see Just look at how many people seeking dates or mates are flocking to matchmaking sites and apps. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites web-based platforms like Match. Participation by those 18 to 24 has almost tripled since , and boomer enrollment has doubled.
In fact, people over 50 are one of the fastest growing segments. Because of this cultural shift, online dating sites now have unprecedented reach into our lives. They are gatekeepers to a massive population of potential partners; they control who we meet and how. Collectively, we spend huge sums of money on matchmaking, not to mention all the time and substantial emotional investment. But do these sites really work?
Are some better than others? Reams have been written about online dating, but as far as we know, no one has put the sites to the test. So Consumer Reports decided to survey almost , subscribers about online dating and their experiences with it. Given that we usually rate products like refrigerators and services like banking , this is new and fairly unusual territory for us.
But as we explored the possibility of taking on this investigation, we discovered that 20 percent of our subscribers are either divorced or have never married, and might benefit from what we found. Our survey included many people who at some point had used a dating website or an app, as well as a subset of 9, respondents who used them in the past two years.
The more recently active group rated specific sites. Our findings tell an almost contradictory story. On the one hand, the numbers indicate that these sites are helping people find mates.
A whopping 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating said the experience led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage. That kind of connection rate would shatter Hall of Fame records, at least in baseball. They gave online dating sites the lowest satisfaction scores Consumer Reports has ever seen for services rendered—lower even than for tech-support providers , notoriously poor performers in our ratings.
Well, finding a mate can be arduous and exhausting. The fact is that online dating is, well, complicated. Online dating is different from shopping for, say, a sweater, he explains: But with dating, the sweater has to agree, too. But our research also found that online dating, however painful and time-consuming, often does produce the intended result if you use it well—and persevere.
You can find the right person more effectively by choosing the right site, which means determining the demographics it caters to and figuring out whether a large or niche site will best serve your needs. Our survey found that OkCupid and Tinder, both free, were more popular among millennials than Generation Xers and baby boomers, who were both more likely to use a paid subscription-based dating website or app.
How much does it cost? We respect your privacy. Finding you can be confusing, match. Our matchmaking system is designed to let you share your ambitions with someone really compatible. A professional dating site in your city. They offer members profile assistance and find them at least one monthly match.
And we found that the free sites generally did marginally better than the paid ones, presumably because they offer a better value. Kate, the government analyst, has started using Tastebuds, a site based on music preferences. Many dating sites rely on matchmaking algorithms the same way that Netflix uses them to recommend movies. Apps like Bumble, Grindr, or Tinder use things like your location and sexual preference.
If the interest is mutual, you can send messages to each other.
But that can happen on any site, says Laurie Davis Edwards, a professional dating coach and founder of eFlirt in Los Angeles, which helps clients navigate the dating world. Joseph Lynn, 50, was matched with a woman who seemed perfect. Disappointment, clearly, is almost unavoidable. Our survey found that among those reluctant to try online dating, 21 percent of women and 9 percent of men said it was because they knew someone who had a bad experience. Veteran online daters become adept at realizing when a match is going nowhere.
But persistence paid off for Riolo: They live separately but spend about half of the week together. Vince Manfredi, 61, who is divorced and works in marketing in San Diego, found that deception is all too common. Where that person taught and what subject kept changing. Edwards has sensed a pattern of untruthfulness.
Manfredi wishes the sites would offer verified information about users. But that runs counter to another user concern: Many of us are wary of the marriage of technology and our love lives. Weigel points to real-life concerns, like the data breach in of the extramarital affair site Ashley Madison, which revealed user details including email addresses.
Most sites offer common-sense tips on how to protect yourself, including not sharing personal contact information right away and going on first dates in public places. Success in online dating requires a realistic idea of what the sites can offer and the patience to go on lots of coffee dates. When Caploe got back into the dating game, she tried to keep the whole endeavor fun.
That was definitely not me. When they eventually met in person, she thought he was 10 times more attractive than in his photos. An invitation to watch Netflix together, which has become slang for coming over to have sex. A twist on Cinderella; popular with male Tinder users to describe the perfect match.
Click on the image to download a PDF of our exclusive ratings. This article also appeared in the February issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports. According to recent studies, Americans are marrying later. This is especially true for those with demanding jobs: Joining dating sites that work for you is a very good start, and EliteSingles is a cut above the rest when it comes to meeting mature, professional singles. Finding a happy medium between happy home life and high-flying career can be something of a juggling act.
We aim to make our site accessible — wherever you are!
As well as an informative site featuring expert dating advice, we are optimized for all platforms: As well as a streamlined service, we aim to make your dating life easier by focusing on true compatibility - such as introducing you to singles who share similar values and workplace goals. Indeed, our members appreciate the commitments involved with a demanding career: As a dating site designed for career-minded singles in the US , we have a presence in major cities and commuter hubs all across the country.
Looking for love in Chicago? We've got members there too. From Los Angeles to Washington D. With the range of professions and locations on our site, you can meet someone who truly suits you. Our matchmaking system is designed to let you share your ambitions with someone really compatible. We determine this compatibility by means of an in-depth personality test, developed from the Five Factor Model theory. This helps us match you with someone who gets you, meaning there's no need to be like the corporate-minded Americans who take a diffident approach to dating.
You can balance a successful professional and a successful private life for, with help from a professional US dating agency like EliteSingles, it is easier than ever to find compatibility without compromise.
Feb 9, Here are the top dating sites for finding love. was reluctant to try internet dating again but she decided to give it one more shot in Julie Spira, a Los Angeles-based author, online dating expert and CEO of Cyber Dating Experts, said honesty is the key to online dating success. This is.
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