For years, people who have used online dating services have sometimes been perceived by others as “lonely, desperate, or unable to get a date.” But the stigma didn’t prevent a massive growth of the online dating market as people discovered for themselves that online dating is, by far, the best way to meet a potential lifelong partner.
But even with the growth and success of online dating, a stigma still clearly exists. Recent research by market research company Vizu and free online dating service OKcupid shows that when it comes to online dating, a strong stigma still remains. According to their research, 72% of Internet users believe there is a social stigma still tied to online dating.
Another research study earlier this year, by Synovate, found that more than a third of Americans believed that those who use online dating services are “only desperate people.”
In an Online Dating Magazine Top 10 Funniest Profile Headers column, coming in number one was “Willing to Lie About How we Met”
Even though more than 120,000 people are married a year as a result of online dating, a stigma still clearly exists with mainstream society. I think you will find the stigma stronger in people who are married (but didn’t meet via online dating) and those who have never used an online dating service. Ironically, at any given place of work, a large number of single workers are probably doing online dating, but would never admit it! When I first started doing online dating in 2000, I would rarely tell anyone. By 2003, when I founded Online Dating Magazine, I was wondering why people (including myself up until then) were “ashamed” to admit they did online dating. Online dating, is by far, the best thing to ever happen for singles. There’s nothing shameful about it. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I find those who do online dating to be smart and bright people with open minds and a desire to be one of the success stories that ignored the stigma and found a soulmate.