What are the motives for online dating?

Three-in-ten Americans say they have used online dating sites or apps. Majorities of users across various demographic groups report positive, rather than negative experiences on these platforms.

However, substantial shares of online daters believe it’s very common for people on these sites to lie about themselves. This raises important questions about the social costs of online dating.

1. It’s convenient

You can connect with people around the world using dating apps. You can also find out more about a person before meeting them, like their beliefs, interests, goals, and so on. You can do this by chatting with them online. In addition, you can block people who are a nuisance.

Online dating is a great way to meet someone, especially if you are shy or nervous in person. It is easy to send messages and pictures, and you can avoid awkward conversations by avoiding the “small talk”. It is also a good idea for people who are afraid of rejection, as they can deal with it much better online than in person.

In addition, online dating is cost-effective. You only need a computer or mobile phone and an internet connection to use dating apps. This is a lot cheaper than going out to pubs or taverns, where you might need to pay for drinks and food.

2. It’s safe

Online dating can be very safe if you follow a few simple rules. Always stay safe while talking to strangers online by never sharing any private information, especially your banking or financial details. Never agree to give money to someone you have just met and be sure to keep your skepticism in place, as not all users are who they claim to be.

It’s important to ask a lot of questions and communicate well with your potential matches before meeting in person, but don’t go overboard and reveal too much personal information. If you think something is strange or off, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to report the user to the site or app.

When asked about their experiences with online dating, the vast majority of Americans believe that these platforms have been mostly positive or at least had no negative effect on their dating and relationships. However, the public also holds many concerns about online dating safety, with some believing that people use these sites to lie or even steal identities.

3. It’s affordable

Online dating apps offer a low-cost alternative to getting acquainted with people in real life. The only expense you may incur is for the internet connection and subscription fee.

However, online dating can be addictive. It’s easy to get caught up in messaging prospects, wasting your time and money on people that aren’t interested. The truth is that most of the people on these dating apps are looking for sex or for casual dates. Some will even let their inbox fill up so that they never have to respond to any messages.

Still, a larger share of respondents who have found committed relationships through online dating believe it’s a good way to meet people. These individuals cite that online dating is efficient and allows them to evaluate people before meeting in person, and that it helps connect people who otherwise might not find each other. Other respondents cite that these sites are cheaper and safer than traditional ways of meeting people.

4. It’s fun

Online dating can be fun and exciting. It can also be frustrating at times. With the amount of potential matches that you can go through in just a few swipes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and become frustrated with not finding someone. However, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Are you looking for a casual fling or someone to date long-term? Knowing what your goals are going to be in the beginning of your relationship can help you set the pace for how you want things to progress.

Older adults, especially women, often feel a sense of control with online dating because they can initiate contact first. This can also make it easier to communicate about their wants and needs in a relationship. Overall, majorities of online daters describe their experience using these sites and apps in positive terms. They think that it’s relatively easy to find people they found physically attractive and who shared their interests or seemed like someone they would want to meet in person.