The Problem with Internet Dating

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If you recall my post on Incredibly Specific Dating Sites (Darwin Dating is still the scariest!), I like to write about the subject. In my opinion, the problem with Internet dating is not meeting people; it's knowing when to stop meeting people. I should know, because for all intents and purposes, I met my fiancé online. And while sure, some part of finding your other half is simply perseverance and ultimate good fortune, another, perhaps larger part, is knowing the best game plan. Just like in hockey, the way a coach has to know when to pull his goalie, so must those who subscribe to online dating services know when to pull their profiles.

With more than 40 million people using online dating sites now, the very idea of meeting your partner via the Internet is no longer taboo. And it's awesome that so many people are doing it. But the more people using the services, the more tempting it is to keep your profile up even after you've met someone you like. Why? Because someone better could always come down the pike, right? And besides, what if it doesn't work out with the new person you like? Why miss out on the next person, or the next, or the next...

Why indeed. My theory is this: you need to give the person you like a fair shot, without distraction. And if you keep your profile up, you're not doing that... you're still playing the field, as it were. Of course, this is just my opinion. You may have another, and if you do, by all means, that's what the comments are for! Meantime, here are some factoids that aren't opinion.

Online Dating Magazine estimates that there are more than 120,000 marriages a year that occur as a result of online dating. (Online Dating Magazine - 2007)

-U.S. Online Dating Market to Reach $932 Million in 2011 (JupiterResearch)

- 31% of adults in America say they know someone who has used an online dating service. (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Online Dating, March 2006)

- In 2003 it was estimated that three million people paid for an online dating service listing. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- In the first half of 2003, consumers spent over $214 million for online dating services. This number is 76 percent higher than the same time last year. (Source: Online Publishers Association)

- On average, those paying for online dating services spend a total of $239 per year. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- It is estimated that the financial growth of online dating will reach $642 million in 2008. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- As of February 2005, 33% fewer consumers are browsing online personals today than one year ago, causing the industry growth to slow considerably. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- Consumers spent $214.3 million on personals and dating content during the first half of 2003, up 76 percent from the same period in 2002. (Source: Online Publishers Association).

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March 11, 2010 - 3:32am
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