It’s real; it’s here; and it’s growing at amazing speed – online dating, that is.
If we go back to the early 90s, there was no such thing as online dating services. Girls and boys, men and women, met each other at school, through friends, at work, or through activities they were involved in. Some of these meetings were even totally by chance.
All of this changed in 1995 when the first online dating site was launched – Match.com. Today, that number has grown to over 8,000 worldwide. And they range from all-inclusive services (all ages, ethnicities, gender identities, etc.) to very specific user bases – seniors, the LGBTQ+ community, farmers, Christians, highly educated, wealthy, etc. And as an economic sector, the gross market value is between $9 and $10 billion dollars.
How did this all happen? The reasons are numerous. We have younger generations who use the Internet with impatience. They want what they want right now. And they want convenience in all that they do – from shopping to education and beyond. It only stands to reason that they want efficient and convenient ways to date too. If they can join something like Hily dating app and spend time filtering out possible matches, why not? It saves both time and money, narrowing the field of possible dating partners to those they have more potential to connect with. And they can use those apps from anywhere and at any time at their convenience.
Enter Covid. We were isolated and confined to our homes. We were craving connections with others. Our friends on social media were there, of course, but what if we were looking for new connections? Online dating apps provided a great source for meeting new people, if only via the Internet. Still, given the technology, users of these apps could meet new relationship matches, message with them, and even video chat and live stream their lives to one another. These were connections that were really valuable during this long period of isolation. And once the isolation subsided? There were now opportunities to meet and date in person.
Is Online Dating for You? There Are Certainly Some Pros
Depending on what your goals are, there are probably online dating sites that will fit the bill. Overall, current statistics state that about 30% of adults currently use online dating apps. These users range from those who are interested only in very short-term hookups, to casual dating, to those seeking long-term permanent relationships, either cohabitating or marriage.
Once you know your goals for online dating, you can then begin to look for those services that offer what you want. You will find many. But just like any product or service, levels of quality cover a wide range. You will want to explore any site carefully. They will all have on-site testimonials, but you should look further than that. There are plenty of review sites that give a more truthful evaluation, so check them out. Most of them will offer a free version or a free trial, so sign up for those first until you see how it works for you.
There are many people who swear by online dating. They meet people they would never meet by chance in real life, and that’s a plus. It widens their dating pool. The other usual benefit they provide is that it is a much more efficient way to find people who are compatible in a way that conforms to their schedules of availability from the comfort of their homes. The other big plus, already mentioned, is that they can spend some time getting to know someone before they have an actual in-person date.
And Are There Cons?
Yes, of course, there are. For one thing, it’s hard to know if the people you are matched with are completely honest about themselves. When you want to make a good impression, it’s easy to exaggerate your career and your achievements and hard for a dating site to verify.
While most sites are very security conscious, they are not foolproof. Bad actors can register and use dating sites for nefarious purposes. Being aware that this can happen, it will be important that users only agree to initial meetings in public places and provide their own transportation to and from.
The final point is this: online dating is growing and is here to stay. Whether it is a good option for you is an individual choice. Weight the pros and cons and, above all, choose a service with a good reputation.