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
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.