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The Rise of Online Dating’s Popularity

Online dating has gained in popularity in recent times, but it wasn’t always that way.  Until several years ago, online or internet dating was often considered taboo when mentioned in social circles.  People frowned upon the dating practice of meeting people from the internet, and thought it was only for freaks or those with major social issues.  Also, people considered it a very dangerous way to meet someone, because you could never be totally sure if the person was who their pictures and descriptions claimed to be.  The typical way of meeting people was on your own, while out in bars or clubs, social gatherings or elsewhere, or through college connections, friends and relatives.  As times have changed, technology and society have both advanced to a new stage in the dating game.  These days online dating is considered much more socially acceptable.  People who once considered it only for weirdos are booting up their PC’s, creating online dating profiles and contacting other members who may be of interest them.  Millions of members are added daily to various online dating sites and services, and many of them find lasting connections through the sites.  So this begs the question, is internet dating for you?

Online dating was once shunned as unsafe for people to participate in.  These days, internet dating is much more safe to use.  The fact that there are paid dating sites helps to reduce those who are being fake or the creeps of the internet.  It generally implies that if someone is paying to be on a dating site, they are serious about finding someone as a romantic connection, rather then engaging in suspicious activities such as spam or crime.  Sites like match.com and eHarmony are both great examples of paid sites which have proven successful for singles out there in the dating game.  These companies employ staff members to weed out any suspicious profiles and also have policies to regulate harassment or improper activity through the sites.  While this won’t eliminate all bad behavior it cuts down on it to a large extent.  Match.com also provides its site users with tips on how to be safe when dating online.  They allow members to report “abusers” of their system such as married people, minors, or anyone who is abusing the system as they have specified.  These safeguards by sites like Match and eHarmony help to ensure that your dating will be done in a safe environment when you use their online services.

Another reason online dating has become more popular in recent times is due to the ideas of convenience and preferences.  With online dating sites you simply browse through other members’ profiles in the comfort of your own home, rather than trying to meet people in noisy, competitive social places like bars or clubs.  Many busy professionals, students and other people simply don’t have the time for trying to find possible dates while out and about, so it’s easier to use their computer to do so.  At home you can also refine the criteria you are searching for in a prospective partner.  You can input the height range, body type, ethnic background, religion and many other preferences based on what you are looking for in your potential mate.  This high degree of selection can often ensure you’ll at least meet people you are compatible with in the world of dating, rather than going on blind date after blind date that just doesn’t seem to work out.  Attraction is key and the ability to narrow down your selections based on the “types” you’re generally attracted to is a great thing.  And again, it’s all done from the comfort of your home at your personal computer.

Maybe you’ve stayed away from online dating due to the fact you feel it’s expensive.  Another great thing with dating sites, is that there have also been several free alternative sites developed.  One of the most popular services is the Plenty of Fish dating site – POF.  Another is the dating site called OkCupid.  Both of these free online dating sites have millions of members logging in from around the world, finding interesting new people to meet.  The fact that they’re free makes for a great option for those who want to test the waters but aren’t quite sure if they want to pay yet.  They may even find success on the free site before they even choose to join a paid service!

There will always be arguments against online dating.  People will continue to say it’s unsafe, as stalkers, creeps and weirdos continue to find new ways to find targets online.  However, as technology has advanced, sites have improved their safeguards, and people have become much more accepting of online dating.  It’s no longer strange to hear a couple say “oh we met online through a chat room”, or Match, eHarmony, or even MySpace.  These days people now have the ability to possibly find a true internet “love” connection.  It’s up to you to decide if online dating feels comfortable enough so you can explore the romantic possibilities.