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Does the online dating stigma still exist?

Online dating stigma

I remember when I was online dating in my 30s and only told a few close friends. I felt ashamed that I was meeting people online rather than naturally in person. There was this stigma that it meant I was desperate if I was looking online for someone. But I still was meeting interesting people and had some fun outings. While I’m now in a committed relationship and we didn’t meet online, I thought it would be interesting to look at whether the online dating stigma still exists. Have times changed?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Date Surrey Singles. I have been compensated for writing it, but all opinions are mine.

It’s increasingly popular: Proof the online dating stigma is disappearing

An increasing number of people are choosing online dating websites or matchmaking apps. When Pew Research Centre first surveyed people in the U.S. about online dating, in 2005, less than half (44 percent) thought it was a favorable way to meet people. Then fast-forward a decade, and they recreated the study, finding the number of people with this same mindset grew to 59 percent. In particular, the groups 18-24 years old and 55-64 years old have increased for users dating online.

These stats lead me to say that more than half of Americans think using a surrey dating site or another matchmaking platform can lead to positive opportunities. And that’s more people than ten years ago, as per the cited research. So that’s evidence that online dating has less of a stigma than it once did, right? But why, exactly?

How technology is changing romance

Technology is more a part of our lives now than ever. Smartphones are practically glued to the hands of almost everyone I know who’s around my age or younger. And even the other day my mom had lunch with a woman in her 60s who was texting periodically throughout lunch (I think that’s rude but that’s a subject for another blog post). Maybe she was on an over 50s dating site.

And computers are a huge part of many jobs too. Take my work as an online writer, for example, where all I require is an Internet connection to reach my clients. Computers are also a big part of recreational activities. Online gaming is a hugely popular pastime! And then there’s shopping via the Internet too, of course.

So it makes sense that more people are turning online to meet people too.

Now back to that online dating stigma question.

Why use dating websites? Benefits surpass the online dating stigma

The reality is that there are always going to be some people who disagree with what you’re doing. Even if you try to save the world, you’ll get critics about something. When I used to tell people that I was using a dating site, some would then ask why I couldn’t meet someone in real life instead. But now I wonder, why is the assumption that one is so much better than the other? I mean, there were many positive points about looking online for a date.

Benefits of online dating include:

  • You can see right away the person of interest is single (assuming they’re honest!)
  • Being able to see someone’s likes and dislikes right off the bat from their profile
  • Seeing if you think the person is attractive
  • Getting an idea of whether they live close or not to you
  • And more!

And certainly there are more dating sites in surrey and other places to choose from than a decade ago. That means there’s the need for it. And I say go for it to anyone who does seek love online. A perk is not sitting at a bar or coffee shop waiting for someone to approach you. Instead, take the reins, create a dating profile and try out love in this alternative approach.

That is, assuming you want to find someone. Alternatively, you can have an amazing single and happy life!

Reducing the negative reputation

Given the increasing popularity of matchmaking websites and apps, I think their reputation for being only for desperate singles is less than before. It’s slowly going away, I believe.

The online dating stigma is fading as younger generations grow up with technology. Using it for work and play, the computers and mobile devices naturally are useful to meet people too. And so it’s only a matter of time before online dating sites are even more of a norm than they’ve already become.

And besides, why do we care so much what other people think? If you find you’re meeting great people via matchmaking platforms, then go for it. You may just be falling in love over the Christmas holidays.

Looking for more ondating? Join the discussion on the post-pandemic dating scene here.

45 thoughts on “Does the online dating stigma still exist?”

    1. It’s tough because often people are choosing potential matches based solely on appearance. That’s especially true with the apps that are swipe left/right based on profile photo. At least with some of them there is some written content in the profile to help get a deeper (non-aesthetic) sense of someone.

    2. Kidding, just read it. It’s a good post. I’m not against it. I think it’s taken out of context due to the large amount of extremist that came forward at once. I think it gave a false impression and exaggerated the reason for the cause. I’m neutral on it. Honestly it doesn’t affect my life either way directly.

  1. I’m surprised the approval percentage today is only 59%, I thought it’d be a lot higher. To me it just seems like a natural evolution for meeting new people. Love your last point though, it really doesn’t matter what others think if we’re succeeding.

    1. Yes online seems to be where so much communication happens these days so I can see why you’d think it’s higher than that figure. Chances are good that we’ll see that number increase over the next few years!

  2. It’s not really as bad as it was initially. My best friend married her guy that she met from a dating site. I haven’t had much luck with it, but as a busy adult, sometimes all I have time to do is scroll through a few profiles before I fall asleep.

    1. It sounds like dating isn’t a priority for you right now and I totally get that! It takes time and effort for a healthy relationship and I hope you enjoy one when the time is right :)

  3. Great read! As someone who joined the online dating world not too long ago, I started with the sense of the “stigma” behind it. I have since overcome that and realize it is more common than not in my generation. I understand the value of doing it and I still love in-person connection. This broadens the opportunities and avenues to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise connect with!

  4. My cousin met her boyfriend of almost 4 years online and now he is getting ready to propose (I am not supposed to know he he). I think now with how technology is, meeting someone online is the next “coffee house”. I however did not meet my fiancé online, I met him in the building I used to work in, he was a security guard. To each their own honestly. If you find happiness, and love, who cares how you got there.

  5. I met my man of three years on a dating site. I had one or two bad experiences but I didnt let it put me off. Being genuine with photos and ages is a real must as its only going to catch you out . I would say its worth a a try Im so glad I did it.

  6. I actually believe online dating is good for multiple reasons. First, if you don’t have any social status, you’re going to struggle meeting someone in person. This could be because you’re too busy with work and hobbies or perhaps you’re in a new city and don’t have any friends yet. Going out alone and meeting people is quite daunting as the majority of people do not have the confidence to approach and meet people out and about in their day-to-day lives.

    Another reason I think online dating is actually good is because people on dating sites/apps are there with the specific intention of meeting someone. Meeting or approaching someone in person could be difficult because you may be looking to be social and expand your dating options, but the people you are meeting have things to do; they’re unavailable. Unless you’re at a bar (which isn’t the scene for most of us) prepare for a lot of rejection or false interest. I wrote an article called “Why Women Won’t Just Say ‘No’ if They’re Uninterested,” which explains this further.

    To keep from ranting, I’ll end with this: Online dating gives the socially awkward or super busy people a platform and opportunity to meet potential partners who actually have the intention of dating. It cuts out the anxiety of meeting in person and it allows you to save face from rejection.

  7. Internet dating seems to be completely the norm now, I don’t know any single person who doesn’t use some form of internet dating to find fun, friendship or a partner. When I was younger (not that long ago!) it was seen as being only for sad, lonely or desperate people. It’s funny how things change.

  8. I definitely don’t think the “desperate single person” stigma is as prevalent for online dating :) It’s pretty common now. I still prefer not to do it because I’m … I guess a traditional romantic? I like organic meetings, natural friendships into budding romances, meet-cutes, and those things. I’m not totally against the idea, but I don’t like the idea of constantly looking for it. I would like for it to find me, and if not, I would like to be okay about it. So that’s a personal preference. I don’t particularly judge anyone for it, but there are times I get disappointed because I know that person just needs somebody to be in his or her life more than anything, in an unhealthy mindset. Otherwise, people like to keep their options open, see what the market (or proverbial sea) is like and that’s cool!

  9. I believe it’s a lot more accepted without the same judgement of yesteryear but still important to be ourselves and not post photos that are outdated if we have intent of meeting up in person. The truth will eventually surface :)

  10. Hi Christy,

    this is the first time I have read about this subject.Very interesting subject. Internet is very important for out life in all field, so why not to take advantage of this…

  11. Christy, I just returned from a retreat where some of the Gen Xers and Millenials were discussing their experiences with online dating. Evidently they didn’t feel any stigma since they were sharing openly. Many of their experiences were hilarious, but one lady met her husband that way.

    1. That’s great to get this feedback on the online dating stigma not being something you noticed. I hope you had a wonderful time at the retreat, Linda!

  12. It’s not for me. If other people choose to us me it, who am I to condemn them? Nor should I be condemn for not having an interest in it. All I can say is be very careful and safe. 👍🏼

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