Introducing your online lover to your friends or parents is a “holy shit” moment, right? After all, there must be something wrong if you have to find love on the Internet. Not really—according to Examiner.com, as of April 2010, 1 in 5 couples meet online. That means a whopping 20% of people find their partner though one of the many online dating sites. And keep in mind, this is only counting those willing to admit to it. We lie about dating online just as much as the number of condoms we helped tear open.
It’s understandable that some people may want to bend the truth about meeting online. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little bit of hot-damn to your how-we-met story, and leaving out the part about masturbating via Skype. While your pals don’t have to know you winked at 300 profiles last night, find comfort in knowing that they’re doing it too. With 40 million Americans using online dating websites, you’re just one of many.
Online dating is a smart way to get a feel for someone before actually meeting. Long gone are the friend set-ups and blind dates where you get to feast on receding hairlines, extra fat, missing teeth, and cheap shit derelicts that split the bill with a graphing calculator. Shallow? Maybe. But much nicer than bullshitting your way through appetizers, dinner, and dessert. Not only can you get a sneak-peek of someone’s looks and interests, but depending on the online dating site, you can make some interesting comparisons. Many dating sites ask questions and will tell you how well your answers match up. This is the perfect way to weed out your non-negotiables without having to grill someone on their religious and political background. And once your interest is piqued enough to engage in conversation, a more traditional pursuit begins.Dating sites and social networks provide us with more opportunities to connect than ever before. While any solid relationship takes face-to-face cultivation, online dating makes sense for busy people who need to find that initial spark. Don’t think of the Internet as your last resort for finding someone who doesn’t suck. In person, we still develop relationships based on interests and attraction; online dating just serves as a comfortable setting to check out people you haven’t met.
Be proud when introducing your Internet lover—you didn’t settle for some girl at the bar, or even someone in the same city. While many people still think there’s one person for everyone, it can end up limiting your choices. There’s only one way to find out if your match is on the other side of the country. Besides, how many of your friends can brag about a 98% compatibility rating?