I met my wife the old-fashioned way, at a dance where she was another guy’s date. Our best friends met in a bar and discovered they had the same birthday. They’ve shared more than two dozen since.
But that was all before the Internet. Today, 1 in 4 people between ages 50 and 64 personally knows somebody who met and fell in love online, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. For people 65 and older, the number is an only slightly lower 1 in 5.
The survey documents the growing popularity of online dating. Of those who are single and “looking,” 38 percent have tried online sites or mobile apps. “One quarter of online daters,” the report says, “have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app.”
That seems like a pretty good success rate.
Maybe that’s why 59 percent of Internet users believe that “Online dating is a good way to meet people.” That’s up from 44 percent in 2005.
The survey found that Match.com had been used by 45 percent of those who tried online dating, followed by eHarmony at 23 percent. AARP also has a dating site, which is powered by HowAboutWe.
Not every part of the story is positive. A bit more than half of online daters have felt that “someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile.” No big surprise there. We’ve all heard the stories of bad comb-overs and badly out of date profile pictures. As far as I can tell, the survey was kind enough not to ask whether the person being questioned had ever “improved” his or her own profile.
Photo: Steve Hankins/Flickr
Table: Pew Research Center
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