"To find a prince, you gotta kiss some toads." ~Foxy Brown
Whether you're recently divorced and "getting back out there" or you're just single and looking, you've probably considered online dating at one time or another.
And if you're considering it now, this post is for you. It's all about the current state of the online dating community - from stats to news to what's working and what's not, according to the most popular woman on OkCupid. Plus, a safety alert from The Good Men Project and the top five most important things you need to know about keeping yourself safe from online dating scams.
- Top 17 Early Warning Signs You're Dating a Narcisist
- The New Catfish Target: Ask Your Mom About Her Online Boyfriend
- 7 Surefire Strategies for Singles Who Want to Get Set Up
Top 10 Online Dating Statistics You Should Know
- The stigma is gone in 2015. Back in 2005, people were embarrassed to say they met online because so many people had a problem with it. Now, the majority of Americans feel like it's a positive way to meet a mate.
- Approximately 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. have used an online dating service or dating app at some point.
- An estimated 66% of them have gone on at least one date with someone they met through a dating site.
- People in their mid-20s through mid-40s are among the largest groups of online daters. Other interesting facts, according to Pew Research:
- Some 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds have used an online dating site or mobile dating app.
- 45-54 year olds are just as likely to date online as a 18-24 year olds
- 8% of 45-54 year olds and 10% of 18-24 year olds are online daters.
- Middle-aged adults are described as a “thin dating market,” meaning that they have a relatively limited number of available partners within their immediate social circles.
- 9% of seniors aged 55 and up are on dating sites.
- Only two-thirds of the people who are active on online dating sites have actually met someone in person. Does this mean that a third of the fish in the online dating sea is of the 'Catfish' variety?
- 22 percent of online daters have had help creating their profiles. Just something to consider before you go all "love at first profile view" on anyone's ass.
- 5 percent of all Americans in marriages or committed relationships, and 12 percent of those who married or met within the past five years, are reportedly thanks to having met online. That means that 95 percent of Americans met their spouse OFFLINE. Is this a telling statistic or just a simple fact? Time will tell, I guess.
- But on the plus side, a marriage between two people who met online is statistically more likely to succeed. Research shows that 6% of people who marry after meeting online break up, compared to 7.6% of people who found their spouse offline.
- These couples are also happier. A study found that the mean happiness index for couples who got together offline was 5.48, as compared to 5.64 for those who met in cyberspace.
- In 2011, there were nearly 6,000 online dating scams REPORTED. Just imagine how many went untold - and there was reportedly more than $50 million stolen by online dating scammers.
- Women (especially those over 40) are more likely to be targeted than men, for both scams and inappropriate contact. Seventy percent of the online dating complaints made in 2011 involved women and more than half were 40 or older.
- Men are still pigs online. Maybe moreso than in person. 42% of women reported feeling uncomfortable with unwanted contact via a dating site compared to 17% of men.
Okay, enough stats. Let's dig right in with this - a reality show that's all about online dating.
Love at First Swipe
Have you heard that What Not to Wear alum Clinton Kelly is back on TLC? It's true - and the show is all about online dating. Kelly and relationship expert Devyn Simone host TLC's new "Love at First Swipe," in which they rehab people's online dating profiles in a mere 22 minutes of television.
Just as "What Not to Wear" was about the image the person projected to others through the clothes he or she wore, "Love at First Swipe" does the same with an online dating profile. The show carries heavy tones of: Your profile is your personal brand.
"Once you take control of your image, that's everything," Kelly says in an online teaser for the show. "In this world today, it's all about marketing yourself. And you have to market yourself online the way you feel you should be sold."
Interesting concept right? I thought so. The show has recently aired several episodes, but a TLC contact said it may not return until next year. This might be a good one to catch if you're looking to spiff up your own profile.
Sandy Weiner: Potential Disaster Avoided by a Quick Pre-Date Google Search
I don’t usually Google my dates before meeting, because I think it’s good to go in with an open mind.
I trust my intuition to alert me if anything feels off with a potential date, and if it does, I will either check him out on Google or just say no to a first date. With this guy, my gut was telling me to do a little snooping, and I was shocked by what I found!
There were over 18 articles and court records stating that he was disbarred for Grand Larceny ($700,000), possession of a forged instrument, and attempted bribery. He was convicted and sent to prison for a 4-year term.
Meet the Most Popular Woman on OKCupid and Get Her Top Dating Tips
Gorgeous Lauren Urasek, a 25-year-old makeup artist, first made a name for herself last year when she won the title of OkCupid’s “most messaged straight woman” in New York City.
That's when Urasek started her blog, called theyreallysaidthis.
That's where she spills the beans about her online dating experiences, including the most outrageous and bizarre messages she’s received from men.
We're talking straight up dick pics to outright marriage proposals, people. I would say its safe to say the girl has seen just about everything by now.
5 Warning Signs Your Online Crush is a Scammer
You know that old saying, "with the sweet, comes the sour?" Well, that's the case with online dating.
While it's totally true that online dating has made it easier to find love, with such technology also comes a new way for shady types to run scams. If you're considering online dating, it's important to educate yourself about scams that, unfortunately, have become all too common.
Keep these important tips in mind when using online dating sites:
1. Beware of fake profile information. Fake profiles can be an indication of a scam. It's important to pay attention to all of the information a person posts online.
Fake profiles can include false names, incorrect ages, and stolen photographs. They can also include fake data about past relationships and education.
Fake profiles aren't always easy to spot on online dating sites. Pay particular attention to inconsistencies. For example, a profile with a weight of 50 pounds doesn't make sense with a height of six feet. Other clues can appear if you start searching for the data online.
ONLINE DATING HACK: Check the photos first! Use Google's reverse image search or an app to see if the photos in a profile belong to someone else.
2. Make sure your crush is who he says he is and not some scammer. We've all heard stories of how a man or woman was swindled out her their life savings by some online asshole. Protect yourself!
- Watch for basic grammar and spelling mistakes that make a person sound like English isn't their first language (unless they admit that info up front, obvs.).
- An occasional typo shouldn't scare you, but a profile filled with grammar and spelling mistakes needs to be approached carefully. It may be an indication of a foreign scam because they don't understand the language well.
ONLINE DATING FYI: One of the most common scams on online dating websites is a person claiming to be from one country but actually living in another one - such as Nigeria, which actually has entire call centers dedicated to scamming people online.
3. Don't give up your info too easily. Be careful about sharing personal data. You probably know you shouldn't give out banking information, but other data is important as well. Avoid mentioning your home address, phone numbers, your mother's maiden name, and other information. Criminals can use this data in multiple ways.
4. Many sob stories are outrageous lies. So watch out for sad stories. An online dating website can give people the opportunity to share their stories, but you want to be careful.
HEADS UP! A common scam involves a tragic or sad story that makes you feel sorry for the person. Then, they ask you for help and tend to request large sums of money immediately. The stories differ, but they often involve a sick grandparent or dying uncle. This scam plays on your compassion to make you give money out of pity.
5. Don't leave the dating website until you've done your due diligence. Don't let them demand that you communicate in any other way.
SCAM ALERT: Another scam involves you emailing or calling the person you meet online. Be careful about moving communication away from the original dating website.
- Scammers will often ask you to provide personal email addresses and phone numbers. They may also ask you to video chat or send instant messages.
- Another scam involves pushy requests to meet you in person.
- It takes time to get to know a person online and ensure the interactions are real.
- Avoid jumping too quickly into personal communication away from the website. For your own safety, it's important not to give in to pressure to make the relationship serious before you're ready.
Bottom Line: Have Fun, Be Smart and Find Your Soulmate (or your Hookup - I'm not judging you!)
Online dating can be a fun adventure, but it's important to have realistic expectations. Be cautious. Predators also use online dating. Like your mother told you - be safe out there.