Nothing else encapsulates the age of social media better than online dating.
We’re all on our phones all the time.
We swipe left and right through a never-ending scroll of the most perfectly curated photos.
The snappiest snap judgments of people are made based on the tiniest of text blurbs.
It’s hard to tell who’s telling the truth and who’s got ulterior motives.
Instant engagement is expected, and interest is lost just as fast.
And 99% of the time, we do it just because we’re bored.
Online dating is modern life.
The following figures illustrate the realities of online dating.
Who uses dating apps?
1. 3 of 10 adult Americans say they’ve used a dating site or app.
2. Age plays a significant role in online dating among adult Americans.
These are the online dating demographics:
- 48% of 18 to 29-year-olds have used an online dating site
- 38% of 30 to 49-year-olds have used an online dating site
- 16% of 50 years and older have used an online dating site
3. Sexual orientation also factors heavily into online dating.
- 55% of lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults have used an online dating app
- 28% of straight adults have used an online dating app
4. Only 12% of American adults say they have been in a committed relationship with someone they met through online dating websites.
Lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults and those ages 18 to 49 make up most of that figure.
5. The average age of online daters is 33 years old.
6. 63% of online daters are single and work full-time.
7. In a global survey of 130,000 women about how tech affected their love lives, almost 22% of women responded using dating apps to find a romantic partner.
8. 34% of online daters have an annual income of less than $30,000
28% have an annual income of over $75,000
9. 77% of women on OkCupid say they are feminists.
10. There are more men than women using online dating sites.
- 52.4% of online dating users are men
- 47.6% are women
Sources: PEW Research, Kaspersky, Indiana University, Statista, OKCupid, eHarmony
How popular are dating apps?
11. Match Group, the company that owns online dating services Match.com, Tinder, and OkCupid, reported an annual revenue of $2.39 billion in 2020.
12. Match Group had over 11 million paid members in the first quarter of 2021.
13. There were 26.6 million smartphone dating app users in the US in 2020.
Tinder has the most users among dating apps in the US, followed by Plenty of Fish and Bumble.
14. Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps, with impressive numbers:
- Over 430 million total downloads
- Over 65 billion matches in less than a decade
- Over 4.2 million GIFs exchanged between users
- 1.5 million dates a week between users
15. Tinder is the most downloaded dating app in the world, with over 6.5 million monthly downloads as of May 2021.
16. Tinder made $1.4 billion in 2020: 18% more than their revenue in 2019.
17. Tinder had 6.6 million paid members worldwide in the third quarter of 2020.
18. The first Sunday of January is called “Dating Sunday” by online dating industry leaders. This day has the most activity every year, as traffic increases from 40% to 70% on that day.
19. In 2023, the number of dating app users in the US is projected to be around 25.7 million.
Sources: Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Tinder Press Room, Statista, Statista, Statista, Cnet
How do users feel about online dating?
20. Six of ten online daters report having an overall positive experience with dating sites and apps. Of this portion:
- 14% say their experience was very positive
- 43% say their experience was somewhat positive
Four out of ten report having an at least somewhat negative experience.
9% of those say their experience was very negative.
21. How people assess their online dating experiences varies considerably by socioeconomic factors.
- 63% of those with a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree say they’ve had a positive experience.
- 47% of those with a high school diploma or less say they’ve had a positive experience.
The gender, race, and ethnicity of online daters don’t result in statistically varied assessments of online dating.
22. When asked how they felt after leaving online dating within the past year:
- 45% of Americans left feeling frustrated
- 28% of Americans left feeling hopeful
For those who currently use or recently used online dating in the past year:
- 35% felt more pessimistic
- 25% felt more insecure
- 32% felt more confident
- 29% felt more optimistic
Source: PEW Research
What challenges do users have with online dating?
23. Men and women have different difficulties with online dating.
When it comes to finding someone physically attractive:
- 36% of women found it difficult
- 21% of men found it difficult
Finding someone they want to meet in person:
- 39% of women found it difficult
- 32% of men found it difficult
Finding someone who shared the same hobbies and interests:
- 30% of women found it difficult
- 41% of men found it difficult
24. Men and women have opposite experiences regarding the number of messages they receive.
Of those who dated online in the past year and said they didn’t get enough messages:
- 57% were men
- 24% were women
Of those who said they got too many messages:
- 30% were women
- 6% were men
25. 48% of online relationships end via email.
26. Men are more open to long-distance relationships than women.
- 38% of men are open to having a relationship with someone who lives more than 3 hours away from them
- Only 29% of women say the same.
27. Men are more open than women to going on a second date even if the first date isn’t exciting.
- 43% of men are willing to do so
- 31% of women say the same
28. Men feel emotionally connected faster than women when dating.
- 53% of men feel an emotional connection by the second date
- 38% of women say the same
29. A good portion of online daters have been catfished, wherein the person they met online doesn’t turn out to be who they claimed in person.
- 38% of men claim to have been catfished
- 30% of women claim to have been catfished
30. Around 10% of people who use online dating apps leave within three months.
31. Black women and Asian men are the most avoided groups on OkCupid and Tinder in the US.
Sources: PEW Research, eHarmony, Singles In America, Healthy Framework, Dating News, Inverse
What do people look for in online dating?
32. American adults have different priorities for online dating.
- 54% primarily joined dating platforms to find an exclusive romantic partner
- 34% want to have something fun or exciting to do
- 23% join out of curiosity
- 18% want to boost their self-esteem
- 18% want to find a partner for their friend
33. Women place more importance on certain elements appearing on dating profiles than men, such as:
The type of relationship the person wants
- 72% of women
- 53% of men
- 32% of women
- 18% of men
- 27% of women
- 8% of men
- 22% of women
- 8% of men
34. The most common kinds of partners women are looking for on dating apps:
- 9% short-term partners
- 8.7% chatting or sexting partners
- 8.6% long-term partners
35. Online dating shows a considerable age disparity between men and women regarding desirability.
Women get the most pursuers at 21 years old, but they have more online pursuers than men at 26 years old.
At 48 years old, men have two times more online pursuers than women.
36. 33% of female online daters say they have sex on the first date. 60% look for a match and not just a hookup.
37. 64% of online daters are looking for people they have something in common.
49% look for someone they are physically attracted to.
38. 49% of singles don’t find long-distance relationships to be a dealbreaker.
39. Less than 1% of straight women prefer pursuing men over being pursued by men.
45% of women want to be pursued by men
54% want a little bit of both
40. 7 in 10 singles in America are open to dating outside of their race or ethnicity.
41. 7% of people who use online dating platforms have used it to cheat.
Related: Ashley Madison Statistics
Sources: Statista, PEW Research, Indiana University, eHarmony, PEW Research, OK Cupid, Singles In America, YouGovAmerica
Does online dating work?
42. 54% of Americans say relationships that started through online dating are just as successful as those that started in person.
4 out of 10 say such relationships are less successful than those started in person.
43. 50% of Americans say online dating does not affect dating and relationships.
22% say it has had a mostly positive effect.
26% say it has had a mostly negative effect.
44. 23% of Americans say they’ve gone on a date with someone they first met on an online dating platform.
45. 20% of 18 to 29-year-olds and 20% of lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults say they’ve married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through online dating.
46. Of the 30% of adult Americans who’ve used online dating platforms:
- 18% are current users
- 17% are not currently using but used them in the past year
47. 77% of respondents in a 2019 online dating survey in the US had gone on a date with someone they met through online dating.
63% said they saw the online dating profile of someone they knew offline.
48. Online dating is the most popular way engaged couples meet, with 1 in 4 couples finding their partner through dating apps.
49. In a 2017 survey, 65% of same-sex couples met through online dating compared to only 39% of opposite-sex couples.
50. 90% of users of the dating app Hinge said they had a good first date, while 72% said they would go on a second date if asked.
51. A survey of over 19,000 people who married between 2005 - 2012 showed: those who met online were happier in marriage and less likely to separate.
52. Married couples who met online have a significantly higher divorce rate (12%) in the first three years of marriage than those who met through family/friends/neighbors (2%).
Sources: PEW Research, Statista, tkww, Pink News, Tech Crunch, PNAS, Marriage Foundation
How safe is online dating?
53. Americans are split on how safe they think online dating is.
- 53% say it is very or somewhat safe
- 46% say it is not too safe or not at all safe
54. Personal experience with online dating significantly affects how its safety is perceived.
- 71% of Americans who’ve dated online see it as a safe way to meet people.
- 47% who never dated online share the same sentiment.
55. Men and women are divided on how safe they think online dating is.
- 53% of women say online dating is not a safe way to meet people.
- 39% of men say the same.
56. Online dating has its fair share of troublesome interactions.
- 37% of online daters have had someone continue contacting them on a dating site or app after saying they weren’t interested
48% of women report this
27% of men say the same
- 35% received an unwanted sexually explicit message or image
- 28% were called an offensive name
- 9% have been threatened with physical harm by another user
57. Younger women have higher rates of inappropriate online dating interactions.
Of women ages 18 to 34:
- 60% have had someone continue contacting them after saying they weren’t interested
- 57% received an unwanted sexually explicit message or image
- 44% were called an offensive name
- 19% were threatened with physical harm
58. People are too willing to share personal information through online dating platforms:
- 25% show their full name on their profile
- 10% share their home address
- 10% share nude photos of themselves
59. 57% of online daters lie about themselves, ranging from information such as their appearance, marital status, and location.
60. Online daters worry about IT security:
- 63% are concerned about the device they use for online dating being compromised
- 61% are worried about their data being stolen or leaked from the online dating platform they use
61. 55% of online daters have experienced some threat or problem.
Those problems were ranging from:
- IT security problems.
- When meeting up, they didn't turn out to be who they claimed.
- Getting rejected by their online matches.
62. Online daters are two times more likely to have an IT security incident than people who don’t do online dating. (41% vs. 20%)
63. Few online daters protect their device:
- Only 27% protect their device
- 16% don’t protect themselves at all, thinking there’s no risk
Sources: PEW Research, Kaspersky
How do people use dating apps?
64. Online daters under 30 spend about 10 hours per week swiping on dating apps.
- Single men spend an average of 9.7 minutes per session on dating apps
- Single women spend 7.6 minutes on average
65. 20% of online daters have gotten help writing or reviewing their profiles.
- 30% of women ask for help creating their profile
- 16% of men do the same
66. Only 32% of opening messages get a reply.
67. OkCupid says there’s an optimal length for messages on dating apps.
The best opening messages are only one or two sentences long.
In general, messages should only be between 40 and 90 characters.
68. Video calls are seen as helpful in meeting potential romantic partners.
- 71% of singles say video dating helped in their decision to meet someone in person
- 47% say it helps avoid bad dates
- 63% would be more comfortable going on a first date if they video chatted before
- 66% of Gen Xers believe this
- 72% of Boomers believe this
69. 29% of online daters have met a match in person immediately without getting more information.
Sources: Independent, eHarmony, OK Cupid, Singles In America, Healthy Framework
What do people look for in dating profiles?
70. Many online daters note the importance of mentioning if a user has children on their profile.
- 48% of women say it’s important
- 43% of men say it’s important
71. For the online dating platform Zoosk, profiles with the word “sports” get 53% more messages than the site average.
72. For Plenty of Fish, profiles that mentioned an interest in music get 32% more messages.
73. Women share more photos than men on the dating platform eharmony.
Profiles with four or more photos get more matches, which applies to both men and women on the platform.
74. 45% of American singles want to know the political beliefs of their love interest by the second date.
76% say it’s important that their partner share the same political viewpoints.
Sources: PEW Research, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, PR Newswire
How do online daters behave on dates?
75. Most men and women adhere to tradition when paying for dates.
- Over 80% of men think they have to pay for dinner.
- 55% of women think men should pay.
- 34% of women think splitting the bill is best.
76. The average date between online daters costs about $116.
Related: 50+ Date Night Ideas
77. 84% of singles are more selective about first dates.
Related: 50+ Fun & Intimate Date Night Questions to Ask your Partner
78. 45% of daters say that answering a call or texting is the worst mistake to make during a blind date.
79. 60% of online daters in America looked up the social media accounts of their matches before meeting them in person.
Sources: Elite Singles, Match.com Mediaroom, Compare Camp
How does the pandemic affect online dating?
80. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, 20% of singles have less desire to be touched in the beginning.
40% of women don’t want a hug or a handshake as a greeting on a date.
81. 66% of singles want to wait after three dates before having sex with a new partner.
82. 62% of singles are now more interested in meaningful, committed relationships since the beginning of the pandemic.
83. 37% of singles prefer not to go on a date if it requires commuting via train, bus, or subway since the pandemic started.
84. People have different opinions about removing their masks on a date.
- 35% of people are comfortable removing their masks on a date.
- 33% are not comfortable removing their mask.
- 32% say it depends on the situation.
85. 81% of people who go on video dates don’t find them more awkward than in-person dates.
52% will continue having video dates even after the pandemic
86. About 33% of online daters sent more messages during the lockdown in 2020.
87. 25% of online daters were in contact with an ex.
Sources: Singles In America, Buzzfeed, Msahable, Dating News