In ancient times — or really just a few decades ago — men and women met only in face to face encounters through social situations, be it at school, work or nights out on the town. With a change in society, the dating game has gotten to be a bit more difficult, but there are some helpful bonuses that many young adults are opting out of — such as online dating.
“Really, when I think of online dating, I think of 30-something women with successful careers but no men,” admits Tiffany Hughes, a junior majoring in Legal Communications. “To consider joining a dating site under the age of 30, to me, would be the ultimate low.”
According to a study and article done by the New York Observer, single women in the Washington metropolitan area outnumber single men by 50,000. With the competition so heavy in the area, dating websites and match-making services, like the ever-popular match.com and Washington’s own The One Consulting matchmaking services, could serve as gateways into the perfect romance. Many young adults, however, prefer traditional matchmaking.
“I think there’s sort of a taboo in terms of Internet dating or matchmaking when it comes to younger adults,” says Fredricka Ransome, a senior majoring in television production. “I think we all still expect to be able to find our husbands and wives on campus or hanging out around town because that’s just what traditionally happens”.
Online dating, Ransome says, “is just a resource that I would only utilize once I got into the ‘real world’ if I was still looking for Mr. Right.”
For women, however, the looming statistics of unmarried women in the United States could be an encouraging factor to give outside resources a try. According to U.S. Census studies conducted during last year’s National Singles Week, which was held from September 18th through September 24th, for every 100 women over the age of 17 who were unmarried, there were 88 men who were unmarried, as well.
Websites like eHarmony.com, which claims that it helps 5 percent of newlywed couples in the nation get married each year, reportedly use 29 different dimensions when matching dating candidates with each other. Match.com boasts as being the dating site that leads to most marriages. Still, the bragging does not appear to be enough to convince young adults, specifically in college, to participate in the online dating phenomenon.
“My sophomore year, we actually made a fake page on blacksingles.com for one of my friends as a joke,” says Sieda Johnson, a senior English major. “That’s how unserious people take dating websites at this age.”
Although dating websites may be the most common forms of online dating, social networking is a form of online dating to which some young adults are more open.
“Online dating and getting to know someone over a social network are pretty different to me,” says Derron Taylor, a senior marketing major. “I wouldn’t be caught dead trying to get girls on blacksingles.com, but if I were to get to know a girl over Facebook or Twitter, it’d be a little different because we more than likely would have mutual friends, which makes it easier and less creepy.”
Whether matchmaking online or mingling in the clubs, dating is no easy feat. Sometimes, however, the easiest way to Mr. or Mrs. Right could be right under our fingertips … literally.
“I’m not saying I’m completely opposed to online dating,” Hughes says. “I just hope I can find the one face to face and not computer screen to computer screen.”