General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships.These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.

Paid dating sites, and sites for people who are seeking partners with specific characteristics are popular with relatively large numbers of online daters: Organized outings are much less common, as just 4% of online daters have attended a group outing or other physical event organized by an online dating site.

Additionally, 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.

Some 79% of online daters agree that online dating is a good way to meet people, and 70% of them agree that it helps people find a better romantic match because they have access to a wide range of potential partners.

Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.

Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.

Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23%) say that they themselves have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app.

And this is especially true for those at the upper end of the socio-economic spectrum: Even as online daters have largely positive opinions of the process, many have had negative experiences using online dating.

Half (54%) of online daters have felt that someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile.

One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app.

We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 11% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters.” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.

And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.