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And 29% of Americans now know someone who met a spouse or other long-term partner through online dating, up from just 15% in 2005.People in nearly every major demographic group—old and young, men and women, urbanites and rural dwellers—are more likely to know someone who uses online dating (or met a long term partner through online dating) than was the case eight years ago.And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.Some 79% of online daters agree that online dating is a good way to meet people, and 70% of them agree that it helps people find a better romantic match because they have access to a wide range of potential partners.Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.And more seriously, 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.Women are much more likely than men to have experienced uncomfortable 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.

Half (54%) of online daters have felt that someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile.

General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships.

These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.

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.

Even today, online dating is not universally seen as a positive activity—a significant minority of the public views online dating skeptically.

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