Online Dating Stats: Detailed Research (and some SURPRISING RESULTS!)

Did you know?

“19% of online daters are talking to 11+ different singles at the same time?!” 

And…

Only 60% of online daters say they are always truthful in their online dating profiles?!”

In a data-driven world, numbers can help shape not just our business and finance decisions, but they can also help to shape how we date and find love. Wait, what? How are numbers going to help me find Mr. or Ms. Right? Well, if you know what to look for, numbers and online dating statistics can be your best wingman or wingwoman.

You see, online dating was created to help save you time, money, and lead you to the perfect man or woman you’re looking for! But, how can you make the online dating process more efficient and how can you have more success?

The answer lies in knowing as much as possible about the online dating landscape as possible.

 

The Statistical Questions We’re Going to Answer About Online Dating

  • What online dating sites have more men or more women?
  • How truthful are people in their online dating profiles?
  • How many online singles are looking for love and how many are looking for sex?
  • What are the reasons men and women meet an online match in person?
  • How many people are most online singles talking to at once?
  • How many men or women have had negative experiences with online dating? What types of experiences? 
  • What are people specifically looking for with online dating?
  • What is the current perception of online dating in the US?
  • How many people are using online dating? Favorite dating app by age group?
  • How many people have actually met someone in person? What did they meet for?
  • How well do people get to know someone before meeting? 

The answers to all of these questions and a whole lot more lie in online dating statistics. In this article, we’re going to look at the most important online dating statistics that you need to know. We’re also going to look at how you should be interpreting those and what actionable steps you can take in your own online dating journey.

 

Online Dating Stigmas, Popularity, and Usage

  • 15% Increase in US adults who think online dating is a good idea
  • 6% Decrease in US adults who think people who use online dating sites are desperate
  • 19% of all internet users are using an online dating site or app, 27% previously
  • 36% of US dating app or dating site users use them daily

In the early days of online dating, it was highly regarded by people as being just for the weirdos and the shut-ins. How do we know this? Well, up until today, that was purely anecdotal, but we now have the dating statistics to back up what we were seeing. Let’s take a look at the online dating stigmas, popularity, and overall usage in the US.

From 2005 to 2015, there was a 15% increase in US adults who thought that online dating was a good idea. This is a massive change in opinion and clearly shows that online dating has moved out of the dark crevices of the internet and into the mainstream.

During the same time period, there was a 6% decrease in US adults who think that people using online dating sites are desperate. Personally, we’d love to see this statistic drop all the way to zero, but we can’t control how other people think. Online dating is a way for busy adults who are tired of trolling bars to find quality singles.

Regarding overall dating site usage statistics, there are two key things we want to look at. First, 19% of all internet users say they are currently using an online dating site or app. Out of the remaining 81%, 27% of those say they have used one previously. This means out of 10 of your friends, 2 of them are currently using an online dating app and 2 of them previously have. Out of this 27%, 36% of those users say they are using their online dating apps daily in some way, shape, or form whether that be responding to messages, searching for new matches, or just looking at photos of people they are interested in.

graph showing 19% of people using a dating app

 

Number of Dating Prospects at the Same Time

Ever wonder how many people your match is also talking to at the same time? Well, you’ll never know for sure without hacking into their online dating account, but dating statistics can give us a good insight into what the answer may be.


Number of ProspectsPercentage of People
08%
111%
2-323%
4-525%
6-1013%
11+19%

The largest data block here that makes up over 50% of the people is 2-5 prospects. Probably the most astounding figure at least to us was that almost 20% of people are talking to 11 or more people at the same time. We’re not mad; we’re just impressed at how much they can juggle and keep straight at the same time. Curious why it might be taking a while for you to get a response to your first message? It’s either because you aren’t sending a great first message, or you’re talking to a juggler tossing 11+ singles around at the same time.

 

Men vs. Women | Dating Statistics to Choose a Dating Site

  • 67% of Tinder Users are Men, 33% Women
  • An Equal Percentage of Men and Women Claim Match.com as Their Favorite Dating App
  • More Women Claim eHarmony as Their Favorite Dating App than Men

For those of you ladies out there that say Tinder is just a big sausage fest, you’re right. Just over 67% of the users on Tinder as per a recent study are said to be men. This leaves only 33% that are women. Sure, it only takes one person to be the right one, but that is definitely a significant variation amongst the sexes. Ladies, this means a lot more choices for you thanks to this online dating statistic.

If you’re looking for a more even match of men and women, then you’re looking for Match.com. According to a recent survey, the exact same percentage of men and women call Match.com their favorite dating app. If you’ve spent any time on Match.com, this probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise as from what we hear, there is a solid selection of high-quality people on both sides of the aisle.

So, we’ve talked about an online dating site or app that’s great for the women (Tinder), one that is equal across the board (Match.com), but what about somewhere that’s great for the men? Well, a recent study has shown that more women than men claim eHarmony as their favorite dating app. This online dating statistic means that the ladies are finding quality men on eHarmony. Men, this means that if you’re a keeper and are struggling to find someone special, you may want to check out eHarmony because more women have that at the top of their favorites list.

 

Favorite Online Dating Site by Age Group in the United States

  • 3 of the top 4 dating apps for the younger 18-29 age bracket are free apps
  • Only 1 of the top 4 dating apps for the 45-54 age bracket are free apps
  • Those reporting using no dating app increases as age increases from 47% up to 88%

Site Name18-29 years30-44 years45-54 years55-64 years65+ years
No site at all47%59%75%79%80%
eHarmony4%5%3%5%4%
Any Religious Dating SIte2%2%4%3%4%
Match.com7%9%7%7%2%
Plenty of Fish8%7%4%1%1%
OKCupid6%4%2%1%1%
Grindr3%2%0%2%0%
Tinder14%5%1%1%0%
Bumble3%2%1%1%0%
Coffee Meets Bagel3%3%1%0%0%
Hinge Down2%1%1%0%0%
Happn1%1%0%0%0%

In the 18-29 age bracket, it’s no surprise (at least to us) to see Tinder atop the list. The stigma with Tinder is that it’s just for flings and less serious relationships, and this tends to fit with the outlook of a lot of younger daters. On an anecdotal level, though, we do know a lot of people that have met their future spouse of Tinder so please don’t let us ruin it for those of you looking for something a bit more serious.

You’ll also notice that three of the top four dating apps listed here for the youngest age bracket are predominantly free. This may have to do with the economic situation of younger daters, but in our opinion you are always going to get what you pay for. Here’s a great breakdown of the pros and cons of free dating sites versus paid ones.

Match.com is at the top for the 30-44 age bracket, the 45-64 age bracket, and the 55-64 age bracket. What does this online dating statistic mean for you? If you’re over the age of 30 and under the age of 64 looking for love online, Match.com just might be a good fit for you. Remember from our earlier section as well, an equal percentage of both men and women find Match.com to be their favorite online dating app.

We see a small rise in religious dating site usage between the 30-44 age bracket and the 45-54 age bracket where it levels off around 3-4%. Also, do keep in mind that while 3-4% might seem small, this still represents millions and millions of people. So, if you’re looking to get started with a religious dating site, you still should have plenty of great singles to choose from.

 

Online Daters – Meeting a Match in Person by Gender and Age

 

Curious what the online dating statistics say about who has actually met someone they met online in person? Are people actually getting out from behind the computer and meeting in person or is online dating just a big waste of time? And if they are, is it more men or women? Let’s take a look at the answers to all these questions thanks to online dating statistics.

 

Reasons Men Have Met an Online Dating Match in Person

Reason They Met% of Men
A long-term romance25%
To go on 1+ date(s)28%
Friendship10%
To Hookup20%
Have not met anyone17%

Reasons Women Have Met an Online Dating Match in Person

Reason They Met% of Women
A long-term romance21%
To go on 1+ date(s)34%
Friendship9%
To Hookup8%
Have not met anyone24%

Let’s break down what we’re seeing in these online dating statistics. The biggest difference in percentage is between men and women who say they have met an online dating match in person for a hookup. 20% of men say they did, while only 8% of women say they did. This could mean that more men online are looking for sexual encounters, but it probably is also slightly skewed because this study was self-reporting. Some women might have been hesitant to report their true intentions due to societal double standards.

Here’s the silver lining in all of these dating statistics for those of you looking for something a little. For both genders, over 50% of people had met someone in person for either a long-term relationship or at least a date or more than one date. There’s a floating stigma out there that online dating is only a place for hookups and nothing more.

Well, thanks to online dating statistics and cold hard facts, we can show that is just not the case. Are there people out there only looking for hookups? Probably. But it is not an overwhelming majority like most people tend to believe that it is. Online dating is a much safer and more productive space than a lot of people give it credit for, and here are the dating statistics to back that up.

Online Dating App Users Who Have Met in Person by Age Group

 18-29 years30-44 years45-54 years55-64 years
Yes, for a long-term romantic partner17%27%22%27%
Yes, for at least one date28%33%35%29%
Yes, for friendship15%9%3%7%
Yes, for a sexual hookup19%14%10%11%
Yes, for some other reason2%2%2%2%
No, did not meet someone20%15%28%23%

There are a lot of interesting conclusions that can be drawn from this data set of online dating statistics. As we increase in the age groups, the number of daters meeting for a hookup drops by almost 10% total through the age brackets. As you get older in the age brackets, the statistics show the number of dating app users that are meeting in person for a long-term relationship or one or more dates increases as well. We do see a drop in those meeting for just dates from 35% to 29% from the 45-54 age bracket to the 55-64 age bracket.

 

What Are Online Daters Looking For?

 

Are online singles looking for love? Hookups? Both? One of the most asked questions about online dating is exactly what online daters are looking for. If you ask anyone, they’re most likely just going to give you anecdotal evidence based on their personal choices and experiences. This really isn’t going to do you much good.

But, when you pour through the online dating statistics, you can learn quite a bit about what most people online are looking for. Let’s take a look at some of the most important statistics starting with the big picture first.

  • 84% of online daters are looking for a romantic relationship, 24% a sexual relationship

In a recent survey of a group of online singles, statistics show that 84% of daters are looking for some form of a romantic relationship and 24% are looking for a sexual relationship. Now, for all of our math superstars out there, you’re probably noticing that 84% + 24% = 108%. Don’t worry; the data is accurate. What this is showing is that some people are looking for both a romantic relationship and also a sexual relationship.

The Full Breakdown of What Online Singles Are Searching For

  • 61% of daters use an online dating app to meet people that shares common interests
  • 44% of daters use an online dating app to meet someone who shares their values and beliefs
  • 42% of daters use an online dating app to meet someone for marriage
  • 26% of daters use an online dating app to meet someone to just have non-committal fun
  • 21% of daters use an online dating app to meet someone because they have a challenging schedule

There’s a lot for us to digest here, so let’s start with some of the most important online dating statistics. 42% of people dating online are using a dating app to try and find someone to marry. That’s probably surprising to a lot of people as there seems to be a stigma that no one online is looking for anything serious. Clearly, though, that is incorrect and the data proves it. Almost half of the people using online dating apps are looking for something that ends with a ring.

What’s also interesting to us is the second listed dating statistic that 44% of daters using an online dating app are looking for someone who shares their values and beliefs. Those 44% of people make sense to us. What seems a little crazy is that means that 56% of people that are dating online are not worried about finding someone who has the same values and beliefs as them. This probably makes since with those people who are looking for sexual relationships only, but we know from an earlier statistics that is only 24% of people. That means another 20% of people are looking for something else but they don’t seem to care about their mates values and beliefs. We’re not here to judge, but we feel like that really should be an important criteria to look for in a partner.

 

Online Dating Truthfulness, Negative Experiences, and Match Familiarity

 

With the rise of catfishing, one of the biggest fears a lot of singles looking to get into online dating have is whether the people they are talking to are being truthful. The problem is that a lack of truthfulness and sketchy people can lead to some negative experiences that might just be uncomfortable or might actually be a safety risk. Let’s take a look at the online dating statistics you need to know about truthfulness, negative experiences, and how familiar people are with matches before they meet.

 

Percentage of Daters Who Claim to Present Themselves as Truthful in Their Dating Profile

 

Level of Truthfulness%
Always60%
Often38%
Rarely2%
Never1%

The good news here is that 98% of people claim to be 100% truthful or at least mostly truthful when dating online. Only 1-2% claim to be lying or untruthful often or always. Our guess is that those that claim to be truthful often are probably telling the truth about major things and fibbing about little things. Still, we’re big fans of always telling the truth when it comes to online dating (or anything), but we can’t control people.

 

Online Dating Negative Encounters by Age and Gender

One of the biggest fears that singles who are new to online dating have is having a bad experience. This could be feeling uncomfortable, getting an unsolicited naked picture, having legit concerns for your safety, having to block someone, or getting the full on catfish experience.

But, just how common is all of this? Let’s take a look at the statistics. The first chart will show you the different negative encounters by age, and then below that we break everything down by gender.

 

 18-29 years30-44 years45-54 years55-64 years
Contacted in a way that made them uncomfortable35%32%30%35%
Received unwanted inappropriate pictures33%25%23%19%
Fears about safety27%31%30%34%
Needed to block or report someone33%29%37%23%
Been catfished27%36%38%35%

Contacted in a way that made them uncomfortable

Male – 25%

Female – 42%

Received unwanted inappropriate pictures

Male – 20%

Female – 32%

Fears about safety

Male – 26%

Female – 32%

Needed to block or report someone

Male – 23%

Female – 39%

Been catfished

Male – 38%

Female – 30%

Familiarity With an Online Dating Match Before Meeting in Person

Some of you out there might be curious if the singles that had bad online dating experiences did their homework first before meeting someone. Or, did they just randomly meet someone they knew nothing about? Well, let’s take a look at the dating statistics.

The chart below shows exactly how familiar online daters got with a match before meeting them in person. Surprisingly, the biggest number we see is 29% of people met someone right away without knowing anything about them. This might be why a lot of people had some bad experiences. Thankfully, the close second at 28% are people who at least got to know the person a little bit better by sharing basic information.

We’d really have like to see more than 15% of people getting to know someone on a personal level before meeting (for safety reasons), but again, everyone is different and some people just prefer to get to know each other in person.

Level of Familiarity%
Meet Right Away - No Info29%
Meet After Small Talk23%
Share Basic Information (Interests, Work, Etc.)28%
Get to Know Very Well on a Personal Level15%
Don't Meet People5%

 

Final Thoughts?

It’s crazy to see what we perceive things to be and what is actually happening when you dive into the statistics. Our minds can trick us into believing things are a certain way, when in actuality they are quite different. Hopefully, these online dating statistics can help you to better understand the landscape out there and better help you to find that special someone you’re looking for. Happy fishing, friends!