Online dating – big business or big fat fibs?

Have you ever dabbled in online dating?

I don’t recommend it. You could end up on a date with the mole man.

But then maybe I’m the exception. Maybe there are loads of people who enjoy being judged by thousands of strangers, based purely on a couple of photos and how unique and fascinating you can make your profile sound?*

As this infographic shows, there are plenty of people less cynical and more self-assured than me, who are more than happy to put themselves out there and bag themselves a partner online. Perhaps they’re just more confident than me. Or are they? It would seem not, as 81% of online daters admit to lying about their height, weight or age on their profiles.

It seems a bit crazy doesn’t it? Personally, I may not like the snappy judgements, but at least I’d want someone’s first impression of me to be based on facts. What’s the point of shaving off a few pounds and years if your aim is to meet that person in the flesh? Is a lie really the best basis for a relationship?

What I also found interesting was that although the online dating market has positively exploded in the last ten years, the percentage of people meeting their partners online has remained unchanged, with most people still meeting through work or through friends.

The moral of the story? Get out from behind your ‘I’m mad I am’ dating profile and socialise. Or better still, get a job – you’re more likely to meet someone, and you get paid doing it.

*I love adventure and socialising but I also love staying in and cuddling up with a glass of wine and a DVD! Dear God, save us now.

The logic of online lovin’: Does online dating work?



  1. 2 April, 2012 / 10:30 am

    I met my now partner of 18 months online, but had to filter through the crap to find him. I work in a predominantly female workplace, the male friends I have tend to be married and online dating can fit into a single mum’s life style. I think if you don’t take it to seriously it can be a laugh, but if you think it’s the ONLY way to find a man it can be dangerous. In my experience a lot of people use online dating for an easy lay not for long term……..that said my ex mother and father in law’s met their current spouses online, as did my uncle and a number of friends. It does work sometimes, but it’s not quick and sometimes no where near the fun of meeting people in real life. I think if the balance between real life and virtuality is a good one then why not??

    • 3 April, 2012 / 7:56 am

      All very true – I think a lot of mums too find themselves in female dominated work environments because they are jobs that fit in with school and childcare.

  2. Blatherskite
    2 April, 2012 / 1:41 pm

    I met my husband online almost 9 years ago. I had a job and spent a lot of time out at pubs and clubs socialising but only ever met men who were after one thing – and it wasn’t a relationship!
    I’d definitely recommend online dating. We’re certainly not the only couple we know who met that way and a lot of those relationships have moved on to marriage and children now. It can work

    • 3 April, 2012 / 7:55 am

      Wow, did you? I’m not sure I know anyone directly who has met their partner online. Did you both go on lots of unsuccessful dates before you met each other or was it quite straightforward?

  3. 2 April, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    A few of my friends have met their now husbands/wives online. I’d love to have tried it, that or speed dating!

    I have a couple of girlfriends who are single, career-girls with good social lives who haven’t met anyone. I keep trying to get them to try internet dating.

    • 3 April, 2012 / 7:54 am

      I’ve always wanted to try speed dating! I’m not sure it could ever really work, but I love the idea of seeing how people chose to present themselves, and what they chose to say in those few minutes. I think it would be fascinating.

  4. 2 April, 2012 / 7:27 pm

    I date online because being a single mum means I just don’t have the free time to be out socialising every weekend. Besides, all my friends are partnered up. I’m not necessarily looking to meet a life partner though. It’s more for fun really. I like living without a man. I think if you were looking for something long-term it might get a bit depressing.

    • 3 April, 2012 / 7:53 am

      It’s a good point about single parents – you just don’t have the same socialising options do you? You’re right though that it depends on what you’re in it for and your expectations. I’m getting the feeling from all these positive comments that perhaps I’m just been jaded and cynical about the whole thing!

  5. 2 April, 2012 / 7:41 pm

    I think online dating is a fairly good idea. Its just another way to meet people. I have made friends via the internet so whats the difference. However I’m embarrassed to admit I met my husband before the internet took off so I’ve never tried it.

    • 3 April, 2012 / 7:52 am

      That’s true – I’ve met lots of friends through the internet – but that’s a whole different thing, because you don’t have the same expectations of pressures attached. It certainly has felt very different when I’ve done it.

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