Singles are swiping right and left a lot online in search of a date. A new Pew Research Center report says 3 in 10 U.S. adults have used an online dating site or app at some point — including nearly 1 in 10 who did so within the last year.
That’s according to a survey of 6,034 adults that was conducted in July.
A larger share of men (34%) have used dating sites or apps than women (27%) and it’s far more common among young adults than older ones. Fifty-three percent of adults ages 18 to 29 have found someone to date through an app or site, compared to 37% in the 30-49 age category. The numbers are smaller with increasing age.
“Among recent online daters, large majorities of men and women say they have often or sometimes felt excited by the people they have seen while using these platforms, though large majorities also say they have often or sometimes felt disappointed,” wrote the report’s authors, Emily A. Vogels and Colleen McClain, both of whom are Pew research associates.
“When we talk to users who have been on the sites more recently, we see that there is really a mix of emotions,” McClain told The Associated Press. “Everything from burnout to elation.”
Who’s using the app, sites?
The report also finds that gay, lesbian or bisexual adults are more likely to use a dating site or app than straight adults, at more than half compared to just over a quarter.
For some, love appeared. Among those who are married, cohabiting or in a committed romantic relationship, about 1 in 10 met their partner through a dating app or site.
More than half (53%) of those who’ve used a site or app for dating say the experience has been positive, while 46% said they had a negative experience. Most men (57%) cite positive experiences. For women, it’s a closer split, with 48% saying positive and 51% saying negative.
Pew said the survey showed apps and sites are more popular among those who have never married. Similarly, adults who are currently living with a partner, divorced, separated or widowed are “also more likely to have tried online dating than married adults.”
Which sites are most often used? According to the survey:
- Tinder, at 46%.
- Match, at 31%.
- Bumble, at 28%.
Among other dating sites or apps, about a fifth of respondents have tried OkCupid, eharmony and Hinge. Fewer use Grindr and HER, which are “more widely used by LGB adults than straight adults,” the report says.
The report found more than half of women are “overwhelmed” by the number of messages they have received, while 64% of men say they feel “insecure because of the lack of messages they received,” the Pew survey found.
While 42% of the adults surveyed said online dating simplified the search for a long-term partner, 32% said it made no difference and 22% said it made it harder. And it’s a pretty even split in terms of whether those surveyed believe online dating is safe or not. And more than half said they’d come across someone who was trying to scam them, per the survey.
AP reported that “safety is a large concern for some digital daters. There have been demands over the years for more protections, such as required background checks, in light of reported stalking, and sexual assaults and other violence. Few sites require such checks of every user.”