Atlanta is known for being a tough city for singles.
Opinions differ, but one 2015 survey found that there are 80,000 more single women (age 18-64) in Atlanta than single men or 1,100 single women for every 1,000 single men (which sounds a bit better).
It’s no surprise then that many locals turn to online dating to find a match, particularly 18 – 24 year olds and 55-64 year olds.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, 27 percent of young adults nationwide say they have used online dating (almost triple the number from two years ago) and among the older age group, online dating has doubled from 6 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2015.
It would seem that the stigma of online dating is going down, while the effectiveness of online dating goes up. In a new survey from Consumer Reports (CR) , 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating said it led to a long-term relationship or marriage.
But the magazine, which made its first attempt to rate online dating sites, found the results to be contradictory. Even as users reported finding love online, they gave online dating sites and apps some of the lowest ratings CR has seen for any services they’ve ever rated.
All 14 of the online dating sites featured received the lowest rating CR has for quantity and quality of matches. The only above average rating in the entire survey went to Tinder for value. Of course the four top rated sites — OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr and Plenty of Fish — are free of charge and the higher scores they received on measures such as value and ease of use helped push them to the top of the rankings.
So why is there such low satisfaction for online dating, when almost half of users are getting what they want? Because dating sites make money from subscriptions or advertising which doesn’t give them much incentive to help users meet their life partners in an expedient manner, CR reports. Users are frustrated by all the frogs they have to kiss before finding a prince or princess.
Among those who reported finding a spouse or partner online, Match.com delivered for 32 percent of men and 35 percent of women. That was about twice the number of online daters who met their significant other on eHarmony (17 percent of men and 35 percent of women).
Other sites such as PlentyOfFish, OK Cupid and SeniorPeopleMeet had much smaller percentages of lasting matches made online.
While many websites have reputations — Tinder for hookups and eHarmony for commitment, for example — the reality is that there are a range of people on all sites and the best thing online daters can do is find the site that works best for them and remember that it pays to be persistent.