Twenty years ago I worked in an office where people dictated letters and memos, and handed them to a secretary to type up. Our department was considered high tech; as well as a secretary, the five of us shared a PC. It wasn’t networked. The internet didn’t exist. I honestly have no idea how we got anything done.
Now the entire world is ‘online’. My ten-year-old niece and nephew send me poems they’ve written, pictures they’ve taken or songs they’ve created, electronically, from a variety of devices scattered around their house. They visit ‘virtual worlds’ where they create and take on the persona of ‘monsters’ and meet other children of the new millennium. And only occasionally does this hi-tech world fall short of their expectations. Like when my nephew recently expressed some frustration when he couldn’t connect to Nana’s WiFi.
“Nana doesn’t have WiFi,” said his dad.
“No WiFi!” replied my wide eyed nephew.
When it comes to finding love in the 21st Century, I’m a big believer in the Internet. In How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting I actually claim that 50% of all modern day romances probably started online. Now how on earth did I come up with that figure? Buckle up people. Prepare to be nerdified.
Let’s start by looking at Online Dating Websites, specifically how popular they are. Below is a list of the fifteen most popular websites, according to eBizMBA.com. This information is ‘correct’ (or so say eBizMBA) as of October 2014. And in case their website ever disappears off the face the www you can download a PDF of the page I’m looking at here.
- match – 35,000,000 unique visitors per month (31.9% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- pof – 23,000,000 unique visitors per month (21.0% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- zoosk – 11,500,000 unique visitors per month (10.5% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- okc 10,150,000 unique visitors per month (9.2% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- eharmony – 7,100,000 unique visitors per month (6.5%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- badoo – 6,000,000 unique visitors per month (5.5%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- christianmingle – 5,500,000 unique visitors per month (5.0%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- ourtime – 3,500,000 unique visitors per month (3.2%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- datehookup – 3,000,000 unique visitors per month (2.7% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- blackpeoplemeet – 1,200,000 unique visitors per month (1.1%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- howaboutwe – 1,000,000 unique visitors per month (0.9%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- seniorpeoplemeet – 900,000 unique visitors per month (0.8% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- speeddate – 850,000 unique visitors per month (0.8% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- chemistry – 550,000 unique visitors per month (0.5% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
- jdate – 500,000 unique visitors per month (0.5% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
Wowsers. That’s a lot of people.
Now, if we assume that eHarmony’s stats were correct in 2012, and are still correct today, and that all dating websites are equally effective (!!!), then mathematically the top fifteen websites are responsible for a whopping 61.8% of all US marriages!!
That seems… unlikely. Fortunately I can list the reasons why:
- eHarmony’s survey was possibly a little optimistic back in 2012 (given that they commissioned it)
- And it’s almost certainly out of date today (given that there are many new players in the online dating website community)
- Some dating websites are definitely better than others, whilst others are worse.
But if we adjust our numbers assuming that eharmony’s newley wed statistic is actually only a quarter as impressive, ie. that they’re only responsible for 1% of US marriages – and that whilst some websites are less effective than eharmony, some are also better – this still means the top fifteen websites could be responsible for, approximately, 15.5% of all US marriages.
So what if we take marriage out of the equation? Here’s an interesting statistic taken from the 2002 paper snappily entitled “Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States” published by the CDC: The percentage of US women, in co-habiting relationships, that turn to marriage within 5 years are 75% for white women, 61% for hispanic women, and 48% for black women.
Let’s pretend all American women are black for a moment, and that cohabiting couples that don’t tie the knot in five years go their separate ways, This means you can assume there’s one unmarried couple cohabiting for every two married couples, and that the top fifteen dating sites are therefore responsible for 23.1% of US people cohabiting and/or married. But this figure rises when you remember that there are white and hispanic women, and that some couples co-habit for longer than five years.
Add to that number those people who aren’t shacked up together, who are *just* dating (whatever that might mean), and that number might easily double again: 46.1%
And what about all the dating websites that didn’t make the top fifteen? Actually, forget dating sites, what about the likes of twitter, facebook and all the other social media sites that actually do a far better job of introducing people than the sites that are supposed to be about introducing people!? Suddenly that initial guesstimate that the internet is responsible for 50% of all relationships seems somewhat low!
Online Dating can seem daunting – but it needn’t be a nightmare. Get How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting today, follow the Action Points and you too can find someone special.