Sometimes, the roles would be reversed, where a bachelor did the asking, while the bachelorettes did the answering. Today, people have taken to the Internet to find their ideal date or mate. Just as impressive is revenue growth in the mobile dating market, which is expected to grow from 0.4 million in 2015 to 5.3 million by 2017, according to

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One of the coauthors of the review said, "Online dating creates a shopping mentality, and that is probably not a particularly good way to go about choosing a mate." Plenty of people think online dating is a total waste of time.

Even so, judging by a marriage survey sponsored by Match.com, the odds-on chance of meeting Mr. Right online is significantly better than finding him or her in a bar, at a club, or elsewhere.

In March 2015, 49.25 million people had tried online dating in the U. Let's find out how popular online dating is, who's doing it, why they're doing it, and how people feel about it. According to , over 2,500 online dating services are based in the United States, with roughly 8,000 competitors worldwide.

About 1,000 new online dating services open each year. As Internet usage has grown, so, too, has online dating.

Researchers explain that middle-aged adults represent a "thin dating market"--in other words, dating prospects are slim within their immediate social circles. Most people use online dating sites or mobile dating apps to improve their dating prospects and vet their dates. Other common reasons for using online dating sites or apps include "meeting people who share similar interests or hobbies" (60 percent); "meeting people who share your beliefs or values" (52 percent); "finding someone for a long-term relationship or marriage" (46 percent); and "having a schedule that makes it hard to meet interesting people in other ways" (33 percent), according to a Pew report. Most people know an online dater or someone who used online dating to find a spouse or to form a serious relationship.

If you're not an online dater, you probably know someone who is.

Thanks to the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook, online dating has become an unstoppable juggernaut.

Consider Match.com, an online dating industry pioneer. Around that time, only 14 percent of American adults were internet users.

Taking a chance and getting back out there may sound like a good idea, but time and timing play pivotal roles. When it comes to marketing the feminine vehicle, the 40-something or 50-something model with kids in tow is a tough sell. And time is the key -- for exploring the self, trying new partners, allowing relationships to run their course, or putting in the effort to sustain their development.