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Despite the wealth of digital tools that allow people to search for potential partners, and even as one-in-ten Americans are now using one of the many online dating platforms, the vast majority of relationships still begin offline.Even among Americans who have been with their spouse or partner for five years or less, fully 88% say that they met their partner offline–without the help of a dating site.

When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.

Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic.

Today, 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds report ever using an online dating site or mobile dating app versus only 6% in 2013.

Online dating sites love to boast about the millions of members they have.

But as it turns out, they’re heaving shovelfuls of statistical manure at you.

One-third of people who have used online dating have never actually gone on a date with someone they met on these sites.