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“It was—unbelievably—not a crazy experience.” Online dating has certainly lost its lonely-hearts stigma.Just look at how many people seeking dates or mates are flocking to matchmaking sites and apps.“I was on a date with a guy who turned out to be a convicted felon.Another guy claimed to be 38 but was at least 60,” says Kate, a 33-year-old government analyst from Washington, D. “Sometimes I will go on a date to see how bad it’s going to be.” The fact is that online dating is, well, complicated.According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites (web-based platforms like Match.com) and/or dating apps (location-based smartphone apps like Tinder).Participation by those 18 to 24 has almost tripled since 2013, and boomer enrollment has doubled.I know there is a point in time in any relationship, whether one from an internet introduction, or mutual friends, or what-not, when we decide that we can really trust each other and are no longer thought of as strangers.

They are gatekeepers to a massive population of potential partners; they control who we meet and how. So Consumer Reports decided to survey almost 115,000 subscribers about online dating and their experiences with it.

Collectively, we spend huge sums of money on matchmaking, not to mention all the time and substantial emotional investment. Given that we usually rate products (like refrigerators) and services (like banking), this is new and fairly unusual territory for us.

But as we explored the possibility of taking on this investigation, we discovered that 20 percent of our subscribers are either divorced or have never married, and might benefit from what we found.

A whopping 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating said the experience led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage.

That kind of connection rate would shatter Hall of Fame records, at least in baseball.

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But the responses from the more active group suggest they’re highly frustrated.

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