Dating Websites, Part 2

For the record: I do not have a specific interest in dating websites. My interest lies in general discovery of how people are approaching marriage and long-term relationships. Nevertheless, dating websites are a fascinating study of human behavior and progress.

It makes sense that people using dating sites are serious about, or at least interested in, relationships. This assumption excludes “casual” dating sites, which have grown in number recently.  I realize that not everyone has a desire to get married. However, for the people focused on committed relationships, some are finding marriage through online connections.

I recently read an article that suggests online dating leads to more successful marriages. The article references a study that concludes that one-third of marriages in America begin online, and these unions are less likely to end compared to marriages formed offline.  I need to explore this trend further, but it’s a captivating idea.

How much influence do dating websites have on the success of marriages? And are there more people currently using these sites for committed relationships than there were 3 years ago?

More to come on this exploration of marriage and how people are utilizing tools to support their relationships.

Dating Websites, Part 1

Most adults I know have either used a dating website or have considered it. I’ve used a couple of them for brief periods of time. Here are a few things I find interesting about the people using dating sites:

  1. A lot of people make exercise a priority in life.
  2. There are actually some people who don’t include a profile photo.
  3. Most people don’t mention their families, but many do mention their dogs.
  4. People don’t necessarily express an interest in getting married.

Right. So the last one probably isn’t surprising. Why would it be assumed that people who use a dating site are looking for marriage? Dating can certainly be a step in the direction of marriage, but marriage isn’t the destination for everyone. While there are sites that focus more on serious relationships, not all dating sites directly ask the participants if they plan to marry.

One site I’m familiar with asks about your relationship status and it also asks if you want to have kids, but not if you plan to get married. I find this interesting. Is the question a no-no? Or, is it assumed that people will date, develop relationships, and the rest will be figured out later?

I truly am curious—I believe there’s more to explore on this topic. It seems to me that our society shies away from making marriage take center stage in the dating arena. It’s as if that would add a bit more pressure to what may already feel like a burden to many.  The burden of failing for some, and the burden of demanding expectations for others. I vote for a new paradigm. But I’m still exploring the old one, so no solutions just yet.