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Study Finds People Distrust But Still Use Online-Dating Sites

Update Date: Oct 21, 2013 11:46 AM EDT

Over the past few years, the stigma behind online dating has broken down as more and more young people are joining different kinds of websites. Now, people of all ages can join multiple kinds of online-dating websites that take into account people's religion, race and age. Despite the increase in popularity, a new study is reporting that people, even users, still distrust online dating websites.

In the first survey to research online-dating websites since 2005, the Pew Research Center focused on the level of trust people had in these online facilities. The researchers found that around 11 percent of Americans reported using online websites to look specifically for love. Around 38 percent of single people use the websites to look for a partner. Despite their goals of finding love or companionship, over 50 percent of the people stated that they believed that at least one of their matches misrepresented him/herself. The biggest complaint that people had about online-dating websites was level of trust. People tended to believe that there are many users who altered their likes, dislikes, hobbies and physical appearance and thus, could not be trusted.

"Unless you're a sociopath, it's generally easier to lie on a profile than it is to lie to someone's face," commented clinical psychologist and relationship expert, Michelle Golland, according to TIME. "People who lie on their profiles fear that they're not worthy and may never have a relationship because of their job or how they look."

Other than misleading profiles, users are also at risk of meeting people who are not stable. According to the survey, 42 percent of women who used online-dating websites reported that other users harassed or contacted them in uncomfortable ways. Despite these concerns, the survey's findings revealed that people still choose to use dating-websites. The researchers suggested that people might be using these websites because they provide a lot of options. With more options available, people might believe that their chances of finding a life partner are higher.

The Pew Research Study can be found here

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