Has online dating lost it's negative stigma?

6 or 7 years ago, people who met each other online tended to be looked at as weirdos with little or no social skills to meet people “legitimately”.

Has this stigma completely vanished, or are there still large groups of people wary of people who meet each other on the computer first, and in person second?


Definition of cutting edge becoming old news: middle aged people doing it on TV.

Seen the commercials for eHarmony?

Most people that I know who have started a relationship in the last year met on-line. The stigma is lone gone.

I still know a LOT of people that look down on it, or they’re of the “Anything anyone tells you online is a lie. They’re all perverted, fat, middle-aged men getting off on pretending to be cute young women” camp, or the “Anyone you meet online is really a psychopath or axe-murderer” group. Not as many as there used to be, but there are still a lot.

I think I hear the “axe-murderer!” arguments mainly because I’m a young woman, and everyone knows someone (“my friend Benny’s cousin’s sister’s friend!”) that met someone online and was promptly murdered.

There is still a stigma against it. Out of my circle of friends, we have one couple who met online, and they kinda get a “pass” supposedly because they met on an exclusive online dating site (like you have to be a member of a certain school in order to join).

I’l admit, I’m still somewhat skeptical of it, even though I’ve started to try it out myself. And I’ve only told two of my friends so far. I am pretty sure the rest of my friends would be appalled and try to talk me out of it.

I’ve seen both. Some people (usually older, more “traditional”, whatever that means) still think of it as a stigma. And some think it’s pathetic. Others just think it’s a natural extension of IMs, facebook and myspace. Others even swear by it since it supposedly lets you get to know the person before judging them too much on appearances and chemistry. YMMV :slight_smile:

Thorny, that sounds like my parents when I started an online relationship, and he came up to Nova Scotia to meet me. Part of the reason for that was there was no friggin’ way my parents would be comfortable with me going to meet someone I met online alone, especially someone in another country. One of my friends flat out can’t understand it, but I think it has more to do with distance than the online bit in his case (and I will be the first to admit that LD relationships royally suck.)

Personally, I don’t like the idea of dating sites–it seems too artificial to me. But the web as a whole is one big community, and you can just as easily run into someone you like there as you can IRL. Only issue being distance, of course.

Granted, I’m probably a bit biased, since I married a man I met playing WoW.

I would guess alot of this has changed with myspace and the like. Now, you’re not just a picture and a discription. Now you’re lots of pictures that I can look through, and I can see your friends, and pictures of your friends and pictures of you with your friends, and I can see converstaions between you and your friends. I think all this helps verify that you are who you say you are, instead of one picture and a vague discription of yourself. Nowadays if I wanted to get to know someone, I could meet them on myspace (or facebook or whatever other site) and basically join their social circle before I’d meet them IRL. I would think a 67 year old pedophile would have a much harder time acting like a 17 year old girl on myspace then they would in an AOL chat room.

BTW I met one of my best friends through chatrooms and IMing on AOL. Of course this was in 1995-1996 when it was a bit safer to do so.

Yeah, it’s not like the old Classified ads in the back of the newspaper. It’s more an extension of your personal life. If you meet someone and hit it off, who cares if you met in a bar or online? I’m 24, and myself and most of my friends have dated/are dating someone from online—and we’re not friendless weirdos or losers. Most people who actually start dating meet on Myspace/Facebook/some other “social” site though, not by posting some sort of ad.

How timely. Gozu Tashoya just sent me this article. The findings do not surprise me in the least (although the comments do, and disappoint me. Nothing sadder than nerds who mock other nerds.)

I met my SO playing a MMORPG. Both online and IRL, I move in fairly geeky circles, so I’ve never gotten any flak for it. Most people think it’s pretty cool, actually, and are amazed to hear we’ve been together for 3 years and are gonna be shacking up soon.

In my experience, rather than having disdain for online relationships, most people are just really curious about how it works. They don’t really understand how you can fall in love with someone online. Most of what people know about live person-to-person online interaction involves child molesters and the cute 25-year-old girls who are really 53-year-old hairy male FBI agents. Many think that because it’s the internet, some form of deception must be involved, making it unfathomable that you can build the foundation of a good romantic relationship online.

But as internet activities like MMOs and dating sites become more mainstream, the perception will change. Sooner or later everyone will know someone who has done it. I don’t think it will ever become something everyone does, since not everyone will have need for it, but it won’t be the step or two above going to a bar or Star Trek cons like it seems to be now.

When the question of how I met my husband comes up, I always like to say “We were the first people in America to meet online!”

We met in 1987, so actually there are people far geekier than us who met via “computer” in some way, shape, or form earlier, but for a few years, say 1996-2002, I had to append “Back before it was geeky!” but, as far as my (geeky) circles, go, yes, online dating has lost its stigma. For awhile it definitely qualified as a “meet cute”

Nowadays (if you use that word I think you have to register as officially old) I wonder why people complaining of not being able to find someone don’t just go online! I mean, why not take advantage before the apocalypse?

I think it’s significantly less than it used to be, although I laughed at the OP (in a nice way) because six or seven years ago, I thought it was already less than it was ten or twelve years ago, which was when Mr. Del and I met online. Sure, there are still some people who think it’s odd, but for the most people, it doesn’t seem unusual anymore.

Online doesn’t bestow some kind of magical “meet someone” ability. It has its share of crazies/people you aren’t attracted to, just like the non-internet ways of meeting people. Sure, most people on dating sites are there for the purpose of meeting someone, but if you’re a guy and come off wrong, you’re still not going to meet anyone.

If you’re a girl, I hear the situation is much better.

I have run into a few people who think that meeting someone online says something about your (lack of) social skills, though I don’t agree with them.

I understand it for older people, especially divorced or very busy ones, but I must confess I balked when a 20-something friend of mine tried it (nothing came of it. All horror stories and awkwardness). Though if I went to a wedding and the bride and groom (or grrom and groom or whoever) said they’d met online, I wouldn’t think it was as weird as I would have 10 years ago.

I met my girlfriend online about a year and a half ago. Though I’ll admit in another lifetime I’d prefer to have met her through friends/work/etc.

I think its easier to ask someone out through text than in person. So the ‘social skills’ stigma does have some validity. I think most people who are wierded out by it aren’t thinking ‘axe murderer’ scenarios, but rather “Why not ask someone out in real life?”

In my scenario, I was online dating because I wanted to meet a lot of people, and my current work situation didn’t put me in a position to hang out with my coworkers. I had a small-ish pool of friends too, so any girls there were already taken or people I wasn’t interested in anyway. It worked out pretty well- I think in February alone I went on something between 10-12 dates, and even though I got turned down many times I still enjoyed the experience. The ‘shotgun’ approach also helped me improve the way I carried/presented myself, which gave me progressively more confidence. What really drew me to my girlfriend? One, she was by and far the most confident woman I met, in spite of being the youngest. Two, by then I had a lot more confidence/maturity, and felt like I could really decide how it worked out (rather than hope hope hope she wants to see me again).

My best friend, who can barely say hello to a woman he’s interested in, met his girlfriend at my birthday party. She was my girlfriend’s best friend. They ‘met through friends’ but ironically my g/f and I practically had to hurl them together to get them talking :stuck_out_tongue:

Frankly, I don’t care if people have a problem with it. It worked for me, and no amount of prejudice from other people can alter the fact that it was totally successful for me. My husband and I lived in the same damn town for 4 years and never met, and within 45 minutes of each other for 10 years. Even if we had somehow wound up in the same place at the same time, I doubt we would have talked because he’s shy and I wouldn’t have thought he was my type or I was his type without knowing him first.

See, meeting him online allowed us to meet in a lower pressure situation-- we were both on okcupid because we wanted to date. A lot of the guesswork is taken out of it since we knew we were scouting each other out for a relationship. We IM’ed daily for several weeks and got a lot of that initial feeling out bullshit out of the way. He tends to play his cards close to the chest IRL, but online he was funny, smart, honest, and open, all the things I like. I already really liked him when we met in person, and he wasn’t as shy because we’d already talked about so much.

Thus, the only component left was to meet and see if there was any chemistry in person. There was, like gangbusters. It was pretty much instant love, which has never happened to me before. No games, no dicking around, not a lot of doubt and wavering. I feel like we got that out of the way in our pre-date talks. Maybe that has something to do with us both being honest, no bullshit people, but a lot of the nonsense that we both hated about dating was eliminated.

We were engaged within 6 months of meeting each other and we’re married now. I can’t give a better endorsement, but maybe I was just lucky. There’s a first time for everything.

Yeah, I think it’s lost its stigma.

At least it’s gone from nerdy to at least being on par with any other dating service. . .personals, speed dating, etc.

I know perfectly regular folk who wouldn’t have dreamed of doing it 10 years ago that just have online personals as part of their life now. They always have something lined up if they want it.

I think it still has a stigma, though I’ve done it myself in the past. It just feels…I dunno. Not how it should be. But when you’re trapped in an office all day it can be a great way to meet girls. That’s my excuse anyway.

I’d say it has lost its stigma. I was an oddball when I started meeting people from online about 8 years ago (not necessarily for dates etc) but now so many people meet friends, dating friends or platonic friends online. My bestfriend is engaged to a girl he started chatting to on myspace. Another msned his way into a girl’s heart, another still used email. My girlfriend (from Ohio) I met through a penpal website. We started chatting online after emailing a few times and within a few months we were smitten and had to meet up, so we did. Still going strong two years later. SELF PROMOTION ALERT, I released an ep last year called “The Perils of Internet Dating” on the theme.