So many more people are using online dating site to meet prospective partners. The sites have all but lost their “geeky” label they used to carry. Last year 17% of couples who were married met on a dating site . The number of people using these sites is showing no sign of slowing down either. The nation’s online dating industry is booming, with its number of users approaching 40 million despite the recession. The industry itself generates $1.175 billion a year .
Why We Use Them
There is no doubt that these services work. They are convenient, they are nonintrusive, they are accurate, and they offer an environment where traditional social awkwardness can be circumvented. It’s no wonder 1 in 5 singles are currently in a committed relationship with someone they met on a dating site. The success rate for these online dating users is also quite surprising. In the last year, there were more than twice as many marriages that occurred between people who met on an online dating site than those who met in bars, at clubs and other social events combined . If you can’t meet from work, school, or through a friend or family member, online dating has the next best success rate.
The whole rejection thing stings a bit less with online dating too. It’s a numbers game. You can, for the sake of argument, look at 25 profiles. You can attempt to instigate exchanges with 10 of these. You will probably hear back from 5 or so. Of that number maybe two will strike your fancy. Numbers game. The uncertainty that would usually permeate a chance meeting, doesn’t affect first impressions online. In fact, you can peruse profiles and find glean interests and morals that are as important to you as you want them to be with your partner.
The selection process these online dating sites provide makes it much easier to connect over something. You can learn what is important to someone at a glance and with a few back-and-forth’s. Otherwise it’s out to the frozen food section of the grocery store or a local watering hole to find Mrs. /Mr. Right. Here you have to go on body language, a short awkward conversation and looks alone. It’s a little haphazard.
Web 2.0 Creeps & Gold diggers
Using an online dating site is not without dangers. Scam artists and sex offenders claim these online communities as their territory too.
Most users of online dating sites assume the service provider does a thorough background check. Many times, this is not the case. One site admitted to rejecting 5% of applicants for criminal records and 4% more were turned away because they were married. The threat gets worse. It is a very simple loophole and is used by criminals, sex offenders, and “online vultures” alike. The perpetrator can change 1 letter in their name or one number in their date of birth or social security number and be allowed onto the site to explore and interact at will. This is not the fault of the dating site. Responsibility to ensure yours safety ultimately lies with the user.
Meeting strangers with the excited perception of finding love lowers anyone’s guard. The courtship process should not let you use poor judgment.
These individuals go out to dating site to prey on the vulnerabilities of those in their online communities. They pretend to be interested. They tell you things they know you want to hear. They get close enough to, and may even start “relationships” with, you so they can ‘play’ you. They ask for personal information, gifts, to borrow a credit card, and to have their rent/mortgage/car payment etc. paid for. Again, protect yourself with a quick background check or police record search. It’s probably a good idea to hold off with the gifts for a few months too. Gage opening your finances up to someone carefully as well.