“Our real-life and online identities are more and more interwoven.” Because of this cultural shift, online dating sites now have unprecedented reach into our lives. Reams have been written about online dating, but as far as we know, no one has put the sites to the test.

They are gatekeepers to a massive population of potential partners; they control who we meet and how. So Consumer Reports decided to survey almost 115,000 subscribers about online dating and their experiences with it.

“I was on a date with a guy who turned out to be a convicted felon.

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Our survey included many people who at some point had used a dating website or an app, as well as a subset of 9,600 respondents who used them in the past two years.

The more recently active group rated specific sites. On the one hand, the numbers indicate that these sites are helping people find mates.

She signed up for JDate, an online dating site for Jewish singles.

“All kinds of people are doing it,” says Caploe, 54, a publisher who lives in New York City.

Dedicated to verified college students and alumni (via education database). Alumni cannot initiate or respond to contact or post status updates.

Members only see intersection of what they are looking for and what other members are looking for. Free messaging and status posting for undergraduates (5 messages/day limit).

There’s a whole range of difficult human emotions to contend with: insecurity, disappointment, rejection, maybe heartache. “Sometimes there is nothing that clicks whatsoever,” says Julien Nguyen, a 30-year-old software designer from Austin, Texas, who has used Bumble and Tinder.

“Sometimes whatever chemistry we had just fizzles out.”Perhaps being in the market for a mate can’t be compared with using other services. D., a professor at the Harvard Business School who studies consumer behavior, thinks so.

You can do almost anything online these days: Check a bank balance, buy shoes, choose a mattress, order a cab.

So when Roberta Caploe was ready to start dating again after a divorce, she didn’t ask her friends to fix her up or feel the need to frequent bars or health clubs.

A whopping 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating said the experience led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage.