Pew: Internet Increasingly Leads to Love

PHOTO: According to a new study of online dating by The Pew Research Centers Internet Project, 23 percent of online daters have met a spouse or long-term partner through sites.

Cupid is in the air and online, according to new dating and relationship statistics released by the Pew Research Center's Internet Project.

"The proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled in the last eight years," noted the Online Dating and Relationships 2013 report. A quarter of online daters, or 23 percent, said they had entered into marriage or a long-term relationship with someone they'd met through a dating site or app, according to the report.

The figure is statistically similar to the 17 percent of online daters asked this same question in 2005, the year of Pew's previous recorded study on the subject.

In general, online dating has grown in acceptance, the survey revealed. One in 10 Americans has tried a dating site or app, and 66 percent have gone on dates after responding to someone on an online dating platform.

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To wit, "59 percent of all Internet users agree with the statement that 'online dating is a good way to meet people,' Pew found, a 15-point increase from 2005.

Incidentally, 40 percent of online daters had used sites that were designed for people with shared interests or backgrounds, indicating a preference for a more curated selection of possible love mates.

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But there are drawbacks to virtual encounters, and Pew study respondents expressed misgivings too. More than half said that at some point "someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile."

Additionally, 28 percent of online daters had at some point been contacted by a stranger in a way that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable.

At least one can always hit the delete key.

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