The online dating naysayers have got it all wrong.
You should only take a research study that claims to offer the unequivocal “truth” about the value of dating sites slightly more seriously than a new Bigfoot sighting or alien abduction story.
Though the lab coats sometimes fail on the bigger, evaluative questions about online dating, they’ve been quite successful at unearthing trenchant and amusing insights about dating today. Their most interesting findings defy “conventional wisdom” — the boilerplate nonsense hurled at you by besotted idiots (mostly male) in crowded bars.
For your amusement (and future cocktail conversation ammunition), here are three of the dumbest “facts” about online dating, along with an easy rebuttal for each:
1. Only Losers Date Online
This one's a doozy because it's deeply entrenched in reactionary idiocy.
Yes, there was once a time when computer-savvy men and women who may’ve lacked, or weren't interested in, the fineries of culturally-“normal” mating rituals dominated online dating. When the Pew Research group did their first comprehensive study of online dating in 2005, this was a cruel, reductive and (sadly) popular view of those who found love through the web. In 2015, it remains a cruel and reductive view, but fortunately, it's no longer popular.
When Pew performed a new study two years ago, it found that 59 percent of those surveyed considered online dating a “good way to meet people” and 53 percent believed that “online dating allows people to find a better match”. As for those mean-spirited jack*sses who still believe that only “desperate” people use the web to seek love, others who disagree outnumbered them about five to one in 2013. I expect that ratio will increase more and more over time because, eventually, even jackasses get lonely.
2. Online Dating Encourages People To Lie
In 2012, the irate owners of the bluntly-named singles website, BeautifulPeople.com commissioned a research study that dealt with the web’s tendency to encourage the less impossibly-flawless among us to take allowances in how we describe ourselves in online profiles. Of the one thousand people surveyed, 53 percent admitted to willfully embellishing the truth about themselves on their dating profiles. The survey also revealed women as 10 percent more capable of this than their male counterparts, and Americans are 9 percent more likely (across both sexes) to do so than Brits.
What the haughty arbiters of truth at BeautifulPeople fail to acknowledge is that, even in traditional dating, people lie (or at least choose to skillfully omit certain information) to encourage a second date. Yes, you have a better idea of what your new date will look like if you meet them in person first, but considering that a large percentage of those meetings probably happened at some level of intoxication, you might not have a perfect idea of what those people look like before the first date either.
3. Online Dating Is An Expensive Waste Of Money
This misnomer is an offshoot of the reasoning in the former “truth”. The idea is that because so many people misrepresent themselves online, you end up spending way more on dating because you have to wade through so much chaff to get to the wheat. Wrong again, defenders of tradition.
A 2014 study by the New York-based ConvergEx group found that people save about $6,400 over the course of their online dating. The reason? It turns out that online couples get married about 18.5 months faster than “normal” couples, meaning less dating-related expenses. So the next time someone accuses you of “wasting” your money on web dating, show off the nicer car you bought with all the money you saved.
The other absurd “truths” about online dating are too numerous to address in one article, but these three rebuttals should help you take down the next self-satisfied jerk who somehow suggests you are less valid for dating online.