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Public Attitudes Toward Online Dating

While respondents were asked specific questions about the use of online dating websites, they were also surveyed about their impressions of online dating more generally. Those who have actually used dating websites report back with favorable reviews. Fully 79% of online daters agree that using dating websites is a good way to meet people, compared with 19% who disagree.

Online daters overwhelmingly view the services as a good way to meet people

Fully 61% of the internet users who are single and looking for dates agree that online dating is a good venue for finding a mate. However, overall, internet users are split in their view of online dating; while 44% agree that internet dating is a “good way to meet people,” the same percentage disagree with that statement. A sizable segment, 11%, says they do not know. Online men (48%) have a greater tendency to see the benefits of online dating when compared with online women (41%). And, in general, the younger the internet user, the more likely he or she is to rate the services favorably.

Rural internet users are less likely than urban or suburban users to think that online dating is a good way to meet people; 38% of rural users agree that online dating is a good choice, compared with 48% of urban users and 44% of suburban users.

internet users and online daters do agree that online dating helps people to find a better match

Although the average internet user is not as enamored with online dating as their single and seeking counterparts, they do see the benefits of finding someone online. They agree that online dating allows some people to find a better match because they can get to know a lot more people. Looking at the total pool of internet users, 47% agree that online dating facilitates better pairing. Another 38% disagree and 15% say they do not know.

Online daters are even more supportive of this view. While 64% of online daters agree that online dating helps people find a better match, just 31% disagree. Another 6% say they do not know whether or not online dating facilitates better connections.

Single and looking internet users, by comparison, are equally as likely as online daters to tout the benefits of accessing a larger pool of people online; 64% of single internet users who are looking for someone to date agree that online dating helps people to find a better match, while just 28% disagree.

There is no clear consensus about the ease and efficiency of online dating.

Although online dating may present more opportunities to meet potential dates, it does not necessarily remove all of the complexity that comes with the dating process. Online daters are not overwhelmingly convinced that they have found an easier or more efficient way to meet people. About half agree that online dating is easier than other methods, but nearly as many (44%) disagree. Single and looking internet users are also split over this proposition; 45% agree that online dating is relatively easy, while 45% disagree.

Looking at the total population of internet users, just 33% think that online dating is not as difficult as other ways of meeting people, while 53% disagree, and 13% say they do not know. Online men are more likely than women to see the sites as efficient, though it is still a minority view; 36% of them agree that online dating is easier, compared with 30% of online women. Internet users who are ages 30-49, those who have a college degree or more and those who have an annual household income of $75,000 or more also stand out as groups that are more likely to acknowledge the convenience of online dating.

Rural internet users are less likely than urban or suburban users to say that online dating is an easier and more efficient way of meeting people. Just 28% of rural users agree that online dating is easier, while 35% of urban users and 34% of suburban users say this.

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