3 Statistics About Online Dating Safety

Researchers compiled some interesting information from online daters

It started out as a social stigma for its known practitioners, but online dating has transformed into an acceptable means to meet someone. Here are a few statistics, from a study entitled What are the real and perceived risks and dangers of online dating? Perspectives from online daters by Couch, Liamputtong and Pitts, you may not have known:

1. Fifteen percent of people surveyed in the United States said they knew someone who had been either married or in a long-term relationship with someone he or she met online. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed knew someone who had at least given online dating a shot.

To put these stats into better context, consider that couples primarily met through family, friends, work and school for thousands of years. Meeting people online has only been possible for about 20 years or so, yet online dating has already been utilized by about one-third of the population of America.

2. Sixty-six percent of internet users in America think online dating is dangerous, while 52 percent of people who had actually used online dating did not think it was dangerous or risky.

If you meet in a well-lit, crowded venue, such as a bar or a coffee shop, a person you meet off the internet doesn’t pose any greater of a threat to you than any other stranger in the vicinity. If the date progresses to a more secluded location (i.e. your place or her place) then you have to be careful.

But the fact is, despite a few too many Lifetime movies to the contrary, there is no inherent risk to online dating as long as you meet the other person in a very public setting. The only potential risks are the ones you choose to take, such as the choice to go back to that person’s place. But aren’t the risks ultimately the same regardless of how or where you met the other person?

3. Seventy-four percent of Americans have used the internet “in some manner to try to further their romantic interests.”

While some people never use an online dating site, they still might try to message women they know on Facebook, for example, as a means of generating romantic interest (although I wouldn’t recommend going that route for lack of efficiency). And plenty of men, maybe some women too, comment on the pictures of people they’re interested in, writing one word compliments such as “cute” or “beautiful” thinking maybe the recipients will magically become attracted to them (and to those who engage in this tactic, I implore you to stop immediately).

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About Jordan Murray Jordan is a journalist who has written extensively about dating and lifestyle for multiple publications.

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