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According to Pew Research Center's Internet Project, 10 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds and 8 percent of 45-to-54-year-olds have done online dating. singles said the main advantages of online dating are to "expand my dating pool" (94 percent) and "allows me to pre-screen my dates" (93 percent), according to

Researchers explain that middle-aged adults represent a "thin dating market"--in other words, dating prospects are slim within their immediate social circles. Most people use online dating sites or mobile dating apps to improve their dating prospects and vet their dates. Other common reasons for using online dating sites or apps include "meeting people who share similar interests or hobbies" (60 percent); "meeting people who share your beliefs or values" (52 percent); "finding someone for a long-term relationship or marriage" (46 percent); and "having a schedule that makes it hard to meet interesting people in other ways" (33 percent), according to a Pew report. Most people know an online dater or someone who used online dating to find a spouse or to form a serious relationship.

Indeed, most relationship counselors, including The Rules Girls, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, agree that logging on can be a great way to meet your match. Online dating services also can be a good option if you frequently travel for work or have children or other responsibilities that make going out to meet people difficult.

"You can't know a person's intentions over the internet or online, it's just impossible," Pelkki said.According to , 11 percent of American adults have enrolled in an online dating service. Online dating sites and dating apps enjoy widespread popularity, and not just among young adults.If you're a baby boomer, you're just as likely to be an online dater as a young adult."When you form any type of relationship over the internet or online with people you don't know, you elevate your level of risk greatly," Pelkki said.The app finds eligible bachelors and bachelorettes within your area.

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