Online dating is the way forward, data shows

dating online man
Looking for love online is the way forward according to the numbers. / Photodisc

Looking for love online? You’re not alone. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, it’s on the rise.

The numbers tell all: one in 10 Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app; 66 percent of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met virtually and 23 percent met their spouse or long-term partner through these sites.

Julie Spira, online dating expert and founder, CyberDatingExpert.com, explains the stigma of online dating is “clearly dissipating.”

Since it’s gone mainstream, there are a few reasons for its popularity “First of all, everyone has a mobile phone now. With mobile dating apps, it’s simple and easy to connect with your digital crush. Second, everyone is very busy. Where online dating used to be associated for those who were socially challenged, now you’ll find celebrities, CEOs and everyday people logging on for love. There are also a large variety of dating sites to choose [from], so there’s no longer a one-size fits all dating strategy.”

Considering the plethora of sites ranging from Match.com to eHarmony to niche sites like CatholicSingles, Spira views online dating as similar to job hunting. “If you’re looking for your dream job, you don’t just view job postings on one job site or work with one recruiter. If you take that same formula and use it for your love life, you’ll be more successful if you don’t put all of your eggs into one digital basket.”

Tina Tessina, Ph.D., a.k.a. Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again, recommends beginning your quest for cupid by shopping around for sites first. “Check out the dating site and see what suits your style and character. Look for online reviews of various dating sites to see what will work for you.” She adds, “Understand what you’re looking for. If it’s important to have a Jewish date, then JDate is for you.”

She warns that once you decide upon your sites and apps, and you log on, it’s important to log off, too. “Definitely limit surfing. You’re not living while you’re surfing.”

In fact, Spira recommends setting boundaries of one hour per day. “This way you can view, search, and respond efficiently without running the risk of suffering from online dating fatigue.”

After responding to messages within 24 hours, chatting and then going on dates, she says that, “online chemistry doesn’t always transfer to offline chemistry. You’re just a digital pen pal until you’ve met in person and have taken the time to get to know someone after a few dates.”

If you don’t feel a connection when you meet in person, be polite. Spira says, “Your online date just might have a friend they could introduce you to, so I always believe in casting a wide net.”

Online dating safety tips:

1. Take your time and trust your intuition. “If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, then just politely leave,” Spiro says.
2. Dig the digital dirt. She adds, “I believe in doing a little digital homework.” Look at your potential date’s social networking sites to see if the photos and stories match up.
3. Always meet in a public place and let a friend know who you are meeting. Send a quick text to let them know you’re fine.
4. Be realistic, not romantic. Tessina advises, “Don’t develop a fantasy about the date until you know the facts. It’s a tough world out there.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."