Do Online Dating Sites Keep People From Settling Down?


A new survey shows an increase in acceptance for online dating, but some still won't meet in person.

I've been helping singles find love online for almost twenty years, starting with the days when singles refused to fess up to the fact they were logging on for love. Now, a new study from Pew Research Center shows a nice upward trend from their previous survey in 2005, proving that online dating is gaining in acceptance. Pew's independent telephone study of 2252 American adults showed that only 21% said people who use online dating sites were desperate, as compared to 29% in 2005.

Pew added a new question this year to their survey which had to do with those who can't seem to commit and are not quick to retire their profiles. According to the report, 32% agreed that online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date. In the survey, they found that Match and eHarmony still top the list of the most popular Internet dating sites. Of the 11% of Internet users in the survey, 38% have tried online dating or used mobile dating apps.

With almost 80% believing online dating has become mainstream, over half believe that some have misrepresented themselves online. We always hope there’s truth-in-advertising when we view an internet dating profile, but we know that photoshop is all too common and many are celebrating their birthdays every other year to fit into a desirable search.

The Pew report showed that 66% of online daters actually met in real life, as compared to only 43% in 2005. This shows there's more acceptability to online dating and perhaps the stigma is continuing to dissipate. So what are the other 34% doing chatting only online? Isn’t it time to take their relationships from online to offline and meet in person?

Still, even with all of these confusing numbers, the trend continues to slowly rise. A day doesn't go by that I don't hear about another couple who's getting ready to tie the digital knot, or are laughing about their cyber date. Just like the fax machine, which has almost become obsolete, I believe the stigma of online dating will slowly dissipate and the naysayers will become the minority.

Do you still believe there’s a stigma associated with online dating? For a full copy of the Pew study, click here.

Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating.  She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt

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