For as long as romantic relationships have existed, people have sought assistance in meeting potential partners using whatever options were at their disposal. Matchmaking and arranged marriages have existed for centuries, and printed personal ads are nearly as old as the newspaper industry itself. More recently, technological developments from the VCR to the (pre-internet era) personal computer have been enlisted, with varying degrees of success, in an effort to connect people with romantic partners.
In the mid-1990’s, online dating sites such as Match.com marked the commercial internet’s first foray into dating and relationships. As these sites have evolved in the ensuing years, they have typically assumed one of two forms. Some offer a “personal ads” format, in which users create their own profile and browse the profiles of others on their own (Match.com, OkCupid, and PlentyofFish are common examples of this type of service). Others take on a more active matchmaking role, in which computer algorithms select pre-screened matches for users based on various criteria (eHarmony is the most well-known of these “algorithmic” matching services). More recently, a third model has emerged in the form of cell phone dating apps.
The rise of tech-enabled dating help has been one of the most striking developments of the digital era, and these alternative ways of meeting and mating have arisen at a time of fundamental change in the structure of marriage and divorce in America. The number of Americans getting married has been steadily declining, and today a record-low 51% of the public is currently married (in 1960, 72% of all adults 18 and older were married). Americans are also waiting until later in life to get married, and other living arrangements—such as cohabitation, single person households, and single parenthood—have grown more common in recent decades. At the same time, marriage still holds wide appeal for those who have not tied the knot. Some 61% of men and women who have never married say they would like to get married eventually, while just 12% say they definitely do not want to marry.
Research into whether online dating actually produces more successful relationships or romantic outcomes than conventional (offline) dating is generally inconclusive, although these sites clearly offer a qualitatively different experience compared with traditional dating. Some of these differences include: the ability to search from a deep pool of potential partners outside of one’s existing social networks; the ability to communicate online or via email prior to arranging for a face-to-face interaction; and matching algorithms that allow users to filter potential partners based on pre-existing criteria. Other research has indicated that the efficiency of online dating and the size of the potential dating pool compared with traditional methods make the process especially useful for people (such as gays and lesbians, or middle aged heterosexuals) who may have limited options for meeting people within their immediate geographic area or social circle. Still others have speculated that the rise of online dating has encouraged young adults, especially men, to forego marriage because they can always find women to date and that lowers their interest in committing to long term relationships.
The report that follows is based on survey data from the Pew Research Center’s second national telephone survey of online dating. The Center last conducted a detailed survey of the internet’s impact on dating and relationships in 2005, and a primary goal of this study is to update key trends on the internet and dating—such as the overall prevalence of online dating, how attitudes towards online dating have changed over time, and whether or not more people are meeting online than in the past. At the same time, the broader technological environment has changed dramatically since our last survey on this subject, and this has greatly impacted the ways in which people can seek out, research, meet, and interact with potential partners.
The first change involves mobile technologies, particularly smartphones. When we conducted our first study of online dating, the release of the iPhone was still two years in the future. Today more than half of all American adults are smartphone owners, and dating—like many other aspects of modern life—is increasingly conducted on the go. The online dating sites that we studied in 2005 continue to exist and play a prominent role, but are now supplemented by mobile apps from which users can do everything from browsing profiles to setting up real-time dates from the comfort of their smartphones. This study incorporates these dating apps into our definition of an “online dating user,” and also examines the ways in which cell phones are becoming intertwined in the broader dating environment.
The second major change involves the widespread adoption of social networking sites. In 2005, MySpace was the dominant player in the social networking field, Facebook was not yet open to the entire public, and Twitter did not exist. Today roughly three-quarters of online adults use sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and the impact of these online social networks on the dating process is potentially profound. This study looks at the ways in which online social networks provide new avenues for meeting “friends of friends” or for researching potential partners before meeting them in person, as well as some of the ways in which awkwardness or “drama” can develop in these highly public venues.
Chapter One of this report looks specifically at online dating sites and dating apps. Chapter Two looks more broadly at the online dating environment, and updates certain key trends from our 2005 study—such as how many relationships begin online, or how many people have flirted with someone online. And Chapter Three examines how people are using social networking sites and cell phones to navigate the world of dating and relationships.
A note on relationship status groups analyzed in this report
Throughout this report, we will refer to several different types of Americans based on their current relationship status and whether or not they are actively seeking a partner at the moment. In particular, much of the analysis will focus on one or more the following groups:
- Group #1, “Married or in a committed relationship for ten years or less” – This group includes people who are either married, living with a partner, or in some other type of committed romantic relationship, and who have been in their current relationship for ten years or less. It makes up 28% of the total adult population.
- Group #2, “Married or in a committed relationship for more than ten years” – Similar to group one, but includes people who have been in their current relationship for more than ten years. It makes up 38% of the total adult population.
- Group #3, “Single and looking” – This group includes people who are not married or in a relationship, but are currently looking for a romantic partner. It makes up 7% of the total adult population.
- Group #4, “Single but not looking” – This group includes people who are not married or in a relationship, but are not currently looking for a romantic partner. It makes up 28% of the total adult population.
Additional demographic details of each group can be found in the Appendix at the end of this report.
A large portion of the behaviors and attitudes we examined in this survey have broad applicability to adults of all kinds, and as a result were asked of everyone regardless of their relationship status. For other dating-related activities, we focused on a narrower subset of the population: specifically, those who are “single and looking” (Group 3 above) and those who have been in a committed relationship for ten years or less (Group 1 above). Throughout this report, we will refer to these two groups collectively as people with recent dating experience.
For those questions asked only of those with recent dating experience, we excluded people in longer-term relationships because technology was almost by definition not part of their dating lives. Someone who has been married since the early 1990s has obviously not broken up with someone via text messaging, for example. On the other hand, we excluded people in the “single but not looking” category in an effort to be sensitive to our survey respondents. Around half of this group is widowed, divorced, or separated, and we did not wish to subject those individuals to undue stress or force them to rehash bad relationship experiences.
We would like to thank Eli Finkel at Northwestern University, Michael Rosenfeld at Stanford University, Lauren Scissors at Northwestern University, and Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University for generously contributing their time and expertise during the development of this survey.
Part 2: Dating Apps and Online Dating Sites
11% of American adults—and 38% of those who are “single and looking”—have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps
One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app. We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way:
- 11% of internet users (representing 9% of all adults) say that they have personally used on online dating site such as Match.com, eHarmony, or OK Cupid.
- 7% of cell phone apps users (representing 3% of all adults) say that they have used a dating app on their cell phone.
Taken together, 11% of all American adults have used either an online dating site or a mobile dating app and are classified as “online daters.”
The questions we have used to measure online dating have evolved over the years, and as a result we cannot directly compare the size of the total online dating population to some of our earlier surveys on the subject. However, the use of online dating sites has become steadily more prevalent in recent years. In 2008 just 3% of all Americans said that they had used an online dating site; by 2009 that figure had risen to 6% of all Americans, and today 9% of the adult population has used an online dating site.
In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s. Some 22% of 25-34 year olds, and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters—that is roughly double the rate for those ages 18-24 or those ages 45-54. Urban and suburban residents are more likely than rural residents to use online dating, and those who have attended college are around twice as likely to do so as are those who have not attended college.
Of course, only a portion of the population is in the market for a relationship at any given time. Some are currently in long-standing relationships that predate the adoption of online dating, while others are single but not actively looking for a romantic partner. If we examine only those Americans who are most inclined to online dating—that is, the 7% of the public that is both single and actively looking for a partner—some 38% of these individuals have used online dating sites or dating apps.
Focus on dating sites: 9% of American adults use online dating sites
Looking separately at the two distinct elements that make up definition of an online dater, some 11% of internet users say that they have used an online dating site. This does not include users of mobile dating apps, which will be discussed in the next section of the report. Since 85% of the population now goes online, that means that one out of every ten Americans (9%) has used an online dating site at one point or another.
The college-educated and those in their mid-twenties through mid-forties are especially likely to use online dating sites.
As we did in our previous study, we presented online dating site users with an open-ended follow-up question asking which particular dating site(s) they have used. Match.com was the most-mentioned site in both our 2005 and 2013 studies, and eHarmony also ranked highly in both 2005 and 2013. The five sites with the most mentions in each year are listed below:
Focus on apps: 3% of American adults—including one out of every ten between the ages of 25 and 34—use dating apps on their cell phone
The online dating marketplace has undergone dramatic changes since we conducted our first study on this subject in 2005. In particular, many services now offer cell phone apps that allow users to update their profile, search the profiles of others, and find potential dates in their area using their mobile phone. For the first time in our 2013 survey we asked specifically about the use of these cell phone dating apps.
Among those who use cell phone apps, 7% say that they have specifically used a dating app on their phone. Since 45% of all Americans are app users, that means that 3% of the overall adult population has used a cell phone dating app at one point or another. Similarly, 6% of smartphone owners have used a mobile dating app.
Although online dating sites are relatively common among a range of age cohorts, mobile dating apps are primarily popular with Americans in their mid-20s through mid-30s. One out of every ten 25-34 year olds (11%) has used a dating app—that is double the rate for those ages 18-24 (5% of whom have used dating apps) and for those ages 35-44 (4%). Older adults use online dating sites in at least modest numbers, but dating app usage is effectively non-existent for people in their mid-forties and beyond.
The median ages for online dating site users and dating app users are illustrative in highlighting the age differences between each group. The typical (median) online dating site user is 38 years old, while the typical (median) dating app user is 29 years old—nearly a decade younger.
Americans have significantly greater familiarity with online dating through others than was the case in 2005
Although the proportion of Americans who say that they personally use online dating has not changed dramatically since 2005, familiarity with online dating through others (i.e., knowing someone who uses online dating, or knowing someone who has entered into a relationship via online dating) has increased significantly over that time. Some 42% of Americans now know someone who has used an online dating site or app, up from 31% in 2005. And twice as many people now know someone who has entered into a marriage or long-term relationship after meeting through an online dating site or app—29% of Americans now know someone who met their partner this way, compared with just 15% in 2005.
Overall, college graduates and those with relatively high household incomes are especially likely to know someone who uses online dating sites or apps. However, every major demographic group is now significantly more likely to respond in the affirmative to this question than was the case when we first asked it in 2005. Notably, Americans ages 65 and older are now twice as likely to know someone who uses online dating than they were in 2005 (24% of seniors now know an online dater, compared with 13% who did so eight years ago).
Similarly, college graduates and the relatively affluent are especially likely to say that they know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating—and once again, nearly every major demographic group is more likely to know someone who has done this compared with eight years ago. Seniors are again especially notable in this regard, as 20% of those 65 and older now know someone who has entered into a serious relationship with someone they met via online dating. That is a three-fold increase over the 7% of seniors who said “yes” to this question in 2005.
Online dating is becoming more accepted over time; online daters (and those who know online daters) have more positive attitudes about the process
As we found in our previous research on this subject, Americans’ attitudes towards online dating are relatively nuanced. Although a majority of Americans agree with two positive statements about online dating, a sizeable minority agree with two statements casting online dating (or the people who use online dating) in a more negative light. Nonetheless, attitudes towards online dating have progressed in a clearly positive direction in the eight years since our previous study:
- 59% of internet users agree with the statement that “online dating is a good way to meet people,” a 15-point increase from the 44% who said so in 2005.
- 53% of internet users agree with the statement that “online dating allows people to find a better match for themselves because they can get to know a lot more people,” a 6-point increase from the 47% who said so in 2005.
- 21% of internet users agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” an 8-point decline from the 29% who said so in 2005.
Additionally, one-third of internet users (32%) agree with the statement that “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” This is the first time we have asked this question, and therefore we cannot determine how it has changed over time (if at all).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who have used online dating themselves have positive views about the process compared with the overall population. Some 79% of online daters agree that online dating is a good way to meet people (compared with 53% of those who are not online daters), and 70% agree that it helps people find a better romantic match because they have access to a wide range of potential partners (compared with 48% of those who are not online daters). And people who know someone who uses online dating sites—or know someone who has met a spouse or partner through those sites—have significantly more positive views about the benefits of online dating than do people with less second-hand exposure to online dating (although these “second hand” users are not quite as positive as are those who use online dating personally).
In a similar vein, online daters (and those who know online daters) are significantly less likely than non-users to view aspects of the online dating experience in a negative light. Yet even some online daters seem to find both the process itself—and the individuals they encounter on these sites—distasteful. Around one in ten online daters (13%) agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” and 29% agree that online dating “keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.”
The online dating experience
In addition to the usage and attitudinal measures discussed above, we also asked the 11% of Americans who have used online dating about some of their specific experiences with online dating sites and mobile dating apps. Each of these is discussed in greater detail in the section that follows. The relatively small number of online daters in our survey makes it impossible to conduct a detailed demographic analysis of these questions. However, our sample size is sufficient to compare men and women, and any statistically significant gender differences are noted where appropriate.
Two-thirds of online daters have gone on a date through these sites, and one quarter have used them to find a marriage or long-term relationship
Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are much more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites. Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% when we first asked this question in 2005. Male and female online daters are equally likely to have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app.
Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23%) say that they themselves have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app. That is statistically similar to the 17% of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 2005. Male and female online daters are equally likely to translate their experiences with online dating into a long-term relationship.
Substantial numbers of online daters use paid dating sites, or use sites for people with shared interests or backgrounds
A substantial minority of online daters have paid to use an online dating site or app, and “niche” sites for people with specific interests or backgrounds are popular with relatively large numbers of online daters:
- 40% of online daters have used an online dating site or app designed for people with shared interests or backgrounds
- 33% of online daters have paid to use an online dating site or app
At the same time, just 4% of online daters have attended a group outing or other physical event organized by an online dating site. There are no differences between male and female online daters on any of these behaviors.
Negative experiences with online dating
Although significant numbers of online daters are meeting potential dates and new partners, negative experiences can and do occur. We asked about two specific experiences and found that:
- 54% of online daters have felt that someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile.
- 28% of online daters have been contacted by someone through an online dating site or app in a way that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable.
Men and women are equally likely to say that they have encountered others misrepresenting themselves in their profile, but women are much more likely to have experienced uncomfortable or bothersome contact via online dating sites or apps. Some 42% of female online daters have experienced this type of contact at one point or another, compared with 17% of men.
One in five online daters have asked someone to help them with their profile
In addition to asking about the specifically negative experiences discussed above, we also asked about two other possible experiences that people might have with online dating and found that:
- 38% of online daters have been matched with or come across the profile of someone they already know while using one of these sites.
- 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.
Interestingly, women are around twice as likely as men to ask for assistance creating or perfecting their profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.
Reasons for using online dating sites
All of the behaviors and activities discussed thus far were asked of people who have ever used an online dating site or mobile dating app. We also presented people who currently have a profile on a dating site or app with a series of questions about why they might use online dating, and asked them to tell us whether each of those was a major reason, a minor reason, or a not a reason for dating online.
- 60% of active online daters say that “meeting people who share similar interests or hobbies” is a major reason they use online dating.
- 52% say that “meeting people who share your beliefs or values” is a major reason they use online dating.
- 46% say that “finding someone for a long-term relationship or marriage” is a major reason they use online dating.
- 33% say that “having a schedule that makes it hard to meet interesting people in other ways” is a major reason they use online dating.
- 25% say that “meeting people who just want to have fun without being in a serious relationship” is a major reason they use online dating.
In addition, we asked active online daters if their profile photo is visible to anyone, and around three quarters of them (73%) said that it was. One in five (20%) said that they control who gets to see their profile photo.
Part 3: The Broader Online Environment around Dating and Relationships
Online dating sites are just one of the ways that people can meet prospective partners online. In this chapter, we examine the wider online landscape around dating and relationships, and the ways in which Americans are using the internet to meet and interact with potential, current, or past love interests.
5% of those Americans who are married or in a long-term partnership—and 11% of those who have been together for ten years or less—met their partner online
Even today, the vast majority of Americans who are in a marriage, partnership, or other serious relationship say that they met their partner through offline—rather than online—means. At the same time, the proportion of online Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled in the last eight years. Some 6% of internet users who are in a committed relationship met their partner online, up from 3% of internet users who said this in 2005. On an “all-adults” basis, that means that 5% of all committed relationships in America today began online.
This question was asked of everyone in a marriage or other long-term partnership, including many whose relationships were initiated well before meeting online was an option. Looking only at those committed relationships that started within the last decade, 11% say that their spouse or partner is someone they met online. By contrast, hardly any relationships that have existed for more than ten years had their genesis online: just 1% of Americans who have been in a committed relationship for more than ten years met their spouse or partner online. Similarly, meeting online is more common among younger age groups. Some 8% of 18-29 year olds in a marriage or committed relationship met their partner online, compared with 7% of 30-49 year olds, 3% of 50-64 year olds, and just 1% of those 65 and older.
Of course, “meeting online” might mean many things—from meeting on an online dating site, to being introduced to a friend of a friend via email, or meeting online in some other online venue not specifically oriented around dating or relationships, such as a fan forum or online gaming site. In an effort to gain more specificity on this question, we presented those individuals who met their spouse or partner online with a follow-up asking about the specific site on which they met. Around two-thirds of those who met their spouse or partner online said that they met via an online dating site, although the results are based on a small number of respondents (n=63) and are not reported here in detail.
Looking at this question in a slightly different way, people who have used online dating are significantly more likely to say that their relationship began online than are those who have never used online dating. Fully 34% of Americans who are in a committed relationship and have used online dating sites or dating apps in the past say that they met their spouse or partner online, compared with 3% for those who have not used online dating sites.
Using the internet to flirt with people—and to research past (or future) love interests—has become much more common in recent years
In our 2005 survey on dating and relationships we asked a series of questions about broad uses of the internet in the realm of dating and relationships. In our 2013 survey we repeated several of these questions and found that a number of them— such as flirting, looking up past love interests, and researching prospective partners—are now significantly more widespread than they were eight years ago.
Two of these behaviors are widely applicable to many different types of people (married, single, divorced, actively looking for a partner, not looking at the moment, etc). Therefore, we asked these questions of all internet users and found that:
- 24% of internet users have searched for information online about someone they dated in the past, up from 11% in 2005.
- 24% of internet users have flirted with someone online, up from 15% in 2005.
Nearly every demographic group—men and women, young and old, the well-off and financially less secure—is more likely to take part in each of these activities than was true in 2005. However, as in our previous study, each is much more prevalent among younger age groups. This is especially true of flirting online: Nearly half of internet users ages 18-24 (47%), and 40% of those ages 25-34, have flirted with someone online at one point or another.
Looking up old flames and flirting online are also particularly common among the “single and looking,” as well as among people who have been in a serious committed relationship for a decade or less. Some 38% of singles who are actively seeking a romantic partnership have gone online to look up someone they dated in the past, as have 32% of those who have been married or partnered for a relatively short period of time. And half of the “single and looking” group (and 39% of the short-term married/partnered) have flirted with someone online—just 6% of internet users who have been in a long-term relationship for more than 10 years have done so.
In addition to checking in on past relationships, many more Americans are now going online to research potential (or current) partners than was the case in 2005. We asked this question specifically of internet users with recent dating experience and found that nearly one third of these internet users (29%) have gone online to search for information online about someone they were currently dating or were about to meet for a first date. That is more than double the 13% that did so when we last asked about this behavior in 2005. Women are a bit more likely than men to conduct this type of research, those with a college education are more likely to do so than those who have not attended college, urban and suburbanites are more likely to do so than rural residents, and online daters are more likely to do so than non-online daters.
One in five internet users with recent dating experience have asked someone out on a first date online; one quarter have used the internet or email to maintain a long-distance relationship
One quarter of internet users with recent dating experience (24%) have used the internet or email to maintain a long-distance romantic relationship. That figure is comparable to the 19% of such internet users who used digital tools to maintain a long-distance relationship when we first asked this question in 2005. This behavior is especially common among online daters, those who have attended college, and younger adults.
A similar number (20%) have asked someone out on a first date online or via email. Men are a bit more likely to have done this than women, and online daters are much more likely to have done so than those who do not use online dating.
Part 4: Social networking sites, Cell Phones, Dating, and Relationships
The technological landscape has changed dramatically since we first studied dating and relationships in the fall of 2005. At the time we conducted our first survey on this topic, the release of the iPhone was still two years in the future, Facebook was in the process of expanding from college campuses to high schools, and just one in ten online adults used social networking sites of any kind. Today six out of every ten Americans use social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook or Twitter, and more than half are smartphone owners. In this chapter, we examine some of the ways in which mobile phones and social networking sites are impacting the world of dating and relationships.
One in three SNS users have checked up on someone they used to be in a relationship with, and one in six have posted pictures or details of a date on a social networking site
Social networking sites offer fertile ground for checking in on past relationships, and also for posting updates about current ones. One third (31%) of all SNS users have gone on these sites to check up on someone they used to date or be in a relationship with, and 17% have posted pictures or other details from a date on a social networking site.
Younger adults are particularly likely to have done both of these activities compared with older adults. Some 48% of SNS users ages 18-29 have used these sites to check up on someone they dated in the past, and 31% have posted details or pictures from a date. Otherwise there are few demographic differences when it comes to either of these behaviors.
30% of SNS users with recent dating experience have used these sites to research prospective partners; they also offer a venue for linking up with “friends of friends,” and for asking people out on dates.
Social networking profiles often contain a wealth of valuable information to potential suitors—such as personal photos, current relationship status, or information about one’s hobbies and interests—and many users are taking advantage of these sites to research people they are interested in romantically. Nearly one third (30%) of SNS users with recent dating experience have used a social networking site to get more information about someone they were interested in dating. Social networking sites also offer an additional venue for meeting or being introduced to “friends of friends.” Some 12% of SNS users with recent dating experience have friended or followed someone on a social networking site specifically because one of their friends suggested they might want to date that person.
These questions were only asked of a subset of SNS users so our ability to do demographic comparisons is somewhat limited, but younger SNS users clearly stand out when it comes to each of these behaviors. Some 41% of SNS users with recent dating experience in the 18-29 age group have used a social networking site to get more information about a potential partner (compared with 24% of those ages 30-49), and 18% have followed or friended someone specifically because someone suggested they might like to date that person (double the 9% of 30-49 year olds who have done so).
Beyond using these sites as a tool for researching potential partners, some 15% of SNS users with recent dating experience have actually asked someone out on a date using a social networking site. Men are somewhat more likely than women to have done this (19% vs. 11%) but otherwise this behavior is relatively consistent across demographic groups.
For young adults especially, relationships and social media can make for a potentially awkward mix
Dating and relationships can produce negative or distressing consequences: Flirting can become uncomfortable, or relationships themselves can end and necessitate a cutting off of contact between parties. And the social networking world is now part of that story. Some 27% of all SNS users have unfriended or blocked someone who was flirting in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, and 22% have unfriended or blocked someone that they were once in a relationship with. These sites can also serve as a lingering reminder of relationships that have ended—17% of social networking site users have untagged or deleted photos on these sites of themselves and someone they used to be in a relationship with.
Not surprisingly, young adults—who have near-universal rates of social networking site use and have spent the bulk of their dating lives in the social media era—are significantly more likely than older social media users to have experienced all three of these situations in the past.
Along with young adults, women tend to have greater exposure than men to some negative aspects of dating in the social networking era. Female social media users are significantly more likely than males to have blocked or unfriended someone who was flirting in a way that made them feel uncomfortable (33% of female SNS users have done this, compared with 19% of men), although women and men are equally likely to have unfriended a past flame, or to have untagged or deleted photos from a past relationship.
For cell phone owners, asking someone out on a date by calling them is still (somewhat) more common than sending a text message
Text messaging is now used by eight in ten cell owners, but voice calling is still the preferred method for asking someone out on a date—if only by a modest margin. We asked cell phone owners with recent dating experience whether they had ever asked someone out on a date using their cell phone and found that:
- 52% of the cell owners with recent dating experience have asked someone out on a date by calling on their cell phone
- 37% have asked someone out on a date by sending a text message on their cell phone
Younger adults (those ages 18-29) and those in the next age group (ages 30-49) are equally likely to have asked someone out of a date with a voice call. But younger adults are significantly more likely than those in their thirties and forties—by a 47% to 33% margin—to have asked someone out via text message. Interestingly, men and women are equally likely to have asked someone out via text message, but men are much more likely to have done so via voice call.
One in six Americans with recent dating experience have broken up with someone—or had someone break up with them—by text message, email, or sending a message online
Among Americans with recent dating experience who use the internet or own a cell phone:
- 17% have broken up with someone they were dating by text message, email, or by sending a message online
- 17% have had someone they were dating break up with them by text message, email, or by sending a message online
Younger adults are generally more likely than older adults to have been broken up with (or to have broken up with someone) via digital means.