Is Online Dating Gaining Popularity?


It happened again.

This time I was getting a pedicure and chatting with the lovely woman who attempted to produce something beautiful from my calloused, beach-combing feet. The conversation naturally turned to how we each met our husbands.

Her question prompted my response, “On an internet dating site,” and I grinned, waiting for the usual astonishment.

No way! You’re the third person that I’ve heard of.

I find I’m hearing that more often now. My husband and I know two other married couples who met on Christian Café. Online dating is quickly losing its stigma. Many folks are tired of the bar hopping want-to-go-to-my-place scene. They want more than one night; they long for something real, deeper and permanent.

According to 2012 statistics, internet dating is gaining popularity and producing lasting results.

Did you know that:

  • In 2007, 20 million people tried online dating; in 2012 40 million have jumped onboard
  • 10% of 54 million singles use an online dating service
  • Of online daters, 52.4% are male; 47.6% are female
  • 20% of current committed relationships started online
  • The average length of courtship leading to marriage for online daters is 18.5 months
  • 17% of couples who married met on a dating site
  • According to eHarmony, their site is responsible for 5% of all US marriages

Is it the best option?

While opportunities for meeting the person of your dreams through work, school, and social activities may present themselves to the majority of society, many people find the internet dating situation a beneficial one. Learning a little about someone from a profile or being matched to a compatible suitor offers a dating advantage that supersedes a bar scene or the constant conscious effort to pay attention to every potential single who may be in the next aisle at the grocery store.

Yes, liars and potential dangers do exist online.

But I’ve seen or met some fairly sketchy characters on a college campus, in a restaurant and even at church. There are no guarantees that you won’t meet unscrupulous people on an internet dating site—just as you might anywhere. It’s certainly not the only option; it’s only one of many. But I’m awfully glad I tried it.

Do you know someone who has met online? What’s their story?
 

Statistics provided by www.statisticbrain.com and www.eharmony.com

Safe or Scary?


Is online dating the wave of the future?

I recently met a woman who politely, yet with scrutiny questioned my decision to employ internet dating sites to meet a husband. This was after I told her about my husband and I meeting online.

Her comments went something like, “Isn’t that a pretty daring thing to do? I mean, I’ve heard such horror stories about singles meeting really creepy people on those sites.”

“Well, it’s true there are some crazy people out there,” I acquiesced, “but both my best friend and I met our husbands–amazing, quality men–online. We also have other friends who met on the same site. So obviously, not all of it’s bad.”

“What site did you use?” she asked. I chuckled internally thinking it usually doesn’t take long before someone’s curiosity overrides their previous ‘sensibility’ about internet dating.

“We met on christiancafe.com, but I also tried eHarmony. Some of the guys were not okay, but my friend and I helped each other screen them. Really, it was fine,” I assured her.

Don’t be crazy!

It’s true I’ve come across numerous sites (like internetdatingstories.com) that depict the horrors of psycho encounters with online daters, but quite honestly, most of them surprise me with their foolish pursuance of predators. What do people think when they communicate with someone? Is society so quick to jump into a relationship (or bed) that people don’t take the time to find out more about each other before running ahead to the next step?

My friends and I never considered meeting a guy unless we had developed a substantial connection through multiple email messages, first through the site and then possibly through our private email, and after a few phone conversations.

Surprisingly, only a few stories I’ve read seemed to describe legitimate complaints of being taken in by seemingly honest individuals who somehow manage to live as Jekyll and Hyde.

All of that to say that with social networking drawing us closer together from farther away, online dating is here to stay and growing in popularity (see unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com/?s=online+dating+statistics for some interesting statistics). So is is safe or scary?

Using wisdom, discretion and accountability will keep it safe. When in doubt about someone, let it go; the best person out there for you is one you feel good about from the start. I posted some safety tips in an earlier blog titled Meeting Face to Face.

Meeting online can lead to great relationships and even marriage. Read through my previous online dater posts for more of our story or check out testimonials on christiancafe.com for other encouraging tales of wedded bliss.

Be safe and online dating shouldn’t be scary.

 

Filling in the Gaps


I thought it might be advantageous to fill in some of the gaps of our story with a few excerpts from the book in progress. Granted, changes may still occur, but at least you can have a taste of the finished work to come…

Excerpt from The Miracle of Us: Confessions of Two Online Daters….

If you had asked me even ten years ago how I would meet my soul mate, I would never have dreamed that it would happen online. But considering that as of 2010, 17% of couples who married met on a dating site, it doesn’t seem as incredulous as it may once have sounded. (datingsitesreviews.com) Let’s face it; technology has taken over our lives. But living in a technological world which grows seemingly smaller every day does have its advantages. Socially, even as we may spend less time with people in physical proximity, we are becoming more connected to friends, new and old, all over the world. Every internet social network like Facebook, Twitter and Google affords us the opportunity of setting up a personal profile with a vast array of information. Surprisingly, even Yelp set me up with a profile to give reviews on services offered by local businesses, and I found some of my friends had Yelp accounts too.

Connecting online has grown to be an ordinary occurrence now, and internet dating sites could be likened to a “bar scene” where people go to hang out or to meet eligible singles. Not that I personally related to it that way; I hadn’t been to a bar since, well…not in a really, really long time. So when I began internet dating it was all new to me. But the usual ways of meeting guys weren’t working for me.

I’ll admit that in the past, my guy meeting experiences were limited to youth or college groups, school, church or perhaps “a friend-of-a-friend” kind of connections. And I didn’t have much experience since I initially married at the early age of nineteen.  But in this age, how does a forty-something woman with grown children meet men when the single women at her church outnumber the single men by about six to one? Well, at least that’s roughly the statistics at my church.

The actual, in person social scene wasn’t much better. A local Christian singles group was the only avenue available. Some of my acquaintances practically obsessed over each outing as they desperately sought Mr. Right, but that was a little too intense for me.

One of my best friends did actually meet her husband from a friend-of-a-friend, but even after a few years, that was practically old-fashioned. And besides, that hadn’t happened for me either. Most of my friends are married and their friends are married too. Well, you get the picture.

So that is why after being divorced for seven years, I and my never-married-yet friend, adopted sister, housemate, business partner, Carol, decided to take the plunge into the deep pool of online dating.