Researchers explain that middle-aged adults represent a "thin dating market"--in other words, dating prospects are slim within their immediate social circles. Most people use online dating sites or mobile dating apps to improve their dating prospects and vet their dates. Other common reasons for using online dating sites or apps include "meeting people who share similar interests or hobbies" (60 percent); "meeting people who share your beliefs or values" (52 percent); "finding someone for a long-term relationship or marriage" (46 percent); and "having a schedule that makes it hard to meet interesting people in other ways" (33 percent), according to a Pew report. Most people know an online dater or someone who used online dating to find a spouse or to form a serious relationship.
If you're not an online dater, you probably know someone who is.
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Only 5 percent of people who are married or in a committed relationship met their significant other online.
However, the mating paradigm is shifting: the share of Internet users who met their mate online has doubled, from 3 percent in 2005 to 6 percent in 2010.
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