Whether you usually meet people online or get set up by friends, your opinions about dating will always be influenced by your own experiences. But looking at hard numbers can give you a more concrete picture of how different ways of searching for love—in person, through apps, matchmaking, and so on—can lead to different outcomes.
To help you find your own path, here are 30 dating statistics for 2022 that give you an unbiased picture on what you can typically expect from a variety of dating styles. Depending on what you’re looking for, you might decide to tweak your usual approach to find a lasting partner.
1. One-third of people have used a dating site or app to find love
On average, 3 in 10 adults living in the United States say that they have used a dating site or app. These numbers are slightly higher among 18- to 29-year-olds (48%) than among 30- to 49-year olds (38%). Those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are also more likely than those who identify as straight to use these dating platforms (55% vs. 28%).
2. Fewer people meet through friends than ever before
Over the last two decades, the number of relationships that have formed after being introduced through mutual friends has decreased from 33% in 1995 to 20% in 2017. This could be due to the rise of dating apps and the fact that people may not live near their close friends, making setups less common. And while your friends may know you well, they may not really understand your relationship needs the way a dating site algorithm—or, better yet, a professional matchmaker—would, so perhaps, meeting through friends isn’t ideal anyway.
3. Meeting someone by chance in public is not the norm
Your chances of meeting someone while out and about are slim. Out of partnered adults surveyed about their first relationships, only 18% met at work, while 17% met through school, 8% met at a bar or restaurant and 5% met at a place of worship. This makes sense: In 2022, we’re more connected through our devices than ever before, meaning that we’re able to keep in touch better with our current social circles and maybe less apt to be social and meet new people—friends or partners—in person.
4. 39% of male-female relationships are now started online
In a study of American adults, researchers found that nearly 40% of heterosexual relationships begin through dating sites or apps. With people leading busier, more technology-focused lives, using digital tools for finding love is becoming more common.
5. 60% of same-sex relationships start online
For the LQBTQIA+ community, finding love through apps and websites is even more common. This may be because of the lingering stigmas surrounding these relationships, allowing people to truly be free to find a match without worrying about bigotry due to how they identify.
6. Only half of people on dating apps are looking for an exclusive romantic partner
In 2022, people don’t just use dating apps to find a relationship—in fact only 54% of people who currently use or have used these tools in the past do so for that reason. Women are more likely than men to use these platforms to find love (59% vs. 50%).
7. Many people use online dating sites for non-romantic reasons
It may take longer to find someone looking for love on dating apps given how many people use them casually. In fact, 34% of people in one survey said they use these platforms just to have fun or because it’s something to do, while 26% use them to seek out casual sex. Men are more likely than women to say that they are using apps for a purely physical connection (36% vs. 14%). This is why opting for a matchmaking service like Tawkify may be more efficient—everyone using the service is doing so to find a committed partner.
8. More than half of people using dating apps and websites talk to multiple people at once
Finding a one-on-one connection online is challenging because there are always more people to connect with. Half of people on online platforms talk to 2-5 people at once, while 19% of users have talked to at least 11 different people at one time.
9. Most online daters meet up with someone in real life at least once
Over 50% of people surveyed have met up with someone in real life to start a relationship or to at least go on one date. Others, however, have met up for friendship or a sexual hookup.
10. A small percentage of dating site and app users find true relationship success
Only 13% of users have gotten engaged or married from meeting someone online, meaning that most people who use these platforms do not end up finding lasting love through them.
11. Not all users are successful on these digital dating platforms
Nearly a quarter of people surveyed (23.7%) say that they’ve never had more than a date or two while using online dating apps and websites. Even more discouraging, 17% of men and 24% of women haven’t met anyone in person while using these online platforms. This shows that while some people do find love, many people are not achieving relationship success from using these platforms.
12. Some people who use online dating platforms are already in committed relationships
Not everyone on these apps and websites is actually single. According to a survey, 5% of people who are currently living with their romantic partners and 3% of people who are currently married use online dating platforms. These percentages translate to 1% of all married adults and 2% of all cohabiting adults in the United States.
13. More women than men think it’s important to share what type of relationships they’re seeking on their online dating profiles
Women want prospective partners to be direct about their online dating goals—72% say it’s very important to them that someone’s profile includes what type of relationship they are looking for. Only 53% percent of men said that this was very important to them.
14. Most people have lied or exaggerated on their online dating and app profiles
Research shows that 80% of singles have stretched the truth in some way while looking for love online. This shows that it’s difficult to really trust what people say about themselves in their profiles.
15. Things aren’t always what they seem when it comes to people’s online dating photos
Looks can be deceiving online: 75% of people dating online believe that it’s important for them to look their best in their profiles—even if this means being deceptive about their appearance. This can set people up for disappointment when they do meet in person. (You can alleviate these unmet expectations by working with a matchmaker and not seeing photos of a prospective partner before meeting them).
16. Lying is expected on online dating profiles
Clearly, lying and exaggerating on dating apps and websites is common—but it’s also not a surprise to people using these platforms. In fact, 71% of users believe that it’s common for people to lie in order to make themselves more appealing to others. This creates a dating culture where being deceiving from the start is not only the norm but almost expected, which isn’t a healthy way to begin a partnership.
17. Catfishing is common when you’re dating online
Catfishing is defined as people pretending to be someone they’re not by creating fake profiles, which can include both images and information that doesn’t actually match the user in question. Research shows that 38% of men and 30% of women have been catfished via online dating sites and apps. Using a matchmaking service eliminates this possibility since everyone is vetted.
18. 1 in 10 online dating profiles are fake
When it comes to fake dating profiles on dating apps and websites, know that roughly 10% of all single people you see online are not actually real people. This is why working with Tawkify can be a more rewarding experience—every potential match is actually a real person.
19. Most single people feel negatively about their current dating situation
No matter how they are seeking out love, two-thirds of people who are single and actively looking for a relationship say that their dating life is “not going too well” or “not well at all.” This means that most people are discouraged as they try to find the right partner. (Working with a trusted expert with a track record of successfully matching people can help you feel more supported and empowered).
20. Online daters feel more frustrated than hopeful
Those who are engaged in online dating specifically, also feel more negative than positive. When surveying people who have used a dating site or app in the last year, research found that 45% of people felt frustrated by their experience, while only 25% felt hopeful. For many people, a different approach may be necessary to find a partner.
21. Harassment is common on online dating sites and apps, especially for women
Online dating can turn dangerous and all-too-often puts users’ mental health at risk. Research shows that 37% of users report that someone has continued to contact them after they declined interest, though that number is much higher among women (60%). What’s more, 35% of users said they have been sent an unsolicited sexual photo or message, while 9% say that they have been threatened with physical harm by another user. This is another reason why matchmaking services can be more preferable to dating apps—not only are users background checked but there are no public profiles through which anyone can contact you.
22. Ghosting is common on dating apps and websites
When people date online, they seem to forget that they’re communicating with real people who have real feelings. Studies show that ghosting—or ceasing communication with another person with no closure or explanation—is quite common. One series of studies found that 25.3% of people have been ghosted while 21.3% had ghosted someone they were dating. Another study found this number to be even higher: 72% of people surveyed had been ghosted and 64.5% had ghosted a partner.
23. There’s still a stigma—even in 2022—when it comes to starting a relationship online
Although using dating apps and websites is the norm these days, 60% of people report feeling embarrassed about telling others that they met their partners through these platforms. As time goes on, surely meeting online, whether through apps or dating services, will become less stigmatized.
24. Nearly 30% of marriages started as online relationships
According to a survey, 28% of all people in the United States who got married for the first time in 2017 met their partners online. For some online dating can be rewarding and even lead to lasting love.
25. People have many relationships before finding the right person
These days, people have multiple relationships before they commit to the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with. A survey shows that men will have an average of six relationships—with two of these lasting more than a year—while women will have an average of five relationships before settling down.
26. Most couples date for two or more years before getting married
Most people get to know each other for a few years before deciding to get engaged, with many dating for two to five years before proposing. Once engaged, couples usually wait anywhere from one year to a year and a half before getting married.
27. Over one-third of divorced people use online platforms to find love again
Many people sign up for online dating after divorce, according to research, with 35% of Americans who are divorced or separated reporting that they have used a dating site or app. (This statistic also includes people who are widowed).
28. Most divorced women used online dating platforms within their first year following their dissolution of marriage
When it comes to women specifically, 59% of divorcees use online dating websites and apps and 65% start dating less than 12 months after being separated or divorced. In fact, over a quarter of divorced women surveyed said that they would start dating immediately following their divorce.
29. Most women are truthful about their divorced status
While lying is prevalent on online dating platforms, most divorced women are upfront about their relationship status. A survey shows that 91% are honest about being divorced while only 9% said that they have lied about it.
30. It’s unclear whether meeting your spouse online will lead to a higher chance of marital success
There’s conflicting data on how successful marriages are when people meet through digital dating platforms. One study found that marriages that began online are less likely to end in separation or divorce and that people in those marriages are happier than those who didn’t meet online. However, another study found that while 12% of couples who meet online were divorced within the first three years of marriage, only 2% of couples who met through friends or family were divorced within that same timeframe.
These facts about modern dating paint a nuanced picture of the digital love-finding journey. For some, searching through online dating profiles or swiping right may help them feel more in control of their romantic lives. For others, the same activity can be time-consuming and even frustrating.
If you fall into that latter category, you might want to opt for a more targeted approach, like matchmaking, to help you avoid some of the cringeworthy aspects of digital dating. Using a service like Tawkify may help you narrow down your prospects and lead to a higher chance of dating success, especially if you’re looking for a long-term relationship.