WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Nearly four-in-ten (38 percent) of single American adults report having used online dating or mobile dating apps and nearly a quarter (24 percent) admit to keeping tabs on someone they have dated through Internet searches.

A new study of online dating and relationships from the Pew Internet Project finds that more than one-in-ten American adults (11 percent) classified themselves as “online daters,” and say they have personally used online dating websites such as eHarmony, Match.com or OK Cupid.

Online dating was most common among younger Americans in their mid-20s through their mid-40s. Twenty-two percent of 25-34 year olds said they are online daters, and 17 percent of 35-44 year olds are as well.

Twenty-nine percent of recent online daters reported searching for information online about someone they are currently dating or have dated in the past.

Just under two-thirds (66 percent) of online daters reported going on a date with someone they’d met through a dating website, and just shy of a quarter (23 percent) of online daters said they’d met a spouse or long-term relationship from one of the matchmaking websites.

The number of online daters is increasing significantly, and attitudes toward the online matchmaking process have grown more positive in recent years.

Fifty-nine percent of all Internet users surveyed agreed with the statement: “Online dating is a good way to meet people” – a 15-point rise from the 44 percent who stated that in 2005. Fifty-three percent of Internet users agreed with the statement: “online dating allows people to find a better match for themselves because they get to know a lot more people.”

However, not all of those surveyed were positive about the process: 21 percent of Internet users agreed with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate.

And nearly one-third (32 percent) of Internet users agreed with the statement that “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.”

The Pew tracking study from 2013 compared 2,252 adults over the age of 18 to responses from 3,215 adults in a 2005 survey.


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