Ten years ago, meeting someone online was considered an unusual way of finding a partner. Now with so much of our lives being conducted via the Internet, it seems just as valid to connect with someone virtually as in real-life.
As social media has gathered momentum, so has online dating, with singles becoming increasingly comfortable sifting through profiles before chatting online.
Recent studies have revealed that subscription and free dating sites are gaining popularity and for many people have been the source of long term love.
Online dating really can help you find a life long partner.
In the past, Internet dating has had a reputation as a playground for singles, where they can meet other single people for some short-term fun. Certainly the arrival of looks-based dating apps like Tinder, has increased this perception, as matches are made on the basis of location and attractiveness. But not all online daters are on the look out for a short-term fling.
A new study from the Pew Research Center suggests online dating users are shifting their focus from fun to families. According to the report, published in October 2013, 23% of people who use dating sites have met a long-term partner or spouse through online dating. Online dating offers a very real opportunity to build a serious relationship.
The Pew Research Center also noted a significant increase in the popularity of online dating sites. As recently as 2008, only 3% of Americans had used a online dating site, but in 2013 the figure stands at 9%. As dating sites have increased in popularity, the corresponding rise in registered singles increases the pool of profiles each user can view and interact with, boosting their chances of finding a suitable match.
Far from being unusual, a recent American study suggests a significant proportion of married couples met each other online.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the relationships of almost 20,000 couples who had web between 2005 and 2012.
The findings suggest that meeting a partner online is relatively common as 35% of the couples included in the study had met each other online. Popular methods of virtual connection included social media, chat rooms, email, and online dating sites.
The same study found that couples who married after meeting online were less likely to divorce than couples who first met in real-life. Of the couples who met offline, 8% were now divorced, whereas only 6% couples introduced via the Internet had ended their marriage. Although the 2% difference is not statistically significant, it goes a long way towards dispelling the myth that relationships originating online are not as valid or serious as those based on a real-life introduction.
Those in the market for some short-term fun, shouldn’t be put off online dating, there is still plenty of room for a more relaxed approach to dating.
In our modern economy a double whammy of a high cost of living, paired with squeezed incomes means that many young people do not yet feel ready to financially support a family, but would still like to be in a loving relationship.
If you are looking for a partner but without the pressure for immediate commitment, you are not alone. Not everyone registering with a dating site has a Pinterest account filled with wedding boards. But if your online romance were to turn into something more serious, you can announce confidently ‘we met online’, safe in the knowledge that around a third of all other couples did too.