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Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.
To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.
About two years ago I arranged to meet for coffee with a woman I had corresponded with online.
One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.
About one-in-five 18- to 24-year olds (22%) now report using mobile dating apps; in 2013, only 5% reported doing so.
5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
Two thirds of online daters—66%—tell us that they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app.
That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.
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Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.