Online Dating is for Cheaters
When I first met my stepmom, the thought crossed my mind that my dad absolutely had to have met her on a matchmaking website. There’s not a chance in hell that he just randomly met a woman at a bar who enjoys watching the Phillies and visiting national parks as much as he does. For a long time it seemed that individuals who chose to sign up for matchmaking websites like eHarmony or match.com only did so as an absolute last resort. I used to assume that the typical Match.com member had to be utterly overwhelmed with loneliness and couldn’t bear the thought of dying alone, therefore opting for online matchmaking and blind dates with possible serial killers rather than settling for eternal solitude.
While hanging out with a few friends the other night, we started talking about the horrible, bleak future that lay before us after graduation, when blacking out four nights a week makes you an alcoholic and you have to start being a “real person” with a job. The depressing convo about entering “real life” somehow led to the topic of marriage. It started out innocently enough with “I wonder if it’s possible to stage a wedding reception for two of our friends so we can get plastered and dance,” but it ended up turning into “if you aren’t married when you’re 35, would you sign up for a matchmaking website?” To my surprise, all my friends said if it came down to joining the online dating community or being the next lonely cat lady, they’d swallow their pride and sign up.
According to a 2009-2010 survey on America’s dating behavior, one in six married couples met on an online dating site and one out of five people in a new committed relationship (including marriage) met their sweetheart on an online site as well.
For me, these stats put the status of online dating into perspective. I guess it’s really not so taboo anymore. But what really shocks me is that according to the study, more than twice as many marriages occurred between people who met on an online dating site than met in bars, clubs and other social events combined. Internet domination: 1, Old-fashioned socializing: 0.
In all honesty, I think people who opt for online dating are cheating. Essentially online daters are taking the easy way out by utilizing a database rather then putting any effort into meeting that special someone. I get it; there are a lot of people in the world and after a lot of bad dates, choosing to go out with someone who you already know has similar interests as you sounds appealing. But it just seems a bit too easy, and if you already know what the other one likes and dislikes, what’s left to learn?
Dating is supposed to be about connecting with someone physically and emotionally and learning what quirks and interests they have or don’t have along the way. Even if you have a high “compatibility” rate according to eHarmony, if there is no chemistry, you’ve got nothing. And come on, who wants to have to respond to “so how did you two meet?” with a “we met online after being matched at 99% compatibility!”
The night I go to a bar and it’s empty is the night I sign up myself up for eHarmony. Maybe I’m just stuck in the past, but I refuse to settle for electronically being evaluated and “matched” with a date. Anyone who wants to date me can do it the old-fashioned way. I refuse to give up on good, clean courting just yet.