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Who Uses Internet Dating?

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Who Uses Internet Dating?Ever wonder who uses Internet dating services like Match.com and eHarmony.com? The answer may surprise you. I think, “Well, gee, everybody uses them!” But that’s not the case. There’s a particular psychological …

13 Comments to
Who Uses Internet Dating?

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  1. that makes a lot of sense even though it confused me in the beginning, i guess people with low self esteem dread rejection and that’s why they are less likely to use such services

  2. But I would also like to add that this research like most mainstream psychology research fails to take account of other populations of people. In this example, there are individuals who are socially isolated from mainstream dating outlets. Namely the gay and lesbian community. For this population of people, research has shown that social outlets for finding a suitable romantic partner are severely limited ( often to the club or pub scene) and therefore internet dating sites catering exclusively for this community is often the only form of connecting and not one of many available opportunities to find a suitable partner.

  3. Interesting stuff, I suppose it’s a common perception that people on these sites are the more reclusive and desperate types. There are some notable sources of interference for your investigation though. People with something to hide might be likely to choose to use the internet as a romantic launchpad due to its utility as a sort of mask. What if you’re married with low self-esteem? You seek assurance that you’re still attractive, and you don’t confront your partner for fear of losing that notable source of affirmation. You turn to the internet for a safe way to seek extra-marital liaisons. I reckon it could be worth comparing ‘self-esteem’ correlations on different types of dating platform. Say between http://www.illicitencounters.com and http://www.mysinglefriend.com. They’re very different scenarios to be looking at. It’s probably obvious I’m not a scientist, but I’ve always found psychology interesting and scientist friends always tell me its study should be approached more scientifically.

  4. Internet dating or rather Internet matrimony is the norm now not an exception in India. People of all hues seem to be using the Internet to find their mates and given India’s tradition of arranged marriages, the Internet is being used effectively by families to find the right mate. For the more romantically inclined, by that i mean those who desire to date rather than ‘fix’ a marriage, they are also referred to as the the ‘westernised’ in India, find it difficult to find mates in real life as well as the Internet and oneof the reasons is ‘cognitive overload’. This is a real problem and I personally know people who keep thinking ‘someone better might show up’. It is this aspect of Internet dating that needs to be studied.

  5. I met my second husband on an internet dating site, and he and I both are sociable people with healthy self esteem. It’s a fine example of how marketing your assets and stating your ideals can result in meeting a highly compatible partner with the assistance of computer technology. We met online in 2004 and dated just over a year before becoming engaged, then married in October 2007. I have recommended this to my single girlfriends as a way to meet interesting people, but it’s important to be smart about what you believe online and deciding who to meet in person.

  6. Online dating may be fully modern and in the mainstream, but most major internet dating sites still seem to be using old business methods. They charge high monthly premiums without doing all that much to benefit their users. Newer sites like http://www.postitos.com seem to be doing a lot to remedy this. Lower costs (just a one-time $5 dollar registration fee), great features like video listing and search by zipcode, and best of all, no automatic matching software which pairs you up with people you really don’t have anything in common with. Check it out!

  7. Paul,

    you are so right on! i have been wanting to join a dating online site but the are very $$$! what does Postitos mean? thank you for talking the time to blog this. i am going to check Postitos.com out right now!

    thanks again!

  8. Hey, men
    I have a question to you… How do you feel yourself with women?

    Recently I found an article about a new project taking place in the web. Have you ever heard about Virtual Wife (virtualwife.org? I think it is also the way to forget about your relationships problems whether you are married or not, and pity that I had no opportunity to find it earlier. It would help me a lot. If somebody still has the problems I had, hope to help you with passing such a life exam successfully.

  9. Kim Spice has developed an online open diary of dating that has been viewed by many. It highlights various forms of meeting people, the dos and don’ts of 1st dates, and somewhat strange encounters

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/06/100-cups-of-coffee-the-ins-and-outs-of-internet-dating/

  10. I think Internet dating is a very valuable method of meeting new people, especially in today world of work-home-work-home. People often do not know how to open a new conversation or are shy, thus Internet dating giving them an opportunity to talk without any obligations.

    • Internet dating may be almost the only way that a person of 61, divorced just last year, has of meeting women with the hope it works out possibly with one of them for a meaningful relationship. The problem is, at least as I see it, after almost one year, it brings more frustration than anything resembling happiness.
      I intitiate well written messages to ladies. I am decent looking, perceptive, & in excellent shape. I hoped for better results but it has not worked for me. 80% of my multi-paragraphed messages are simply ignored. A few women respond, we exchange E-mails and then they stop writing. On several other instances, I received messages and responded because I appreciated their efforts. THis resulted in meeting several unattractive woman who apparently had initiated contact with me & quite a few other men as they saw it as a numbers game. So far, I think internet dating is overrated and poorly understood. Many people, including coworkers, long time friends, my children, even my ex wife think I am a quality ,honest person. However, when I initiate communication usually, as I mentioned, just get ignored. I think internet dating is heavily in favor of the women, at least in terms of being recognized. I do understand, since many women are poor judges of good men, that some women put themselves in harms way with their selection of “Prince Charming.”

  11. Internet dating is well and truly in the mainstream now and it’s true from our research that it is used by just about everyone. Yes of course there are dangers and scams but they exist offline as well, but what makes this good is you can meet people safely first and get to know them online before you meet in person. It is also a great way to form Intercultural relationships with other cultures and so it provides a valuable way of bringing our world and cultures closer together. Great post thanks.

  12. Yes there are many benefits to be had from interacting with others even if you never meet. But we all seem to have less time these days to ‘go out looking’. Internet dating saves us lots of time, plus with all the niche dating sites around we are more able to find someone with the same interests. The ability to chat or even cam narrows our search down even further.. Of course there are no guarantees.. but there are none when you meet in a bar either..

  13. I’ve met a lot of people on the Internet. I met my current (and hopefully LAST) boyfriend on POF over a year ago. We’re happily planning a future together.

    I wish everyone well on their journey to finding love. Dating today is nothing like it was before I got married (the first time around).

  14. Internet dating is happy hour for people who don’t feel like going to the meat market that most bars have become. Internet dating is a convenient and relatively safe (when done properly) way for anyone to explore their options in a time where we have been programmed to think that we need to have an unlimited amount of choices.

  15. People shouldn’t internet date they should quit being lazy and go out and meet others instead of sitting around on there computers making people think they’re someone they’re not/… people need to get out more

  16. I’m not sure there’s much value in telling people what they should or shouldn’t do, given that for now 1 out 5 people, Internet dating is the norm and works. In fact, I see little downside in trying Internet dating, since you get to know the basics about the person you’re meeting before you meet them… a far better situation than a random bar hookup.

    • Dear Dr. Grohol:

      I am rather stunned by your very positive send-up for on-line dating. You state that one of the benefits is that members have a chance to “read” the profiles of those on-line “daters” and have a chance to get to know them before they actually meet. I have experience on E-Harmony, Match.com (I heard today that one woman was found dead after a Match.com date,) and most recently, OurTime, for those of us over 50. This is my experience. The question was posed: What type of men are attracted to on-line dating? Somebody mistakenly answered: socialized people. I am a highly educated woman of 55. I don’t know what happened to my “dating savvy” but I will tell you what I have learned about men who are looking for women on these sites. They are predatory. I recently learned what a sociopath is by hooking up with the very charming man, who knew every darn thing about me and had nine out of ten of my interests in common with me! How darned excitng is that? He has been maried three times, divorced three times, wiped out by the ex-wives three times, had the police called on him by his three ex-wives and yet, he was so very charming and a sociopath. The danger here is that he may be a psychopath but he sure was good at using my profile to line up his profile to almost match mine like magic. Although it took me about two days to complete all that Eharmony required – you know, to match us on 1,000 points? I am a liberal Democrat. I was matched with a man who was so far right politically that he was maybe an anarchist? Anti-social? But he had a 13 year old son and I did too. He told me this: “I’m thinking about getting the Playboy channel for my 13 year old.” My reply, “Oh, what do you hope he will learn – will he learn how to treat a woman, or what we all have in common or what we are looking for from men?” His reply was, “Oh, no. They show women giving blow jobs and other things I don’t want to teach him.” He was a real prince. Match.com – well, I’m just thankful that I made it through the one date I had with a “Good Mid-West, Catholic boy from a large, close family.” He works out at Edwards Airforce Base and lives near the base but has a 310 area code. Why? He told me that all that best people lived in the 310 area code. He looked at me and said these words: “I went to a party on San Vincente Blvd. – you wouldn’t know where that is – do you?” “Oh, no. Do tell!” “Well,” he continued after his second margarita – they have mansions and I went to a party at a great big one in Brentwood – do you know Brentwood? I didn’t think so. Anyway, I was sooo impressed with the man who gave the party because he remembered MY name.” I replied, “No! He actually called you Bill?” When I got home from that disaster, I emailed that good boy from the midwest with the Catholic values that didn’t exist or maybe he lost them on his way to the 310 area code he wanted to belong to. I told Bill this: “Hey Bill. San Vincente is actually San Vicente. I grew up in that place called “Brentwood” but I didn’t bother to tell you because you had already made up your mind about me and I sure had made up mine about you. You are so right. When you told me that I am not the type you are looking for and after the third margarita you confided in me that you were in love with some woman on another kind of dating site. Her introductory picture was of her spread eagled for all to see and I just didn’t think people could do that.” I learned about Narcissism, sociopaths, psychopaths, and other such friendly predators. So, tell me. What did you say again about these sites? Am I bitter? No. I am much more sophisticated and, although I have spent most of my life evidently missing the boat when it comes to these types of men, I know I will meet the right person when it’s my time. But, sir, I will not be using any more online, internet dating clubs because I have found in my research that predatory men are having the times of their lives with us naive and sweet-natured women. They are dangerous. They do not wish you well. So, please, please do not be remiss in telling women the dangers too. I am sorry to say this, but somebody has to.

  17. To some extent I think the “medium” also influences the “message”. It seems like the very nature of internet dating often attracts a much larger share than “real life”, of certain “types” of singles, who actually prefer the anonymity, control, and total lack of accountability. The technical term for these folks is “narcissist”, and they don’t “do” intimacy & relationships so well to begin with. So that the older the age group, the more likely you are to encounter them in the “pool” of unattached singles.

  18. Online relationship is satisfied here we are at individuals who do not experience like going to the beef industry that most cafes have become. Online relationship is a practical and relatively secure (when done properly) way for anyone to discover their choices in a time where we have been designed to think that we need to have an endless quantity of choices.

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