Online Dating Facts
Online Dating Facts

38 Romantic Online Dating Facts

Madeline Thatcher
By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published May 7, 2019
  • In the United States, the term “online dating” is searched for over 135,000 times a month.[10]
  • Online dating's roots extend back to a time before the internet existed. In 1959, two students from Stanford University created the first matchmaking questionnaire that paired up men and women based on their answers.[10]
  • In 1965, Harvard students used a dating questionnaire and an IBM 1401—an early version of the computer—to match millions of people. The service was called “Operation Match,” and it cost about $3 per person.[10]
  • The 1998 film You’ve Got Mail, where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s characters fall in love through email, helped normalize meeting dating partners online.[10]
  • eHarmony, a popular online dating site, originally had a questionnaire with over 450 questions to help determine compatibility.[10]
  • In 2007, online dating had become the second highest industry for paid content. Pornography came in at number one.[6]
  • Almost 60% of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people.[9]
  • In 2005, 29% of people considered those who used dating sites to be desperate. In 2015, that number was 23%.[9]
  • Internet dating has helped people of all ages realize that there’s no need to settle for a mediocre relationship.

    - Dan Slater

  • Younger people use dating sites much more often than they did in the early 2000s; almost 30% of people aged 18 to 24 used an online dating service in 2015.[9]
  • Twelve percent of 55- to 64-year-olds used an online dating service in 2015, up from 6% in 2005.[9]
  • A third of online dating service users have never been on a date with someone they met online.[9]
  • Almost a quarter of online daters have asked someone to help them with their profiles.[9]
  • Nearly 90% of Americans who have been with their current partner for five years or less met each other offline.[9]
  • Online Dating Sex Facts
    With political beliefs becoming more important than ever, more traditional preferences—like physical intimacy—are taking a backseat.
  • For the past 15 years, “great sex” as been ranked the most important aspect of a relationship by users of the dating site OkCupid. But in 2018, compatible political views overtook “great sex” for the number one spot, especially in big cities like New York and Los Angeles.[2]
  • The number of women who rank politics as more important than sex on OkCupid doubled from 2016 to 2018—from 27% to 42%.[2]
  • Dating app users who hold conservative views or who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are less likely to secure matches on online dating sites.[2]
  • is the most popular online dating site, with over 23.5 million users since 1995.[3]
  • Four percent of marriages in the United States are the result of eHarmony matches.[3]
  • There are over 7,500 dating sites worldwide, with more than 2,500 originating in the United States.[3]
  • While only a small percentage of current couples met their significant other online, experts estimate that by 2040, 70% of partnerships will have begun on the web.[1]
  • Online Dating Profile Fact
    Lies are common on dating apps, and more common on female profiles than male profiles.
  • Over half of American online dating site users admitted to lying on their profile.[1]
  • Women lie more than men in their online dating profiles.[1]
  • The most common lies in dating site profiles are occupation or finance related.[1]
  • Older people are less likely to lie in their online dating profiles.[1]
  • Relationships that begin online are 28% more likely to end within twelve months.[1]
  • Couples who met online are three times more likely to divorce compared to couples who met offline.[1]
  • Using online dating sites makes you pickier—you’re more likely to pass up a potential partner on an app or website than you would be if you met them in real life.[1]
  • Female users of dating apps and websites are considered more “promiscuous,” and are more likely to be propositioned for hookups than women who meet people offline.[1]
  • Pictures uploaded by female dating site users are, on average, 1.5 years old. Male users upload photos that are generally six months old.[4]
  • Most teenagers believe that breaking up a relationship digitally—either through texting or over a social media site like Facebook—is morally wrong.[4]
  • Height is often exaggerated by at least two inches on online dating sites.[5]
  • You’re sixteen times more likely to secure a match online with photos in your profile than without.[5]
  • Two-thirds of dating site users believe meeting face to face was imperative for determining if relationships should move forward.[8]
  • Online Dating Relationship Trouble
    Online dating can make forming lasting connections even harder.

  • There are two general outlooks on dating, both in-person and online: rational and fantasized. Rational daters tend to be more open to new partners, evaluating each prospective mate individually. Fantasizing daters often have a list of characteristics they deem important and therefore screen their matches more throughly, leading to smaller pools of potential partners.[8]
  • Social and physical attraction generally decrease after a couple that met online meets in person for the first time.[8]
  • People who communicated for longer periods of time online before meeting in person experience smaller amounts of dissatisfaction upon meeting in person than those who only chatted for a short time.[8]
  • “Ghosting” is the term used for abruptly ending all contact with a prospective partner without explanation and digitally disappearing, thus turning into a “ghost.”[7]
  • “Swiping right” has become shorthand for liking someone; many dating apps ask users to swipe either right or left to indicate interest or disinterest, respectively.[7]

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