Online Dating Helps People Get Closer

Dating in New York City, especially, has been an experience of weaving through profiles and subsequently actual dates with people who just want to have sex. That's not a bad thing — I've been that person myself — but for someone looking for something a bit more serious, now's the time where it's not only smart to take things slow, but you could save lives while doing it.


40% of U.S. adults say they have used a dating site or app. A majority of online daters say their overall experience was positive, but many users – particularly younger women – report being harassed or sent explicit messages on these platforms


All the money you're saving

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but virtual dates and even social-distanced dates are less expensive than dates of yore. In New York City, a date that involves dinner and a couple drinks can add up fast— never mind the cost of the Lyft home. 

A date that's literally at home, or at least at a park with a couple bodega beers? Much less costly.




The current survey finds that online dating is especially popular among certain groups – particularly younger adults and those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). Roughly half or more of 18- to 30-year-olds (45%) and LGB adults (50%) say they have ever used a dating site or app, while about 20% in each group say they have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through these platforms. Americans who have used online dating offer a mixed look at their time on these platforms.


Online dating has not only disrupted more traditional ways of meeting romantic partners, its rise also comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation also are changing as more people delay marriage or choose to remain single.





There are only modest differences between men and women in their use of dating sites or apps, while white, black or Hispanic adults all are equally likely to say they have ever used these platforms.

At the same time, a small share of U.S. adults report that they found a significant other through online dating platforms. Some 12% of adults say they have married or entered into a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app. This too follows a pattern similar to that seen in overall use, with adults under the age of 50, those who are LGB or who have higher levels of educational attainment more likely to report finding a spouse or committed partner through these platforms.




Younger women are particularly likely to encounter each of these behaviors. Six-in-ten female online dating users ages 18 to 35 say someone via a dating site or app continued to contact them after they said they were not interested, while 58% report that another user has sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for. Other negative interactions are more violent in nature: 19% of younger female users say someone on a dating site or app has threatened to physically harm them – roughly twice the rate of men in the same age range who say this.


Dating apps have spent the last decade persuading us to date online, wiping away the stigma that clung to the practice from its origins in the original dot-com era. Couples are now more likely to form a relationship through online dating than any other avenue.


Aside from Bumble and Jaida, none of the major apps have built-in video functions, so mostly people are using the apps initially to find someone and then using simple video tech like Zoom, Google Hangouts or FaceTime to meet. That was the case for Lory Stein, 28, of Brooklyn.




Relatively small shares argue that online dating has had a mostly positive effect because it is a more efficient way of meeting people, is a better alternative to more traditional ways of meeting, helps people who have trouble meeting others or is a safer way of meeting people.


The rise of phone apps and online dating websites gives people access to more potential partners than they could meet at work or in the neighborhood. It makes it easier for someone who is looking for something very specific in a partner to find what they are looking for. It also helps the people who use the apps by allowing them to enjoy a pattern of regular hookups that don’t have to lead to relationships. I think these things are definitely characteristic of modern romance.