Dating in a down economy

Younger adults are also more likely than older ones to say that their relationship began online.Some 8% of 18-29 year olds in a marriage or committed relationship met their partner online, compared with 7% of 30-49 year olds, 3% of 50-64 year olds, and just 1% of those 65 and older.

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.

Compared with when we conducted our first study of dating and relationships in 2005, many more Americans are using online tools to check up on people they used to date, and to flirt with potential (or current) love interests: Young adults are especially likely to flirt online—47% of internet users ages 18-24 have done this before, as have 40% of those ages 25-34.

And while younger adults are also more likely than their elders to look up past flames online, this behavior is still relatively common among older cohorts.

Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents.

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

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