Online Dating: Science and Statistics

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Online dating has become somewhat of a science. Countless hours have been spent analyzing data and developing theories about how online dating works.
Like job interviews, people who use online dating services often bend the truth to make themselves sounds more attractive to their potential partners. Studies show that 81% of women claim to be 8.5 pounds lighter than they actually are.  Men are also fibbers, describing themselves as 2 pounds thinner and half an inch taller.
Women prefer to use profile photos that are were taken 1.5 years earlier, where a men’s photo on average, is only 6 months old.

It is more common than ever for people to use the services of online dating websites.  Statistics show that in 2007, 20 million people visited or used an online dating site. Today, it is estimated that this has doubled to 40 million people and is growing constantly in all countries.
The online dating business is very lucrative. Even the smallest well-known sites such as Plenty of Fish make a profit of five to ten million dollars per year. The bigger companies, such as e-harmony an match.com make well over 100 million dollars per year. This is impressive, considering the amount of competition.

Studying dating habits is a big reason why these online dating services are so profitable. For example, studies show that successfully matched couples get married on average, 18.5 months after meeting.  Couples that didn’t meet online take twice as long (42 months).

Dating sites that receive the most traffic are Zoosk, Plenty of Fish and Match.com but that doesn’t mean this is where the most matches are made.

The hope is that by answering some questions on a website, enough data will be compiled to compare to the rest of the users on the site to find the ideal match. However, these formulas and algorithms (that are supposedly unique to these dating websites) have some flaws. For example:

They focus on short term satisfaction, not concerned about a lasting relationship. The sites try to get you with someone right away and there are rarely questions that factor into the algorithm that will help determine if it will be a lasting relationship.

It is impossible for any algorithm to take into consideration how partners grow, change and mature. Further, the expectation is set that everything will be perfect with the matches that are found right from the beginning. As we know, this is rarely the case.

An algorithm is also not capable of considering changes in health, life circumstances and other ways that people change. The users are living human beings, to think that a mathematical formula based on questions that are asked would be able to find you the perfect match is impossible… or is it?

The average human being is not stupid. These are all things that we are aware of. The reason we still do it is simple:

It is possible to get to know your match from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to go out into a public place; this takes away the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time, in a real life situation. Because of this, when the first real life meeting happens, there is likely to be less nervousness since both people have already met online.

It is much easier to get to know someone new online. You will get to know right away who is worth keeping around and make a relationship with. On average it takes a few real life dates to get to know someone. That is, it may take a few dates before you know for sure they aren’t worth your time of day.

Dating someone behind a computer is much easier too, because you can show that you’re interested in someone without the fear of face-to-face rejection.  Studies show these are the most important qualities in a date:

    [item]Personality (30%)[/item] [item]Smile & Looks (23%)[/item] [item]Sense of Humor (14%)[/item] [item]Career & Education (10%)[/item]

With online dating becoming so popular, one would assume that the way married couples met their spouses would have changed. The truth is it hasn’t.

In fact, the most popular answer is they met at work or school. Other popular ways of meeting are through a friend or family member, and last of all, on an online dating website.

17% of marriages in the last year involved people who met on an online dating site

Online dating has come a long way in a very short period of time. Here are some numbers to consider:

    [item]There are over 54 million people in the US. Over 40 million people have tried online dating![/item] [item]20% of all committed relationships began online![/item] [item]Be careful, 10% of sex offenders use online dating to meet people[/item] [item]52.4% of online dating users are male[/item] [item]47.6% of online dating users are female[/item]

In our modern society, there is less of a stigma attached to online dating. It has definitely become more common than it ever was. People are less ashamed to admit they’ve met their perfect match online. As proven in this report, online dating can be a great way to meet people.


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