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One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships.Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23%) say that they themselves have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app.

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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.Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.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.

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

If you haven’t found quite what you’re looking for on an online dating site, you aren’t alone.

But it still means that one-third of online daters have not yet met up in real life with someone they initially found on an online dating site.

One-in-five online daters have asked someone else to help them with their profile.

These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.