Online Dating Is No Longer Just for Weirdos

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Online dating was once something that people did in private. But recently when someone told me she met her boyfriend "in line at the bookstore" and I later met him and discovered A.) he wasn't a "bookstore" kind of guy and B.) they actually met on Match.com, I was surprised. Isn't online dating kind of the norm now?

After all this time, I would think online dating would have long since surpassed the stigma it once had of weirdos in basements who pretended to be 6'2" lawyers when they are actually 5'1" and have no jobs at all. I have seen enough marriages come of online dating and now even celebrities (like Carrie Ann Inaba) are doing it like it's the norm.

So why are people still hiding it? And then I realized: Of the many married couples I know, almost none of us met online.

I met my husband in elementary school (though we reconnected online); my best friend met her husband at work. Other friends met their spouses at college and so on and so on. For as normal as online dating appears to be, I guess I don't know that many success stories.

Or maybe people are lying. Maybe more people are meeting online than are admitting it. So what's up with the stigma? It's 2011, people! Almost everyone I know has gone on at least one online date.

Still, even with its incredible ubiquity, most of the people I know ended up meeting their mates in real life somehow. Online you can fake chemistry. But real chemistry only happens in person. That crackling static that happens when two people have chemistry just can't be reproduced online.

Online dating is like the modern day equivalent of searching for the frog prince. There are a lot of duds and far fewer princes. But still, they are out there, probably searching for you, too! Online dating can be your best friend if you let it. You may not meet your soul mate, but with our crazy hectic schedules and modern lives full of chaos, it's awfully nice to have an easy way to make sure you have plans for Saturday night.

Do you think online dating is weird?


Image via tawalker/Flickr

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Kristina Lawler Funk

I also met my husband online, on Yahoo Personals. We've been together ten years now and married just over nine. We just had a lot in common, and as it turned out we even knew a few of the same people (his sister and my friend Patrick dated in high school). 


Funny aside to that last tibit, my friend Patrick actually tried to set me up with his girlfriend's brother when we were in high school and I refused to let him. Had no idea I'd wind up marrying him!

nonmember avatar Becky

I don't think it's weird at all. My hubby and I met on eHarmony (matched April 2008, married May 2010), a friend that I recommend eHarmony to met her husband there (married March 2010, totally two-of-a-kind!), and my dad met my stepmom on Match.com eight years ago, although they just got married in August (it's his 3rd marriage, so he was gun-shy, lol). I think for people who aren't a bit shy socially it's a great way to establish connections and get to know someone a little before actually going on a date. The "guided communication" that eHarmony does was great for me. I'm not great at on-the-fly conversation with new people, so it was like easing into it.

Kritika Kritika

I met mine online. I stopped talking to him to go back to my ex and we reconnected on the same site a year later and we are now happily married.

hanna... hannahsmom238

I met my husband online nothing weird about it as long as you're safe when you do decide to meet up.

nonmember avatar Brown

I met my boyfriend online... we have been together 2 years and are getting married next year. Nothing weiord about online dating. I don't care to hang out in smokey bars, or sleezy night clubs and once your out of college there is no endless pool of guys to choose from in my busy "everyday" life. Online was the best way for me to get out there. Pluse you sort of get to screen them before you meet. I talked only online to my now boyfriend for 2 months before I went on the first date with him.

Alex Dobson

Thank you for the article! I totally agree with the fact that most of the couples I know have met in real life... or so they say. I also have a very busy schedule, so I don't have time to make plans to go out. I joined BlendAbout (http://www.blendabout.com) for that reason. They organize dining events with groups of people you don't know. By meeting groups of people, I think you have a higher chance of finding that chemistry you can only feel in real life. We'll see how it goes! :)

Happy... Happypancake

I met my husband through World of Warcraft. Going on five years now.

Crims... CrimsonRain



I met my husband in 1999 on a freeform writing forum.  We've been together since.  My mother-in-law met her husband on eHarmony two years ago, and they're immensely happy.  There's nothing weird about it at all.  It's just another form of place to meet people.  You have to use the same common sense as when you meet anyone face-to-face anywhere else.


Meeting someone online also allows you to really get to know them.  If you're not after a real relationship, hang out in bars and clubs, and a quick fling is likely what you'll get.  But if you want to build something strong, and find out if you're compatible, talking to someone extensively online is a good way to do it.  eharmony specifically guides you through several stages with this purpose in mind.  It's not just about looks, it's also about personality and things you have in common, including life goals and ambitions.



Gifte... GiftedMommy

Met my husband on Mate1.com Nov. '05 married Apr. '10... Absolutely nothing wrong with meeting online.

Colli... CollieLover339

Add me to the list- I met my husband online, too!  We aren't weirdos at all.  In fact, when we tell people how we met, most people have a hard time accepting or even believing it because we don't fit the incorrect and misleading stereotype of who uses online dating.


Online dating turned out to be an excellent way to 'weed out' potential time wasters traditionally met through bars, clubs, friends, social groups, work, school, etc...


You can just 'delete' anyone who is clearly a jerk, creep, not your type, incompatible, way too old or young, etc... After deletes, you email people who seem interesting, and learn about them through their writing (which is extremely revealing). 


In this way, online dating saves time by eliminating the first dates, where people traditionally chat to see if they are remotely compatible.  In addition, you have a wider pool of people to meet- I never would have met my husband otherwise, since we lived in different neighborhoods and hung out at different places in a large, anonymous city.

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