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Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23%) 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% of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 2005.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.
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.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.Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.
The share of 18- to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today.
One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.