Blogger Stacy Becker has released an interesting article disputing the claim that “one in five” relationships have started on an online dating site. According to her research, she says that number might be inflated, which is to be expected. When have statistics NOT been fudged for the benefit of the company behind them, right?
In her post, she goes through five questions:
1. Is it really one in five?
2. Is one in five really a lot?
3. What actually constitutes a relationship?
4. What are the chances of finding love through an online dating service?
5. How much work does it take to be a ‘one in five’?
Based on her research, she seems to believe that finding love online, while not impossible, is definitely much tougher than the ads claim. For example, she refutes the one in five claim, citing a 2011 survey that said while 14% of cohabitating couples met online, only 38% of those had met on an online dating site… which puts “one in five” down to a measly 6%.
She went on to state this interesting statistic:
The U.S. study reported that 17% of those who used an online dating service said they had been in a long-term relationship with or married someone they met through a dating website. This seems not too bad. But the other end of the equation is perhaps more interesting. The international and U.S. studies report that considerably more than half of online daters (63% and 56%) meet zero people. None.
The article goes on to discuss the odds of one of your “matches” on a dating site actually being someone you forge a relationship with. All in all, the article does not present online dating in the most successful light.
However, from our point of view, dating isn’t about statistics, whether online or not. Although Match used the somewhat inflated “1 in 5” statistic to promote the online dating industry, the fact of the matter is finding love online OR offline is all about chance. While there may have been a statistic to predict if you’d bump into your future husband at a bar, people don’t discuss it, because meting at a bar needs no advertisement. While Stacy Becker may have done a bang up job refuting Match.com’s over-the-top statement, tearing it down to shreds only does one thing: it shows that statistics are meaningless, and that includes hers.