Online dating has become a staple of modern life. In fact, it’s so common that many people don’t consider it to be “dating” anymore—it’s just how you meet your partner.
As we approach the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, it’s time to take a look at the dating trends that have been shaping our lives over the past year. We’ve been watching them closely and have compiled our findings into this report. We hope you find it useful!
- The global market size of online dating is $4475.28 million
- There are more than 8,000 online dating sites globally
- 7.86 million users use Tinder in the US
- 323 million people worldwide used dating apps
- Almost 14% of online daters marry someone they met online
- 55% of LGBTQ+ adults are said to have used a dating app
- 84% of online daters are looking for a romantic relationship
- 24% are looking for a sexual relationship
- Around 42% of users are looking for marriage
Even before Covid locked us down, looking for love online was hugely popular. However, the pandemic spurred the digital matchmaking industry to new heights, and this upward trajectory is still on the rise.
Take a look at the latest online dating statistics and trends to get an idea of just how big this “industry” is.
What Online Dating Statistics Reveal
The global online dating market size was valued at $4475.28 million in 2021. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.95% reaching $6331.14 million by 2027.
A Statista report said 7.86 million users are using Tinder in the US, making it the top online dating app in the US. According to Statista, 8% of current users belong to the age group of 18-29 compared to 10% of 30-44 years old. But only 28 % and 30% of users of the age group 18-29 and 30-44 years old, respectively, have used dating apps or websites in the past.
Cloudwards quotes Forbes magazine as reporting that there are over 8,000 online dating sites and platforms globally. In 2021, 323 million people worldwide used dating apps or dating sites as their main avenue of meeting new people. This has continued to grow during 2022.
Some, 19% of internet users in the US said they were currently using an online dating app or platform. A further 27% of participants said they had used an online dating app in the past.
Age matters for online dating apps, with differing age groups preferring particular apps. Many in the 18-29 age bracket choose Tinder for its playful interface and a user preference for less serious flings or hookups. It also helps that Tinder is free (although it does have a paid plan), making it attractive to those still looking for gainful work.
Users aged between 30-64 years old prefer Match.com, a more serious platform than Tinder. Users over 65 (only 20% of whom use dating apps) prefer either eHarmony or religious dating sites, tied at 4% each.
According to Pew Research, 55% of LGBTQ+ adults are said to have used a dating app, compared to 28% of straight adults. About 21% of LGBTQ+ daters said they’ve either been in a full-time relationship with or married someone they met through their preferred dating app, compared to just 11% of straight users.
Race also doesn’t appear to play a role in the choice of platform. Pew Research reported 29% of white people, 31% of black people and 28% of Hispanic people have all used a dating app.
Some 42% of users are looking or aiming for marriage. But only around 13% of users got engaged or married after meeting someone on a dating app. This tallies with the almost 14% of online daters that reportedly marry the person they met on online dating.
Almost 15% had a relationship that lasted less than six months while 7.2% were in a relationship for six months to a year. Only 14.7% reported a relationship of more than a year.
Many American online daters, a massive 54%, say relationships from dating platforms are just as successful as people they met “normally” through social circles.
What Are People Looking For In An Online Dating App?
- 61% of users are looking to meet people with common interests
- 44% of users are looking to meet someone who shares their values and beliefs
- 42% of users are looking to meet someone for marriage
- 26% of users are looking to meet someone to just have non-committal fun with
- 21% of users are looking to meet someone because they have a challenging schedule
- 26% of online daters are not looking for a commitment.
How many prospective dates do you have to talk to? While some have reported talking to as many as 11 people at once, most people talk to about 4-5 at once. The Pew Research Center also reports that women take profiles more seriously and pay more attention to them than men. About 72% of women think it’s essential to list the type of relationship you’re looking for compared to 53% of men.
When it comes to religious beliefs, Pew reported 32% of women and 18% of men want to know about a prospective date’s religious beliefs, and 27% of women and 8% of men are curious about the other person’s occupation.
Political ideology seems to be the least significant factor at just 18% for women and 10% for men, according to Pew.
How Dating Apps Are Perceived
People choose their preferred online dating app for different reasons, ranging from age-group preferences to the interface of the app and features appealing to different groups.
- Match: Best for long-term relationships, 30-64 age bracket
- Tinder: Best for casual dating, good for 18-29-year-olds
- Bumble: Best for women first-dating
- EHarmony: Best for hesitant daters and test takers.
Fee-Based Online Dating In The UK 2022
Statista Global Consumer Survey conducted in the UK in 2022 showed 46% of respondents chose Tinder as their paid online dating app of choice. Bumble at 32% took 2nd place followed by Plenty of Fish (27%), Badoo (25%), eHarmony (21%), Match (21%), Grindr (17%), Ashley Madison (16%), Coffee meets Bagel (14%) and CDate (14%).
Fee-Based Online Dating In The US In 2022
A similar 2022 survey in the US showed 37% of respondents used Tinder, followed by Bumble, OK Cupid, Hinge, Match, Grindr, Her, EHarmony and Facebook Dating, surprisingly.
The following numbers sketch just how popular online dating apps are in the US.
- 15% increase in US adults who think online dating is a good idea
- Only 6% decrease in US adults who think people who use online dating sites are “desperate”
- 19% of all internet users are using an online dating site or app
- 36% of US dating app or dating site users, use them daily
- 67% of Tinder users are men, 33% are women
- An equal percentage of men and women claim Match.com as their favourite dating app
- More women claim eHarmony as their favourite dating app than men
- 84% of online daters are looking for a romantic relationship
- 24% a sexual relationship.
Current And Future Online Dating Trends
Online dating trends for 2022 have shown that most users are employing healthy habits with regard to dating and relationships.
The pandemic has changed the way we seek to meet people, moving it into a private and mindful space. A French researcher found that people seeking a partner no longer rely on meeting someone via friends or colleagues.
Dating has become “compartmentalised”, in private and separate from the social sphere of people’s lives.
Some of the more widespread trends which arose during 2022 include:
Consciously single: People are choosing to remain single, prioritising well-being and self-care. This group is mindful of societal pressures and has actively chosen to ignore those pressures. Bumble found 53% of their users were consciously single.
Hesidating: These are hesitant daters who are unsure of what they want and whether dating is the right choice for them.
Dry Dating: This group eschews using alcohol or drugs during a date to remain clear-headed and fully present.
Ghosting: This is a trend when a person cuts off all contact with the person they’ve been dating. They also usually don’t let them know, nor do they give reasons for cutting off contact. This is considered toxic behaviour, but it happens often.
Power Public Displays of Affection (PDA): People have come through a pandemic and many are emboldened to show their affection with physical touching in public, no matter what people think.
Oystering: This is a trend where someone views the dating field as their world oyster after emerging from a toxic relationship or acrimonious break-up. These daters date with enthusiastic abandon.
Slow-Dating: We can thank the pandemic for this trend too. This group of daters want to take their time in getting to know the person they are dating. The pandemic prevented physical meetings so many resorted to texting and are usually looking for a meaningful relationship.
Orbiting: This trend is characterised by people who have cut contact with an ex but still follow them on social media platforms. Despite the trend being “uncool” and confusing for the ex, it’s fairly widespread.
Explori-Dating: This trend allows you to explore different experiences and yourself. These daters are open-minded to new experiences, including exploring genders and aiming for what fits them best.
Fast-Forwarding: This group is super organised and has a list of criteria they want to see in their prospective dates. While this may help you check all the boxes, it’s probably healthier to keep an open mind about your prospective dates.
Dating.com reports that audio and video dating became popular in 2022, with 90% of users saying they are already or will use it. Tinder reported that video dates were mentioned 52% more times in people’s profiles. It appears that verified dating is here to stay.
Being up to date with vaccinations and booster shots has become incredibly important. Wags refer to this as Moderna Dating. Tinder reported vaccination status increased by 97 times in users’ profiles. People feel safer meeting someone new when they know they’ve been vaccinated.
Future Online Dating Trends
Safety will be a big future trend in online dating apps as will diversity and inclusivity. Privacy is also a worry for many users. Safety concerns have become big since the pandemic, and many online dating apps added virtual dating to their features. App developers are also working on strengthening their defences against stalking and perverts and the scourge of fake profiles. Fake profiles have been an ongoing problem in online dating and developers are constantly working to get on top of this problem.
Online dating apps such as Tinder have upped their privacy and safety game for LGBTQ+ users. This includes hiding their profiles from servers when they’re in a country that bans LGBTQ+ lifestyles.
On the trend of diversity and inclusivity, more apps similar to Grindr and Her servicing the LGBTQ+ community will be developed. For example, Her offers 17 different sexualities and 18 gender identities. This trend will continue to grow into 2023.
People are more mindful of including different race groups and ethnicities too.
Many online dating apps use privacy walls to ensure their user’s privacy remains intact. These features can include preventing fake profiles to stringent verification profile settings.
Dating apps also use algorithms to detect celebrity photos and take them down. Most have strong reporting features that allow for the easy reporting of unacceptable behaviour such as bullying and body shaming.
AI will be increasingly used to facilitate higher matches, track user behaviour, make customised responses for users and detect fake profiles.
The Future Includes Finding Love Online
2023 will be the year to just be yourself with no apologies or inhibitions.
Half of Inner Circle users said they would describe themselves as an “open book” and are ready to put their dating intentions and boundaries with prospective partners out there. What anyone thinks no longer counts. It’s all about finding that match. Online is the perfect place to do just that!