Even in 2016, there are few things that get raised eyebrows from family and friends quite like mentioning that you met your significant other through an online dating site. I, for one, still don’t get why online dating has retained such a stigma through the years. Granted, the overall acceptance of online dating is up to about 59% in 2013 from 44% in 2005, according to the Pew Research Centers. Still, it seems like online dating still maintains a certain level of taboo.
Honestly, online dating makes more sense to me for 4 main reasons:
When you think of how people meet “organically” what are they first few things that come to mind? Bars, social gatherings, chance encounters? Unless you can be in 10 different bars at once or plan on going to a new social gathering every night, there is no way that you’ll have the opportunity to engage with as many people as you can in 10 minutes on an online dating site. According to StatisticBrain.com, there are roughly 54 million singles in the US, and 49 million of those have tried online dating. Broadening your dating horizons has never been easier. We are no longer confined geographically when it comes to finding your real match.
On top of the sheer increase in potential mates, you have the ability to search for specific things you like. All of the major dating sites have matching features based on common interests, compatibility, appearance, lifestyle, etc.
Not as Awkward
There are few things more awkward than approaching a total stranger and trying to discover a mutual interest. Yes, sometimes it happens very easily, but the majority of those types of encounters are intensely weird on the surface. This includes things like pick-up lines, blind dates, and the occasion bar dare from your idiot friends. As a man, I can personally tell you that there are few things more challenging than walking up to a woman in a bar and trying to put enough of your best foot forward to make an acceptable impression. In an online setting you have an opportunity to dodge the awkwardness, and just get to know people.
Get To Know a Person on a Deeper Level
Because there is a decrease in awkwardness, people have the ability to get to know each other in a more comfortable setting. You’ll be amazed how much deeper your conversations can be when you’re not worrying about whether or not you have something in your teeth, or whether or not the dress you are wearing makes you look fat. It’s a more open and honest communication, and I think people get to know each other on a deeper level, faster. In fact, the average duration of courtship before marriage in couples that met online in only 18.2 months, compared to 42 months for couples that met organically.
You can basically learn what matters to you right off the bat without having to have months of “figuring each other out”.
Development of Chemistry
How many times have you been set up on a date with someone and when you meet there is absolutely no “spark”? The chemistry between two people is CRUCIAL to establishing a relationship, and if it isn’t there – it just isn’t there. When you get to know someone in an online environment you have the opportunity to develop that same chemistry at a pace that isn’t “do or die” like it can be in organic situations.
Attraction is multi-faceted. Online dating gives you a chance to build anticipation and chemistry before you even meet, and take it from someone who has tried to drink someone interesting – that is priceless.
Read: Breaking the Dating Cycle: How to Find the ONE
Where Online dating gets a Bad Reputation
I think the number one reason online dating gets a bad reputation is from people lying. Hell, there is a TV show (Catfish) dedicated to busting people that go online and create fake lives for themselves and attract others. That doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult for some guy you meet a bar to lie to you about what he does, or a woman to lie about actually being married. Liars are liars, no matter the situation.
There are plenty of weirdos out there on and offline, so you just have to be as wary online as you would be in real life.
Read: Dating Tips for the Digital Era
The stats don’t lie: online dating is becoming more popular and the relationships that are forged online are lasting longer. So the next time one of your friends or family members says that they have met someone online, try not to scoff. For some of us, it just makes sense.