As recently as a few short years ago Online Dating was in a period with stigmas still associated with the industry and the users of online dating services. Today, those stigmas are almost completely gone and the industry is thriving as more and more people turn to the internet for their wants and needs. Online Dating sites fulfill many of the needs by enabling users to connect with new friends, build new relationships and ultimately; maybe find love.
The industry has changed from “a strange way” to find love to an almost “universally accepted” way to build relationships that can lead to love. A little more than 10 years ago 1 in every 4 adults agreed that “people who use online dating sites are desperate”. Today, 87% of adult males and 83% of adult females agree that “Online dating is socially acceptable”.
Today, nearly half of all Americans have a friend or family member who uses online dating sites or has met a partner or spouse through a dating site. Consumer Reports conducted an extensive survey at the beginning of 2017 and found that 44% of 105,000 respondents who tried online dating said the experience led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage. More than a third of couples who married between 2005 and 2012 met through an online dating site. The numbers being reported now will increase dramatically as research by the online dating experts forecast that the number of singles looking for love online in Europe and North America is expected to grow to 670 million.
In 2015 the Pew Research Center released their study of online dating and found that 15% of American adults have used online dating sites. The numbers have exploded since then among certain age groups. Use of online dating sites in the 18 – 24-year old group has more than tripled in 2 years and that was 2 years ago. In the same period, use in the 55 – 64-year old group more than doubled and that was also 2 years ago. The market was dominated by the 25 – 34-year-old group but that may change. The years 2016 and 2017 have seen phenomenal growth around the world.
Dating sites are not being used only to find long-term love although that is the hope of many users. Some sites are excellent opportunities to expand circles of friendship not only in numbers but around the world. The opportunity to build enhanced relationships is very enticing because many singles have already learned that sometimes love is nurtured from good friendships and good relationships.
The future of online dating will be driven by an additional phenomenon that is taking place around the world. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 47% of the dating age population in America is not married. That has changed considerably from several years ago. This same social experience is occurring around the world and online dating has become a great way to find new people.