“They can access and search their soul mates anytime, anywhere they want at a very reasonable cost,” said Erica Oh, global team manager SUNOO Co.
An Oxford University study on online dating from 1997 to 2009 found one out of three people worldwide visit online dating sites. The study had a sample size of 1,200 couples (2,400 individuals). The findings showed an increase in online dating where 30 percent of the couples met through online sources.
The Oxford study states that the average age group in 1996 looking for online romance was between the ages of 40 to 69. People who are 40 and older tend to use online dating more than people under 40.
People of younger generations tend to see themselves having time or not having enough experience to settle for a long-term relationship.
“People who are young trying to find ‘the one’ are ridiculous,” Jocelyn Atkins said. “I feel that if you’re young, you should be dating and not looking for marriage on these sites.”
Young adults tend to have an attitude of thinking of the world is their oyster—where they still feel they have more left to gain in life than to be tied down right now.
“It’s the attitude of the generation,” said Teresa Erickson, a nursing student. “People who are little bit older tend to have more of an idea of what they want.”
That’s what dating sites such as Match.com and eHarmony aim for. They want to provide a service to those knowing what they want in a partner. When someone knows what they want they tend to find someone they can be with for a long time.
“I have a sister who is starting to use online dating,” Erickson said. “I also have another sister who is still dating someone she met from an online site.”
One major hold-up with young adults is if the person they meet on a dating site is being honest about themselves. Some people tend to lie or exaggerate about themselves in order to make them look better. A common lie on dating sites is people using pictures that are of different people.
“I had a friend who was in a relationship,” Michael Hall said. “It did not last because they both were basically lying to each other. It’s hard to tell when it’s online.”
For students, speaking about personal use of online dating is still considered taboo. A reason why people choose to use online dating sites is because of the privacy factor. Erickson said that online dating allows people more privacy instead of having to go to places where people knew you and would know why you were there.
“My mom is dating someone she met online,” Adam Wright said. “I might look into it myself when I’m done with college.”
The rise in people using online dating sites has also brought to attention those who are using them for sex. Sexual encounters, also known as casual encounters, are people who look for no-strings sex.
“I think it’s gross,” Atkins said. “I’m against one night stands and it’s not intimate or pleasurable. I don’t want to be with someone who just wants sex.”
The rise of people using dating sites as places to hook-up should cause future users to understand that the process may need time to find someone.
“I think finding the right someone will need time,” Wright said. “It’s not going to happen quickly. You need the time to get to know the person and know what they’re about.”
Sexual predators have become a hot topic with the discussion of people using dating sites for sex. The dating site True.com takes a strong approach with new members. Their background checks look for both criminal backgrounds or if the person’s married to provide the best service for single people.
Erickson said it’s good to know who you’re chatting with even if you feel safe.
“You need to protect your heart,” she said. “Do what you need to protect yourself.”
It takes more than a website to know who is out there. Match making experts say that it’s perfectly okay for someone to know who they are chatting with. It’s not keeping those people someone chats with honest but accountable for what they say and do. Experts say that the first and foremost issue about dating online is safety and if you don’t feel safe, then don’t do it.
“I feel it is a very slim chance to find a soul mate online but everything is possible,” Hall said. “You have to go away from the computer to make it work.”
People use online dating sites to find a partner that will allow them to grow together. It may not be what everyone uses to find love in this world but it does work. People should take a look at the dating sites out there before making judgments of them. Who knows, love could be a left click away.
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