Even today, online dating is not universally seen as a positive activity—a significant minority of the public views online dating skeptically.At the same time, public attitudes towards online dating have grown more positive in the last eight years: Additionally, 32% of internet users agree with the statement that “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” This is the first time we have asked this question.

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Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents.

And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.

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.

Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.

Around one in ten online daters (13%) agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” and 29% agree that online dating “keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” Familiarity with online dating through usage by friends or family members has increased dramatically since our last survey of online dating in 2005.

Additionally, 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.

Women are around twice as likely as men to ask for assistance creating or perfecting their profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.

Some 6% of internet users who are in a marriage, partnership, or other committed relationship met their partner online—that is up from 3% of internet users who said this in 2005.

On an “all-adults” basis, that means that 5% of all committed relationships in America today began online.

We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 11% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters.” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.