Dear Geoff, Glad to hear you found someone special, and even happier that you spoke up.
The most obvious benefit of these websites is that they provide easy access to thousands of potential dates.There are dating sites devoted to particular religious groups, like Christian Mingle or JDate, for example, as well as sites that cater to gay and lesbian daters. This removes a lot of the ambiguity that you face when you meet an interesting person at a work event or a party. Because of the ease and relative anonymity of online dating sites, we may take more risk reaching out to people we would not approach in person.And even though men generally contact women more than vice versa on these sites, research has shown that a sizable minority of women do reach out to men they find desirable online, suggesting that these sites allow some women to overcome traditional gender norms that cast them in a passive role of waiting to be approached (Scharlott & Christ, 1995). Shy or socially anxious individuals often have difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships (Alden & Taylor, 2004; Davila & Beck, 2002).A recent survey of 19,000 people who married between 20 found that 35 percent of these new couples met online, with about half of those meeting through an online dating site (Cacioppo et al., 2013).How can these sites help you find romance, and what pitfalls should you be aware of?Friends of both genders tell that their experiences have been hard in different ways.My guy friends (also educated, attractive) complain that they get no responses and female acquaintences tell me that they get so many emails, etc, that they don’t know where to start-and often do nothing.What I uncovered were some harsh realities about online dating that no one ever talks about.After the jump, some things you might not have known… Most of the member profiles you’ll find are inactive.This means that 19 out of 20 profiles on these sites are either past members who aren’t around anymore, or non-paying members who can’t respond.OKCupid was acquired by Match in 2011, and that article has since been taken down (for obvious reasons).