say that people on these platforms often lie about themselves to appear more desirable, while another 25% think this is common. Only 3% of online daters think this is not common on dating platforms.

Smaller but still significant proportions of online daters believe that people who create fake accounts to scam others (50%) or people who receive unsolicited sexually explicit messages or images (48%) are very common on sites and apps of dating. . On the other hand, online daters are less likely to think of harassment or bullying, and data breaches such as a data breach or identity theft are very common events on these platforms.

Some users, especially young women, report being subjected to rude or harassing behavior on these platforms.

Some experts claim that theOpen nature of online dating.— that is, the fact that many users are strangers to each other — has created a less civilized dating environment and therefore makes it harder to hold people accountable for their behavior. This research concludes that a notable proportion of online daters have experienced some form of harassment measured in this research.

Around three in 10 or more online dating users say someone has continued to contact them through a dating site or app after saying they're not interested (37%) by sending them a message sexually explicit or sending them a photo they didn't ask for. (35%) or gave them an offensive name (28%). Fewer online daters say someone has threatened to physically harm them through a dating website or app.

Younger women are particularly likely to encounter any of these behaviors. Six in 10 online dating users aged 18-34 say someone has continued to contact them through a dating site or app after saying they are not interested, while 57% report another user has messaged them sexually. explicit or a photo of you that you didn't ask for. Other negative interactions are more violent: 19% of younger users say someone has physically threatened them on a dating site or app; about twice as many men in the same age group say so.

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The likelihood of encountering such behavior on dating platforms also varies by sexual orientation. A staggering 56% of LGB users say someone on a dating site or app has sent them an unsolicited sexually explicit message or image, compared to around a third of heterosexual users (32%). LGB users are also more likely than regular users to say that someone on a dating site or app will continue to contact them after saying they are not interested, calling them an offensive name or threatening to physically harm them.

Online dating is not universally considered a safe way to meet someone.

The creators of online dating sites and apps.sometimes he struggledwith the perception that these places can facilitate unsettling, or even dangerous, encounters. and although theresome advicesMuch of the stigma surrounding these sites has diminished over time, with nearly half of Americans still finding the prospect of meeting someone through a dating site unsafe.

About 53% of Americans overall (including those who have dated online and not) agree that dating sites and apps are a very or reasonably safe way to meet people, while a slightly smaller proportion (46%) believe these platforms do not. they are. or nothing, a sure way to meet people.

Americans who haveNeverPeople who use a dating site or app are particularly skeptical about the safety of online dating. Around half of adults who have never used a dating service or app (52%) believe these platforms are not a very safe or unsafe way to meet people, compared with 29% of those who have dated online. before.

There are some groups that are especially wary of the idea of ​​meeting someone through dating platforms. Women are more likely than men to believe that dating websites and apps are not a safe way to meet someone (53% versus 39%).

Age and education are also associated with different attitudes towards the subject. For example, 59% of Americans age 65 and older say it's not safe to meet someone this way, compared to 51% of people ages 50-64 and 39% of adults under 50. a good fit. surefire way to meet people compared to those with some college experience or a bachelor's degree or higher. These patterns are consistent regardless of each group's personal experience using dating sites or apps.

Many believe that online dating is neither help nor hurt, and that relationships that start online are just as successful as those that start offline.

Americans, whether or not they have used online dating services in person, have also weighed the pros and cons of online dating. About 22% of Americans say online dating sites and apps have had a mostly positive effect on dating and relationships, while a similar proportion (26%) believe their impact has been mostly negative. Still, the largest proportion of adults, 50%, say that online dating has had neither a positive nor a negative impact on dating and relationships.

Respondents who said the impact of online dating was mostly positive or negative were asked to explain in their own words why they felt that way. Some of the most common reasons given by those who believe that online dating has had a positive effect revolve around its ability to expand people's dating pools and allow them to size someone up before agreeing to meet in person. These users also believe that dating sites and apps make the dating process in general easier. On the other hand, people who said online dating had an extremely negative effect often cited dishonesty and the idea that users misrepresented themselves.

Most also believe that whether a couple met online or in person has little to do with the success of their relationship. Just over half of Americans (54%) say that relationships where couples meet through a dating website or app are just as successful as those that start in person. 38% believe these relationships are less successful, while 5% believe they are more successful.

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Public opinion on the impact or success of online dating differs between those who have used dating platforms and those who have not. While 29% of online dating users say that dating sites and apps have had an overwhelmingly positive effect on dating and relationships, the figure for non-users is 21%. People who have used a dating site or app are also more positive about relationships formed online. Some 62% of online daters believe that relationships where people met through a dating website or app are just as successful as those that started in person, compared to 52% of those who never went online.


What is the advantages of online dating? ›

Online dating is mostly a safe and convenient way to meet new comers. Most users can choose all their preferred area, which makes it practical to meet other folks via across the globe. Therefore, they can get in touch with others whom live in different parts of the world. That's the proper benefit of online dating.

What are the problems with online dating? ›

What's on the page
  • Are young people equipped to deal with risks of online dating?
  • Exposure to online grooming.
  • Consequences of sexting.
  • Online harassment.
  • Privacy concerns.
  • Seeking validation from others.
  • Limited social interaction.

What is the positive side of dating? ›

Being in a healthy and supportive relationship can actually have a big boost on your happiness level, according to several studies. Being in love has a big effect on your oxytocin level, which promotes bonding and comfort. This is why you love being around your partner, and why just being near them can boost your mood.

What is the etiquette for online dating? ›

Ask Questions and Offer Compliments

If you're intrigued by something they wore in a photo, their pet, or something they mention in their bio, ask about it to learn more. You can also offer a compliment. Most people enjoy receiving them but try to be original.

What are 3 benefits of dating? ›

Dating provides an opportunity for individuals to learn how to relate to others and experience the joys and sorrows of developing a "couple" relationship. Dating permits couples to interact in various settings, to test compatibility and to learn what tolerance and commitment are all about.

What are the negative effects of dating? ›

It has been proven in “Teens and Dating” that frequent data leads to a poor performance in school, drug use, and delinquency. It can also cause problems with their social skills, depression, and sexual activity.

What are the benefits and dangers posed by online dating? ›

The Good
  • You Get to Meet More People. ...
  • You Can Meet Like-Minded People. ...
  • You and the People You Meet are Open about What You are Looking For. ...
  • It's Good for Shy People. ...
  • You May be Blindsided by Your Preferences. ...
  • Profiles Don't Tell You Everything. ...
  • Most Sites Put A lot of Focus on Physical Attractiveness. ...
  • Romantic Pressure.

What is the dark side of dating apps? ›

Users, especially women, have for long complained about the proliferation of fake profiles, the abusive and creepy behaviour encountered on these platforms, the many scams, and the general bad behaviour, and sometimes even assault, when they go out on dates.

What is the main purpose of dating someone? ›

One of the main purposes of dating is for two or more people to evaluate one another's suitability as a long term companion or spouse. Often physical characteristics, personality, financial status, and other aspects of the involved persons are judged and, as a result, feelings can be hurt and confidence shaken.

What is a healthy way of dating? ›

Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other's independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions.

What are the red flags for online dating? ›

Here are seven red flags you don't want to ignore when you meet someone new online.
  • They ask you for money. ...
  • They warn you about themselves. ...
  • They say "I love you" within days. ...
  • They won't send you pictures. ...
  • They give vague answers on their profile. ...
  • They talk about their ex. ...
  • They go heavy on the sweet-talk.

What are the unspoken rules of online dating? ›

9 Unwritten rules of digital dating
  • Use a realistic photo. ...
  • Allow for time to reply. ...
  • You don't have to reply. ...
  • Be specific in your bio, not obvious. ...
  • Meet up, or stop messaging. ...
  • Follow your gut. ...
  • Don't dish out your phone number too soon. ...
  • Be honest.
Dec 27, 2019

Is online dating unhealthy? ›

It's reported that dating app users face three times the amount of stress compared to non-users. With online dating, you miss that personal connection during a first impression and many view dating apps as being based on physical attraction. This can lead to comparing yourself to others and increased self judgement.

What is the 3/4 rule in dating? ›

Called the "3-4 rule," Nobile's method requires that singles learn four key principles about their prospect by the end of the third date. Those tenets are chemistry, core values, emotional maturity, and readiness. According to Nobile, this method allows daters to assess chemistry and long-term compatibility.

What are the 3 C's of dating? ›

Relationship dynamics will go up and down based on communication, compromise and commitment, the 3C's.

What is the three second rule in dating? ›

It refers to the idea that when guys see a woman they fancy, they have three seconds to approach her, make eye contact, or strike up a conversation before she loses interest - or he bottles it.

What are the disadvantages of early dating? ›

The 3 Big Disadvantages of Teenage Dating
  • 1.) They are still learning who they are. ...
  • 2.) They already have enough stress. ...
  • 3.) They lack maturity. ...
  • But what if… I've been a mother long enough to know that I should never say “never.” Maybe my kids will be the height of maturity at sixteen.

What are the most common mistakes in dating? ›

The 5 Biggest Dating Mistakes
  • Mistake #1 is bringing your own negative mental thoughts into the date. ...
  • Mistake #2 is thinking you have to have instant chemistry or fireworks with someone. ...
  • Mistake #3 is narrowing it down to one person too quickly. ...
  • Mistake #4 is having sex too soon. ...
  • Mistake #5 is ignoring red flags.
Apr 27, 2019

What are good reasons to not date someone? ›

Don't date anyone if these statements apply to you
  • “ I can't seem to love anyone right now" ...
  • “ I'm clueless about what I want” ...
  • “ I just don't know what to do in this relationship” ...
  • “Sex is okay, how worse can it be?” ...
  • “ ...
  • “I don't feel attached to anything, anymore.”.
Oct 25, 2020

Is online dating better or worse? ›

Online dating appears to be a practical way to date for most people. According to the study, roughly 60 percent of participants have had positive experiences with dating platforms. Many people have success finding romantic partners online, whether they're looking for something casual or long term.

How do you spot a creep on a dating app? ›

Dating App Red Flags: 10 Ways To Tell If He's A Keeper Or A...
  1. They have little information about themselves on their profile. ...
  2. They didn't put much thought or effort into their photos. ...
  3. It doesn't seem like they even read your profile. ...
  4. They don't really have anything interesting to say.
May 25, 2020

What are the biggest problems with dating apps? ›

Many singles complain that being on a dating app feels like a part-time job.
  • Being on dating apps feels like a part-time job. ...
  • We started chatting and then there was radio silence. ...
  • I'm matching with the wrong type of person. ...
  • First dates feel like interviews, and no one lives up to their profile (or my expectations)

How dating apps are dehumanizing? ›

In a survey from the Pew Research Center, 71% of dating app users claim other users lying about themselves to appear more desirable is a regular occurrence. From the same survey, six in 10 female dating app users ages 18-34 say they have been sent unsolicited sexually explicit messages.

Why is online dating better than real life? ›

The good thing about online dating is that you don't have to meet the person until you feel comfortable. If you don't like them, you can easily block them and never deal with it again; something that's super hard to do IRL. It's also easier for introverts to flourish online as it takes away the social awkwardness.

Why is online dating better than offline? ›

With an online dating approach, there are odds of coming across fake profiles, catfishers, or fraudsters. When you meet in person, you can't lie about your age, background, appearance, height, weight, or other significant features.

What is a major disadvantage to online dating? ›

However, some of the drawbacks to dating online include the time, effort, lack of success, unwanted sexual messages, and the risk of people misrepresenting themselves.

Do most online relationships last? ›

On average, online relationships last around 3 years.

Based on the research's statistics, a proximal relationship's average length is 7.3 years, while the average length of an online relationship is 2.9 years.


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