How can we evaluate this social trend? Is it mostly positive or mostly negative? What actually happens in the international online dating market? You’ll find some interesting stats on the risk of online dating vs traditional dating, information on the main similarities between online and traditional dating, and their main differences in this guide.
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Online Dating vs Traditional Dating—Statistics and Figures
So, what do people prefer, meeting partners through mutual friends and family members or searching for attractive matches with common interests online? The situation is constantly changing, but here are some figures that explain the current trends. We relied on one of the latest studies by Pew Research Center, older research of 2008 on Science Direct, and the latest data from Statista—take a look at the most interesting facts provided by these institutions.
- Just in 4 years, from 2000 to 2004, the revenue of the online dating industry has gone from $50 million to $500 million. In 2022, Internet dating generated over 2.8 billion dollars, clearly showing how common online dating actually became.
- The younger the singles, the more likely they are to use online dating services. 48% of young adults have ever used a dating app or site. By comparison, only 38% of people aged 30 to 49 were looking for a perfect match online.
- According to Pew Research Center, 12% of singles in the United States started serious romantic relationships that ended in marriage or at least lasted for a long time with someone they’ve met online. In the world, this percentage is even higher—39% of singles married or were in a committed relationship with their online date.
- 7 in 10 online daters believe that the potential partners they meet online often pretend to be better and more physically attractive than they actually are.
- Around 71% of singles say it was easy to find matches they find physically attractive on online dating sites. Around 2/3 of all online daters also note that it was easy for them to find people who share their interests and who they would like to meet in real life overall.
Here’s another interesting fact. The data provided by many reputable research centers clearly show that a single person is way more likely to search for a good match online than offline now. Around 22% of singles describe their online dating experience as mostly positive, but around 26% still describe it as mostly negative. Success depends on plenty of factors, particularly the dating strategy that every person should develop themselves.
Is Online Dating Better or Worse Than Traditional Dating? Benefits & Drawbacks
Now you know what the actual trends in online dating and offline dating are. However, if you want to make a choice and join an online dating site or keep searching for a partner in real life, you need to consider more factors to make the right decision. Below, we compare online dating and traditional dating based on the most important criteria, namely, the dating pool, the type of relationship you are most likely to use online dating platforms, ease, efficiency, and prices.
Offline as well as online daters always need to choose among available options. In real life, a lot depends on your social circles. For example, if you’re an employed student with a pretty active lifestyle and lots of hobbies who meets a lot of new people at the university, in classes, or at work, you’ll experience fewer difficulties with finding potential partners compared to someone who doesn’t meet new people that often. Online dating websites, in turn, provide an opportunity to expand one’s dating options beyond traditional social circles, which often helps achieve the final goal.
Types of Relationships & Matching
Some people who have ever used online dating sites note that most singles on such platforms are seeking more casual relationships and rely largely on physical attraction. However, contrary to popular belief, traditional dating relies on finding someone you’ll just find attractive, too. Though that’s not the most important thing either for those who prefer traditional dating or for those who prefer dating online, if you meet someone through a mutual friend, the appearance will matter, too.
As for the type of relationship, it will also depend on your and your partner’s preferences. Also, there are different types of dating sites, so if you’re going to find potential dates online, you should choose between casual dating sites, hookup sites, dating sites for marriage, etc. That just will improve your chance of finding someone with the same relationship goals. More importantly, a dating site is likely to match singles based on their social background, interests, skills, and life priorities using personality tests and psychological assessments.
The Cost of Dating
The pricing policy varies from dating site to dating site, but in most cases, it costs around $30 a month on average. On top niche platforms where you can find a long-term relationship more easily, the cost may be up to $100 per month on average. In 2019, Americans spent around $170 on traditional dating a month. So, the difference is pretty big. No wonder people note that online dating is less spontaneous but more practical compared to traditional dating.
Risk of Online Dating vs Traditional Dating
No matter if you prefer dating in a more traditional way or meeting people online, you still face certain risks. The question is in which case the risks will be higher. In short, they are rather different than more or less serious, so you need to consider the peculiarities of both types of dating before starting a relationship with women or men you’ve met online or offline.
Risks of Traditional Dating
Traditional dating is commonly considered safer mostly because you see the person, and their gestures, can hear intonations, and analyze the behavior overall. However, there are certain risks, too. If you know a person for a short time, and sometimes, even for a long time, you never know if this is a “real face” or just a mask. There’s no guarantee you won’t face offensive behavior, abusive behavior, or even physical threat, and the only way to protect yourself is to spot all the red flags and never ignore them.
Risks of Online Dating
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the risks one faces when meeting a stranger in real life. Instead, most concerns are associated with appropriate behavior and online dating scams. In particular, according to the above-mentioned study by Pew Research Center, 3 in 10 online daters said that people kept texting them despite the fact they weren’t interested, 35% of singles received an explicit file they didn’t want to receive, and around 28% said that they met people who called them an offensive name.
Three in ten or more online dating users say someone through a dating site or app continued to contact them after they said they were not interested (37%), sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for (35%), or called them an offensive name (28%).
Also, in the past five years, people have lost over 1.3 billion dollars to online scams. There are ways to avoid such scenarios, but every online dater should know and always follow the safety rules.
As psychologists note, romantic relationships can begin anywhere. So is online dating better than traditional dating? Well, there are online and traditional dating benefits and drawbacks, and the only way to choose the right option for you is to set clear priorities and consider your specific requirements. A lot of factors, from sexual orientation to the size of social circles, matter, and if you want to have that great first date, you just should ask yourself in what case you’ll have the best chance to succeed.