Are dating sites the smart way to date?

More and more people are turning to online dating sites as a way of meeting people, and it’s not their last resort, but their first thought. Why?

After receiving a free trial to Match.com earlier this month, I had a good look around to try and grasp the demographics of the site. I was expecting to find that most users would be over the age of at least 28 as a recent marketing campaign launched across the tube network aimed the site at 30 – 45 year-olds. A spokesperson for Match.com said that the site had had around 100,000 new users each month since its launch and no longer aimed itself at any one market, attracting anyone from the age of 25 to 80. Taking all this into account I continued to browse the site and began coming across a lot of males under the age of 25. There are men from the age of 20 using this site, why? Both my Aunts used some form of dating or match making service to find their husbands. One Aunt, Aunt Sue, had recently divorced and was left a single-mother with two kids unable to find the time to meet someone. Feeling desperately lonely, she started scouring the back page of the local newspaper, the personals section. A few dates later she was teed up with a pro-golfer, who also lacked the time to meet someone the ‘normal’ way. My other Aunt, Aunt Tracey, had spent the best part of her 20’s building her career and financing her apartment. When she turned 30, she realised there was something missing in her life and turned to a match making service. She sat in front of a camera and spoke about herself while the agency compiled a number of videos men that matched her personality had recorded. She sat in front of her television watching the video like a Friday night rom-com and selected who she thought looked and sounded the best. Both Aunts fond their husbands this way. But that was more that ten years ago, when the likes of match making services and personals listings were a last resort. Now it seems like sites such as Match.com are the place to meet people. Looking over some of the profiles on Match.com, most read similarly; “I’m a nice down to earth guy looking to meet someone to hang out with on Friday nights.” Most them also say; “Most of my friends are in couples so I don’t meet people through them. I don’t want to date anyone I work with and I hate meeting people in sleazy bars that only have one agenda.” When you sign up to Match you have the opportunity to list everything you are looking for in your special someone. You can pick their eye colour, their ethnicity, their wages, the profession and their interests. Ever heard the expression, ‘you have to kiss a few toads before you reach your prince charming?’ Dating sites allow us to cut out all the crap, to put it nicely. So its no wonder that there are so many young people these days not even bothering to try the traditional way of finding dates, they’re going straight to dating sites not because it’s their last resort but because they know exactly what they want and they’re not going to settle for anything less. Selecting a partner online gives you an opportunity to read your prospective partners’ life CV before you even agree to see them – how can you go wrong? No wonder Match.com guarantees you to meet someone within six months.