Online Dating Study Reveals Complexity, Popularity and a Few Surprises

online dating app

Without question, more lonely hearts are getting (ahem) engaged with help from the connected economy.

In a pair of recent studies taking in responses from a collective sample of over 40,000 consumers in 11 countries, PYMNTS found that online dating apps are still drawing the lovelorn into searching for that special someone — whether that be for long or short-term pursuits.

Starting with the Q3 2022 edition of “How The World Does Digital: Different Paths To Digital Transformation,” PYMNTS tracked a steady rise in consumers’ use of dating apps throughout last year.

transactional activities


“Consumers communicated online more in Q3 as well, ramping up their overall engagement with messaging apps, social media, and dating apps by 2.2%,” the study found, noting that a 3.6% rise in the frequency of use of these activities combined with a 1.4% uptick in participation drove this increase.

Looking at the exact percentages of online dating app engagement, the chart shows a small but steady increase through 2022 for online dating. In Q1 we measured it at 13.5% of respondents. By Q2 it ticked up a full percentage point to 14.5% of consumers saying they were looking for love online, and by Q3 the number had risen again, albeit not as much, to 14.8% of respondents.

Get the study: How The World Does Digital: Different Paths To Digital Transformation

What brought on the search for a soulmate? That’s open to question, but it’s a fair bet that the sudden disappearance of COVID fears early last year — unseated by an unexpected inflationary nightmare — got people out and mingling again, which was in full swing by summer.

Turning now to the study “12 Months Of The ConnectedEconomy™,” online dating, which crosses the boundaries of at least three of the 10 pillars of the Connected Economy — “communicate,” “live,” and “have fun” — and possibly one or two more including “pay” as in “pay for your date’s dinner,” survey respondents were out there looking for love, even if it meant stretching that paycheck to the breaking point.

While we observed widespread increases in digital engagement, that study notes: “the most significant increase was how much consumers used digital channels to communicate. The U.S. consumer was 19% more likely to use digital methods to keep in contact with their friends, family, and loved ones in November this year than at the same time last year.”

Driving the action were men, many of whom, like single remote workers, were online and searching in 2022.

online social gender divide

Per the study, “Men and women used digital channels to communicate more as time went on — but men always used digital channels to communicate more than women, thanks to their heavy use of dating sites and background checks. Twice more men used dating sites and apps than women between November 2021 and November 2022, on average. They were also 64% more likely to run background checks on potential romantic partners than women.”

Get the study: 12 Months Of The ConnectedEconomy™

It’s possible to draw a correlation between men being 64% more likely to run background checks on potential love interests than women and the fact that twice as many males as females reported using dating sites and apps last year. Maybe that’s a bit much.

See also: Men 150% More Likely to Use Dating Apps Than Women