Online Dating StigmaFor sure, you’re reading this because you’re either thinking about online dating. If not, then perhaps you’re already online dating, or someone has told you that online dating is wrong in a sense. However, there are also others who overheard that online dating is bad. On the other hand, some people, maybe you, have experienced this stigma.

Imagine sitting in a room full of your friends and family. You done? Then, your Russian girl comes walking in, and people immediately have their thoughts about it, right? Wait! There’s more. You announce to them that you met this woman through an online dating site. What’s the worst that could happen, right? Well, a lot of things. This is where that stigma of online dating can hit you. Although you don’t think it’s wrong to date online (because really, it isn’t), there are people around you that see a more traditional outlook on dating. This traditional outlook on dating is focused on meeting people in your immediate surrounding somehow, and going on a date.


History of dating and online dating

In the last century, the world of dating has changed dramatically. In the more recent years, however, people argue that dating no longer exists as it has been replaced with “hooking up” or having “one-night stands.” Especially with the technology boost in the past decade, it has helped change the view of traditional dating.


Dating in the 1900s

The history of dating starts all the way back in the 1700s. To be exact, it was first noted during 1695. However, we’ll be focusing on the first decade of the 20th century. During this time, a man who fancies a woman would have to visit a woman’s home but strictly with the permission of the woman’s parents. These two would only be able to spend time with each other under parental supervision. This means there isn’t too much room for physical contact especially sexual intercourse. Seems kind of scary, right? Well, we’ve moved on from that. Thanks to the families from the lower class families who can’t entertain their male guests in their household. The term “going out on a date” was popularized because of them. This is due to the part wherein the potential suitors would spend time outside the home.

While the popularization of “going out on a date” was reaching every corner of the United States, the industrial boom hit in the 1920s. This popularized automobiles. Men from the upper class who owned cars were able to freely move, and provide more freedom on dates. This includes going out to restaurants and watching a drive in movie. But, don’t get this setup wrong as women would only accept a date invitation from men with money and gifts to offer. Plus, dating was very competitive due to the higher population of men during that time. According to history, some men had to fight for dates. Hence, it’s why a woman in some movies has a lot of suitors.

Moving on from the 1930s, the 1940s or the World War II era brought on a lack of male adults due to the war. So, women started to become less concerned with the status of the man. The women became more focused on the man’s ability to survive or at least their likelihood to survive from war. This era popularized the term “going steady.” During this time, it meant that a man would give a woman an article of his clothing that the woman can wear. This can range from anything between a jacket, a sweater, or a ring. This had a bigger implication on the relationship of the man and the woman than it did in the previous eras where the family was fully involved. In progression, many of these couples would partake in premarital sex but only within the context of a committed relationship.

The emergence of hookups only occurred during the mid-1960s. To some historians, this ended the dating era. During the 1960s, many people started to experiment with drugs like marijuana, opiates, and other things. This introduced partying while intoxicated and on psychedelic drugs. Since partying is done in large groups, people had more sexual encounters and heightened “the need for hookups” instead of relationships.


2000s and online dating

As we entered the 21st century, dating has come a long way. There terms like girlfriend, boyfriend, and partner came into play. These are the terms that are used to describe a person’s significant other. Although each era brought about a new change to the dating scene, the 21st century takes the trophy, thanks to the internet and new technology. The new technology used involves smartphones, computers, and even video chatting with someone a thousand miles away. However, these different dating styles are all still used today and in different ways at that.


Why does online dating carry a stigma?

So, it seems that even if we live in the year 2016, online dating still has a bad reputation. Is it because of the scams, jealousy, or some people who remain old-fashioned? Whatever the reason may be, online dating stigma will be difficult to shrug off. The main reasons for these stigmas are one, two, or more out of these five possible reasons:

  • Online dating means you’re “desperate.”
  • Online dating is “just” a bad idea.
  • Online dating isn’t a thing.
  • Online daters are all talk, and mostly catfishing.
  • Dates from online sites or apps won’t last long, or it won’t work.

Well, technically speaking, these people are close-minded because they haven’t experienced online dating. As someone who’s experienced online dating first-hand, it’s actually as difficult as dating someone in real life minus the awkward “I don’t think we’re going to work out” conversation in person, text, or call because well, face-to-face rejection is really difficult.

We live in the 21st century, yet we still live in a world with close-minded people. So, remember that the next time you feel embarrassed about online dating…don’t! Don’t take pity on yourself for the happiness of others just because you’re in search for true love. You are simply opening up your pool of potential dates. You know how people say that there are a lot of fish in the sea. Tell them that you’re in a pool, and you’re trying to get to the sea without leaving the pool right away.