The results are in… what you really think about online dating

Our Graham recently found data from a survey* conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute showing that 36% of older people found their partner online, whereas only 23% of younger people (18-40) used the internet to find love.

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Over at Our Graham HQ we decided that we wanted to find out, four years on, whether young people were still hesitant to use online dating. To that end, we decided to conduct a survey with our users, aged 18-25. We spoke to 38 of you.

It’s turns out that on the whole you were pretty divided when it came to online dating. 23 of you had not even tried online dating before, and of that 20 of you thought it was a very bad idea for young people, and that it was . quite a ‘stigmatised’ approach.  One user simply said:  ‘It is something for older people’, while someone explained that they still preferred to meet people in ‘3D’ rather than online.

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However, 15 of you did use dating websites. The most popular was Guardian Soulmates with 32% of our online daters using the site.

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But don’t despair, some of those that took part in the survey did manage to find love…

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Here’s what some of our users thought of online dating on the whole:

“seems like a good idea to begin with but I was sent too many ‘matches’ each day to handle! I went on one date but the guy looked nothing like his picture.”

“A bit weird, not really the natural way to meet someone.”

“Potentially great and can be very fun, but also tough on the self-esteem and can be very difficult to repeatedly meet people and have nothing happen. Also feels like they might always be waiting for the next person to come along…”

“It seems impersonal and too open to misuse and misrepresentation. It can be objectifying and too focused of superficial qualities.”

“Seems like a good way to meet compatible people, but can never match up to the thrill of meeting someone by chance, or falling in love gradually without realising. I think it’s one of many perfectly legitimate routes to a good relationship, but personally I think the best relationships begin when you aren’t searching for them, as this usually means that what you want is a specific person, as a opposed to a relationship.”

*They asked 24,000 people aged 18+ in 2009

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