Towards the beginning of the 21S t century, Americans knew a new way to find love, specifically, online dating. In the early years, online dating platforms like Match.com, eharmony, Flingster, and OkCupid were viewed with a bit more suspicion than they really deserved; A lot of people weren’t exactly happy that these websites seemed to compete with traditional dating and relationship norms.
However, as with so many other new technologies and practices, the last 25 years have been kind to online dating platforms. There are not only more websites to choose from, but dating apps of all kinds as well. Above all, the stigma surrounding relationships that start online has been greatly faded.
One of the reasons for this is that online dating platforms are winning the numbers game. Almost a third of Americans have tried online dating at some point, and about 11% of them have tried it in the past year. Of the total number of online daters, around 60% of them would describe their experience as positive. In fact, 22% of Americans believe that online dating has had a positive effect on relationships and dating in general. 26% of people take the opposite stance, saying it has had a negative effect on relationships; The most common position on the issue is that it hasn’t really affected relationships or dating in any way, which is what half of Americans think.
There is definitely a stereotype that dating websites or apps are for younger adults. While adults of all ages take advantage of online dating, it is true that the 18-29 age group has the most online daters; in fact, almost half. That’s not surprising at all, but what you might not know is that more people with a college degree (or college experience) have reported positive online dating experiences, as opposed to people who have only completed high school – 63% versus 47%. If you’re curious about what might increase your chances of dating online, this could be a factor.
Interestingly, bisexual, lesbian or gay people are twice as likely to sign up for online dating: more than half of LGB adults (55%) have tried online dating, in contrast to 28% of adults heterosexuals. Although it makes sense; People who are in the minority regarding sexual orientation have an even smaller pool of options than people who identify as straight, so it only makes sense to look for someone within a much broader context.
Unlike sexual orientation, ethnicity doesn’t seem to influence how many people have tried online dating. Black, Hispanic, and Caucasian adults are just as likely to try it at least once.
Why do some people have problems with online dating platforms?
Actually, there are all kinds of reasons. Some people are convinced that the presence of scammers means that all relationships that arise from an online dating site are highly suspicious. Others resent how easy it is to find casual partners and one-time dates. Some people point out that what they say is a trend away from meaningful relationships; It seems to them that an increasing number of people are taking the easy path to a cheap romance, rather than waiting for the real one.
This may be true in some cases, but cheap romance has been preferred by many people for centuries; dating platforms only help them get there faster. This trend, whether it exists or not, could simply show how many people have something other than marriage in mind.
To be honest, there are some legitimate downsides and most people will come across at least one or two during their online dating experience. For starters, romance scammers have basically established themselves on all dating platforms; it is something you should be aware of. If someone has an incomplete profile, a single blurry image, and starts telling you their bad luck story early on, those are some warning signs. Red flags would be requests for money or offers that seem too good to be true. Just know beforehand that if you are paired with a Nigerian prince who needs a few hundred dollars to clear his fortune through customs, but is willing to split it with you once you get to the US, it’s time to move on.
Women, in particular, seem to have trouble receiving explicit messages and images on dating platforms. 57% of users between 18 and 34 years old said that they received this type of message at least once without asking for it; 60% of women in the same age group said that at least one person contacted them repeatedly after they said the relationship was a failure.
Clearly, online dating isn’t all bad – millions of people are glad they tried it.
These are the main problems of online dating, no matter what your perspective is; What about the positive factors? People often try online dating because instead of choosing from several dozen people (friends, acquaintances, co-workers), they can choose from thousands of people. Even if they decide to stick with the matches in their hometown, most online daters will still have hundreds of options.
Part of the problem with the image of online dating is that it just hasn’t received the hype that has built up over the years. No one is fazed if someone goes to a bar looking for a date, but the chances of that turning into a real relationship are far less than the results you could get with a common sense online dating approach. If the last two decades are anything to go through, it’s only a matter of time before online dating platforms are seen as a common alternative to traditional dating.
Of course, the main reason online dating is not going to be the end of traditional relationships is because it is primarily an online meeting; the dating part still mostly happens in person. As long as people keep finding the dates or partners they want, why shouldn’t an online dating platform be the one to make it happen?
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism