Online dating has been around in some form since digital communication became a common fixture of the internet. Whether “meeting” someone in an online chat room or developing a relationship through regular emails, digital courtship certainly isn't a new thing. And before the internet, there were dating videos and matchmaking companies that did much the same thing.
It didn't take very long for internet savvy entrepreneurs to commodify online dating into a massive industry that seems to keep growing. It may have been an admission of failure in “normal” relationships to join an online dating site at one time, but with new apps like Tinder and sites like OKCupid plus hundreds more, it's now socially acceptable to at least give online dating a try.
Millions of people join (and leave) dating sites each year, looking for their long-lost love or at least new friends to spend the days with. The vast majority do so without knowing much about online dating, except for all those urban legends, a few word-of-mouth reports and, of course, whatever the convincing advertisements say. For them, this list of 20 shocking facts about online dating in the United States, according to Statistics Brain, will be very enlightening.
19 54M Single People in the U.S.
Over 50 million adult men and women in the United States are without a significant other. That's far less than half of the U.S. population, but still a considerable number especially for the hundreds of internet dating websites looking to turn a profit on people seeking a mate.
18 41M People in the U.S. Have Tried Online Dating
The vast majority of single people in the U.S. have tried online dating at one time or another. It’s safe to say that many single people consider online dating a viable option when it comes to finding at least a sexual partner. Some may have tried it and decided it wasn't for them or were unsuccessful in finding a suitable date.
17 15M eHarmony Members
eHarmony is one of the most popular online dating websites on the market. For a monthly membership that sells for as little $10.95 (for a 24-month subscription), eHarmony claims that it will use scientific algorithms to couple single people with their best relationship match.
16 21M Match Members
eHarmony is popular, but not as popular as Match, the very first online dating site to introduce the concept of relationship matching. It has been in operation for 17 years.
15 $238USD Spent Annually by An Online Dater
Some dating sites like OkCupid and PlentyOfFish are generally free to use with the option to purchase a premium membership, which unlocks reserved features like unlimited message storage and the ability to see who "likes" you back.
14 52% of Online Daters are Men
For one reason or another, men have a less trustworthy reputation when it comes to online dating than women. That may be true for some who use dating sites to simply find a fling rather than a long-term relationship, or for immature men with little respect for other users.
13 71% of Users Believe in Love at First Sight
This fact can say a lot about the people who go online to find love. Perhaps they are die-hard romantics who wear their hearts on their sleeves, and believe there is one person out there that’s right for them.
12 20% of Committed Relationships Began Online
Some people swear by the convenience and success of online dating websites, while others disregard them as equally or more ineffective than regular dating.
11 17% of Marriages are From Online Dating
Whether dating online or in person, the goal for many single people is marriage. They want to settle down, tie the knot, and start a family with the person they deeply love.
10 18 Months Average Courtship Before Marriage
Marriages don't happen just like that - except with rare exceptions like those impulsive elopements to Las Vegas! Relationships take months and even years to develop before a couple finally decides to take the proverbial plunge. This is also true for online dating.
9 38% of Women Prefer "Nice Guys"
Nice guys finish last? Not always. Squeaky-clean men don’t have to hide their natural personalities to attract girls online. It’s most likely a tired cliché that all girls like the “bad boy”. In actuality, women are usually more attracted to confidence, a sense of humour, and men who know how to treat women with the respect they most certainly deserve.
8 42% of Men Prefer "Modern Career Girl"
On the flip side, not all men prefer ditzy girls who follow their boyfriends and husbands according to their every whim.
7 Women’s Online Desirability Peaks at Age 21
6 Younger Women Have Most Online Pursuers
5 Older Men Have Double The Online Pursuers Of Young Men
In a trend which opposes that of men seeking women, the older that a man is in the online dating world, the more women will seek him out. This may be because older men are perceived to be more financially and emotionally stable, having lived a longer life with more character-building experiences than men in their 30s and 20s.
4 Men Lie About Age, Height, Income
Men often lie about their personality or daily life in order to seem more attractive, just like with normal dating. It’s quite natural to tell a few white lies here and there. However, with online dating, men lie about their major physical attributes and financial stability -including lies about age, height, and income.
3 Women Lie About Weight, Physical Build, Age
Women also lie in their online dating profiles. However, their lies differ from men’s with exaggerations or misinformation focused on their weight, build, as well as their age. This may be a side effect of a dating culture that focuses on women’s looks over their personalities and accomplishments.
2 10% of Online Daters are Sex Offenders
Despite safeguards, sexual predators still unfortunately lurk in the digital world seeking out a potential real-life victim. It would be judgemental to say that all sex offenders are repeating criminals, but many are, which leads online daters to be cautious when sharing personal information in a dating profile.
1 $1B Online Dating Annual Revenue
Online dating is a business. Each dating website offers a service for its customers to find a potential mate. As the social world changes, more and more people turn to online dating, and they're willing to pay the price to unlock every feature a dating website or app offers.
Millions of members generate about $1 billion USD in annual revenue from online dating alone. There's no sign that the industry is slowing down either. According to CNBC, online dating revenues are growing to between 10 and 15% per year.
The two biggest and wealthiest dating sites are still eHarmony and Match, although "free" sites like PlentyOfFish, OKCupid, and even Tinder are attracting millions of users.
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