If you’re a smart, successful single woman, it may feel impossible to find a man who provides everything you need. And if you’ve dated online for any period of time, you’ve had lots of evidence to support that worldview. Men are lazy. Men are flaky. Men are sex-crazed. Men are selfish. Men are stupid. Men are terrible conversationalists. Men aren’t interested in commitment. That’s the most common narrative, anyway.
But there’s another side to the story, one that doesn’t get nearly as much attention.
Millions of people meet online, fall in love, and get married each year. If that rings false for you because dating feels like ghosting and disappointment, prepare to see the glass half-full instead of the glass half-empty. The below statistics don’t mean that most men online are worthy of your attention (they’re not!). But it does mean that if you learn to date the Love U way, there’s a good chance you can get the relationship of your dreams.
10 Online Dating Statistics
There’s a perception that people who date online aren’t serious. It’s true – many are not. But when online dating accounts for nearly 40% of all marriages – and connects more people than bars, hobbies, church, and set-ups combined, it’s clearly a mainstream viable option if you want to jumpstart your love life and look for a serious partner.
Sure, many singles who go online are ambivalent or intimidated but the vast majority of people who set up online dating profiles actually go on dates in real life. Truly, there has never been an easier way to meet people than using dating apps or online dating sites.
Sometimes, it can be flattering to know that someone liked your dating profile, especially if he’s your type. But keep in mind that some men often swipe right on all women, just to keep their options open.
That study was a few years ago. More recent reports show that women swipe right on fewer than 5% of men. So if you find yourself frustrated by the many guys who swipe and don’t follow through, ask yourself what it would feel like to be ignored by 95% of the population. That’s what it’s like to be an average man.
While being lied to may feel exasperating, most people lie because they know that if they tell the truth, they don’t have a chance. So people (men and women) rationalize shaving off a few years, misrepresenting their body type, adding an inch to your height just to “get in the door.” Given how many people lie, you should probably assume that everyone is fudging a little bit and be pleasantly surprised when you discover he’s telling the truth.
Based on a study conducted by OkCupid, there’s been a 10% increase in total matches, 20% in conversations, and 30% increase in overall sent messages during the pandemic. Besides that, the COVID-19 lockdown has caused a 40% increase in intro messages, which means more engagement in the dating app.
7. More than 50% believe that online dating is a nice way to meet potential partners.
Once upon a time, people met at church through their families. Now, more people work from home, have smaller groups of friends, and simply don’t meet people in real life. So if you can log onto a dating site or download a bunch of dating apps to connect with strangers, you’ve got a limitless pipeline of opportunity to meet your future spouse.
A study from Statistic Brain found that 10% of online daters use online dating apps for 3 months and cancel their subscription after that. This statistic says a lot more about those people than online dating itself. Consider: you don’t go on a hunger strike after a bad meal. You don’t quit the gym if you haven’t lost weight. Those who give up on online dating have unrealistic expectations about how long it should take to find someone special. You didn’t meet Mr. Right in the last 40 years; why would you expect him to show up in the next 90 days?
If you’re an educated woman with a good career and you’re looking for a man who makes the same amount of money or more, you’re in luck. There are no shortage of men who earn an upper-middle-class salary and can be a true partner, emotionally, physically, and yes, economically.
If you’re a woman who is not satisfied with the quality and quantity of the men writing to you, you should initiate contact with men. You won’t get the same response rate as when men write to you first, but if 30% of men reply to you, at least they’re men you desire instead of men you want to delete.
10 Dating Statistics
They say that chivalry is dead but, by this metric, it’s alive and well. You’d expect that women would value the display of generosity that comes with picking up the check more than men, but, in fact, 85% of men expect to pay for the first date (well over the 72% of women who expect them to). Furthermore, according to the linked study, men are willing to shell out more money than women expect them to.
While we are living in the most egalitarian world ever, gender roles still apply most of the time. Men understand that if they are interested, they have to take the initiative, and women, for the most part, don’t need to take the initiative if a man is interested.
While only 5% of women are taking action, 10% of men want you to ask them out – mostly because they’re shy, inexperienced, and afraid of rejection. I’d still recommend letting men take the lead instead, but hey, if you want to date a guy who is too shy to ask you out, then go for it.
This isn’t a universal statistic, nor is it intended to make you feel bad if you don’t get second dates. This is just a valuable reminder that dating involves a lot of trial and error. Even if you don’t get second dates every time (and everyone gets rejected eventually), if you go on one date per week, you’re likely to find one guy a month who is worthy of a second date.
5. 75% of surveyed individuals agreed that it’s essential for their romantic partner to share the same political beliefs.
A Singles in America study reported that 45% of all singles want to know their love interest’s political viewpoints by the second date. In addition, they believe that it’s essential to be with a person who shares the same political interests with them. I don’t think this is a good thing, but given where we’re at as a society, it’s not terribly surprising to see people look for partners who validate their political perspectives.
While there is no shame in being sexually liberated and sleeping with whomever you want, a lot of women who are sleeping around don’t find it emotionally satisfying. In the linked survey, 100% of female interviewees and three-quarters of female survey respondents stated a clear preference for committed relationships. So, CAN you sleep around? Sure, if it makes you happy. But if it doesn’t, there’s nothing wrong with saving sex for a boyfriend.
The Kinsey Institute surveyed 1,000 couples from the U.S. to identify their relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction. Surprisingly, more men are found to be happy with their relationship, while most women were just sexually satisfied.
In a Match.com poll, 25% of poll participants turned a one-night stand into a relationship. Of course, that doesn’t say how many of those relationships turned into healthy, long-term marriages, but if you’re hooking up quickly, know that you’re not alone.
It’s wonderful if you’re enjoying your career, your freedom, and your hobbies as a successful woman in your thirties. But if you want to have your own biological children, you never have more options (both with men and fertility) than when you’re in your early 30’s. While you still have a 5% chance of getting pregnant in a given month when you’re 38, that number drops precipitously in your 40’s. In other words, you may want to look for a life partner before you’re 35 instead of panicking when you’re on the other side of it.
It’s easy to suggest that relationships – if they’re right – will work out organically. Except studies show that this is not true. From the study above, which shows that people who don’t consider normal relationship milestones are more likely to break up. “Think of the college couple whose relationship began as a random hookup, the couple who moved in together so that they could pay less rent, or the couple who chose to elope on a whim rather than have a formal wedding. These are couples who, often without realizing it, slid through relationship transitions that could have been planned out, discussed, and debated. The data show that couples who slid through their relationship transitions ultimately had poorer marital quality than those who made intentional decisions about major milestones. How couples make choices matters.”
10 Relationship Statistics and Marriage Statistics
It’s wonderful if you’re very happy being single. Now, imagine yourself in love and happily married. Sounds like an improvement, doesn’t it? In fact, 24% of singles self-report as “very happy” while 43% of married couples do the same.
A study conducted by He Says, She Says: Gender and Cohabitation in 2011 shows that most women surveyed prefer to live with their partners despite not being married. They want to get to know their potential husbands first to ensure that their marriage will be a strong one. Good idea.
Love at first sight does happen to some people. The problem is that love at first sight doesn’t always mean you’re compatible in the long run. Often, women who “just knew” when they met their “soulmate” get married too quickly and come to regret it. A smarter choice is to deepen your relationship for two to three years before getting married.
4. The divorce rate is declining. No, really!
The divorce rate in first marriages probably peaked at about 40 percent for first marriages around 1980 and has been declining since to about 30 percent. For college educated women who marry after the age of 25 and have established an independent source of income, the divorce rate is only 20 percent!
38% of wives earn more than their husbands. This sounds like something to be celebrated, but the second women outearn their partners, they begin to resent them. Even earning $5,000/yr more correlates to a greater risk of divorce. Basically, men have to be less insecure about women who make more money, and women have to stop looking down on men who make less money.
How you feel about this statistic says a lot about your life experience. If you’ve chosen to date a series of low-character who eventually cheated on you, you’ll think this number is too low. If your world has never been touched by infidelity, this number will seem high. The truth is that it doesn’t matter how we feel about the number: 4 out of 5 married people stay faithful to their spouses for the entire time they’re married.
In the mid-1990s, there were virtually no never-married woman in her early 40s with a postgraduate degree having children. But today, 25 percent of women who fit that profile do. Similarly, over 50% of children born to women 20-30 are born out of wedlock. What this means is that the most and least educated women are having more kids than they used to – and doing so without men.
Two of the best predictors of relationship happiness are a partner’s willingness to be sensitive to emotional cues and to share housework and childrearing. Almost half of dual-earner, same-sex couples shared laundry duties, compared with just under a third of different-sex couples. And 74 percent of same-sex couples shared routine child care, compared with only 38 percent of straight couples.
“Fewer Americans are marrying overall, and whether they do so is more tied to socioeconomic status than ever before. In recent years, marriage has sharply declined among people without college degrees, while staying steady among college graduates with higher incomes. Currently, 26 percent of poor adults, 39 percent of working-class adults and 56 percent of middle- and upper-class adults ages 18 to 55 are married.”
Harvard ran one of longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history. to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.
In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.”
Happy Marriage Doesn’t Happen By Accident
I hope these studies paint a clearer picture of the dating and relationship landscape for you.
From the online dating studies, you see that online dating and dating apps are not only a viable way to meet people, but an essential tool in creating a love life from scratch.
You see that men remain traditional in some ways – initiating contact, picking up the first check – but many appreciate it when you write to them online first.
You see that online dating, while flawed, has introduced millions of people who never would have met – and allowed them to create happy relationships.
From the dating studies, you see the importance of prioritizing dating at a younger age, the dichotomy between women having one-night stands but not enjoying hookup culture, and that there are better ways to pace a relationship than others.
Finally, from the relationship studies, you see the importance of cohabitation, the idea that marriage is getting stronger for educated women over the age of 40, and that, in a world where women earn more than men, both genders have to adjust their expectations a bit.
Love – in all its complexity – doesn’t happen when you least expect it. It takes confidence, effort and strength to persevere, aim high, and refuse to settle for less.
That’s why I created Love U, a course that helps smart, strong, successful women understand men and make healthier relationship choices. Click here to learn more.