Have you tried online dating sites? I haven’t, but I have been known in the past to sign into my friends’ accounts to peruse the digital dating scene. To me, it feels like a game–which is probably why I was never a good candidate for online dating. When I researched online dating trends for this ThriveWire story, I found online dating may not be as successful as users hope, but that the most successful online dating sites tend to have an “offline” component, i.e. an in-person interview. Curious? Read on…
If you are looking online for your future spouse you likely won’t find him or her there, but no one will judge you for trying, according to the latest from the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. Researchers at the think tank have tracked and studied online dating trends in the United States since 2005—making them veritable experts in swiping left, right and more. Over the course of ten years, Pew has found:
- Online dating is more popular among all age groups. About 22% of adults ages 25 to 34 have used online dating, 10% of 18 to 24 year olds have and 8% of 45 to 54 year olds have.
- Online dating is losing its stigma. Only 20% of Americans agree with the statement “people who use online dating sites are desperate.”
- Using an online dating site doesn’t actually equal more dates. One-third of the people using such online services have never been on a date with someone they met online.
- Online dating does not often turn into a committed relationship or marriage. Only 5% of Americans in a long-term relationship or marriage say they met their partner online.
Still interested in making the digital plunge? A team of researchers at Consumer Affairs scrolled through hundreds of thousands of consumer reviews of online dating sites and ranked the four best for finding a committed relationship. They include:
Successful Singles. Around since 1984, the Boston-based company helps match singles based on a 10-minute phone consultation and a 50-minute in-person meeting. Maybe the not-so-online approach to online that makes the site so successful.
It’s Just Lunch. Although the registration fees do not include the price of lunch, the company caters to busy professionals residing largely in metropolitan areas. (Have you seen their ads in airplane magazines? They always make me laugh.)
Events and Adventures. Moving beyond lunch, this company brings together groups of singles for skydiving, whitewater rafting, wine tasting—banking on the idea that like-minded people will choose similar “events and adventures.” Researchers note that the website gets high marks because even when customers did not marry someone, they made new friends.
Match.com. A true online dating website, Match.com requires no interviews and is reasonably priced at about $30 a month. The site asks users to answer a series of personality questions and matches singles based on common answers.
More on the digital dating scene:
- The New Yorker on Online Dating
- How to create an irresistible online dating profile
- Tinder is going to tax users who are older than 30