Online Dating Study Determines Users Have Only .03% Chance of Finding Lasting Love

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CHICAGO  –  Many people will agree that scouring dating websites looking for love can be frustrating.  And now a group of U.S. psychology professors released a study on Tuesday exposing that the dismal results are not worth that frustration.

“Online dating seems to offer the promise of unlimited opportunity for singles to meet.  But the reality is that the long-term success of these pairings is about .03%,” study author Sal Stein, a professor of psychology at Brighten University, said in an interview.  That is about one third of one percent.

The study defined “lasting love” as any relationship that resulted in long-term dating of six months or more.  For every 350 dates that were set up online, only one led to relationships that lasted to the six month mark.


In comparison, meeting someone through other means, such as family, friends, work, school or at a bar resulted in a 29% chance of long-term dating.  That is nearly 1,000 times more successful than a dating site connection.  And it shows that there is no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

Stein also explained that there are significant problems with online dating.  Foremost, people are overwhelmed by seemingly endless lists of profiles.   Second, these profiles are often filled with misrepresentations.

When there are a lot of choices, people think of their matches as readily disposable.  After a couple of dates someone who frequently uses online sites is likely to dismiss a possible mate in favor of someone new from the bottomless pit of possibilities.

The investigation also revealed that online profiles contain substantial embellishments.  “People lie about their height, financial success and also say that they are younger,” Stein stated.  This leads to disappointment and mistrust.

Online dating regulars tend to be unrealistic in their expectations.   Stein explains, “these men and women think that they are more desirable than they actually are, and that they rate better looking matches than they are getting.  Reality never hits them the way it would at a physical venue.”

The bottom line?  If you are single and looking for love, you should head out to a local bar or ask your friends and family to match you up.  Do not look for your next date on the internet.


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    • Alex on May 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    If you give it a chance, you can be successful. If you are just playing around, you won’t be.

    I think people need to remember that.

    • Andy Maynard on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I met my bride on but I was on there for about 5 years.

    • Duke on May 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    the free sites are just a rip off. they want you to pay for it to actualy work. And the eharmony thing is just garbage. I spent hourts doing surverys and they never fixed me up with anyone good..

    • Summer on May 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    The guys online are real LOSERS. And they are so rude too. As-if I would ever go out with some of them and when you don’t answer their emails they are rude rude rude.

    • James Cohee on May 21, 2012 at 2:32 am

    As an internet/online, matchmaking/dating, expert/victim for the last 10+ years , professor Stein could not have nailed it more accurately. In fact, it is the conclusion that I have come to via the ” hard way “. FINAL AFFIRMATION that I have been right ALL ALONG!!!! All I needed was ONE intelligent person to agree with me! Hallelujah!!!!

    James Cohee AKA \”SWM 48\”
    Central Texas, USA

      • Aamir on June 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you, I’ve recently been seinhcarg for a study about online dating for a long time and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what in regards to the bottom line, is it hopeless?

    • James Cohee on May 21, 2012 at 2:45 am

    My exact words months ago on a popular FREE internet Dating site are as follows;

    Just an FYI Ladies- (and gents if your on the wrong page lol). You are wasting your time here. You will NEVER find what/who you seek on here- or ANY other internet dating site. REMEMBER THESE WORDS-
    Just trying to give you all a reality check- not that your unintelligent. But that internet dating sites by and large are CESSPOOLS of degraded rejected and depraved individuals that LIE,are UNHEALTHY, DYSFUNCTIONAL,DISHONEST,and MANIPULATIVE- (if the shoe fits lol) and ALL are constantly on the lookout for that BIGGER BETTER DEAL. The whole system and concept is fatally flawed. Too many choices- and there is something WRONG with EVERY SINGLE ONE THAT YOU WILL MAKE HERE.
    I know- I know- its so convenient and its like a great big candy store and you dont have choices in your profession and you dont go to church and bars are not your thing and the gym is for midlife crisis egomaniacal and overweight freaks and how else will you find the mate of your dreams if you dont give yourself choices? Right?? WRONG!! LoL Do yourself a favor-save yourself some time- and headache- and heartache- DELETE YOUR AD and PROFILE and take your chances and lumps in the REAL WORLD. You will make the same mistakes as on here- no doubt- but at least you will be making many FEWER mistakes/decisions- that are based on the NATURAL laws of attraction and NOT illusions of grandeur- and that dream mate is just that- an ILLUSION OF GRANDEUR. I know this will likely upset and disturb all the perfect beautiful successful happy shiny people- but hey- its always better to be pissed off than pissed ON! HAHA!!
    Note; Please dont message me with any cutting remarks- as I am in no way cutting you with my words. Just leading the blind!

    As an internet/online, matchmaking/dating, expert/victim for the last 10+ years , professor Stein could not have nailed it more accurately. In fact, it is the conclusion that I have come to via the ” hard way “. FINAL AFFIRMATION that I have been right ALL ALONG!!!! All I needed was ONE intelligent person to agree with me! Hallelujah!!!!

    James Cohee AKA \”SWM 48\”
    Central Texas, USA

      • Gloria on June 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Good comments!

      • Salt and Pepper on June 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      What do you tink is the solution? Where is a good plae to look for women then?

    • Mr Berle on May 23, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Yeah summer you sound like a real winner.

    • Blanche on May 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    @ James that is too much baggage to put in your profile.

      • Chandan on July 1, 2012 at 8:43 am

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    • Solantra on May 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I have hooked up online.

    • Kansas Dave on June 1, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I’m a swm from Topeka. I’m 6’2″ make $250k a year and am 25. I am a model. I hang out on the dating sites all the time because I can’t get dates!

    • Circuscircus on June 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Ya’ll are a bunch of whiners. You get out of it what you put into it.

    I went on a lot of good online dates and it is whatever you make of it. Some people need to grow up.

    • Sandy Lewis on June 8, 2012 at 6:04 am

    James you sound crazy and desperate. Chill it out.

    • YLH on June 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    This was helpful info about dating. I always check here regularly for fresh articles!

    • Brandon J on June 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    This study is completely correct.

    • Lustang on June 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Its about time someone got some numbers on this. The whole online dating thing is a big racket.

    Seriously, I spent so much money and have nothing to show for it. Asnd the free sites are garbage you have to pay anyway.

    • Coffeenut on June 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I like to look on it like entertainment.

    • Luvyna Dufus on June 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    is anyone else going to get out the java and answer 100 dating ads now? LOL

    • viagra Zogak on June 20, 2012 at 5:31 am

    No wonder I’ve been string out. I am one of the 97%

    • jordan 13 on June 22, 2012 at 5:15 am

    I am almost there then. Only a few more dates!

    • unita on June 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I like to get the replica antique watches but have some of the LEDs that are valuable. I will need to do something with those.

    • Bernadete on July 14, 2012 at 6:06 am

    every time i come here i am not disappointed. I hope to be one of the the .03% lol!

    • Delicate Flower on July 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    This is too true. Really though it’s worse than that. I have about given up on it.

    • Francis on December 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I’d like to find out more? I’d care to find out more details.

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    • Kitty on January 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

    These articles are important reality checks. I also read recently in an eharmony article that dating gets harder for women over forty because the number of women begins to exceed the number of men.

    Here are what I think the take-aways are:

    1) Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not happening. It’s tough out there. And despite the fact that sites often want you to lower your standards, the better you are in terms of your education, physical fitness, smarts, success, etc., the better type of partner you might want to find. But, let’s face it, there are fewer of these people, which makes them harder to find. Additionally, if you are a minority in some way, that makes it hard–I don’t mean a racial minority. But let’s say your religious beliefs are uncommon or you have some super-unique hobby that dominates your life–that cuts your pool down as well. Actually, for that matter, I have a wonderful friend who is a Middle Eastern guy–and I do think his racial minority probably makes it harder for him to find someone in our area. People are too prejudiced against him. If you are new in town, a woman over forty, or have little family support, it will be harder. I’m all of those things. I’ve got only one parent and no siblings, etc., and my one parent needs a lot of care–I love him to bits, but he’s not going to be setting me up with anyone–and he lives too far away.
    2) Do watch out for narcissistic expectations. Television and internet ads tell us all that we are supposed to be leading a certain beautiful life where we look great, have hourglass figures, have perfect clothes, have beautiful homes, and have our every need met. If we don’t have those things, then there is something wrong with us. So we should buy their products, and they’ll fix it. Love and sex are also things that we are told are supposed to be at our fingertips. Well, the internet is not an automatic love delivery service. It’s not a designer dress that we are having overnighted. Love and relationships take work. Start with friendship. And again, if it’s not happening right away, it’s not you. It’s just that it doesn’t’ really work that way.
    3) Don’t give up on online dating if you do want to meet someone, but don’t make it your everything either. Join meet-up groups. Go out to bars, to church, to whatever. Get involved in your community. Give your card to everyone. Be open. Try speed dating. Try online services that have in person social events. Look at it as just another way to make some friends and to explore your own growth.
    4) Two or three times I’ve met someone online whom I’ve dated six months or more. One of those may have been five months, which is why I’m not sure–can’t remember. So it can happen if you really work on your photo, profile, etc., and work on yourself. Of course, I think those relationships did ultimately turn out to be mistakes themselves. But I learned something from it, so in the end, that’s what matters. Yeah, I know I hate learning experiences. 🙂 The more you learn the harder it was. 🙂 But really, we’re all here to grow.
    5) Work on yourself first and foremost. Love yourself. Do therapy. Do Pilates. Do Yoga. Exercise. Learn. Make friends. Get involved with charity. Celebrate all of the platonic love in your life.

    • seabuggy on February 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I met the love of my life on MySpace. Eight years and one child later, we couldn’t be happier! I feel lucky to be part of the .03%!

    • raine on July 22, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Maybe these numbers are correct. I can only speak to my experience .

    1. My Best Friend met her Husband on a Dating site.
    2. My Aunt met my Uncle on a Dating site.
    3. I met my Husband on a Free Dating site.

    That seems like a large number of people who had success on dating sites when you look at the figure sited in this article.
    1. The things i think the .03 % are doing is using online for an introduction but you have to get offline and actually go out with people.
    2. Be prepared to ignore or block the Rude people who are there for the wrong things.
    3. Be prepared to go on Dates and see if things click ( I went on quite a few)
    4. Have Realistic expectations ( Know your self and what is important to you , Know your deal breakers in a relationship and stick with them)
    5. Profiles with Pictures only
    So my personal conclusion on Dating sites is they can work!
    Is this article right or wrong ?
    Are there other ways that could be better to meet someone sure.
    But this worked for me and several people close to me so i would not dismiss it as a option.

    Cheers and good luck finding some one

    • Steph on December 10, 2015 at 5:36 am

    I found my boyfriend on Tinder, it was on a Christmas day he sent me a message so its always a special; time for us. We now live together and are so unbelievably happy. Whey up to being part of the 0.3!! 😀

  2. I’m almost 60 years old. I am attractive look much younger and take good care of myself. I expect the same back.. I’ve been on different dating sites .. paying and free ones for 3 years.. I’ve met a lot of nice men but unfortunately they don’t live up to my standards(just being honest). I’ve come to the conclusion that my age is a big hinder unless I’m looking to “hook up” with a younger man.. witch I have no interest in. I tried Our Time.. Match.. E-harmony .. Hardly get any messages. Pof I do.. but quantity is not quality .. I know that my chances are next to nothing but I have find that they pass my time and through my chatting I’ve learned many things from many men.. Funny how people will open up when they feel safe .. ( OK I guess it’s never REALLY safe )…

    I’m very curious about people in general and their behavior. During my toughest times I found some friends on there and I realized there are many lonely people in the same boat as me. We share stories. I have 3-4 that I’ve been chatting with for a couple of years . We just pop in and ask how we’re doing knowing we are not a match.. So pen pals of a sort.. Pen pals with something in common.. Looking for our one and only.. I’m a much wiser person for joining them.. I’m alone still.. but wiser. I don’t ever give up on finding the one but I’m less serious about it and because I’ve learned so much I feel I’m very good at spotting the ones that are simply not honest. As far as going to bars and speed dating I feel that’s just simply out for someone my age. I am convinced that men my age that are together want younger women and who can blame them ? The thing is If only some of them got to know me.. It’s true that there is nothing better than face to face.. But I can’t get them in front of me.. I have a good career own my own home and am very independent. I have hardly any baggage (don’t let someone tell you that they don’t have any because that’s simply not true) and I have a good heart.. So I believe they are simply what you make of them… I know a few couples that have met their spouses on line and hear more and more as the time goes on.. Some have dream relationships but mostly younger ones. I’m not dating older men .. I’m not attracted and I’m not settling. I see now why some women give up and just settle for hooking up now and then.. Not my bag.. So to all of you commenting here I’d say each one of you has a point.. and all of our experiences are different depending on many things (including luck I’m afraid).. I’m not giving up.. It’s a learning experience believe me ! I forgot to mention that among all those nice men.. there are also some pigs… God bless everyone !

    • JJ Hockley on September 3, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Pretty easy to meet women online, I’ve been on lots of dates and had a few that started to get serious. I had to cut them short though as the women were either not attractive to me or had mental health problems.
    Now that I’ve stopped using online dating sites I view it as a ‘phase’ I went through; I learned a little about myself, women and the Internet. Most of all I learnt that it’s best to get on with your life, enjoying reality, not looking for love anymore. If it finds me, great, if not I can be quite content without it.

      • Jose M on February 14, 2018 at 2:44 am

      Live in Miami. Met online woman.on POF, very nice, texted more than few times, spoken to her asked her on date. She accepted. However, the other night after being on the phome with her like 2 hours, after I hung up, I checked and she was on the site. You know what?? I cancelled the f….ing date.

    • Caspero on November 4, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    yes women have unlimited possibilities on dating sites and apps and view men as disposable. Only the top percentage of men have the same dilemna. I see the same women year after year. Make plans and cancel because they get 20 new messages per hour. Nothing is ever good enough. On Tinder most guys get zero dates. The upper echelon males are being shared and worn out. The average guy gets nothing.

  3. If there’s one thing I know about love, it’s that people who don’t find it have shorter life spans on average. Which means learning how the Tinder algorithm works is a matter of life and death, extrapolating slightly. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans now consider dating apps a good way to meet someone; the previous stigma is gone. But in February 2016, at the time of Pew’s survey, only 15 percent of American adults had actually used a dating app, which means acceptance of the tech and willingness to use the tech are disparate issues. On top of that, only 5 percent of people in marriages or committed relationships said their relationships began in an app. Which raises the question: Globally, more than 57 million people use Tinder — the biggest dating app — but do they know what they’re doing?

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