Online Dating

  • Copy by: Amy Phillips

In the past couple years, online dating has become more popular and significantly less stigmatized than it has been in the past. According to the Pew Research Center’s internet project, “11% of American adults—and 38% of those who are currently “single and looking” for a partner—have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps,” which means that if you’ve tried online dating, you’re in good company.

There are many benefits to online dating–namely, you cut through the bullshit. You can immediately know everything from someone’s age to their religious preferences to their desire for children even before speaking to them. Saves time in the end, right? Getting all of that out of the way at the beginning? Granted, there are genuine concerns over the safety of meeting up with complete strangers, coupled with the fact that dating profiles can often be embellished or simply made-up to make oneself sound more appealing. But doesn’t that happen in “real world” meet-ups anyway?

Have you tried online dating? If so, what has your experience been like? Would you recommend it to a friend? If not, would you consider trying it?

  • Angela

    Ah I love this topic! I have tried online dating and currently have a profile on a mobile app. I have several friends and family members who are married to, living with or dating someone they met online. I’ve been on several first dates with men I’ve met online some good (but no second dates) and some bad(but they make great stories! One guy came out to me shortly after our first date, another guy was living in his grandma’s basement) I think its a great way to meet people, especially after college.

    http://tulipsandrain.com/

  • andkap

    I joined Eharmony during the summer of 2007. Was matched to a guy in California and we instantly clicked. I went out to visit him a month later, my family freaked thinking I was going to abducted and never make it home. Turns out they were wrong. He moved to be with me in Chicago at the end of that year. Fast forward almost seven years – we live in California, have two dogs and our Chicago wedding scheduled for this July.

    I am a total advocate. You skip the nonsense because you know the people online are actually looking to date someone that will hopefully turn into the real thing! Give it a shot 🙂

  • Nicole

    Love this! I actually met my Fiancee on match.com. It was an easy experience for me though since he was my first and only first date from the website (I’m pretty picky and he was the only one who made my cut lol). I would recommend a pay site though if you’re seriously looking for a relationship, as I initially tried a free website and it was a horrible experience. If someone is paying a lot of money for a dating website, you know they’re serious about it. I would definitely recommend it to a friend!

  • After thinking about it for several months and discussing the topic with my close co-workers and friends, I decided to sign-up for Match.com for one month. That was approximately two weeks ago. I haven’t gone on any dates yet but I’ve interacted with a few people. I don’t have many opportunities to meet people at work or grad school, so I figured why not give it a shot. It definitely feels a little strange and I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole experiment.

  • DO IT! i met my husband after one week on an online dating site! 🙂 we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. xo

  • Melissa

    I love online dating. I suggest it to everyone. I use OK Cupid on and off. I met one guy on there who I dated pretty casually for a couple months, but I moved so it didn’t work out (but we’re still good friends) and I met my exboyfriend on the site and we were together for almost two years. I’ve also talked to a lot of guys who have become good friends of mine. I’m currently dating someone I met in person, but if we were to break up I would definitely use the site again. I’m way more comfortable talking to someone online first before meeting up because you get a better idea of who they are as a person and it takes away the awkwardness of going on a date because you already kind of know them!

  • I tried online dating for the first time just last week. At first, I was really stubborn about it. Then my grandma – out of all people – convinced me to do it. So I gave it shot. I’m going on a date this Friday with someone I met online. What I found interesting was the reaction from my friends who have all used it already. When I told them I made a date, they all had safety questions. “Are you meeting him at the restaurant?” “Have you seen more than a few photos of him?” “Have you done some further research?” “Do you know what he’s looking for?”. I understood where they were coming from. But unless you start dating a friend you’ve know for awhile, the dates you’ll have will be strangers, whether you met them online or in your yoga class. You always have to play it safe!

  • Tina

    I have been divorced for a long time. I have pretty much tried it all. I have been on a few different dating sites. Yes, it is a great way to meet people who have the same common interests, etc… I have met some fun guys, and some interesting guys. I have not yet found love, but I have had a good time.

  • Cynthia Parker

    I know that Online Dating works, I meet my Hubby of 9 years through Yahoo Chat Room. Not saying it is easy going through with it, but it’s a big step, and I’m proud that I took it, and Hubby and I are very happy, with our Choice’s too.

  • Rebecca Ann

    I was on OKCupid for a couple of months (literally, two months), before I just about gave up on first dates. It was definitely fun meeting all sorts of new guys, but after a string of terrible first dates, I felt done.

    But there was one guy who I had been messaging for a couple of weeks, so I scheduled one more first date. We met for a dessert and wine date, that turned into dancing and strolling around downtown, ending with a kiss on a bench in front of a fountain.

    That was just over two years ago. On New Year’s Eve, we went for another stroll (around a different downtown – New York City!), and he proposed!

    So for those considering online dating, I will say that it’s not always great, but it can totally be worth it!

    • Such a cute story! I guess you just never know!

  • Smolls

    I live in a small town where there aren’t many chances to meet young singles (except going to a bar and that’s not the greatest time to meet someone). I joined match.com and didn’t have to pay a cent until I saw someone that I wanted to talk to and you can easily screen those you’re not interested in and you don’t have to respond to the creepy people either. It really helped to have this straightforward approach to dating because I was tired of guys deceiving me and then dropping me out of the blue because they decided they didn’t want a girlfriend anymore. Fortunately, the one and only person I was interested in on match was a guy that is now my current boyfriend of one year and I am going to pick out my engagement ring on valentines weekend and we plan on marrying in the fall/winter of this year. Success.

  • Christina Kwan

    I think online dating is great, but that’s probably because it’s worked for me personally. Every one has a different experience of it because everyone is different; much like in the real dating world. I started online dating because I had just moved to a city where I had no friends, no social network. I wanted to be proactive and so I began using a few sites. Right when I was about to give up (after about 6 or so months of first dates), I had my first date with my now boyfriend. And we just clicked. We could have just as easily not clicked though. So I think if you’re willing to try it, then there’s no reason not to! Just don’t take it too seriously. Have fun and be safe!

    http://www.tideandbloom.com

  • Jessica Haile

    In June, I’m getting married to a man that I met on match.com. I had gone on a couple of dates with other people before I met my fiancee, and while they weren’t the right people for me, they also weren’t scary. My friend once compared on-line dating to on-line shoe shopping; you browse, find out more about what interests you, and in-person, it could be a poor fit, or it could be the start of a long and beautiful relationship!

  • So weird this story was just posted, since it’s been my topic of conversation all week! I just joined Ok cupid because a friend met a great guy on it. i also joined Tinder because my gay best friend thought it looked like more fun (and he was right). I thought OK cupid would be more legitimate in a way, with all the info you provide and the algorithms etc.. but I’ve been striking out on there and find the guys a little creepier- does anyone else think that?
    Tinder, with it’s oh-so-satisfying “NOPE!” stamp, is more fun, sleeker, and I seem to be talking with guys who are much more my type, and seem less creepy.

    I have yet to go on a date, my friends say my homework is to line up 2 dates a week for a month (!)

    What do you guys think? Tinder vs. OK cupid?

    • I tried Tinder but gave up on it. I found that there just wasn’t enough to go on – a picture and pretty much no info. Also the conversations I was having on there just seemed kind of surface-y. I think when you write out actual e-mails, rather than the messaging through Tinder (which feels like texting), you get to know the person a little better. Or that’s just been my experience anyway!

    • lilyelle

      I vote Tinder all the way! But that’s just because I really loathe spending chunks of my time checking out profiles, worrying about what mine looks like, writing long responses to guys who (usually) just want to stay online and rarely ever ask you out. On Tinder, even though you get less background info, you can still ask the basic questions and set up a drinks date to further the conversation. I’m really not an online chatter (especially with strangers, what a waste of time!) so I love that with Tinder you can just meet up right away and it’s basically as if you met them in person the first time. With OKCupid, it’s just such a time commitment and ANYONE can message you – I was on it for about 2 weeks and got over 200 messages … so overwhelming. At least on Tinder you can screen who can message you.

      I’m really proactive on Tinder and ask out guys that I want to meet – I’ve been on maybe 5-8 first dates in the past few weeks, and you definitely do need to line up a bunch in order to find one that works.

      I still haven’t made it past a first date with any of the guys, but that’s okay – I’m not really in it for a boyfriend right now so it’s just been really fun getting out in the city meeting people I probably would never meet in person, and keeping my social life active and different!

  • I was on OkCupid for a couple months-it’s true that you have to screen carefully even who you will reply to, and you probably will get at least one inappropriate message, but I also met some great people! I went out with several who weren’t good matches with me, but seem like cool guys. One, however, was a great match-and we’d weirdly been living parallel lives! We grew up in the same town, attended/worked at the same family camp…and never met. We’ve now been dating for about 4 months and it is going great 🙂

  • ame

    I had great success with online dating, as did my sister, as we both met our husbands online. I’d met and dated a few guys online prior to meeting my husband, including a guy that I was previously engaged to, who turned out to be meeting LOTS of other women online, and one day his email was left open while I used our shared computer and all these new messages popped onto the screen (yknow how Outlook does that?) and the subject lines were ridiculously risque, and not in a spam kinda way. So I clicked one. And sure enough, he was just rackin’ up the cheats. I had moved across the country and given up jobs for that jerk, so I didn’t hesitate for a second to drop him and move back home. Well, after I printed all of them out, including his profiles online, and left them scattered all around our apartment and go out of my half of the lease without telling him…

    But when I moved back home, got my ish together, and ventured back into dating, I met one or two weirdos, then decided to give Match.com one last chance, and bingo, there was my husband. Match.com worked well for me obviously, eHarmony.com worked well for her (they rejected me bec I am atheist and wanted another atheist and that was a non-negotiable!) My family had no idea that’s how we met, til right before our wedding, actually. I never really told them. I think if I ended up single again somehow I’d probably go that route again when I was ready to jump back into the pool, though I hope to not find out.

    • lilyelle

      wow I had no idea eharmony rejected users based on their religious beliefs! what crap! will definitely stay away from that site, thanks for the heads up 😉

      and congrats to you for your strength and empowered decisions!

  • Sukanya

    Unfortunately, I have not had great success with online dating. Tinder just turned out to be a hookup app and none of the guys were interested in dating and even made fun of me for wanting anything more.

    I jointed Match and did go on some dates but either there was no chemistry or they didn’t look their picture. That was the same with eharmony. I also felt that eharmony kept matching me with people that I had little to no attraction to and very little in common. Only something like “you both like pets,” “you both like running,” or something very generic. At least on Match I could pick them myself and weed them out.

    • Sukanya

      I feel bad saying this but I do think I need some sort fo attraction or chemistry. I also very much like a man’s man and they have proven more illusive online.

  • Do it! Not only did I meet my husband on Match.com, but I am a wedding planner and a large majority of my brides and grooms met online. I tried several services, starting and ending with match.com. The only piece of advice I would give is to figure out a way to filter who you actually meet. My first go-round on match I went on way too many dates and finally “retired” from dating for awhile. When I went back on a couple of years later, one of the first people I interacted with is now my husband.

  • I love online dating. And Thanks for sharing tipe for online dating.

  • I’ve definitely had a string of really awful dates from guys I’ve met online. It can be exhausting and frustrating, and it takes a lot of time! I don’t think it’s too different from dating traditionally – you meet someone (regardless of how you meet) and you either have a connection with them or not. Last year I met someone online who I completely fell in love with, so I’ll always believe that possibility is out there for me!

  • 89Runner

    I have had a horrible experience with online dating. I feel like 99% of the profiles you see (match.com and eharmony) are not even active. Men ask me for inappropriate pictures often as well. I have tried to venture out and open my search to several different states, broadening my horizons when it comes to “the checklist” and I still don’t get responses. I live in Alaska, maybe that’s the problem, but when you reach out to 50 men all over the U.S. including your home town and no one even views your profile, that tells me that most people are not even active online. Or you see your previous classmates husband’s profile! I know many people who this has worked for, but it’s just been a frustrating waste of money for me. I’m not ugly, educated, have a career, and thin. Maybe it’s me, but I’d love to know how to make it work for me. Been several years of trying and many MANY dates with folks who show up having lied about major things like kids and divorce or even having a job! Or long hair…

  • Chili Peppers

    Words of advice about online dating:

    1. Posting pictures on your profile is paramount. But
    unless the people who are viewing your profile are interested in photography,
    they are only interested in pictures of YOU. They
    are NOT interested in pictures of your family, pets, vacation, etc.(unless
    you’re in these pictures). So don’t post
    pictures you don’t appear in on your profile.

    2. If you make a date and want to break it later, have the
    decency to call the person on the phone.
    Only cowards break a date by
    sending an email or a text message. Also,
    don’t act like a real jerk by either completely avoiding any contact with the
    person after you make a date….that is, not calling them, not answering their
    phone calls, and not returning them……., or waiting until they call you
    before you tell them you can’t keep the date.
    Again, have the decency to call them, and make
    the call when you know you’re not going to keep the date.

    3. If someone sends you a message on an internet dating
    site, and you’re NOT interested, DON’T reply.
    Sending a reply will probably
    entice the person to keep sending you more messages. But if
    you do, don’t say something stupid like you’re already dating someone. It’s
    not believable….if that’s really your situation, then why are you on the
    dating site?

    4. If the main picture on someone’s profile is appealing to
    you, and you’re thinking of contacting this person, have the common sense to
    look at ALL of their pictures, and anything else on their profile that may be
    important to you, BEFORE you decide to send them a message.

    5. If you receive a call for the FIRST time from someone
    you’ve given your number to, and you can’t talk to them at that time, then YOU
    should return the call. DON’T tell them to call back. They took
    the initiative to make the call, and obviously didn’t know it was a bad time
    for you to speak, so YOU should have the decency to make the return call.

    6. Don’t let your friends use your profile to browse through
    a dating site, especially if you’re a paid subscriber with full membership
    privileges. Sometimes the friends will contact other
    members on the site without your knowledge, the recipients will think it’s you,
    and when they find out it’s someone else, the outcome is not always friendly,
    …..OR the recipients may not be interested, but think you’re interested in
    them …because they think you’re the one who sent the message, … and maybe
    tell their friends about the message they think you sent them……OR your
    friends could do something that violates the dating site’s terms and conditions
    which could get you kicked off the site. Most of these dating sites offer a free
    membership, which may not allow communication with other members, but do allow
    viewing other member profiles. So when
    your friends ask you to use your membership to view profiles on a dating site
    that you belong to, tell them to sign up for their own free membership.

    7. Post the CORRECT city and state where you live in your
    profile….not a place where you used to live, where you want to live, or where
    your friend lives. It sounds like basic common sense, but
    intentionally posting a city, state or country where a person doesn’t live does
    happen. If you’re contacting someone on
    a dating site, and you tell the person you live somewhere different than what
    you have posted on your profile, it’s a real turn off, especially if you live
    in another state or country.

  • Chili Peppers

    Words of advice about online dating:

    1. Posting pictures on your profile is paramount. But
    unless the people who are viewing your profile are interested in photography,
    they are only interested in pictures of YOU. They
    are NOT interested in pictures of your family, pets, vacation, etc.(unless
    you’re in these pictures). So don’t post
    pictures you don’t appear in on your profile.

    2. If you make a date and want to break it later, have the
    decency to call the person on the phone.
    Only cowards break a date by
    sending an email or a text message. Also,
    don’t act like a real jerk by either completely avoiding any contact with the
    person after you make a date….that is, not calling them, not answering their
    phone calls, and not returning them……., or waiting until they call you
    before you tell them you can’t keep the date.
    Again, have the decency to call them, and make
    the call when you know you’re not going to keep the date.

    3. If someone sends you a message on an internet dating
    site, and you’re NOT interested, DON’T reply.
    Sending a reply will probably
    entice the person to keep sending you more messages. But if
    you do, don’t say something stupid like you’re already dating someone. It’s
    not believable….if that’s really your situation, then why are you on the
    dating site?

    4. If the main picture on someone’s profile is appealing to
    you, and you’re thinking of contacting this person, have the common sense to
    look at ALL of their pictures, and anything else on their profile that may be
    important to you, BEFORE you decide to send them a message.

    5. If you receive a call for the FIRST time from someone
    you’ve given your number to, and you can’t talk to them at that time, then YOU
    should return the call. DON’T tell them to call back. They took
    the initiative to make the call, and obviously didn’t know it was a bad time
    for you to speak, so YOU should have the decency to make the return call.

    6. Don’t let your friends use your profile to browse through
    a dating site, especially if you’re a paid subscriber with full membership
    privileges. Sometimes the friends will contact other
    members on the site without your knowledge, the recipients will think it’s you,
    and when they find out it’s someone else, the outcome is not always friendly,
    …..OR the recipients may not be interested, but think you’re interested in
    them …because they think you’re the one who sent the message, … and maybe
    tell their friends about the message they think you sent them……OR your
    friends could do something that violates the dating site’s terms and conditions
    which could get you kicked off the site. Most of these dating sites offer a free
    membership, which may not allow communication with other members, but do allow
    viewing other member profiles. So when
    your friends ask you to use your membership to view profiles on a dating site
    that you belong to, tell them to sign up for their own free membership.

    7. Post the CORRECT city and state where you live in your
    profile….not a place where you used to live, where you want to live, or where
    your friend lives. It sounds like basic common sense, but
    intentionally posting a city, state or country where a person doesn’t live does
    happen. If you’re contacting someone on
    a dating site, and you tell the person you live somewhere different than what
    you have posted on your profile, it’s a real turn off, especially if you live
    in another state or country.

  • cathy

    there’s a new phone app for dating that is meant to help avoid cat fishing.

    Steve Ward, from VH1’s “Tough Love” created the app. Use Love Lab® to verify people you meet online for free.

    http://bst.is/a/004AMeFJVnd

  • w

    I heard about great book “How to make your online dating profile shine among others” by Dobrodziej, available on Amazon. Has anyone of Your heard of it od read it?

    It looks good but I wonder if those tips and tricks are worth paying for book. Tell me

  • Irvin Castillo

    Good advice and thanks for sharing post. Online dating sites become popular and are easy to find men and women for dating. I also use Chicagopartylines a dating site for local singles, it is Free Party Line Number Chicago for adults.

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  • mylotusloves

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