Love on the Internet: Do Apps Lead to a Real Relationship?

do online dating romances lead to long-term relationships

In the current age of social media and digital communication, online dating has become a significant force. About 19% of all U.S. internet users currently use dating websites and apps. When we break this down and only look at singles, 66% have used online dating.

For those considering online dating or who have tried it without success, you may be wondering if dating apps actually lead to love? Find out the stats on how likely dating app users are to go from messaging to a long-term relationship.

Making Connections with Dating Apps

While there may be lots of online dating profiles, how many of those users are actually looking for love?

A report from SimpleTexting reveals that most dating app users are looking for long-term relationships. While about 41% of all users are looking for love, it’s slightly skewed toward females, with 44.1% of females looking for a long-term relationship and 38.4% of males.

Beyond relationship-seeking, other popular reasons for using dating apps are for casual relationships (18.7%), to meet new friends (11.7%), and to boost self-esteem (6.2%). There are even those out to get free drinks/meals (1.9%).

Tinder is the most popular dating app in the United States, far outpacing the competition.

Online Dating Users in the United States:

  • Tinder 8.2 million
  • Plenty of Fish 6.7 million
  • 5.1 million
  • OkCupid 5.1 million
  • Grindr 1.9 million
  • Bumble 1.4 million

While it may seem as though there are plenty of platforms to consider, one major company called IAC (InterActiveCorp) holds 28 percent of the global market share of the industry. Similar to if Coke bought Pepsi, IAC has been acquiring the online dating app competition. Currently, it owns more than 25 dating apps, including, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Tinder, and Hinge.

can dating apps and websites lead to a real relationship

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Starting a Conversation Online

Online dating users have different degrees of success when striking up a conversation. To some extent, it’s a numbers game. On Tinder, there are 1.6 billion swipes per day. On OkCupid, 12 to 31 percent of first messages turn into a conversation.

The most successful way to start a conversation is with humor, according to Simple Texting.

Likelihood of Response Based on First Message Type:

  • Something funny 29%
  • Profile-related question/comment 24%
  • A simple “hey” 17%
  • Other 16%
  • Something flirtatious 8%
  • Compliment 6%

After striking up a conversation, couples send an average of 15-17 messages per person before meeting.

Dating After Meeting Online

Tinder reports that its users go on one million dates per week. Of those, 95 percent occur within one week of being matched.

It’s smart to use some degree of caution before your first date. eHarmony reports that 53 percent of people lie in their online dating profile. However, lying may have less to do with the online platforms than to do with dating itself. A 1999 study cited by Psychology Today said, “In general, no matter the setting, people are more likely to lie when looking for a date than in other social situations.”

While in most cases this could mean lying about weight, height, or age, some people use dating apps for criminal manipulation. In 2016, the FBI had 14,546 reports of online dating scams from people who lost a total of $220 million.

To protect yourself, find out more about someone you meet online by performing a search on PeopleFinders. After all, it’s smart to find out if your online date is a felon.

Leading to Long-term Relationships

Couples that meet online stay together for varying lengths of time. While some relationships end with someone ghosted, others become long term. Nearly a third of relationships, 29 percent, that begin on a dating app become long term or result in marriage.

Length of Relationship for Couples Who Meet Online:

  • Engaged/Married 14%
  • Longer than 1 year 15%
  • 6 months to 1 year 7%
  • Less than 6 months 14%
  • 1-2 dates 24%
  • Other 26%

One study found that couples who meet online progress to marriage faster than people who meet offline. For app users, half of couples get married by year four of the relationship. Compare this to couples who met offline, as half of the couples wait to get married in year 10 of the relationship.

Which dating platform is more likely to lead to marriage? OkCupid was the most popular app mentioned in NY Times wedding announcements.

Dating Apps Mentioned in NYT Wedding Announcements:

  • OkCupid 49%
  • 16%
  • Tinder 15%
  • Hinge 12%
  • eHarmony 4%
  • Coffee Meets Bagel 3%
  • Bumble 0.5%

Are you wondering if you can trust that person you met online? See for yourself on PeopleFinders.

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