Despite such articles, there was a bit of a stigma to using online dating services during the early period of their development.Many people felt that only a hopeless loser, a desperate geek, or a sexual predator, would try to get dates in such a manner.While younger daters are willing to sift through multiple potential partners by spending time on several dates with several people, the over thirty daters want quicker results with less effort.This means that a turn away from singles bars, fitness centers, and other social activities has occurred.Match.com, which began in April 1995, “is considered a pioneer in bringing online dating into the mainstream” (“History of Online Dating” n. Soon, other dating sites opened, and the phenomenon of online dating started growing in popularity.As early as 1996, articles about happy couples that had met online began to appear in popular magazines (Gwinnell xv-xvi).Historically, the average age for a woman to get married had been only 21, however, the average age for a woman to get married is now over twenty-five .This, combined with the increased divorce rate and alternate decisions, has resulted in more and more people over thirty to be dating.
It will be seen that online dating can be successful in terms of forming long-term relationships; however, as a general rule, a great deal of trial-and-error is also involved in this process.
This can be seen, for example, in the responses to a 2002 survey conducted by Lycos Matchmaker.
As reported in the findings of that survey, “70% of singles polled say that online dating today is more mainstream, compared to a few years ago” (“Online Dating Soars in Popularity” n. In addition, the poll showed that 59 percent of Lycos users were interested in joining an online dating service, compared to only 29 percent in the year 2000.
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