The Washington Post

Online dating: Is it worth it? See what a study says, and share your stories.

Alex Painter and Sarah Apgar met through an online dating service. Read about their wedding. (Evy Mages/For The Washington Post)

Consider the stats:

25 million people used online dating sites in April 2011.

• The average user spends 22 minutes on a dating site each time he or she visits.

• Users spend about 12 hours a week online dating, including searching profiles and writing e-mails.

• By 2005, 37 percent of Internet users had tried online dating.

22 percent of couples who formed relationships between 2007 and 2009 met through the Internet.

81 percent of online daters provided inaccurate data on their profiles regarding height, weight or age.

• Men view three times as many profiles as women and are 40 percent more likely to initiate contact with a woman after viewing her profile.

• Men replied to 25 percent of the messages they received through one site; women replied to only 16 percent of the messages they got.

• One study found that people view online dating and offline dating as equally satisfying.

Of course, data tell one story; you can tell another. Let us know about your experiences in the murky waters of online dating. Tell us your horror stories, successes and online dating strategies in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #onlove.

Ellen McCarthy is a feature writer for Style. She is the author of "The Real Thing: Lessons on Love and Life from a Wedding Reporter's Notebook."

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