We’ve had a few friends that got their toes wet upon our advice that they utilize the online dating sites to seek out perspective partners. They placed a few ads on various online dating sites. But after a few experiences that were anywhere from eyebrow-raising (not in a good way) to the ultimate in mediocrity they decided that online dating just doesn’t work. These individuals are men and women, various sexual orientations, at different stages in life, and from a fairly broad age range. Some decided to stick with conventional dating methods, others rationalized that “meeting people via social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace” did not meet the criteria of online dating, and still others just decided not to pursue dating at all online or in real time.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey for Match.com 1 in 5 singles have dated someone they met on online dating sites. These numbers alone totally dispel the myth that online dating just doesn’t work. But when you combine studies like this with the anecdotal evidence the fact is that not only does online dating work, but it works quite well.
Although I respect everyone’s decision to take a break from dating, I don’t believe in letting anyone off the hook as to why they choose not pursue online dating due to the proliferation of an online dating myth. I met my husband via the use of online dating sites. We know of several other couples at different stages of commitment (some have made it legal) who had met online. The fact is that nearly everyone we know personally knows another individual who has entered into a committed relationship or at the very least ended up dating someone that they’ve met online. Though those people may not have set out to meet someone online via the use of online dating sites, they did initially come into contact with their significant other via the internet; some through social networking sites, others via posting on various online discussion forums, still others by conducting some sort of e-commerce. I am not saying that everyone should be dating. There are those who have personal issues they must resolve before they are ready and able to seek out a healthy relationship. I think it is a good thing for those individuals to take all the time they need to work on themselves first. However, if a person’s emotional ducks are all in a row dismissing online dating as a vehicle that just doesn’t work due to belief in this online dating myth is seriously limiting and makes no logical sense.