Online dating app or site in mobile phone screen. Man swiping and liking profiles on relationship site or application. Single guy using smartphone to find love, partner and girlfriend. Mockup website.

Person using an online dating app. (© terovesalainen -

New survey shows that more than half of single people agree that dating may be harder today than ever before.

NEW YORK — Dating has never been easy, and with the majority of today’s communication taking place online, many singles say it’s becoming even trickier in 2023. Even if they are using one of the best dating apps, a new survey finds singles are leaving nothing to chance. In fact, many Americans think it’s perfectly fine to “stalk” their potential partners online.

The new poll of more than 1,000 singles, commissioned by the Thriving Center of Psychology, reveals that a majority of Americans (56%) say dating is harder now than in previous years. Recently, inflation has taken its toll on finding love. The survey finds 35 percent of respondents have gone on fewer dates because of inflation. Additionally, 26 percent say inflation is driving them to offer to split the bill more on dates — with one in three women now making the offer to pay for dinner.

The reason for recent difficulties in finding love could lie in the modern popularity of dating apps. The survey finds that 67 percent of respondents have used dating apps. Of those, 69 percent don’t like them, and 35 percent do not feel safe using them — including half of women. Moreover, over half of pet owners say the more dates they go on, the more they love their pets instead of humans. Unfortunately, you can’t date your pets.

Overall, three in four survey participants still find it hard to meet potential dates without looking online.

Another frustration with dating apps is that the people someone matches with may not be on the same page with them. The main reason most people use them is for dates, but 15 percent are only looking for hookups. Another 16 percent are just looking to make friends.

dating apps

Are you a cyber stalker?

Given the uncertainty that comes with meeting a stranger from a dating app, is it alright to stalk a date online before going out with them? Shockingly, half of Americans (49%) say the answer is yes! In fact, 65 percent of women think it’s socially acceptable to “stalk” their date online. Thirty-eight percent of respondents admit to doing some research on an online date. Three in 10 singles spend over 20 minutes going through their date’s online history looking for juicy details.

However, 18 percent confess to going even further — running a background check on their date. Romantic, right?

This doesn’t always come without a guilty conscience. More than one in six respondents have admitted to their date that they stalked them, while 19 percent say their date has admitted to looking them up as well.

Want to try your hand at modern romance? Check out StudyFinds’ list of the best dating apps for 2023, according to experts.

Survey methodology:

In December 2022, the Thriving Center of Psychology surveyed 1,064 people who are single. 46% were female, 49% male, 4% non-binary/non-conforming, and 1% transgender. 72% were straight, 16% bisexual, 5% gay, 3% lesbian, and 4% marked other. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 83 with an average age of 35.

About Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds' Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor