Is There Still a Stigma around Online Dating?

The short answer is no. While some people express caution, trepidation, uncertainty, or negative experiences, all of these can apply equally to every other mode of dating.

The stigma that online dating “is for losers” or best left to people who can’t find anyone in “real life” is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

After all, everyone knows someone who met the love of their life or a great match online. We have witnessed online dating come to the rescue for difficult dating situations, like a widowed, elderly parent who doesn’t get out to many parties, or a lonely kinky friend who didn’t meet men into her thing until she found a website for her fetish.

We have seen how online dating can actually help us weed out the ineligible before wasting time actually dating. For example, if you’re looking for casual sex, or a sugar baby, or a throuple, or a man ready to settle down and adopt children, the best way to find eligible partners suited to your objectives and needs is through specialty dating sites online.

While polls and public opinion vary with experiences, it’s more likely that a larger percentage sees meeting partners at a bar or at work with stigma than online dating options.

Axios polling reported as of 2019, “More than half of Americans who have used dating apps or sites said they had a positive view of online dating and 72% said they think relationships that begin online are just as or more successful than those that begin offline.”

Perhaps tellingly enough, the stigma existed mostly with respondents who had never used online dating sites. Most who have used online dating felt “relationships that begin online are just as or more successful than those that begin offline.”

In addition to matching you with people who meet your basic criteria for relationships or sexual encounters, the other benefits of online dating are widely touted: saving money, a larger pool of people to look among, the opportunity to develop a relationship through conversation and messages before deciding to invest effort in meeting, the ability to procure discreet, confidential sexual encounters without complicating your work world or family, etc.

That said, some people are uncomfortable with what they see as an impersonal connection—a stigma that dissipates for most once they try online dating websites and apps.

There is a stigma among some that many apps are for casual hookups—but that’s not really a stigma, it’s true. People who are uncomfortable with other people’s sex lives will be busybodies regardless of whether you are meeting online or at a bar or at the gym.

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