Even so, only 10 percent of Americans say they've tried online dating.Online dating is most popular among men and women ages 25 to 34.The report due out Monday from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project suggests that attitudes toward online dating "have progressed in a clearly positive direction." In fact, 59 percent of Internet users agree that online dating is a good way to meet people. As Americans shop, socialize and entertain themselves online, a growing number are turning to the Internet to find dates.Some 11 percent of people who started a long-term relationship in the past decade say they met their partner online.Nearly a quarter of them have used online dating sites, compared with just 10 percent of people in the 18 to 24 age group.For ages 35 to 44, it's 17 percent and then the numbers fall to the single digits.
Whites are slightly more likely to use dating sites than other ethnicities - 11 percent compared with 7 percent for blacks and 5 percent of Hispanics, according to the survey.Online dating is shedding its stigma as a refuge for the desperate, but people who use sites such as and e Harmony are still in the minority.Thirty-eight percent of Americans who are "single and looking" say they've used an online dating site or mobile dating app, according to a new study.Among those 65 or older, the number grew to 24 percent from 13 percent.
Once upon a time, couples who found each other online felt compelled to spin alternate "how we met" tales, but that's no longer the case. In 2005, 29 percent of Internet users agreed that people on online dating sites were "desperate." In Pew's most recent study, that number fell to 21 percent.But online dating isn't all chocolate hearts and red roses.