Relationships and dating on facebook

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Some 6% of internet users who are in a marriage, partnership, or other committed relationship met their partner online—that is up from 3% of internet users who said this in 2005.

On an “all-adults” basis, that means that 5% of all committed relationships in America today began online.

People in nearly every major demographic group—old and young, men and women, urbanites and rural dwellers—are more likely to know someone who uses online dating (or met a long term partner through online dating) than was the case eight years ago.

And this is especially true for those at the upper end of the socio-economic spectrum: Even as online daters have largely positive opinions of the process, many have had negative experiences using online dating.

This question was asked of everyone in a marriage or other long-term partnership, including many whose relationships were initiated well before meeting online was an option.

Looking only at those committed relationships that started within the last ten years, 11% say that their spouse or partner is someone they met online.

Additionally, 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.

At the same time, public attitudes towards online dating have grown more positive in the last eight years: Additionally, 32% of internet users agree with the statement that “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” This is the first time we have asked this question.

Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.

Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.

Even today, the vast majority of Americans who are in a marriage, partnership, or other serious relationship say that they met their partner through offline—rather than online—means.

At the same time, the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled in the last eight years.

We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 11% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters.” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.

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