Feb 9, 2019

By the numbers: Online dating is losing its stigma

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The majority of relationships today began offline, but online dating is quickly becoming the new normal and losing its stigma.

By the numbers: More than half of Americans who have used dating apps or sites said they had a positive view of online dating and 72% said they think relationships that begin online are just as or more successful than those that begin offline, according to a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll.

"Online dating had this stigma in the early 2000s where it's only losers go online ... but now, it's like, you're a loser if you're not on the sites."
— Stephanie Tong from Wayne State University told Axios
  • Half of LGBQ people polled have a positive view of online dating.
  • But the stigma remains among those who have never used a dating app or site. 65% of them had a negative view of online dating, and almost half said they think relationships are less successful if they begin online.

Between the lines: Despite a widely held assumption, even among 18-34 year olds, that dating apps are for hookups, casual sex was one of the last reasons why people said they downloaded Tinder, according to a recent study. The top reasons were:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Curiosity
  3. Socialize
  4. Love
  5. Ego boost

New game, new rules:

  • Apps like Bumble have attempted to shift gender roles in relationships, but almost half of men surveyed by Axios/Survey Monkey said that they would typically make the first move after matching with someone, compared to just 13% of women.
  • Finding love isn't always a reason to give up the apps. 11% of 18-34 year olds said that they would continue using the apps for entertainment or to find other relationships even while in a relationship.
  • 27% of people in the same age group said that people should stop using the apps only after making a verbal commitment to a relationship with someone — the most popular option.

Go deeper: Our special report on the future of dating

Go deeper