Dating sites with high entry barriers and a focus on more serious relationships seem to be more popular with women.
Ashley Madison is an extreme example of this male-heavy ratio.Prior to the July hack, the adulterous dating website claimed that 30% of its clients were female.In general, more men than women use online dating—some 13% of men compared to 9% of women in the United States, according a Pew Research Centre study in 2013.Men also use their dating accounts more, according to a 2010 study of online dating published in American Economic Review (pdf): Men view three times more profiles than women, and send three times as many first-contact emails.Ashley Madison’s hack gave insight to a world where millions of men swapped messages with female-impersonator bots.
But though more men than women use online dating overall, it seems that some major dating websites successfully subvert this trend. I've met guys in bars, at parties, while snowboarding, through friends, and online via Ok Cupid, Match, Tinder, Hinge, Happn, Bumble, The League, How About We, Coffee Meets Bagel, and even Nerve.com, a site for “literary smut” that hosted online personals in that early-aughts dark age before smartphones. Now imagine that feeling multiplied times a tsunami and you’ll know what washed over me when called up to see if I would travel around the country going on dates to find out if location really matters when you’re looking for love.Sites that promote casual hook-ups and extra-marital affairs are dominated by men but, when it comes to more serious relationships, women are just as interested in online dating. That’s the feeling that rises up in my throat whenever anyone asks me the totally non-condescending question of why I’m still single, which I’ve answered so many times in so many tones (“Just haven't met the right guy, I guess! There was the guy who kept taking calls from a number he’d labeled “Happy Happy Fun Time,” which turned out to be his drug dealer.And the bassist who insisted I listen to 10 minutes of his music while he watched me react to it.