Love: A click away

Love is in the air on and on the web.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner the world of social networking sites and online dating is booming.

The number of online daters grows every year; commercials for internet romance run across television sets and the concept is growing in popularity. As more people embrace internet dating in order to avoid the bar scene, it may prove to be the future of dating and the norm of establishing a relationship.

So–how many people use online dating services? The answer is sketchy with dating service claiming outrageous numbers; the estimated numbers can range from 20 to 40 million Americans. The majority of registered online daters are between the ages of 18-34 and the online dating services are expected to increase spending to $932 million in 2011, while generating $1.8 billion a year, according to statistics at singleromantics.com.

Love is proving to be a profitable business.

A study at randomhistory.com showed an average 33% of online daters actually form a lasting relationship. Even though a dating site membership costs around $20 a month, some students believe that finding someone compatible is worth this financial burden.

“It’s a good way to meet a wider range of people especially in a small town. You have more control over the kind of person you want to meet,” said Neetha Devdas, a counselor at SHSU.

In a survey across campus many students describe online daters as desperate, yet they also believe a person can find a lasting relationship through online dating. These double standards cause some singles to consider online dating but they’re often too hesitant to participate.

“There is a social stigma to online dating,” said Courtney Barrett, a history major at SHSU. “I don’t see anything negative about it. If they are happy, then they’re happy.”

“A lot of college students are doing it, they’re just not telling anyone,” said Devdas.

The main reason online relationships don’t work is people have unreasonable expectations, she said.

According to Devedas, people believe the dating services will provide the Hollywood perfect match and are disappointed when the individual turns out to be anything less. Everyone has flaws, and learning each others is part of building the relationship.

For students ready to give online dating a shot, the SHSU Counseling Center has organized a workshop explaining the do’s and don’ts of dating online on Thursday, Feb. 11, in LSC Room 307 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. With a large number of college students now meeting online, Counselor Devdas will discuss the biggest problems facing online daters and how to overcome them in order to meet the right person.

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