In the days of yore, online dating was almost a mark of failure – you had to be really desperate if you were going to turn to the internet. Nowadays, though? Things are a little… different.
In fact, according to Statistic Brain, almost fifty million people have tried online dating at least once. That’s almost one in six people, and only slightly below the number of people in the country who are single. It’s not just for lonely guys, either. The same report notes that while men are technically a majority, it’s only by a few percent, so there are almost as many women looking for a good match.
Another report, this time by the Pew Research Center, found that the idea of looking for romance online has almost completely lost its stigma. About 59% of people now agree that online dating is a good way to meet people (up from 44% in 2005), and young people, in particular, see it as a viable way of finding a date.
What’s behind this change, though? It’s hard to say for sure, but some people believe it’s the result of increasingly complex questions that match-making sites are willing to ask. The belief is that people who share interests and preferences are more compatible with each other, and by matching people in as many categories as possible, a site can identify the matches that are most likely to work.
Whether you believe in it or not, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that online dating really has changed the way relationships are working. In the old days, finding a good match was as much luck as anything – you could easily pass people by without ever realizing how much you had in common. Today, people could have access to thousands of potential options, and contact is only a click away.
(Even better, most people are receptive to the invitations, and will at least seriously consider them. If they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t be on the site!)
With all of this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the evolution of dating in the digital age.