How people meet their ideal partners has dramatically changed over decades. Back in the 1940’s, 24 percent of couples in the States met through family, around the same number met through school and friends, 13 percent met via neighbours and around the same number through the church. The smallest number of couples met at a bar or through co-workers. How does online dating compare to it now?
Studies show that these days half of the couples met via friends or at a bar, but now 22 percent met online. All other ways of meeting someone have shrunk. Note that around 70 percent of gay and lesbian couples meet online. Some people still think that online dating means chasing short term hookups but that is not what we have found. More than one-third of couples who got married in the States between 2005-2012 met online.
What are some of the positive and negative aspects of online dating? A positive side is how many people are looking for the same thing. You can enter anything you are looking for in a person and finding. Be as specific as you like – perfect height, weight, education, hobbies and so on. Interestingly enough, though, research shows that people who were very specific in their wants found a partner that didn’t match them ideally. So filtering can also not be a sure thing.
On the negative side, it has always been true that the more options we have, the more difficulty there is choosing something, and we can also be less satisfied with our choice. That is because we may be wondering about everything else that is available out there.
Back on the positive note – online dating offers a shot for everyone. More research states that when it comes to dating, someone’s looks, professional success and charisma may not matter as much with regards to success in relationships. It turns out that it is more about tastes and preferences and people are more likely to develop a relationship gradually, and first impressions don’t play a significant role.