Internet dating: a British survey

Barrie Gunter (Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Publication date: 21 March 2008



An online survey was carried out with the purpose of finding out the extent to which internet users subscribe to online dating services. The paper aims to assess users' experiences of such services and their eventual outcomes.


Data were obtained through a self‐completion online questionnaire survey posted on the website of a leading internet research agency, utilising its online panel of c. 30,000 UK respondents.


More than 3,800 online panellists responded of whom 29 per cent said they had used an online dating site. Most of these respondents (90 per cent) had spent up to £200 on internet dating in the past two years, with 70 per cent of users achieving at least one date, 43 per cent enjoying at least one sexual relationship, and 9 per cent finding a marriage partner.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the limitations over sample control of self‐completion surveying, a large online sample was achieved that indicated the growing importance of the internet for finding social and even sexual companionship.

Practical implications

Data indicate the kinds of factors that are important to internet daters in choosing online dating agencies and that drive eventual satisfaction with service received.


This survey provides original and up‐to‐date findings on a growing online and social phenomenon and represents one of the largest surveys of its kind yet carried out in the UK.



Gunter, B. (2008), "Internet dating: a British survey", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 60 No. 2, pp. 88-98.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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