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My hope is that my friends let me play romantic roulette with their love lives because they think my job affords me some top-secret dating intel.In reality, they probably just let me do it because of how much it fascinates me.Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.

Here are five facts about online dating: Online dating has lost much of its stigma, and a majority of Americans now say online dating is a good way to meet people.When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.Of course, women of all races have to deal with BS online. But women of color lack that extra race-based privilege, which can cause some mind-bogglingly stupid reactions from people in the online dating world."As a plus-size black woman attempting to find a suitable mate or at least a date, the results can be pretty sad," Christian S., 30, a Dallas, Texas-based fitness blogger and the creator of The Plush Cyclist, tells SELF.She's tried out Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Ok Cupid, and Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online datingand attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.Listening to her experiences makes me want to set something on fire.Christian has seen profiles declaring that they're interested in every race except black women, and someone once told her "her kind" wasn't "good enough to date." Another guy said he'd "always wanted to try a black girl" because rumor had it we're like "sexual toys." "I cried that night [after I got that message]," says Christian.An oft-cited Ok Cupid study from 2014 backs this up."Eighty-two percent of non-black men on Ok Cupid show some bias against black women," Christian Rudder, co-founder of Ok Cupid, wrote in a blog post analyzing the data.Despite the wealth of digital tools that allow people to search for potential partners, and even as one-in-ten Americans are now using one of the many online dating platforms, the vast majority of relationships still begin offline.