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5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.

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When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.

Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.

Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.

Even among Americans who have been with their spouse or partner for five years or less, fully 88% say that they met their partner offline–without the help of a dating site.

Forget that stuff about playing hard to get, expecting the man to pay, and never having sex on a first date. “I cook a mean paella and I’ll always try to make you laugh” is good, but “I have a fantastic job and no-one can understand why I’m single” is not.

Today’s rules are a little more user-friendly – but some of them may surprise you. Many profiles on dating websites start with statements like: “I’m no good at this kind of thing”. If you put yourself down, you won’t sound attractively self-effacing. The aim of the online dating game is to catch the eye of someone you have lots in common with.

You do this by being original and, above all, specific about your interests.

By writing this in your profile, you’re telling people that you’re not smart or self-aware enough to write it yourself.

Most grown-ups have a history of exes, hang-ups and maybe a nervous breakdown or two. They know that you have a past, but they don’t want to hear about it. Some online dating profiles read like shopping lists.

Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.

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