Are dating websites a good way to meet your match?
Categories: Science & Technology
In the lead up to Valentine's Day, the pursuit of love is on people's minds.
On Monday we reported on a comprehensive study of online dating. The week is nearly over, but that story is still generating the most comments on CBC's Science and Technology page.
Few of you were surprised that online dating has become the second most common way for couples to meet, and that the phenomenon has grown rapidly in popularity and social acceptance.
Many CBC readers responded to the study by offering their own experiences with online dating. Tim Wooden emailed us to explain it this way:
"Looking on a web dating site is like shopping in the grocery store: lots of meat, some veggies and whole lot of processed stuff. Packaging is important and unless the person has a video shot, no sampling available until the first date. Oh and everyone lies, some a little, others quite a lot. Lots of misses in my case, but also success: married and happy for 5 years."
In the spirit of weighing the pros and cons, we have put together a bit of an informal debate. Read the following points - seven for and seven against - and then vote on the most persuasive side.
PRO: Online dating is a-ok!
The case for dating websites. (iStock)
- "I met my partner online, 7 years ago. Today we're happily married with two wonderful little kids. I think that the internet is just as valid as meeting people at a bar or club because I can guarantee you that there's at least one creep in every bar/workplace/coffee shop/library/grocery store for every creep you'll meet online because, unfortunately, creeps are allowed to leave their homes." - purlyA
- "Online dating works great for us rural people where most people are your or your ex's relatives. Really increases size of dating pool." - Stephen Daniels
- "It's certainly not firmly grounded in any falsifiable, scientific method, but my girlfriend and I are very happy we met on POF. She likened the experience to 'garage sale shopping' wherein you have to sift through lots of junk to get to the good stuff - it's a way to rapidly eliminate poor choices and saves everyone a lot of time. It's also good for my self-esteem to think that she selected me out of a litany of other potential options when traditional dating involves a much smaller pool of potential applicants within a few degrees of you in your social network. Hooray for internet dating I say!" - Chris Carleton
- "I have at least 6 friends who met their current spouses online or through another kind of personal ad. All I know is they've had way better luck than they had on blind dates (friends assuming if they like both people, the people will like each other), meeting someone in a bar or (worse!) at the office. Of course there will be some nightmares, but at least you don't have to see them at your work/school/pub, nor explain to your pals why their buddy was not for you!" - Dana Hynes
- "I'm a very social person with loads of acquaintances, co-workers, etc, but I found myself in a rut with my social circle, and no real "qualified applicants." ;) I found online dating to be a nice way to broaden my circles and meet new people who I just would not have had the chance to meet in real life. It was a good experience, and I didn't meet any nightmares, and I met one lovable man who wanted to love me back." - Maggi Beagles
- "Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with online dating. If you're honest with each other from the start there won't be any problems. That is how I met the man of my dreams. I met him on the site called are you interested. To this day I don't regret meeting him, or how I met him. Everything happens for a reason...Life is about taking chances if you don't take it you will regret it." - Jenel Carriere
- "At my age, 51, I find it difficult to tell if a woman is already in a relationship; many no longer wear wedding rings, as they aren't married, but ARE living with a partner. With online dating, you have a much better chance of reducing those kinds of awkward situations and are better able to narrow your focus." - Justin-Case
CON: Online dating - stay away!
The case against dating websites. (iStock)
- "As a woman I notice the same men on these sites for 6 years now. Yes, some people are on the sites as voyeurs, and not really looking for dates. In the three-town area that I live in, it has been mostly the same men on the sites for many years. I'm a good looking slim woman, and professional, but never get asked for a date." - Rosemary M Bergenham
- "I have several friends using the online dating sites, both men and women. I noticed they became addicted to it, especially 'Plenty Of Fish' because it is free. All of these people I know have had trust issues with the people they meet and have not been able to hold a real relationship." - Tina Henry
- "I have a friend who met a guy online...they talked for almost a year then she decided she was going to meet him face to face and he was all gung ho for that, but when she actually flew there to meet him at his house he freaked because his pregnant wife was home. Needless to say she ended up stranded in an unfamiliar city for a few days before she could fly home." - Deanna Dunlop-Muise
- "Online dating is just another version of going to the bar. Just another meat market, so to speak. Why can't people just find each other without other people making hoards of money off of them?" - Syrupmaker
- "I tried eHarmony once. Definately not enough 'matches' to go 'shopping'. I went on one date with someone who couldn't have been more of a mismatch. Quit right afterwards. Waste of money, time, and hope. A friend of mine uses Plenty of Fish all the time. Just a long string of losers looking to get laid." - n0meansn0
- "It is pathetic. Visit some computer labs at the various community colleges, in particular some of the men's trade colleges. Just perceive how they behave, listen to how they talk if you can bare it. The woman aren't any better, better liars if anything. To find a decent spouse nowadays is like trying to find hay in a stack of needles." - Cabinet Maker
- "I know several people who have hooked up through eHarmony - none of their relationships seem good or healthy and most have been through several rounds of dating their so-called 'matches'. I think on-line matchmaking is another example of how our busy working lives and technology are honing in on genuine human contact. Shut off your computer - get out there and do activities you love - find other people who love the same stuff as you do. Do some traditional dating and then get married!" - Keon Fan
Which side made better points, do you think? What's your assessment of online dating? Share your thoughts and anecdotes below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
More entries for category: Science & Technology
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