The United States of Dates - Online Dating’s Ultimate Popularity
It’s safe to say that being online is changing the dating game in America.
For those who are looking for love, going online may be the best way forward! Internet dating is one of the most popular ways to meet people –with 22 percent of relationships today beginning online. This puts digital dating second only to meeting through mutual friends, at 24 percent.
If you’re tempted to think that app-based dating in the age of Tinder has led to a “dating apocalypse” –think again! It isn’t all about brief encounters; more and more people are finding that cyberspace is a great place to meet other people who are interested in long-term, serious commitment. In fact, plenty of happy marriages get their start with online dating.
Not surprisingly, when it comes to internet dating, the U.S. is the most active country in the world. In America, 1 out of 10 people are quite active on online dating platforms, and almost half of the public knows someone who’s using web-based dating –in fact, 15 percent of U.S. adults have used dating sites or mobile dating apps themselves.
But online dating isn’t just another way to meet people –in many ways, it’s a better one. Dating in the digital age is the natural extension of traditional dating. Online channels have just opened up the dating pool, so to speak –making it easier than ever to find people that we’re not only compatible with –but can form a real connection between.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few major changes that digital dating has brought to the dating scene in the U.S., as well as some little-known facts about finding love through the internet. Enjoy!
Online Dating is Filling a Need
The fact is, today –it’s more difficult than ever to meet someone that you, well, click with –something that online dating is helping to facilitate.
“Online dating is definitely a new and much needed twist on relationships,” says Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, co-author of the study: Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science.
“Behavioral economics has shown that the dating market for singles in Western society is grossly inefficient, especially once individuals exit high school or college,” Reis explains. “The Internet holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive romantic partnerships, and those relationships are one of the best predictors of emotional and physical health.”
Online Dating’s Popularity Has Grown With Young Adults As Well As Baby Boomers
Sure, the younger generation is the main demographic that’s getting involved with online dating –the share of 18 to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled since 2013, growing from 10 to 27 percent today.
But it’s interesting to note that the older generation is getting in on the fun too. According to Pew Research, those between the ages 55 to 64 are warming up to the idea of online dating, with 12 percent of this demographic using online dating sites or mobile dating apps –that’s up from 6 percent in 2013.
Most People Have Positive Opinions of Online Dating
Those who think online daters seem desperate are now decidedly in the minority!
Attitudes toward online dating have become more positive as it only continues to grow in popularity. In fact, a full 59 percent of U.S. adults agree that it’s a good way to meet people. It’s not surprising that this level of acceptance runs parallel with its increasing popularity, something that will undoubtedly grow into the future as well.
20 Percent of Committed Relationships Today Start Online
While the rise of hookup and casual dating apps, it’s easy to feel disillusioned with the idea of online dating, and skeptical that it can be used to find meaningful relationships.
But the facts show that real relationships can –and very much are being formed online. A large-scale survey from 2010 shows that around 10 million adult American couples met online, and it’s estimated that 20 percent of current committed relationships began in cyberspace. Then there’s the data showing that more than one-third of marriages in the United States start with online dating –clearly, long-term relationships are possible!
“In fact, it’s statistically less likely you’ll find a future sweetheart at a bar, school or work than on the Internet,” writes Cristen Conger for The Huffington Post. “While commercials for online dating sites featuring picture-perfect couples making doe eyes at each other might turn you off, plenty of partners do meet online these days.” Swipe right on that!
Women Prefer Nice Guys
While men often bemoan that “Nice guys always finish last,” it seems that online dating may be finally putting this long-held cliché to rest.
On dating sites, the majority of women –38 percent, prefer nice guys –not dangerous, rude, egotistical braggarts. Who knew? This proves that men shouldn’t attempt hide their true personalities in an effort to ‘roughen up’ their virtual image. Being yourself is always the best policy.
Men Prefer Career Girls
In perhaps a not-so-surprising twist, men apparently also prefer ladies who have their life together –or at least, are working on it!
When it comes to the digital dating scene, a full forty-one percent of men said that they prefer modern career-oriented ladies more than any other type of woman. And since men tend to outnumber women on many dating sites, if you’re a single lady who’s focused on your career, the odds are greatly in your favor!
Online Couples Have an 18-Month Average Courtship Before Marriage
If there’s one thing that’s true about online dating, it’s that these folks tend to get married faster than their offline counterparts.
While traditional, offline courtships last an average of 42 months; online relationships progress to marriage in just 18 months! Love at first click, anyone? Not quite as fast as “Married at first sight,” but still speedier than average.
Algorithms Can’t Predict Whether Two People Are Compatible
Think algorithm-based dating is where it’s at? Think again!
According to Dan Slater, author of Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating, although online dating seems to be improving the likelihood of two strangers getting along well on a first date, algorithms are still a long shot.
“…What my reporting and research showed was that psychological science has not provided the ability to predict long-term compatibility between a couple who have never met,” Slater says.
While many dating sites suggest potential matches based on algorithms, there’s no evidence that shows that these matching systems are any more successful at helping people to find love. It’s not that their data is flawed; much of it comes down to the fact that that their screening methods are largely ineffective. Many of these algorithms tend to focus on personality to make their matches, but the fact is that large-scale studies of married couples have shown that the similarity of partners’ personalities only accounts for half a percent of their happiness.
It seems that using your own system for evaluating potential partners may be the way to go.
As you can see online dating has transformed the dating landscape in the U.S. drastically, and it’s having a major impact on how we find love. It’s influencing how we meet people, and how we spend our time.
While it has always had its skeptics, the pure and simple fact is that web-based dating has made it easier to meet people –something that’s undoubtedly helped to move it fully mainstream.
Then there’s the fact that digital dating has facilitated countless successful relationships –boosting its reputation. No matter what you’re looking for in a potential partner, it’s safe to say that when it comes to online dating, there really is something, or should we say, someone – for everyone!
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