Dating has never been more complicated.
With millions of women dolling themselves up every Friday and Saturday night to go out on the prowl for a new boyfriend, and millions of men equally as determined to find a new partner, it comes as no surprise that people have turned to the internet in a bid to find love.
What is surprising, however, is the amount of people who are unwilling to admit the way they found their partner. With nearly 8 million people in the UK alone logging on to find a date last year, why is online dating such a taboo subject?
After living in New York, the differences in the dating scenes are more than apparent. Whereas in the UK people treat dating as the be all and end all of life itself, in New York both men and women are more likely to treat it as a bit of fun. While it can be hard to deal with, men dating around eight women at once, it is also a much more light-hearted way to cope with love..
New Yorker Robert Sinclair met Emily Mountcrest, his girlfriend of over a year, on a dating website and insists it is better to contact someone via the internet that to just approach a person in a bar.
“I think online dating works because of the sheer number of people you come in contact with,” Robert explained. “In one evening, you might go through 30 profiles, the equivalent of a few months of opening conversations at bars.
“One of the other advantages is that you get the picture part out of the way so it gives you a certain amount of confidence when you meet up with someone. You know that they at least are physically attracted to you enough to go out on a date, and this allows you to be yourself.”
Another attraction to internet dating is that it is the easiest way to meet someone after leaving school or university. Statistically, most people find their future partners at work, or at an educational facility, but if you work in a small office or have left education, then this becomes more difficult.
“It is hard to meet people after college and online dating gives you a forum to do so outside of a bar,” Emily explained.
However, this is not to say there aren’t drawbacks to meeting someone online.
One of the most common problems is when people put up a misleading, or sometimes entirely fake, profile picture.
“I think some people put up misleading photos unwittingly,” Robert added, “but I’ve definitely met people who wound up looking much worse than their pictures. But on other, rare, occasions you meet people who look better than their pictures.”
It is also easier to make a snap judgement about somebody based entirely on their profile pictures. In a society where the majority of women admit they find a sense of humour one of the most attractive qualities in a man, this can prove problematic.
Everyone has different ways of approaching dating and dealing with their own love lives, but perhaps we should reconsider the reasons behind online dating and realise that, in some situations, it is the perfect way to meet the perfect partner.