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Second, there is relatively broad public contact with the online dating world because significant numbers of Americans personally know others who have tried and succeeded at online dating.
Some 15% of those in this survey of the general public – representing about 30 million Americans – say they know someone who has been in a long-term relationship or married someone they met online.
Looking at the total population of internet users, 47% agree that online dating allows people to find a better match because the pool of potential mates is larger online.
Another 38% disagree, and 15% say they do not know.
Of the 16 million people who have been to online dating sites, 52% say they had mostly positive experiences.
At the same time, a sizable segment, 29%, report mostly negative experiences.
Those with lower levels of income or education are more likely than the average internet user to suspect that people lie.
Those who are in the market for online dating services are a relatively specific group.
Looking at the total internet population, 11% of all American internet-using adults—about 16 million people—say they have gone to an online dating website or other site where they can meet people online. Our survey also finds that, at the moment, 7% of online adults, or about 10 million people, say they are currently seeking romantic partners.
Few offer a mixed response: just 7% say they had both positive and negative experiences.
The remaining 12% say they do not know or decline a response.
While some stigma about online dating persists, most internet users do not view it simply as a last resort.