The way people meet new partners has changed over time. The methods used to find potential partners has undergone a major change. The advent of the Internet has opened new opportunities to meet potential partners they normally would not meet in the daily course of their lives. Until some decades ago, it was the parents and other family members that assisted their children to find future partners. There also was rarely much dating done before the wedding. In modern times, things have changed radically. Now a couple can be together for a long period as live-in partners and may eventually not even marry or marry someone else.
Long before the internet appeared on the scene people used to scour the newspapers to look for matrimonial advertisements. The ads in papers carried information about the bride or grooms’ personal characteristics along with the type of partner they were looking for. Now whilst there are some papers and magazines that feature these ads, these are rarely to be found and used. Instead, as dating expert Jennifer Lorusso points out in this article, an increasing number of men and women looking for future partners prefer to use the internet to find them.
In the swinging 60s, there was an attempt to use new technology in the form of computers for matchmaking. At Harvard, in 1965 a team of students created a questionnaire to help in matching students to suitable partners. It was named Operation Match and decades later was adopted by millions the world over to find partners. Dating on the internet became much more popular with the growth of the internet in the 1990s that led to a slew of websites popping up. It was in this same period that instant messages and email gained popularity, with people using these tools to stay in touch and connect with others. With the release of the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks hit movie, You’ve Got Mail, internet dating really took off. A good number of people realized the potential of internet dating after watching the movie.
By 2000, several dating platforms started to ask members to answer questionnaires to help in matching them with suitable partners. With video calling and Skype appearing on the scene it became possible for people to chat face-to-face unlike texting or just leaving voice messages. It made it possible to have video chats seeing each other no matter where they were based.
Role of social media
While social media has taken the world by storm, and itis not really considered a conventional dating platform, it has generated helped people to find partners. Adding someone new, that is like-minded and shares common interests does help to foster relationships. Toward the end of the first decade of the millennium, the internet became much more reliable and swifter. This made it possible to chat and live stream on the move. It also saw the introduction of dating apps that utilized GPR to find prospective partners in their area. Apps like Tinder became part of the conversation of mainstream culture. While in the initial stages most people were hesitant to accept dating online, it caught the imagination of the public especially the millennial generation and has gone on to be one of the most popular ways of finding a partner.
Some facts of online dating:
With the spurt in the popularity of online dating, it now has far greater outreach. A research study done in 2017 indicated 30% of Americans in the age group of 18-29 used online dating apps and websites to find potential partners. There are approximately around 8,000 online dating platforms of which around 2,500 are American. While the well-known and popular sites garner the most traffic, there are smaller and lesser-known sites that are becoming increasingly popular. Niche sites have seen a surge in popularity with those looking for a particular type of partner. Studies further reveal approximately 49% have dated online at least once with a growing number of people considering finding a partner online is fine.
A very profitable business:
Estimates state the online dating industry is approximately worth a whopping $1.8 billion. Studies show about 66% of those dating online have been in relationships with people they have met online. That includes about 20% of committed relationships. Statistics also reveal that approximately 17% of couples that got married connect online at a dating site.
Online dating reflects a bias in favor of the younger age group, which is expected as they are more tech-savvy. They also tend to be more in non-committed relationships with around a quarter of the online dating community belonging to the age group 18-24. Further statistics show 25-34 (22%), 35-44 (21%), 45-54 (13%) and 55-64 (12%). It is also found that a greater percentage of men use online dating sites at 52.4% in comparison to women.
People dating online look for different things in prospective partners. Figures indicate that 49% give appearance importance and around 64% look for likeminded people with common interests. It leaves around 51% of online daters that do not give appearance too much significance. Of the countries where online dating is very popular China has the highest number of online daters. The USA occupies the second spot at 17% and Canada at number three at 14%. In the UK there are around 12% of people that look for partners online. Other European countries where online dating is less in popularity are France with 8%, Italy at 7% and Austria with 6%.
Some other interesting statistics show that around 22% have taken the help of someone else to create their profile. It was also seen that about a third of women opted to have sex on the first date. Despite this, the social perspective of people towards online still needs to see improve. Around 23% of people think that online dating is for those that are not successful in finding actual dates. Also, more than 50% of people online are dishonest in their profiles with around 10% of those dating online calling it quite within three months.