(Rachelr Orr/The Washington Post; iStock)

You’ve been dating for a while now. In the beginning, it was exciting. Gorgeous, intelligent, interesting singles were as plentiful as cowboy boots at a honky-tonk. But bit by bit, their sheen started to fade as you realize one is unemployed, another 100 pounds heavier than the photos, or, after what seems like a million dates, there simply isn’t anyone sparking your interest. Now you’re burned out. And you’re not sure it’s worth the effort.

Dating takes a lot of energy and it can be as exhausting as looking for a job — exchanging messages, getting someone to agree to meet up, spending time getting ready for the date and then physically going on the date. But there are reasons to keep the faith. Here are some stats that may help you see the brighter side of online dating.

1. Love at first sight

According to Statistic Brain, 71 percent of people dating online believe in love at first sight. Considering how cynical and jaded one can be when it comes to online dating, this is a pretty uplifting stat. Romance can still be had in the throes of emails, photos, and profiles. Just think you could be one date away from falling madly in love over a glass of shiraz and a conversation about your favorite political candidate.

2. Love gets a second chance

Equally as uplifting, “Singles in America” Match.com’s annual study that looks at dating online, with apps and IRL shows that 50 percent of singles believe that the person will “grow” on them. So if you’re worried you weren’t your perfect shining star self on your first date, fret not, you’re likely to score a second date. People are sensible enough to understand love doesn’t always knock them over the head right away. Sometimes it’s more of a slow boil that grows over time. And that’s a good thing.

3. Passion takes time

At first swipe or wink or like, online dating may seem inherently superficial or to rely simply on looks. But while some people are just looking for a quick fix or arm candy, many others are looking to find real love. “Singles in America” found that, when it comes to online dating, 59 percent of men and women do not expect to feel chemistry until the second date, and over a third of singles don’t expect passion to erupt until the third date or later.

4. Marriage happens quickly

If you’re looking to get hitched, here’s some light at the end of the dating tunnel. For online and app users, 18.5 months is the average time spent dating before marriage as opposed to 42 months for couples who meet offline. Perhaps this is because, in spite of all the people just looking to fool around, there are people who go online with the specific intention of finding a partner. This is unlike “real-life” dating where singles are generally less intentional at the start.

5. Online Dating = Marital Satisfaction

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences and funded by eHarmony, couples who meet online are less likely to separate or divorce. Only 6 percent of marriages that started online ended in marital breakups, compared to almost 8 percent of couples who met off line. Not too shabby! And ultimately a great reminder to stay in the game for those people truly looking for a match when they go online.

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