The Myths of Online Dating: Everything You Need to Know

December 5, 2016

Scary. Unsafe. Taboo. Desperate.

These are probably some of the adjectives you’ve heard used to describe online dating. It seems there has been a stigma attached to it pretty much since the moment it started. But why is that?

Online Dating Statistics
The online dating industry is thriving! It generates $2 billion in revenue every year in the US alone and is continuing to grow. In fact, there are now over 2,500 sources for meeting people online (Pro tip: you only need ROVR!). This growth is proof of the fact that online connection is a successful venture. In fact, 38% of singles have tried an online dating service. That’s almost triple the amount of people who had tried it just a few years ago. And 80% of people who have tried online dating say it’s a great way to meet people. So why is the stigma still attached?

80% of people who have tried online dating say it’s a great way to meet people. Click To Tweet


Myth #1: Danger Zone!

One of the reasons that some people frown upon online dating is because they consider it to be dangerous. If your only impression of someone comes from their online profile, they could technically be anyone, right? How do you know they’re not lying to you? How do you know they’re not a creep or a criminal? And haven’t we always been told not to talk to strangers?

Well, let us fill you in on a little secret— this risk is not unique to people you meet online. Literally anyone you cross paths with could be lying about who they are or what they do. They could be hiding a deep, dark secret. You really just never know. Now, in no way are we trying to make you paranoid, and we’re definitely not trying to deter you from dating at all!
We’re not saying you should hole yourself up in your apartment, buy a couple of cats, and give up on ever meeting someone. We’re just saying that there are risks attached to any activity. Everyone is a stranger until you get to know them!

There are dangers associated with many of our daily tasks, from driving to eating at a restaurant– but we don’t let fear control us. To ignore potential dangers would be foolish; there’s no doubt about that. That said, letting fear consume you would be equally as detrimental to your well-being. When meeting people online, be cautious (as you are with any activity).
We will be going over basic safety guidelines in a future blog post!


Myth #2: Online Dating is Only for Hookups

One of the many myths attached to online dating that may contribute to the stigma attached to it, is that it can only be used for casual dating and hookups. But that is so far from the truth!

Online dating sites and apps can certainly be used for casual dating and hookups, but they can also be used for finding serious relationships, or even new friendships. The growth of the Internet and technology has led to the opportunity to meet people online for just about anything.

Meeting People Online

The Internet is simply a channel of communication, and like any communication channel, it can be used in many different ways. The key is connecting with like-minded individuals who have similar ambitions. Looking for true love? Prefer a casual connection? Need a new running buddy? So do millions of other people who are looking to connect online!


Myth #3: You Can’t Possibly Learn Enough About Someone Online to Make a REAL Connection

It could be argued that it’s difficult to make genuine connections through digital channels, especially for those of us who rely on non-verbal cues and basic character assessment when we engage with others. Although there is no replacement for human interaction, digital connections serve a different purpose.

Online vs. Offline Dating

Connecting with people online is simply a method of scouting for friends, dates, and casual connections. This process is intended to complement human interaction, not replace it.
What digital connection lacks in the interpersonal department, it makes up for by providing a wealth of personal information that may take multiple conversations to obtain under other circumstances.

Think about how much you can learn about someone by simply visiting their Facebook profile. You can learn about someone’s taste in music, how they spend their time, their personal opinions, common friendships, and so much more! In this aspect, digital connection can actually help you get to know someone better than you would with an introductory conversation at a bar.


Myth #4: Meeting People Online is For People Who Can’t Meet People Offline

Some people believe that online dating is only for people who can’t make friends or find dates offline. But that’s also a myth!

Yes, online dating is good for people who have a difficult time breaking out of their shells offline, but it’s also for people who are so outgoing and social that they can’t wait to meet more people outside of their current social circles.

As adults, we often end up staying in our tightly knit friend groups that we’ve had since college. Or maybe we only go out for happy hour with our work friends. Whatever mundane cycle you may be stuck in, meeting people online can help snap you out of it. Most people are open to the idea of having more intriguing people in their lives, however, not everyone actively seeks out these connections. Connecting with people online is a great way to expand your current friend group and make life more interesting!


Summing Things Up

Although there is still a bit of a stigma attached to online dating, as more and more people have begun to use it, the general attitude toward it has become increasingly positive. In fact, 59% of people in general now agree that online dating is a good way of meeting people (compared to only 44% of people in 2005). On a similar note, only 23% of people perceive it as “desperate” (compared to 29% of people in 2005).

Committed Online Relationships

So positive attitudes are increasing and negative attitudes are decreasing. And as more people have good online experiences, the more the positivity associated with online connection will increase.

Did you know that 20% of current, committed relationships today began online? Who knows what that number will grow to in the future! As technology continues to play a bigger role in our lives, and more and more relationships begin online, perhaps more people will feel comfortable sharing their success stories, so that our faith in online connections will soar!

Did you know that 20% of current, committed relationships today began online? Click To Tweet

The stigma surrounding online dating is fading fast—with any luck, it will be gone forever in the near future. Many of the “downsides” of online dating are just not true, or are misperceptions. And many of the perks are just yet to be discovered!
Stay tuned to learn more about the benefits of online dating (and why it might be a thousand times better than meeting someone at a club).