Portland Relationship Counselor: Online Dating Is a New Norm

February 19, 2014 by

In the early days of the Internet, there was something of a taboo surrounding online dating. Much like personal ads in newspapers, online dating was viewed by some cynics as a last desperate attempt on the part of people who couldn’t form relationships in the real world. Today, that stereotype has been turned on its head and online dating has become one of the most common ways for couples to meet.

In 2012, research suggested that online dating was the second most common way for couples to meet, behind only meeting through friends. According to another recent study, online dating services are now the catalyst for the majority of first states. Of course, that study was funded by popular dating site Match.com and may therefore be biased, but even if the data is skewed, no one can deny that online dating has gone mainstream.

The Appeal of Online Dating

It’s not surprising that so many new relationships start with online dating sites. These sites allow users to learn a little bit about other single users’ interests, hobbies, and passions, which they wouldn’t necessarily learn as much about during a chance in-person meeting. They also provide a low pressure setting to chat with others and determine whether to meet up for a first date.

While dating sites don’t have any kind of “lie detector” to keep users from making up things about themselves, many people actually feel more comfortable revealing their true self to someone they meet online precisely because it is a low pressure situation where both parties are sharing personal information.

Sharing Experiences Is More Important Than How You Meet

Perhaps part of the reason online dating is becoming less stigmatized is because people are realizing that how they meet someone isn’t as significant as the experiences they share together after meeting. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you meet someone through friends, online, or through a crazy chance encounter. What matters is that you bond with your partner by sharing experiences, continuing to learn more about one another every day, and valuing each other as whole, complex people. If you’re concerned about online dating and would like to learn more about it from a professional, call my Portland relationship counselor offices today.