Online Dating/Perils and Pitfalls

This blog is about a relatively new phenomenon, online dating….I will attempt a comprehensive, proper explanation of how deeply ingrained in the American courtship and dating rituals in the year 2015 that online dating specifically has become…This is a daring and unique technical and cultural innovation that our parents never had access to use when they were playing their version of the dating game……

I would say that most everybody has at least checked online dating out…According to Google statistics, over 40 million Americans have used an online dating services in their life…Furthermore, it is definitely on the increase, as more detailed statistics from the Pew Research Center indicate that: “Online dating peaks among people in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s. Some 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds have used an online dating site or mobile dating app. Indeed, 45-54 year olds are just as likely to date online as are 18-24 year olds (8% of 45-54 year olds and 10% of 18-24 year olds are online daters).

Online dating peaks among people in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s. Some 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds have used an online dating site or mobile dating app. Indeed, 45-54 year olds are just as likely to date online as are 18-24 year olds (8% of 45-54 year olds and 10% of 18-24 year olds are online daters).”



The statistics don’t lie about the numbers and age groups involved, and perhaps an even more telling statistic is that most Americans no longer attach any stigma to online dating, and that from 2005 through 2013 the percentage of people who think online dating is a good way to meet people has risen, from 44% in 2005 to 59% in 2013! There is a song called  “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” It is a very real possibility that in our ever more growing reliance on cyber tools, online dating is here to stay!

Why this sudden upswing in computer dating? I can think of 3 good reasons right off the top……

1)We all live frantic, hurried busy lives in work world, and our jobs are vital to our economic survival… A lot of Americans, like me, have always followed the old Dear Abbey adage: “Don’t fish off the company dock,” which simply means don’t get involved with anybody you work with…That has always made perfect sense to me, because if a workplace romance goes sour, it poisons the whole work atmosphere; you still have to see the jilted ex lover every day, no matter who is responsible…This is doubly true if a boss is hitting on an underling, a lower ranking employee, who may turn around and sue the boss and the entire company for sexual harassment whether the romance takes off or flounders from the get go……There are several multi million dollar sexual harassment lawsuits going on in Silicon Valley right now, and the bad publicity alone is enough to scare most rational people away from this dating venue…



2) Another reason is that many Americans, of both sexes, for whatever reasons, have dropped out of the alcohol culture completely, and no longer think it is a good idea or even appropriate to search out potential mates in the boozy, dimly lit bars and night clubs where our parents did most of their social mixing and mingling…

For example, I haven’t had a drink in almost 20 years, and the few times I have had occasion to visit a bar I was frankly horrified at the incredible overall loudness, the sheer volume of the bar, all the drunken jokes, the obvious and pathetic “moves” people were putting on each other, and the impossibly tight, crowded shoulder to shoulder closeness of the bars themselves…Drinking in a bar only makes sense if you are drunk…



3) The drop off in religious church attendance, and again I quote Google statistics to bolster my point: According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research: “More than 40 percent of Americans “say” they go to church weekly. As it turns out, however, less than 20 percent are actually IN church. In other words more than 80 percent of Americans are finding more fulfilling things to do on weekends.” This means meeting people at church related functions,  is also getting harder to do as fewer people attend church socials and get togethers anymore….



If you can’t meet people at work, prefer not to patronize bars to meet likely matches, in times gone by you could always meet nice sober people in church…Now it seems increasingly obvious that church attendance, church socials and prayer meetings are not the answer either.

So what does that leave us? You guessed it, online dating! You can sit in the privacy of your own home without having to get entangled in workplace trysts, or dress up and spend money in a noisy crowded bar, or even have to give up your weekends going to church anymore…You can read hundreds and hundreds of online profiles and scan the pictures and encapsulated history of literally thousands of people, all from the comfort of your own home….

There are so many different dating sites and special interest groups that you are virtually guaranteed to find several potential matches online…The weird thing about internet dating, is that if you start exchanging letters with people you meet online, you inevitably end up reversing the usual dynamics of the dating traditional scene…

Here is the weird part…You end up with what I call “inside out” dating, where you spill your most intimate secrets in an email conversation or chat with the other person, before you ever meet them in person! Traditionally, you would meet and greet a person, size up their looks and attractiveness to you, and then if there was a mutual attraction you would start fishing around to get a realistic picture of their true personalities, by “getting to know one another” through a series of dates, before revealing your most intimate secrets and feelings…

In online dating, this process is reversed...

Due to the competition and the desire to hook up, people spill their guts out in a profile, usually display their best picture, encapsulate both their good and bad points, and specify exactly what they do or don’t want in a relationship… They often tell even their deepest darkest secrets on line to the other person before ever even meeting them in person!



After all, they are still in the comfort of their own homes, and the fear of rejection is greatly lessened when either party can terminate the dating process with the flick of a finger on the keyboard, deleting entire conversations, and it is hard to get hurt that way…No scenes, no messy breakups…

Online dating has its advantages and it’s pitfalls, but one thing seems clear…It has become not only a staple but perhaps the future of dating, of how we meet, mix and mingle, and interact with other people, and I predict that it will become an even more permanent and ever growing fixture on the American social landscape and a staple in the new and ever evolving courtship rituals of Americans…

2 thoughts on “Online Dating/Perils and Pitfalls

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    1. Hi Lucienne!Thank you for commenting on my blog: “Online Dating/Perils and Pitfalls”…What methods are you advocating? I can be reached directly at…I would be very interested in any of your ideas…I feel like word press is totally ignoring me yet I get hundreds and hundreds of comments from helpful people like you, so many I cannot answer them all! Please help me any way you can!

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