Does Online Dating Still Have a Negative Stigma?

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Sat, Apr 20 - 5:59 pm EDT | 5 years ago by
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About eight years ago my second cousin met her now husband on eHarmony. When she first brought the guy over to a family outing, I had my imaginary cool black shades on. Online dating? That’s for freaks and losers who can’t get a date.

Well fast forward seven years and yours truly is now right in the middle of a vat of those so called freaks and losers. When my ex-girlfriend dumped my ass, I was back to the same place where I found her, Plenty of Fish, hoping to scrounge up a new girlfriend.

It’s funny because the first few times I went on dates with my ex, I felt they somehow didn’t count. I put a disclaimer out anytime the subject came up.

“You going on a date, bro?”

“Yeah but it’s with a girl I met online so doesn’t really count.”

online dating stigma

And then they asked me a paradigm shifting question: Why not?

When I finally thought about the reality of it all, I didn’t know.

Here was this attractive girl that I would was going to dinner and a movie with. She was real. She had a nice personality. I was meeting her in person. I would potentially be kissing her at the end of the night.

What exactly was I hung up on again?

Looking back, I guess my sticking point was always that I didn’t meet her straight up, like at a coffee shop or school or at the gym. I didn’t approach her “like a man” or get her number in person.

But the pros to online dating outweighed any of my outdated sentiments.

First, I would have never met this great girl in real life. Wouldn’t have even known she existed.

Secondly, even if we did come across each other — say at the grocery store — I wouldn’t have approached her. What could I say to her? How would I know if she had a boyfriend?

Hell, she still might have rejected me even if I did summon lion courage. I would have been just some random guy. There would be no online profile for her to see who I was.

The negative online dating stigma still lingers. Every now and then I’ll see a girl’s profile headline that reads, “Willing to lie about how we met.” And there are other negative connotations like “just hooking up” or “those guys are stalkers” that blur the notion of meeting someone online being legit, but, as of 2013, the barriers are being broken and online dating is becoming more and more mainstream.

I’m a real-life testament to the growth and strength of online dating. Eight years ago, I was wearing my jet black shades to shun online daters. This Saturday, I’ll be wearing those same black sunglasses, trying to look cool for an extremely hot 23-year-old.

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