Online Dating: Is Meeting Your Partner Online Still Taboo?

online dating yes or no

I love a good proposal story. From viral videos of guys doing the most romantic and over the top gestures, right down to hearing that they just decided to get hitched over breakfast in bed one morning. However, sometimes even more than that, I love listening to a couple tell the story of how they first met, especially when they don’t agree! “No, you pursued me!”, “Whatever, it was you that eventually asked me out!”

Although I don’t always include it in the real weddings that I feature, I always ask everyone I interview for this blog those two questions. Firstly because it really helps to set up the story of their love, and usually helps to explain why they wanted to do certain things for their wedding. Most of all though I ask it because I’m just a bit nosy.

Gareth and I met young. I was only 16 and he was just 21. I remember as a teenager thinking I’d NEVER get a boyfriend and hating the fact that it was always my friends that guys seemed to like. In retrospect, I found my soulmate pretty darn early actually, although we didn’t start officially dating until I was 18 – it took him a while to persuade me, see!

We met over a crowded bar (shh, underage drinking is obviously not something I recommend!). One stolen cocktail later (me stealing his of course, although goodness knows why he was drinking something quite so girly) and the rest, as they say, is history.

So clearly, I’ve never ventured into the world of online dating. But I recently read that over a third of couples that were married between 2005 and 2012 met online. The report continues by saying that those who do meet online are not only more satisfied than their real-life meeting counterparts, but they are less likely to split up. REALLY!?

With claims like that, I couldn’t help but want to investigate further. So I took to my Facebook page to ask for some real life stories.

Carmen Goodwin

Carmen Goodwin: “David added me on Facebook because he apparently “thought I was hot”. We had lots of mutual friends, though we’d never met. I didn’t know who he was but accepted his request thinking that we must’ve met previously but didn’t remember it!! At first I only responded to his messages as I didn’t want to be rude, but after messaging for a few months, I realised he was actually really funny and seemed like a lovely person. It took over 6 months and a bottle of wine before I finally agreed to go on a date with him mind you!

But it didn’t take long before I realised that he was ‘the one’. We’ve been together for over 2 years now and we are getting married in 14 weeks… I can’t wait! I honestly never would have tried ‘online dating’ but this just sort of happened that way, it was obviously meant to be! I still have a good laugh when people ask how we met and I tell them that David ‘Facebook stalked’ me for 6 months!”

kerry dunn

Kerry Dunn: “I believe myself to be a unicorn because my husband was the first person I met through online dating and I married him. I’d had many friends who went through years of frogs to find their prince, but I got lucky instantly. I think the stigma of online dating has been declining. So many people meet this way now! I’d recommend it to everyone. Just be honest about what you want and don’t be afraid!”

kat forsyth

Katharine Considine Forsyth: “My parents met through compu-date in 1970! Well ahead of the times, they were!  It was a “computer” dating service – you wrote in, and then they sent you names of people with similar interests to what you filled in. You could even choose hair and eye colour, religion etc. My mum said she wanted a blond, blue-eyed Catholic boy but they couldn’t find one for her, so she had to go less specific!”

Liz Sanrio

Liz Sanrio: “I met my husband on Myspace (8 years ago). I HATED Telling people that so I made up a story of mutual friends… as it turned out after chatting for a bit we lived 3 miles from each other. I was going through a terrible divorce and he was supposed to be my ‘crazy I’m single rebound one night stand guy’ so he came over we had some drinks and he never went home. We now have been married 6 years and have 3 kids with one on the way!”

Sarah Petit Poney

Sarah Petit Poney:  “There is definitely a stigma with online dating. I did not really try it seriously, I signed up because of a bet and was lucky a few years later to meet Thibault. I still feel a bit stupid when I tell people how we met!

I would definitely recommend online dating. It is just exactly like real life – you will find weird people, not-fit-for-you guys, but maybe there is someone that will be as special to you as Thibault is special to me, and that is worth all the disappointment in the world!”

Carolyn Jones

Carolyn Jones: “I felt there was an awful lot of stigma and judgement regarding online dating. I even had my own prejudices to be honest, and we told our colleagues and acquaintances that we’d been introduced by mutual friends!

Knowing he was the one sort of took me by surprise to be fair. I’d always been super cynical and had only recently come out of a seven year relationship so I was certainly not expecting much so quickly. It was his sensibility and his firm but gentle nature that really swung it for me. That, and the fact that when we’re on our own he’s mad as a March hare!

I can’t recommend online dating enough. I really liked the way you could be perfectly frank about what you’re looking for, and what you’re willing to give in return.”

Hollie Cooper

Hollie Cooper: “I didn’t feel there was a stigma at the time but a lot of friends have expressed shock that I met my partner through a dating site! I dated two guys previously, one I didn’t click with and the second was fun but there was no future there. I wanted to date Hamish because he stood out from the rest and seemed genuine. We went to a pub in Covent Garden for our first date and have only spent about 5 nights apart since then. We now have a daughter and we are engaged. I’d definitely recommend online dating.”

sarah jane lewis

Sarah Jane Lewis: “Yes I would recommend it! James and I met through an online dating website, after both having been through bad relationships in the past, we had a mutual love of rock music and tattoos and we first met face-to-face when he travelled 75 miles on the train for our first date. We went to McDonalds! We became engaged after 1 year together, and now we have two beautiful boys aged 3 years and 19 months, and were getting married Halloween 2015! Internet dating isn’t for everyone but it worked for us!”

Mari Zam Braga

Mari Zam Braga: “I met my husband online and yeah, I feel there is a lot of stigma, and I only tried it because I wanted to try something different, since actual dating was not proving successful… we talked a lot on msn and skype before our first date (which was actually not quite a “date”, since I was with other friends and we met kinda casually on a bar). I felt that talking to him online was really great to get to know the real person that he is before having any physical contact, and I felt he was the one as the time went by and we survived the difficulties of our relationship without growing apart.

I recommend online dating, as long as you have a defined goal (mine was: finding a guy to have a serious relationship with), because there are a lot of people who just want to get laid (well, if that’s your goal, then go for it). My advice would be: be yourself, don’t get pressured to meet the person right away, take your time, use the webcam (usually if someone isn’t interested in meeting you personally or if it is a fake profile, the person will not accept) and always be very clear about what you want. Be open to new experiences and to great people who are out there trying to find the one. If it wasn’t for online dating, I might have never met the love of my life….”

Day-of-the-Dead-Wedding-weheartpictures.com-176

Kirst Fate: “I met my now husband 5 years ago on Sunday on a dating website. He was my first date from the site and he was 10 minutes late. I remember how scared I was and even though he lied about his height, I knew within weeks he was the one for me. To put it simply he made me laugh. I remember telling my mum I had joined a dating website and she said “but Kirsty it’s full of weirdos and pervets” and my husband quoted this in our wedding speech. Our wedding was actually featured Rock n Roll Bride and was the happiest day of my life. 
Thank fuck for dating websites!”

These are just a teeny selection of the hundreds of success stories posted on my page. But if these comments are anything to go by, then the reports are certainly true. Internet dating not only works, but the stigma associated with it is dying down.

I’d love to hear from you too. Do you think meeting online is modern and efficient or a little bit shameful? Did you meet your fiancé or spouse online? Tell us about it below or join in the conversation on Facebook!

19 comments

  1. Emma

    I met my husband on facebook, this was back when you just search for people in the area on facebook based on age, gender, things like that.
    He sent me a friend request and I seen we had 1 mutual friend, I accepted the request and didn’t think any more of it.
    Couple of weeks later he sent me a messageln there just asking how I was and about me.
    We got chatting regularly on there and then started texting, it was only 2 weeks then we decided to meet up.
    I was only 17 at the time and so a bit nervous about it but went to meet him. We just walked around the local park when we first met then aranged a proper first date at the cinema a couple of days later.
    We have been together 6 years this year and just recently got married on bonfire night last year.
    We’ve bought a house together and practically been inseparable ever since.
    I understand about being vigilant whilst online and sensible but also if you do it in the right way don’t be scared and take a chance you never know.. your soulmate could be waiting for you just like I found mine.

  2. Evija

    No it isn’t! I met the love of my life through mIRC, a very basic chat engine. And even though it didn’t last to this day, it lasted nearly four very, very beautiful years.
    And my friend – she found her long term BF in.. drumroll.. setting Skype in “SkypeMe” mode. What are the odds!
    I definitely think online dating is, albeit different, no less worthy than “regular” dating. Especially since, well, it’s the 21st century and all.
    That being said, online dating does have downsides like rude people, and nice guys that get rude at some point. But hey, it did save me time of going and finding that out in person!

  3. Louise field

    I met my fiancé online 2 years ago, I joined up thinking it was a bit of fun as friends were also on there, when rob messaged me, I just smiled and didn’t think much, presses reply and to my amazement we had so much in common, and within 24 hours we hadn’t put our phones down- then he called me, and the adrenaline rush I had was the sign I needed to meet him.
    Along with our best friends we met up at his for dinner and drinks, the four of us spent all weekend together and since that day we haven’t spent a day apart, he is my best friend, my soul mate and if I hasn’t gone online and clicked that reply button- I wouldn’t have known this happiness was even possible!! We are marrying this July and I cannot wait for him to tell everyone how we met in his speech, I definitely don’t get shocked by people meeting online- it means u meet someone’s personality before their looks, you take time to get to know each other and it builds up the excitement to meet one another!! Better than anyone I have ever met in a bar!!

  4. I’ll be honest, to this day my parents still believe that I met my husband by shouting ‘Nice Arse!’ In ASDA…that apparantly is more acceptable than meeting him online! We met on Faceparty (I know…how retro!) Back in 2001. I was 16, he was 20 and there was just something that clicked between us. He complimented me on my pink hair, and that was it! We chatted for a while and he even asked me out before our first date (keeno! Haha) but when it came to meeting, it was an altogether more random affair! We planned to meet at a train station, a particular one that I had had a bad experience at before (some guy pretended to be someone else for months, and when we met i saw it was this other guy and freaked out! He was a real tool!…anyway I digress!) So he sees me and I see him, and I think ‘Oh god…he looks proper wierd! He has these wierd brown sunglasses on, and frosted tips in his hair.. i won’t say my immediate thoughts but lets just say it wasn’t love at first sight! Apparantly as it happens he thought i looked like a dirty hippy (as I was told later on much to my amusement!) I even rang my mate to try and prank call me outta there, but luckily he was an absolute idiot who refused to help! Thank god!! Because as we crossed a road, Col grabbed my hand…and that was it! The spark, the zing! It was there! I knew there and then he was a game changer! Within a week we had said our first ‘I love you’s within 2 months we were engaged, and even now, 12 1/2 years later I still get that zing when he grabs my hand! He is my lobster! Xx

  5. We didn’t meet online but SO many of our friends met their partners online. Some through specific dating sites, some through various forums/communities/games, and even some who were set up by other online friends! I have lots of online friends who I’ve ‘known’ for years, many that I have now met and befriended in real life as well so none of this ever seems weird to me, I get the appeal!
    It’s a great way to find people who have the same interests as you (and are just as enthusiastic about them!) – the whole opposites attract thing is overrated.

  6. As Celebrants we read hundreds of couple’s questionnaire each year. Over the last 10 years there has most definitely been an increase in couples meeting online. This has led to more couples from different countries marrying in a way too… as the now you can even choose the country you want someone to be from! I have read many wonderful stories just like the inspiring ones above. There is something to be said for getting to know the person before judging them by their appearance but of course only if that person is honest.. but you can’t fake true love can you? :-)

  7. I met my boyfriend of 8 years on myspace. We had quite a few mutual friends and he had seen my profile picture and thought I was cute. So he sent me a message and the rest as they say is history! It’s strange to think how different both our lives would be if he hadn’t of sent that first message

  8. Loved the last featured couple and their lobsters ! I like the romantic side of online dating, the excitement of meeting with a person who you may have already fallen for through words before seeing them face to face. My best friend is with her current partner and the have the interweb to thank. I hope more people keep an open mind to online dating with all these beautiful love stories.

  9. It’s funny, I feel like Internet dating is so normal these days! It surprises me that anyone would still think it’s odd… But I wonder if it’s a lot more common in London than the rest of the country… I met my awesome boyfriend on My Single Friend more than two years ago, we’d both been on that site and others for a while. It might not sound that romantic… but I love the fact that we got to know each other gradually, without drama, when both of us ready for a relationship. I think Internet dating is a great thing, and I am glad that it’s getting more “normal” every day!

  10. B

    When people ask I proudly say, “The Internet! You can find anything on the Internet these days…” I like to think of dating sites as our modern day matchmakers. Such a good tool and nothing to be ashamed of!

  11. I met my fiance online. We were from different countries and were engaged before we even met. Now I live in England with him and it’s been perfect. True fairy tale :)

  12. Tereza Jardim

    I met my fiance when a friend in common retwitted his tweet about the expectations on Batman The Dark Knight Rises. Really. We started following each other, then adding on Facebook, then he started to call me once in a while… he was the only person I was able to easily spend 4 hours talking on the phone. After months using technology in our favor, he asked me out. But our first attempts to meet in person failed. Let’s say, we tried to meet about 6 times, all failed. At this time, the calls were already daily. When we finally met, in front of a movie theater, we were already in love, and he was the first guy to actually ask me “do you wanna be my girlfriend?”

    Few months latter, we got engaged, then he moved in and now we are working together on our wedding day, less than 6 months away!

  13. Arianna

    I met my boyfriend and now cohabitee on Facebook in a really absurd and unpredictable way, so I like to think that it was fate. We started chatting and we immediately felt strangely connected, and after only 2 months I agreed to meet him: I was 17 and he was 23, so it took some persuasion and awkward calls to convince my parents that it was a good idea. He took a 6.30 hours train trip and even booked a room in a youth hostel to meet me! The second day we kissed and decided we wanted to be together, and for 2 years we had a distance relationships. When I finished high school I moved with him and started studying in his city, and we’ve now been together for more then a year. Our relationship has always been stable and it’s actually gotten better since we’re living together, so we’re planning a future together (and we certainly have tons of ideas for our wedding, thanks to you Kat! ;)).
    I’d never thought I’d met someone online, but it happened and worked, so why not? :) Of course one has to be careful, but I can’t see why it should be seen as a taboo!

  14. I love these kinds of stories! My husband and I met online back in 2001 on AOL. We chatted a little bit online, and then we just called each other everyday to talk on the phone instead. It was an instant connection between us. We first met face to face around 6 months later and spent time traveling around for 2 weeks. It was difficult for us to separate when the 2 weeks were up We both cried a lot as we both knew we were meant to be together. Not sure the timeline but it was about 1 week after arriving back home I received a package in the mail with a puzzle inside. The puzzle was a collage of all the pictures we took together during our two weeks together along with a poem asking me to marry him. It was an easy decision, and an obvious yes and about 6 weeks later he came by plane to be with me and spend more time together and also to make our engagement official. So to make a long story short, we were married in the spring of 2004 and life has never been better.

  15. Proud online dater here! I met my boyfriend of 5 years through Ok Cupid. We like to joke about it because, according to the website, we only had a 52% chance of working out. We’re complete opposites, but it works for us!

  16. I met my ex husband on AOL in 2000 when you could randomly look for people just to chat with. Since the divorce I have met a few people online. None of whom I could ever see myself with. But seems like most of the ones I did like were from Facebook. And all people I had known when I was younger. LOL strange how that turned out. All great guys too because they were all from where I grew up. Now I am with a man who was a few years younger than me. He went to the same school I did for about a year. I remember him when I was working at a Deli while I was in College but he was in High School. I remember him only vaguely. We started chatting on facebook. Just to talk. And we have barely ever gone a day without talking. We started as friends and ended up in love. I still feel the stigma to dating online. I feel like I’ve had better luck with people I have known. But I would rather have met him again this way then not meet him! I love him!

  17. After a less-than-ace experience with dating someone I met online, I tend towards people I meet in “real life”, mainly because I think a relationship needs that ‘spark’ that you can’t always correctly identify over Skype. My internet ex and I seemed to have ‘that spark’, but it didn’t translate when we met in the real world (cue an awkward & brief relationship!), whereas I met my partner in a bar and there was no mistaking it.

    That said, I might not have found love on the internet, but that ex and I are really close friends now, so I’m not going to do it down too harshly.

  18. Samantha

    I met my fiancé on Guardian Soulmates, and on our first date we discovered there were several points in our lives where we could have met ( we’re from the same city and hung out in the same places, gigs and clubs). The biggest coincidence is that his parents and mine have mutual friends. However, it took online dating to match us up, and now we have a baby daughter. I think the days of seeing online dating as something to be done in secret are coming to a close, if not gone. Although I don’t think it should be the only wy to meet potential mates, just another tool alongside the traditional ones!

  19. Linda

    I met my fiance through an online dating site. I also wrote and published the book, “The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Online Dating” to help women be safe and savvy out there!

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