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Last updated on October 10, 2016 | by Aet Suvari


6 online dating facts you probably didn’t know

While many people swear by online dating there’s plenty others who wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

It all comes down to taste. Now, obviously we (not a royal we, just us here in the ODH office) are big fans of online dating but we understand that love is a fickle thing you just can’t force. If you have it, you have it, it’s an emotion which can’t just be pulled out of a hat like a rabbit.

However, let’s leave emotions aside and take a cold look at some interesting online dating facts – perhaps one of them might be inspiring enough for someone to take up online dating? is almost 20!, which is now the biggest paid online dating site in the world started its website in 1995 – that means it’s nearly 20 years old! Man, it must mean there are daters younger than Match itself using the site today… I can’t wrap my brain around that.

But what’s even more surprising is the fact that the first users who helped Match go live back then were given free lifetime memberships as a token of thanks for taking the daring step and signing up for the weird and wonderful thing called ‘online dating’.

These pioneers created the first database of users that the paying customers later on were matched with. Who knows, maybe some of them are still lurking around there. Chances are they’ve founds someone after nearly 20 years of Matching (I just invented a verb here) but with a free membership I bet they can’t resist sneaking a peek every now and then to see how their baby is growing.

2. Online Dating 1 – Porn Industry 0

It’s a general misconception that romance is dead and the world just revolves around sex.

In fact it turns out that online dating surpassed internet pornography already four years ago! And back then Tinder didn’t even exist… In any case, while the pornography industry was estimated to be worth between £500 and £670 millions per year, online dating was worth way more than that at almost 2 billion pounds! And the surprises don’t end here.

Apparently the porn industry finds their falling numbers to be the fault of online dating! So people DO choose love over sex – perhaps there’s hope for all of us after all.

3. Hacking OKCupid

We’ve all heard of OKCupid and most of us have probably used OKCupid at one point or the other. (And if you haven’t yet then get yourself to the site and check it out because it won’t cost you a penny.)

Most dating sites have invested in some kind of a matchmaking system – be it a quiz or a test or a super-serious scientific system that requires your DNA sample, three drops of blood and you’ll appearing on the crossroads at midnight with a black cat in the bag. OK Cupid does it differently.

They just ask you about a thousand questions then match you according to the answers – and it’s been said they can predict whether your love match is going to last by looking at your answers about loving or hating horror movies.

Then again, after reading this article about hacking OKCupid I’m starting to think perhaps it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

4. Safety second

It’s been true for a long time that while online dating helps hundreds of thousands of lonely hearts find their Sgt Pepper’s Club Band, it also makes an excellent place for baddies to look for their victims – for scamming, defrauding, stalking, preying and other horrible things no dater wants to think about.

However, all attempts to introduce background checks to online dating have so far failed. There have been numerous reports in the past six years about sites trying to introduce at least some form of background checks but none of them have so far prevailed with success. Therefore it’s still in our own hands to take care of ourselves online.

5. Border patrol

Online dating sites – just like love – don’t care for borders or nationalities. Most popular sites let you join from wherever you live and find love wherever you want. But it just so happens that if you found your match in China, you’re in a bit of a pickle.

It turns out that transnational matchmaking is illegal there – going as far back as 1994. Not that it should stop true love – heck, love can beat any law anytime! And apparently it does too… or maybe not. Some matchmaking companies find Chinese men brides from other Asian countries – pay 200,000 yuan (that’s a hefty sum of £20 000) and in three months one can be married to a nice girl from Vietnam. ‘We ensure you that the woman is a virgin, and if she runs away we’ll give you another one for free in a year,’ claim the ads for said companies. Boo! Shame on you!

6. Love me Tinder

Tinder is the next big thing. We know that, you know that, the whole world knows that.

However, looking at the statistics only one in five Tinder users actually ever gets to the real life date stage – others stay safely on the other end of their smartphone.

We can’t blame it on mobile dating as such either, as generally around seven out of ten mobile daters meet up with someone they get to know on their phone. So are we all doomed after all?

Is the human race just fizzling out, clutching their smartphones, never having the chance to get together with someone from China and disregarding perfectly eligible matches because of their love or disregard for horror flicks?

Well, just go back to point two. There is hope yet.

About the Author

has been reviewing and writing about the world of online dating since 2008 and the launch of Online Dating Help. A stickler for promoting ethical practices within the UK dating industry she champions the sites that get it right while highlighting those holding it back. You can follow her on Google+

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