Discuss: Finding Love Online

May 31, 2013

A short post today.

Online dating.  Have you done it? How was it?  Did you meet anybody good?  Or was it unmitigated disaster?

I have a friend who went on 90+ (not a typo or an exaggeration) Internet-matched dates before she met a guy she really adored.  That’s determination.

And, if I could have a follow-up:  Is there still a stigma associated with online dating?  It seems like there shouldn’t be since it’s so pervasive, but I’ve seen people give the side eye when someone says they met their significant other online.

Also, I have an acquaintance keeps telling people that she and her boyfriend of three months met at a coffee shop, but they didn’t.  They met online, and she has forbidden him to tell anyone because she thinks it cheapens the relationship.

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


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  1. Deborah says:

    My brother met his girlfriend online and they have been together for three years. They messaged each other over a “free communication” weekend and then quit because they started dating. I don’t think it is anything to be ashamed of – how much worse it is than saying you met someone in a bar?

  2. Mel says:

    So I had a friend that has a “match.com” wedding back in 2008, before it was less common. I always try to convince people online dating isn’t so bad by using that example. Honestly, it is just a way of meeting someone that shares your same interests that you may not have found otherwise. People that are giving online daters the side eye are just old fussy people.

    My other friend also found an amazing boyfriend on match and another met her fiance on plentyoffish.com

  3. A says:

    Yes, there is still a stigma. At least in my neck of the woods. Kind of like when in the beginnings of facebook, it was awkward to talk about facebook. I tried eHarmony for 6 months, thinking it would be the “classy” dating site – and I knew of one success story. Maybe my city/region is to blame, but in those six months I wasn’t matched with a single person in my city who seemed “normal.” Had a crash and burn long distance-ish relationship with a guy about 60 miles away. He insisted I never mention eH around his friends. Honestly the whole experience – partially because eHarmony thought this jerk would be perfect for me, lol – makes me want to take a dating hiatus and try to get more involved in my community in order to meet someone the old fashioned way. Maybe I’ll give online dating another go round in a year or two if the mood strikes, but for now, no thanks.

    • Belle says:

      My “hiatus” lasted eight years. Once you quit, it’s harder to start up than you think. Past hurts seem more important because there is nothing fresh, and you forget how it all works. At the very least, give your break an end date.

      • LadyMacbeth says:

        Belle – you’re comment really speaks to me. I’ve been on something of a hiatus and it’s very, very difficult to make myself care enough to start again; with each year, it gets harder.

        • Belle says:

          I’m diving back in. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s time. I think online will be a good way to ease back in, because I’ve been out so long, I’m no longer even open to the possibility. When we go out, my girls will say, “That guys looking at you,” or “He was flirting with you,” and I’m always shocked. So it’s time to give it a go.

          • LadyMacbeth says:

            I’m in the same position! Would love to hear about your experiences once you wet your feet.

      • Christine says:

        Thanks for your thoughts Belle. I’ve been on a five year “hiatus” and I’m finding it extremely difficult to even think about getting back out there. I was never very smooth or confident around guys, but now it’s even worse and I’ve got so much anxiety about it! Do you have any tips for getting back out there or helping psyche yourself up mentally? What made you finally decide to end your hiatus?

    • Lady Lawyer says:

      I have also had less than stellar results with eHarmony. Was hoping for a similar “classy” experience. Ended up with a guy who stalked me at my office. He didn’t even know my last name, but still managed to find me. Needless to say, I shut down that account real quick.

      Now I’m sticking to the old-fashioned way– meeting people in the community, friends of friends, etc. Have been on two not-terrible dates in the last few weeks as a result. Agreed that maybe I’ll go back online in a few years, but not right now!

  4. AL says:

    My sister met her husband of over 5 years on Match back when it was less common. They are 100% a perfect match. I’ve never given online dating a second thought for others. That being said, when I tried it myself, I found that I didn’t like saying that I met the person I was dating online. Sort of an odd conundrum.

  5. Addison says:

    I think there’s definitely less of a stigma now. People just don’t seem to meet their future spouses in the same way they used too. But at the same time I think some people wish they had a better story. My parents met at a college basketball game because my mom’s friend thought my dad’s friend was cute. The two friends never ended up dating but my parents have been married 30 years. That’s a little more fun to tell people than “we met online.” But I’ve definitely considered it. A friend of mine started online dating because she had moved to a new state to be a nanny and didn’t know anyone. She ended up falling in love with someone right as the woman she worked for lost her job and decided to be a stay at home mom, putting her out of a job! So she stayed in her new state and is now married to that guy she met online. I also have two other friends who are now with guys they met online. One is married and has the child, the other isn’t married yet but they’re both divorced and happily living together with their kids from previous marriages

  6. SM says:

    I met my boyfriend of a year and a half online. We did How About We, which is basically a glorified blind date and far less of a resume style profile. We messaged each other that we were intrigued by each others date idea and met and did the date… no constant messaging back and forth. No better or worse than had we actually met in a bar. I’ve taken him home to friends/family and they all know we met online. I’ve even helped my boss create an online dating profile. Definitely think the stigma is being diminished. Much like facebook and twitter, online dating is mainstream for the current generation.

    • Leigh says:

      I met my BF on How About We as well! I picked it because it was the easiest profile to create and it was fun! I had some terrible dates but they were worth it to get to my guy. As for stigma, I don’t love saying we met online but I haven’t encountered any weird responses. All of my friends date online. My BF’s mom was a little taken aback but we also really clicked and she could care less now!

  7. Danielle says:

    I met my fiance on OK Cupid. I had occasionally started accounts at match.com or other sites in the past but never ponied up to communicate with anyone. Then a coworker told me she’d had a few good long-term dating experiences through OK Cupid (six months and a year). I tried it, went on three crappy dates, and quit. Then I signed up again with a brand new account and messaged the guy I’m going to marry in January.

    I admit, while I have no problem telling people I met my fiance online, that I have made judgments in the past about paid dating sites versus free ones. Not that I think they’re bad, but I think they sometimes have different clientele and I didn’t want to pay I thought I wanted someone who wasn’t looking so hard as to pay either. But I have two good friends (former coworkers) who both met their wives on match.com and I think it’s wonderful. In my opinion and limited experience, I think paid sites are a better market for single men and free sites are better for women. (Stereotypical thinking of people generally looking for a relationship on the former and something more casual on the latter.) Interestingly, my fiance felt the way I did about paid vs free.

  8. heather says:

    I used to date online. Met some great guys, had some fun dates, etc. Still friendly with most of them. After all that- Met my husband in a bar…

  9. Nicole says:

    I met my fiancee on Match! I tried Plentyoffish and OKcupid for a few months but got too many “hey sexy, wanna hook up?” messages, so I signed up for Match thinking that a paid membership might bring about more “serious” daters? Well, after 5 AWFUL Match.com dates (one guy was about 10 years older than he said, another was 5 inches shorter, another BARELY even spoke English) I threw in the towel and thought maybe love just wasn’t going to happen at this time in my life. 3 weeks later I was bored at work and checked my account and got this funny, sweet message from a guy named Jonathan. We went on our first date a week after that and are now engaged 7 months later 🙂 I don’t think there’s a stigma to online dating anymore seeing that EVERY single girl friend I have is on some site. If bars, through friends, the grocery stores haven’t been working out for you, why not at least give online a try?

  10. K says:

    I’m an online dating success story. I did 3 weeks of Match.com and met my boyfriend of 2+ years on my 5th Match date. We moved in together in January & will likely (hopefully!) be engaged next year.

    I used to be really embarrassed by it, but now I honestly do not care. The only place I lie about it is at work, mainly because I don’t want to deal with all of the questions or be known as the “girl who met her BF online”.

    Recently, I went on a girl’s trip and realized 3 of the 4 of us on the trip met our significant others online. One of them is now happily married and expecting a baby in the fall. It’s a lot more common than you might realize – people just don’t always talk about it.

  11. A. says:

    Great topic! I tried several years ago it and I’m getting married to a guy I met on OKC this summer, so clearly I feel it was worth it. I know a lot of people see it as a means to an end, but my fiance was the 17th (yup! 17!) first date I went on that year, and I had a lot of fun on the previous 16 before him. I met a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise (including the fiance), made a point to go on interesting dates to new activities and places, and wound up with some new friends and hobbies from the people who didn’t work out and their social circles. I think it helps to approach the whole thing with a (very) open mind, a bit of bravery, and a sense of adventure, and it definitely isn’t for everyone.

    I do think there’s less stigma nowadays. I was kind of cagey about how we met back then, but now I tell people I got myself a mail-order husband online. Sure, it’s a bit absurd, but I don’t know that people anymore feel that there’s a huge difference between being introduced by a former roommate and being introduced by a computer program.

    And who has time to meet random strangers in bars? I would be interested to see if it is more accepted in places like DC, where people are so career goal-focused that it is pretty normal to have minimal time for a social life. Online dating is a lot more efficient, in my view.

  12. Rachel says:

    I met my current boyfriend online after a girlfriend met her hubby on eharmony. It’s the best decision I made! It was quick, painless, and easy! He was in the first batch of guys they sent me. We would have never met in town; despite my active social life(advantage of being a townie), he was new to the area and not really hitting the bars. I love the structure eharm provided and was only on it for a month total. I know others who haven’t had as quick as luck, but I still recommend it. I dont advertise we met that way, but I’m not shy about telling people if they ask. And if they judge me, who cares, I got a great guy by doing it 🙂

  13. Kelley says:

    I met my fiance on OK Cupid, but this was not without a lot of bad first dates. I use the internet to search for and network in other areas of my life, why not dating? And when people ask how we met, I make a point of telling the truth in my own one-person campaign to reduce the stigma.

    I do wish we had a more popular version of the sites used in the UK, when you can connect with your friend’s single friends. I tried the paid sites for a while, but it seemed like a lot of work in order to feel like I was getting my money’s worth. That being said, I have friends who met on eHarmony, got married and just had a baby. I think the secret is to play the numbers game, someone you connect with will come along eventually, don’t get discouraged by bad dates (if you do, take a break from it for a while), and be willing to go on second dates even if you aren’t head over heels.

  14. lisa says:

    I met my boyfriend (of 2.5 years) on okcupid and also met my most recent ex there. I think there’s less of a stigma now, but people still seem surprised when I tell them that’s how he & I met. Then they say, “Maybe I should try that…” I also had some disaster dates, but that just goes with dating in general. My standard line about how we met is to say, “On the internet! You can find anything you want online: groceries, clothes, shoes, restaurant reviews, friends, and dates!” And online dating is way less awkward/intimidating then having to try and approach someone out in public, or hoping that the cute guy at the bar will come and say hello if you stare at him long enough.

  15. constellation says:

    Met my husband on eHarmony. We dated for four years, married last year. As my grandmother reminded me just yesterday, I hit the jackpot. He’s the best.

    I dated quite a few men that I met online. Although I was embarrassed initially, it’s become so commonplace now that it seems silly not to try it. The best thing about online dating is that it dramatically increases the size of your dating pool. Where else would I have met a Russophile urban planner, an Italian astrophysics professor, a Lochte-lookalike doctoral student, a 34-year-old startup retiree, and a Supreme Court clerk? There were definitely a few disasters, but as long as you stay safe, even a bad date turns into a good story by the next day.

    Stigma probably depends on where you live. I’m in a very tech-centric city now, but I originally started dating online when I was living in DC, over a decade ago. I’ve used a variety of sites, but mainly nerve.com, eHarmony.com, match.com, and the site run by my city’s free weekly paper. I’ve heard good things about okcupid. In my experience, nerve was best for casual dating, match ran the gamut, and eHarmony was for people looking to settle down.

    Keys to successful online dating:
    1. Keep expectations low. It’s just another way to meet people, not an audition for Broadway.
    2. Put some effort into your profile. Be specific about what you like. It helps no one to be vague or dishonest.
    3. Know what you want.
    4. Take a break from dating when you’re not feeling into it. We call this “going on guyatus”.

    • rah says:

      I’m insanely jealous you met a supreme court clerk online! my midwestern city is full of boring business men. I felt that there was stigma at first but then I realized my last x number of relationships had terrible bar stories behind them- what makes that any better than saying we chose to find a relationship online

    • JJ says:

      I met the most incredible man for me on Eharmony and we’ve been dating for two years now! I think the points above are spot on. Is online dating fun? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I’ll admit there were a few times that I would be sent my matches (or get e-mails from my matches) and think…really…this is who you think would be good for me?!?! Or I would go week after week and only get matched with computer programmers whose idea of being active was playing with their Wii (oh the joys of living in a tech town), which was down right depressing and required a “guyatus” for at least a week or two. That said, I’m an attorney working at a big firm and trying to pay my dues, I’m too darn old to go bar hoping, I have had the same circle of friends since college, and I wouldn’t date a coworker, so I stuck with the online dating. I’m so glad I did. I now tell others to try it out (and then usually tell them something along the lines of the tips above).

      Oh, and as for telling people. I’ve never had an issue admitting to the fact that we met online. A lot of people meet that way these days. Although at the start of the relationship when I went with my bf to his sister’s wedding (where I met most of his family for the first time) he thought it was funny to tell his 85 year old great-aunt that we met on Craigslist. She proceeded to tell everyone else at the wedding that we met on Craigslist (of course she didn’t even know what Craigslist was)!

    • Pancakes says:

      A Lochte lookalike who was a doctoral student? Shoot, sign me up. Or did he have a Lochte-esque personality too? haha

      • Belle says:

        Lochte’s body, yes. Lochte’s brain, wait, what brain? Seriously, I watched five minutes of that show and was like, “Please let him be pretending to be this dumb. Please!”

        • constellation says:

          Did you see Lochte’s guest spot on “30 Rock”, playing a sex idiot? When he starts making out with a stranger on the street, his girlfriend jangles her keys at him, stamps her foot, and shouts, “Ryan Lochte, no! Bad!” So pretty, so very very dim.

          The lookalike was more of a summer fling. Smart but vain, lots of emotional baggage.

  16. I met my husband on Match.com. I agree that online dating was time consuming until I learned the lingo of online profiles. ‘Not looking for drama’ means exactly the opposite. If ladies want to meet guys in real life – I suggest learning to rock climb. Rock climbing gyms are full of guys!

    • Belle says:

      Thanks for the tip.

    • Norwegianette says:

      Also, you should get into rock climbing because it’s insanely fun (in that intense challenge yourself and feel super scared and then super awesome after-way)! Not gonna lie though, the muscular guys climbing things wile shirtless were a big plus. But I would say that, my bf climbs too, so…

      • Beth says:

        I might have to check out a climbing gym… although now I have a vision of the (movie) Bridesmaids scene where Megan says “I’m glad he’s single because I’m going to climb that like a tree”.

  17. Iz says:

    Although I’m currently single, I’ve had some great experiences with online dating. (The only reason those relationships ended was because one of us had to move, and the other couldn’t make that sacrifice.) I only use OkCupid nowadays, since I think people there don’t take themselves as seriously as match.com users and, as a result, come off as less desperate. A few years ago, I admit that I was self-conscious about having met my significant others online, but nowadays I’m not at all shy about it. I figure that online dating is very similar to being set up by a mutual friend — only in this case, the “mutual friend” knows thousands of people.

    Interestingly enough, I tried dating two guys whom I met the old-fashioned way, at a bar, and both times it crashed and burned. I think I’ll stick to online dating from now on.

  18. Kate says:

    I met my husband on eHarmony, and we are now expecting a baby in a few months. I tried the site on and off for a couple years, going on a handful of dates here and there, until I either got bored or busy or whatever, but I always left it open as an option. The way I see it is, it’s just like meeting someone anywhere. It may work, it may not, same as any type of dating – just like meeting people through friends, eyes meeting across a crowded Starbucks (tell me how many people this has worked for, by the way), or getting set up by well-meaning co-workers. It’s just another option, and I don’t know why one would be so closed to it when so much of our lives, from clothes inspiration to recipes to networking, occurs online. And in the end, you have to remember that NO ONE REALLY CARES. If they give it a thought, it’s just that – a thought – and then they’re back to thinking about their own beautiful, messy little lives, as we all are. I am happily married to my best friend and love of my life, and we cannot wait to meet our baby girl this summer. If I were to go skulking around ashamed of the fact that a few years ago we met online, instead of being grateful to be in a solid, happy, marriage with a baby on the way, then the problem would be mine, not anyone else’s.

  19. BethW says:

    I met my boyfriend of 3 years on OKCupid. Logically, online dating makes a lot of sense: when you’re at a bar, party, grocery store, etc., probably only half the people there are male. Of those, let’s say only half of them are single. Of those, maybe only half are looking for a relationship. At that point, you’re left with 1/8 of the people there, and then you still have to see if you’re even compatible and attracted to them. When you go on an online dating website, everyone is there to find a relationship (or you can easily filter out those who are looking for something more casual). I definitely got some lame and/or icky messages on OKCupid, and I didn’t like everyone I met up with, but I sort of liken OKCupid to shopping at TJMaxx in that way – sometimes you have to look through clothes you would never wear in order to find something really and surprisingly awesome.
    I was a little wary of the stigma at first, but practically every time I tell someone now that my boyfriend and I met online, they tell me how many weddings they’ve been to where the couple met online.

  20. JPW says:

    I feel like the millionth person to say this, but I met my fiancee on match.com too. I’d just moved (from DC) to a different area of the country where I didn’t know anyone and was approaching it with a very open mind — just something to do to get out, maybe meet some new people. My fiance was my first date through it, and I thought it was the worst first date ever (he’s not a talker; I’m very much one, so lots of me trying to draw info out). But he was so droll/interesting through email, I kept with it. I often think I wouldn’t have stuck with him as long in DC, with more options (and with my belief, at the time, in instant chemistry), and how lucky I was that I was sort of forced to slow down enough to know him a lot better.

    FWIW too, I’m a type-A extrovert type and it turns out I’m much better with low-key introvert types like him, who, it seems, are much easier to meet on the internet (e.g. he keeps to a small circle of friends and wouldn’t “go after” someone, so I never would have met him without it). I was never embarrassed to reveal how we met, in part to encourage others to give it a go.

    BTW — I am a very analytical person by nature, so eharmony’s promise of a formula seemed ideal, and I tried it first. I thought it was atrocious — they routinely gave me lots of people who met few, if any, of my very, very few criteria (like, less than 50 miles away, way outside of my age range, etc).

  21. Jenn L. says:

    There’s less of a stigma among 35-and-younger-somethings, I think. Older crowds (generalization, not saying everyone) still think it is weird.

    While I’ve never gone the eHarmony/OKCupid/Match/etc route, I DID meet my fiance online. This sounds weird, but back in the days of MySpace, because we had mutual interest in a music group. The music group had me in their Top 8, not sure if it was randomized or what), so he messaged me. Not creepy, not skeezy; curious if I was a real person or just a random bot with a picture of a chick. We started chatting, found that our interests lined up ridiculously well, etc. We had to do the long distance thing for a while, but after 2.5 years (yes! two years of long distance! not without seein each other ever, of course, we visited) I moved from VA to PA. We celebrated our sixth anniversary in April and are engaged to be married in July 2014 (…weddings are expensive).

    Neither of us were lonely hearts looking for love. It just ended up working out. =)

    • Jenn L. says:

      Also, imo, bars are generally kind of gross. I haven’t heard a romantic bar-meeting story (not saying they aren’t any, I just haven’t heard them). “Yeah we were getting shit-faced at this hole in the way and locked eyes across the bar. We disappeared out back for a quickie and the rest is history!” ew.

      • heather says:

        Mine’s kinda princess and thr froggy…. but he had good reason for the state he was in when I met him!

    • Jenn L. says:

      God – hole in the wall*

  22. Ali says:

    I’m getting married in less than a month thanks to match.com! He was actually the first date i went on. Had a couple crappy ones in the next week or so but canceled my membership pretty quickly. I was initially wary of online dating but my friends in SF were doing it for fun so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try (in Seattle). Was a bit embarrassed at first when people asked how we met, but when i fessed up it was shocking how many of those people had met their significant others online as well.

  23. S says:

    I met my fiance on Match, and we’ve been together almost 3 years at this point. I’m always a little hesitant to say where we met, but I don’t know why as most of my friends have tried online dating. My brother met his wife online and they got married back in 2002, when it really was a new thing and they used to be mortified to tell people. 11 years later, I think there is less of a stigma, but it’s still there.

    I agree with pretty much everything that’s been said. It’s a great way to meet people who are looking for a relationship, but it takes some work. My fiance was my first and only date off match but he had been on it for about a year. Expect to talk to some creepers and have to do a bit of digging.

  24. Melissa says:

    I met my husband on match.com…after 3+ months of mediocre dates. One of my sisters met her husband on match.com, and my other sister met her fiance on OKCupid (I think). It’s just another way to meet people, but it’s a more proactive way. Just “waiting” for a chance meeting with a great guy can be frustrating because it’s completely out of your control. I’ve also had a few friends start an online dating profile only to meet the guy of their dreams in real life. I kind of think you learn a lot from online dating about what you’re looking for, and you also change your attitude a bit–are willing to take more risks, maybe.

  25. Erica says:

    Everyone so far seems to be on Team Online Dating, and I’m totally happy for them. I was on OK Cupid separate times, and did I leave with long lasting relationships or new friends? Nope. However, I did come out with some great stories (like the time a guy took me a Washington Wizards game and then told me at half time he was a convicted felon. Oh joy).

    Regardless of my past experiences, I do think there is still a stigma on online dating, but that as it becomes more pervasive it will become less of a wince-worthy subject.

  26. Bee says:

    I met my boyfriend of two and a half years on OKCupid. I’m 25 and I think there’s still some stigma regarding online dating among people my age, although I know a lot of other happy couples who met on free dating sites. Ultimately, it worked out so well for me that it’s hard to be embarrassed by how we met. I find everything else online, why not a boyfriend?

  27. Stephanie says:

    I have attempted it to disasterous ends (the stories are pretty histerical though), but to be fair I do know people that have met people online. I don’t think there should be a stigma, but in some circles I’m sure there is. I think that some women see the internet as not romantic and what girl doesn’t want romance? Thats just one woman’s opinion though.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    My boyfriend of 2 years and I met during my free trial of Match.com; he paid for a one month subscription and went on one other online date, the day before we met. We don’t tell everyone how we met, and when we do I’m adamant about including the free trial part. I guess for someone who really considers herself a “people person,” I still buy into the stigma that online dating is for the anti-social or shy. Still, Match was the best money I never spent!

  29. hey girl says:

    I personally know one married couple who met through eHarmony and one married couple who met through Match. I know another dating couple who met through Match.

    Personally, I think it is a great way to meet your future S.O. However, have a few single friends who got burned out dating online, so maybe it’s better for some than others. Or maybe you have to find that happy medium. I don’t know.

    I did not think there was a stigma attached to online dating. Then I suggested it to my friend, who complained constantly of being single. CONSTANTLY. She made a face like she’d just smelled something awful and said she would never, NEVER online date. I’ll note here that her modus operandi was to meet a man in a bar, go home with him, and at best end up in a f**k buddy situation with him, but never the relationship she wanted so badly.

    So… take that however you want.

  30. T says:

    I met my boyfriend of 3 years on Match.Com! He was the only guy I communicated with and met from the site. His story was a little different since I think I was his 100th date from the site. Oddly enough we lived two blocks away from each other in Arlington. We would have never met without Match! Now we live together, and I know there is a ring in the future.

    At first, I was really embarrassed to tell people that we met online. But, after a few months it was less embarrassing and I found out a lot of my friends were enrolled in online dating. It was worth it, there are so many people out there you might never meet without the help of the internet.

  31. Kate says:

    I’m marrying my Match.com “match” next July after more than 2 years together. We used to be embarrassed and tell people we met in college (actually, we did, but that’s another story), but after going to a jdate wedding, we just tell everyone we met on Match. Hardly anyone bats an eye. We even get the occasional, “Us too!” these days. I met my Maid of Honor through a Meetup.com group. I kind of think of it like anything else on the internet. You use Yelp.com to find a restaurant you might otherwise never discover; it doesn’t make and serve the food to you. I used Match and Meetup to connect with people I might not have met otherwise, but the relationships we built were entirely up to us. It’s a sloppy analogy, but you get the point 😉

  32. Linsey says:

    I think 5 or so years ago, yes, there was a stigma. Perhaps it’s due to where I live, in Boston, we seem to be a little less conservative here but many of my friends have met their significant others online and are getting or have gotten married! My very best friend met her fiance online, and I’m proud to say that I strongly encouraged her to date online, as she was living in a new state far from home. While she had a few crazy dates, that continue to be great stories, she met her future husband online and they’re wonderful together. They are both incredibly candid about it, as are my other friends that met people that way. I should also note that there seems to be an age stigma when people feel like they aren’t ready to get online but as I’m in my late 20’s it seems to be okay and people are far more open about it than say those that are in their earlier 20’s post-college. I’ve suggested it to some under 25 that are frustrated with their dating life and they often seem to turn up their nose!

  33. RMS says:

    Like others have said, online is just another way to meet people. I met my boyfriend of 2.5 years on Match and we’ve never lied to anyone about how we met. It just seems like a silly thing to lie about. What makes online better or worse than school/concert/bar/work/etc.? The stigma drives me crazy.

    I love my boyfriend, but there is no way we would have ever met if not for Match. On our first date we realized that we lived, worked, and hung out in completely different parts of the city and had no friends in common. We still joke around about all the bad Match dates we both went on before we met, and it’s fun to laugh about it all.

  34. Betsy says:

    There definitely is a stigma, which is a tiny bit ridiculous because EVERYONE knows someone who did it. I tried my hand at the paid dating sites – unsuccessful – and then met my boyfriend of two years on PlentyofFish – or OKCupid, I don’t remember which. And like RMS said, I never would have met him otherwise. And hey – online dating is awkward, but isn’t dating itself awkward?

  35. B says:

    My boyfriend and I met on OKC. It took a bottle of wine and a kick in the ass from my friends to do it, but I’m glad I did. I was very hesitant about online dating, not because of what my friends here in DC would think, but because of my family and friends that don’t live in an urban area would think. I think people living in mid to large urban settings are just more used to that type of dating scene. Not so much in small town Midwest. When I told them how we met, they didn’t say anything but it took them a second or two to absorb and respond with an “Oh, well that’s nice.” Now that they’ve met him, they realize how great he is and how happy I am. Now my mom is trying to get HER single friends to join it.

    I tended to avoid the guys that messaged me with only a few exceptions and rather searched out guys that I was interested in- I just didn’t feel quite so bombarded that way. I also ONLY went on dates with guys that didn’t have crazy usernames. Sorry TacoJoe87, no dice.

  36. Christina says:

    I met my husband of 2 1/2 years on eharmony. I had moved from the Midwest to the East coast for law school. I wasn’t interested in dating anyone in law school (two type a lawyers in one relationship scared me). I didn’t know anyone else in the area and didn’t have time to try to get involved in the community to meet other people, so I figured I’d give online dating a try. I met my husband three months into it. (On a side note, I had given eharmony a try several years before this with no success). At first I worried about the stigma, but now that I’m married to my best friend, I could care less how I met him. He lived five hours and several states away from me, so I never would have met him if it weren’t for online dating.

  37. An says:

    I met my boyfriend of 2+ years on OKCupid, and he’s the real deal. I originally joined because I moved to a new city for work, and I had a friend who met her husband on the site and another friend who met her fiancee there. Another friend of mine met his fiancee on eHarmony.

    I dated one OKC guy for six months, then went on maybe 5 OKC first dates over the next 2 years, before meeting my current bf.

    For what it’s worth, I had a few funny stories but no complete horror stories from the dates. Also, I accidentally made a friend! We didn’t really click romatically but still hang out from time to time, and he turned me on to a new volunteering opportunity that I still participate in. I kind of thought people that were on dating sites to “make friends” were lying, but hey, it happened unintentionally!

    That being said, you have to sift through a lot of not so great profiles and messages to get to the good ones. I liked it a lot better than trying to meet someone in a bar, but there is a certain amount of work that goes into it.

    I echo what an earlier commenter said — if you find yourself becoming frustrated, sad, or exhausted due to the online search, give yourself a break for a while.

  38. Karen says:

    I did Match.com for a few months back a couple of years ago. I never had any bad dates, maybe because I was lucky. I didn’t make it a secret that I was trying online dating and that helped me out, too. What happened was that I got into the habit of dating. Previously, it seemed like I never met guys, but once I got into the dating habit I met guys everywhere. My friends saw that I was serious about finding someone and they started to introduce me to guys (the same friends who could never think of anyone suddenly could).

    Anyway, now I tell single friends that the best way to find someone is to try online dating just to get used to dating in general. You have to force yourself to meet people because they aren’t going to come to your door while you watch TV.

  39. J says:

    I have at least 3 or 4 friends who met their husbands through online dating. At least one of those couples won’t admit to their families that they met online.

    In the first year that I moved to DC, I did match and okcupid. But it was really just to force myself to get used to meeting new people since i’m normally introverted. The quality was definitely better on match. Since it’s a pay site, I think it weeds out a lot of people who are just after hookups and whatnot. I never had a truly horrible date but I didn’t feel like I had real chemistry with anyone either. I try to at least get to date #3 before I completely rule someone out so I at least feel like I give the old college try. But normally I just feel like i’m on a job interview.

    I gave up after about 20 guys – I don’t know how your friend got to 90 – that’s perseverance! Everyone I’ve ever had a truly successful relationship with, I’ve met randomly at a bar or party when I was drunk. I’m also not looking to settle down anytime soon so I feel like it’s a wasted effort at this point – I could be doing a million other things with my time instead. So – I’ve given up on online dating for a while.

  40. SK says:

    So I am in the midst of this online dating experiment and I have to say that I am a little disappointed. Online dating is way too dump-friendly. If a date isn’t perfect, you go home and get online and message more girls (or guys) and never give the in-person date a second chance. Beacause it is so easy to line up dates using the online system, there is really no incentive to settle down.

  41. H says:

    I met my significant other of 5 years on OK Cupid. I’m not embarrassed to share how we met, but people are genuinely surprised when they hear it. Not sure if that’s just because they expect a better story, or due to any stigma.

    I found online dating in DC to be no weirder than in-person dating in DC – just in a different medium – and much more efficient. I liked it because it introduced me to compatible people I would never have encountered in my daily life who had new things to offer (I specifically did not want to date a professional colleague or a fitness buddy), and at the same time let me filter based on a few fundamental must-haves/deal-breakers for a long-term relationship you can’t discern by scanning a bar, like alignment on wanting children, religious views, veganism, whatever.

  42. Vivian says:

    I just moved back to NYC and was surprised by how many of my friends have joined OK Cupid and…Tinder to meet new people. At least in the twenty-somethings crowd here, online dating is the norm. My friend said the majority of men they met on OK Cupid were professionals who just don’t have time to meet people in bars or wherever. Tinder has a much more shallow premise and is used for more casual dating. Even if you don’t make a real connection my friends are enjoying the new experiences and making friends, if not boyfriends.

  43. Julie says:

    I have known many people to have found people they ended up marrying online. That said, it can be some work to weed through the duds.

    Some people may judge you, but I think the majority of people out there think it’s totally normal. I think this is likely more true the older you get.

    Style by Joules

  44. PW says:

    Whether right or not, there’s definitely still a stigma. It’s why people still say “there’s no stigma now!” When the topic comes up in person. Silly since at this point everyone I know in DC is on one site or another. I’ll note that a lot of my guy friends basically use OKCupid as a way to find hookups though. One even somehow got a threesome off of a dating site. Online dating sites might expand your soulmate search but it’ll expand the pool for a lot of other things too. I also read an article that talked about how online dating can sometimes lead to people unable to “settle down” or “compromise” (not settle) because the pool is now so large that they’re constantly wondering what else is out there and what they’re missing out on. There’s some merit to that I think.

    • LFT97 says:

      I read that article too (in The Atlantic, I think?), but my feeling is that that’s more a reflection of our generation and the sheer presence of technology whose sole purpose is to connect people. The same phenomenon is why people my parents’ age are divorcing because they’re reconnecting with high school sweethearts via facebook. It’s a problematic phenomenon, for sure, but I think it’s out there and it has the potential to impact everyone, regardless of whether you sign up for an online dating site or not.

  45. s-p-c says:

    My husband and I wish that we had a better story than “oh, we met on eHarmony,” but we laugh about it, and then chat about something more interesting, like recent travels. Plus, I think that an awkward moment in a conversation is a small price for having found the best person I’ve ever dated(after many years of meeting people the old-fashioned way!)

  46. Kate says:

    Met my husband of 4 years now on match in 2007. We dated for about a year and a half and married in 2009. He is the best, most perfect person for me and proof that online dating works. He was not the first date I had from online profiles by far, so be willing to sort through the frogs before you find your prince. One piece of advice is read the profiles with a good BS detector and don’t take it personally or feel hurt when a guy turns out to be a dud in person. That is a reflection of him, not you. Have fun with it and you never know how it might turn out!

  47. mk says:

    I’ve witnessed the stigma from unexpected corners. You never know who’s going to have a problem with it. Most people I know are honest about it, but I know some who for example didn’t want mention of it among attendants in wedding speeches because they feared the stigma showing up at their own wedding–very sad. I know numerous married couples who met online and are in very healthy relationships. I generally live by the adage that it’s wise as an adult to keep people out of your relationship details, not because you should hide things but because only you truly know yourself and you as a couple know your relationship; adding others’ opinions (often baseless) of online dating to the challenges of building a healthy relationship is just another reason to consider what details you share and with whom. But unless you’re stuck on seeking validation from a third party in life (which I know from experience can be a challenge to overcome!), I definitely wouldn’t let others’ (dis)approval stand in the way of trying it out and building your own model of happiness and success in finding a partner.

  48. Cynthia W says:

    I have to say that I met my husband before online dating was really a thing, but I knew people who did the classified ads back then. That being said, I know a lot of people my age and older (40s) who are back in the dating pool and they ALL do the online dating – you think that it’s hard to meet someone when you’re young? Try being middle-aged, divorced or widowed, and a single-parent. They’ve all said that it’s a great way to meet people who are available and know about the kids and divorce right up front.

    If I were ever in the situation where I needed to start dating again, I wouldn’t hesitate to do the online thing. And I don’t think that anyone thinks twice about it anymore either. While I do live in a large city, I also live in the South and it doesn’t seem to carry any stigma here.

  49. Emmy says:

    I recently started using OkCupid because my best friends have met their husbands online, but I’m wondering what to look for and what to avoid when deciding who to go on dates with. I’ve met plenty of cute, interesting men on OKCupid so far, but after a few months, they all admit they are just online to casually date (sleep with people?). What are the warning signs (or good signs) to detect a good dude via an internet profile?

  50. Julia says:

    If you meet your life partner online, will you really care that much about any stigma? My husband and I met because we were neighbors, but our How We Met Story has rarely come up in conversation since we first started dating. I don’t think about my friends’ relationships as Couples Who Met Online, either.

    This is putting the cart before the horse, but people will take your cue when you tell them if you met online or not. If you are cagey about how you met or disclose it as The Big Reveal or in a way as if you are ashamed, they will treat it as an embarrassing secret. If you mention it when asked and then move on to other subjects, it will be a non-issue.

  51. Katie says:

    For those who were successful with match, did you make your photo available to everyone or limit it to men who asked and shared theirs? While there is no stigma to say you met your boyfriend online, I am still weary of having my photo out there for anyone to see. (I believe searching is free and you only pay the fee to open communications. I have overheard a few people laughing about seeing a coworker on there. I didn’t realize some (immature) people did that. I normally wouldn’t care (they are on there themselves) but DC is so career image obsessed that I worry.

  52. Maharani says:

    Im all for it but it has never worked for me. I was on eHarmony for a year but didnt have a single date. I did message one guy for awhile who seemed interesting but every conversation was about Ayn Rand-he was absolutely obsessed with her and really needed a Randian GF. It was a monomania. However he did fly a plane and that was the original impetus behind my starting to fly. I also still Email another person I met that way, but he lives the other side of the country-not a realistic possibility. I blame the fact that eHarmony is probably not optimal for my demographic, but I also have issues with the matching program-the Randian being a case in point. Since then I have joined a Flying Club-rationale, aviation is still 98% men, in this case really smart ones, who fly. If I meet someone, great and if not I get a pilots license out of it and male a lot of new friends, so as far as I am concerned it beats online dating hands down. I have certainly met more nice guys this way than anything else I ever did, and received much support and appreciation. I think more women should go into aviation-flying a plane is incredibly confidence building!

  53. Jess says:

    My college roommate met her husband on eH after tons of terrible first dates and short-term relationships. My SIL met her boyfriend of two years on Match, also after experiencing a lot of bad, awkward, and/or ridiculous times. I tried OKC and others, but never could get into it. So I ignored my embarrassment and let many of my friends know I was seriously interested in finding someone. A coworker set me up on a blind date with a friend of hers from college and I never looked back. Six years later, we’re celebrating our third wedding anniversary and have a 17 month old running around. Just another option to conider…

  54. Maharani says:

    Interesting that theres still a ‘stigma’-I tried both personals and video dating in the late 80s/early 90s and met some nice people that way, so I have a hard time understanding why theres a stigma attached to meeting someone online. But then I am Indian-the community uses personals and other technology extensively to ID matches, so it doesnt appear odd to me at all.

  55. Channing says:

    I met my boyfriend of 3 years on OKC. I went on about 10 bad dates before him, but I was his first date (lucky guy). Also, I second the rock climbing recommendation. There are a couple rock climbing gyms in the DC area–the guys at my gym, EarthTreks Rockville, are seriously drool-worthy.

  56. JR says:

    I tried OKCupid for a while in DC. As some have mentioned, didn’t have a lot of success on my dates, but wound up with some hilarious stories. I had much better luck meeting friends and potential dates in social sports leagues, like softball and flag football (I found that kickball leagues were mostly filled with people looking to get hammered).

  57. J says:

    I agree with the girls who mentioned not taking online dating too personally. Just know that the guy you are “talking” to might be still talking to other girls, and keep an open mind about it all. Use it as another way to meet guys, and keep expectations low. If you do that, I think it’s a great opportunity to meet guys who wouldn’t normally cross your path and by dating more, you ultimately learn more about yourself! And I think it can also be fun! Plus, even with my “bad” dates, they end up being great stories later.

  58. kjb says:

    I did online dating –Match.com and OKCupid on and off for about a year and hated it. I live in the NYC Metro and I found that most guys here were looking for easy hook-ups. Even the ones who had very extensive profiles. Despite expressly stating in my profile that I was looking for something serious and was looking to settle down, most guys would message me with the hopes of just hooking-up…I have a young daughter so that was definitely NOT what I was looking for.

    It took a trip to DC, of all places, and my BFF’s New Year’s Eve party for me to meet a quality, relationship minded guy! He had tried online dating too and hadn’t had much luck. We like to joke that our song is “We Found Love” by Rihanna because DC can be so hopeless when it comes to dating…hahaha…18 months later he is living in NY with my daughter and me!
    Anyway, I don’t think online dating has a stigma anymore; although I know of a married couple who met online but tell people a different story, so there you go!

  59. NJN says:

    I’m on Coffee Meets Bagel in DC. It’s sort of a passive aggressive way to online date. Basically, you fill out a simple profile, throw up 4 photos and boom, you’re on. Everyday at noon they send you a bagel and you can say “like” or “pass”. If you both say yes, then you get a temporary number to text each other.

    I really like it because the guy doesn’t get my real digits incase it turns out that he is a total weirdo. Actually went on my first CMB date last night and had such a great time! It’s my first online dating experience and so far, not so bad!

  60. Ing says:

    A friend of mine went on one Internet, after being on the site less than a week, & has now been married several years… That said, I’ve also seen patients from the psych hospital (really) browsing their Internet dating profile on the library computers… Swings & roundabouts…

  61. Beth says:

    I used Match.com once, about ten years ago, and just met duds – disappointing. I let the membership go and didn’t look back. The funny thing is, though, is that I’ve made a fair number of friends through other online sources such as common interest forums or meetups. And have become friends of their friends – some, for ten years now. Once you’re in the circle, you’re in the circle, and you even forget how you met – these friends I didn’t meet online, just as a result of being online. So I’d also suggest that if you have hesitation about “advertising” yourself (which I admit I still view it that way – just re: myself – my own hangup), find other ways to join things, using online resources. You might find someone to date, or you might just make new friends. Win-win.

  62. Rebecca says:

    I met my boyfriend of 6 months on OKcupid (it’s free) and I’m very happy! It did take some time and many dates (maybe 15 ish different guys?) to find him. But a lot of that was figuring out how to screen for what I was looking for and only go out with someone I could tell I would really like. As far as a stigma, I know so many people who have tried it so I don’t really find that to still be the case. I have no problem telling people how we met. I think a lot of the stigma is coming from people who coupled up before it became so common.

  63. Alex says:

    I met my husband on Match and always tell people thats how we met because I am trying to help make it less stigmatized. When we met we realized not only did we grow up 1 mile from each other in Boston but that since we both have lived in DC we have been at the same events, lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same bars for years. DC is a city with so many single people that I actually think its harder to find someone. I am so glad Match at least “introduced us” so that we could figure out if we were meant to be, rather than meeting him in a bar where I am not sure I would have been so open. I was lucky as I met him on my 2nd date and never went on another but that was after 3 months of messages from guys that ranged from meh to ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Its not for everyone but I hope that more people admit thats how they found the one!

  64. e_in the city says:

    I somewhat recently had a long term relationship fail (did not meet him online). And have dived back into online dating. Have been trying it, on and off, for about four months. Thus far, I’ve gone on dates with upwards of 15 different people (sometimes on a few follow-ups) but really, have not yet clicked with anyone yet. However, this post makes me feel that I just need to be persistent.

  65. Sam says:

    I met my fiance on OkCupid almost three years ago. I never really dated much so I tried Match a couple years prior to OkCupid and went on a few dates but didn’t continue with it. Joined OkCupid and met Brian a month later (the same day he intended to cancel his account after little success).

    I think people expect it to be easier online, since everyone’s info is readily available (likes, dislikes, etc) but the process is no different. Take a chance on someone, even if they don’t seem like a match on paper. Good luck!

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