New research has revealed that 30% of US adults have used one of the best online dating sites (opens in new tab) , with 23% actually having gone on a date with someone they met online. The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Centre (opens in new tab), also found that 12% of all Americans have been in a committed relationship or marriage with someone they first met through a dating site or app.
These stats have tripled since 2013, when just 11% of Americans said they had used online dating. The popularity of online dating is set to grow further, with age playing a big factor in how likely someone is to try dating apps. 48% of those aged between 18 and 29 have used dating apps, compared to 13% of those over the age of 65. That being said, over a third of these people have found a partner in online dating, showing that there's hope for the best senior dating sites (opens in new tab) in creating meaningful connections.
Another interesting distinction emerged as the research revealed that 55% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people have used online dating. The best gay dating sites (opens in new tab) have enabled 21% of LGB people to enter a committed relationship, compared to 11% of straight people.
Online dating: preferences and pitfalls
The survey was also able to glean some online dating tips, finding that the majority of online daters think it is very important for someone to include photos of themselves and say what kind of relationship they're looking for on their profile.
If you're looking to find someone you connect with, it seems that transparency is key. A quarter of online daters think it's very important for someone to disclose their religion on dating profiles, and 45% think people ought to disclose if they have children.
Although 57% of those who have used online dating sites found the experience a positive one, women are significantly more likely than men to have had a negative experience. A third of women said they have been called an offensive name on a dating app, with 46% receiving unwanted explicit images and messages and 11% even receiving threats of physical violence.
The dangers of online dating have lead to 53% of women saying this is not a safe way to meet someone, meaning there's still a need to develop sites to help women feel comfortable and empowered. Progress toward this has been made, though, with Tinder recently introducing a panic button (opens in new tab) for when users don't feel safe.