No matter who you wish to marry, Scientists have been looking into whether your chances of doing so happily are increased if you’ve met your love on the internet. At the beginning of the month, I personally rejoiced at the finding by University of Chicago researchers that couples who met online had a slightly higher – but statistically significant – chance of staying married than those who had met in “traditional” circumstances. (If someone can accurately describe how I’d spot those in the wild, I’d love to hear it.)
Then yesterday, some spoilsports over at LoveLearnings had to ruin my celebrations. (That’s a terrible name for a company, by the way. I really can’t stand that plural gerund, but I guess “love lessons” must have been taken.) These self-styled relationship experts conducted their own research, which found that online dating does not offer users a better chance of establishing a long-term relationship.
However, even that “study” found that, “Despite the fact that online dating fails to increase the odds of finding a lifelong partner, it still offers several welcome benefits. For one, it allows users to interact with other singles quickly and easily. Secondly, the presence of niche dating websites allows people to narrow the focus of their search to a very specific subgroup. But perhaps most importantly, internet dating websites offer a new place for single people seeking companionship to meet and interact, which is a welcome alternative to traditional meeting places such as bars and nightclubs.” And yes, I’m putting “study” in quotation marks. Because despite getting Dr. Harry Reis of the University of Rochester to cough up a verbal blurb at the end, there were no actual Scientists involved.Of course, even if you spend time in such traditional meeting places as bars and nightclubs (really?), your chances of someone actually asking you out are apparently slim. Just ask the sad, beautiful, lonely millennials, who recently lamented to UK tabloid The Sun that “Men never chat us up!” They blame online dating for this, incredibly. Amongst others, this article details the tragic tale of Becca, a 32-year-old “client relationship director” from Leeds who has never been asked out in her entire life. (Despite having had two long-term relationships, which I guess must have begun when she suddenly found herself in someone else’s bed.)
Guess what, Becca? I’ve got ten years on you, and I have only ever been asked out in person by confused foreigners in the subway. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is (mumble mumble) years younger than me, and has been on more dates than he’s had hot dinners, or so it seems. Why? He uses the internet. It isn’t a mystery. The days of people asking people out on actual dates were over before I even hit adolescence, from what I can tell. I don’t have a single friend – male or female, straight or queer, younger, or anything but a lot older – whose story is any different. Dear reader, I’d love to think that my friends and I are anomalies, so please share your tales if you disagree.
Since it’s finally here, I would like to be the first to wish you all a Ten Boy Summer! Feel free to substitute your noun of choice for Boy, but make it your goal to go out with – or at least kiss – ten new people this year. It’s a tradition that my brilliant trainer and friend Eleni started many years ago, back before I helped her find her husband. It will make you feel better. I promise! And if you need my help finding ten people to kiss, visit http://junia.ca/.