We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. You can do almost anything online these days: Check a bank balance, buy shoes, choose a mattressorder a cab.
She signed up for JDate, an online dating site for Jewish singles. Online dating has certainly lost its lonely-hearts stigma.
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 sinceand 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 almostsubscribers about online dating and their experiences with it.
Given that we usually rate products like refrigerators and services like bankingthis 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 providersnotoriously 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. 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, "Dating site for doctors only a guide" 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 Dating site for doctors only a guide 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, Dating site for doctors only a guide 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. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
Match Me If You Can. Dating apps and sites are growing more popular, even among baby boomers. But can they really help you find someone special? Sharing is Nice Yes, send me a copy of this email. Send We respect your privacy. Oops, we messed up. Check our ratings of online dating services.
Avoiding an Online Dating Scam. What Makes a Site Successful 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.
Field Guide to Popular Dating Sites.
Methodology Pros Cons You answer a standard personality questionnaire that emphasizes activities and interests. You can specify who can see your profile. It's simple to use, even for the tech-phobic. Setting who can see your profile is good if you're looking to date in a specific age range.
There's no option to search for matches within a certain distance or ZIP code, although you can search within a state. App and Website Cost: For singles 55 and older. The Guided Communication process encourages users to get to know each other gradually via prompts instead of more free-form messaging.
Users can't search on their own; the site sends matches based on information in profiles. People who may want to take it slow and get to know each other. Users fill out a questionnaire about themselves their hair color, for example, or whether they have children and what they're looking for say, someone of a particular religion. It launched in and has lots of add-on services, including the ability to talk or text on your cell phone without revealing your phone number.
The questionnaire is on the long side, so signing up might feel arduous. Users fill out a questionnaire that includes questions about their Jewish identity, such as whether they keep kosher. The site caters to Jews of all levels of observance.
Non-Jewish members are welcome but are asked about their willingness to convert. Jewish singles and those looking to meet them. Its motto is "We use math to find you dates. Members generate unusual questions, such as "How often do you keep your promises? The profile questions can be so free-form—essay questions like "I spend a lot of time thinking about. The site has a reputation for attracting young, hip, tech-savvy users. Tinder uses a member's smartphone location to find fellow users in a set radius.
Swipe left on photos of users you aren't interested in and right on those you are. If you both swipe right, you're matched and can message each other. The swiping interface is very simple to use and is almost like a game.