3 in 10 Internet users have tried online dating

Study notes released from Oxford University indicate that almost one third of Internet users have, at one time or another, visited dating sites, as reported in the Science Daily the day after Valentine’s Day.

Not that the study of dating site usage was coincided with that date. The study took in the patterns and usages of 24,000 adults from around the globe who are active Internet users over a twelve year period.

Eighteen countries in all took part in the online questionnaire which asked both halves of 12,000 couples between 1997 and 2009 a qualifying section to determine their Internet accessibility and then if they had used the web to look for partners, whether by online dating or other means.

A resounding thirty percent of those questioned responded in the affirmative, and a massive half of those stating that the partner they were with at the time of the response being recorded they met whilst looking for love online.

One of the most unexpected results was the breakdown in age bands who claimed to have began a relationship through an online dating platform. Of those in the 18-40 age bracket – the age of respondents you may expect to figure most prominently as recording high relationships found on dating sites – registered less than a quarter, with only 23% saying that they had had success using the medium.

Those in the next age bracket recorded the highest successful ratio of meeting a partner online as more than a third, 36% in total, of 40-69 year olds stated that they had began seeing someone directly as a result of their time dating online.

And, if you read between the lines, there is a time when singles just stop dating. Of all 24,000 participants, only two people who expressed a preference said that they’d started to go around the block again after they hit 70 and their relationships were not courtesy of dating sites.

The chat room facility and continued popularity of social media have had a lot to do with sharp rises in figures for those who took part in the survey post-2000. Prior to the new millennium not even ten percent of those questioned had met whilst online dating, but five years in and that had more than doubled to 21%. In contrast, the use of chat rooms over that same period dwindled in a like for like swap at the outset, but popularity and branding compounded that growth in later years.

In the next article, scientists have their say on how they interpreted the findings and what that means for the future of online dating.

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