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More Americans Finding Their Mates Online

Finding Dates online It used to be that, if you wanted to meet that special someone, you had to chat up people at bars or go on dates set up by friends and family. Sure, there have always been personal ads and dating services, but they were generally considered the realm of the desperate. But now, social networks have turned the Internet into one giant repository of personal ads, and much of the stigma associated with online dating has disappeared. In fact, according to a recent study by Michael Rosenfeld from Stanford University, as many as one quarter of all couples first met online.

Rosenfeld has called the Web the greatest technological shake-up the dating scene has ever witnessed. While the phone certainly was a game changer, it only allowed you, largely anyway, to stay in contact with people you already knew. The Internet, on the other hand, has turned people into their own matchmakers. Now, thanks to dedicated dating sites like OkCupid and Match.com, as well as Facebook, those playing the field are identifying and evaluating potential mates from the comfort of their computers.

Did you meet your partner online?
Yes1744 (32.3%)
No2264 (42.0%)
I'm single.1385 (25.7%)


Interestingly, it seems that users are turning to the Web to escape the pool of potential partners with whom they're already familiar. Often, people who meet online are not even friends of friends, but complete strangers with little discernible social connection to one another. These Internet romances are also more likely to cross religious and ethnic lines, and are more likely to be same-sex relationships (basically, Pat Robertson's nightmare). Rosenfeld believes that the Web will overtake other venues for meeting matches in the near future. He told the AFP that the Internet "may reshape the kinds of partners and relationships we have." [From: AFP and NPR]

Tags: dating, datingsites, facebook, match.com, okcupid, OnlineDating, romance, SocialNetworking, top, web

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