Let's go back in time to when the internet was young, the year is 1995 and the very first online dating website, Match.com, has just launched. Only 14% of Americans have access to home internet and they are still meeting people the old fashioned way - in person. Then everything changed, today almost everyone has constant access to the internet and Match.com has helped create 517,000 relationships, 92,000 marriages and 1 million babies according to Datingsitesreviews.com. That's a whole lot of loving.
MarketWatch.com reported, "The dating industry is now worth about $2.4 billion, with revenue split between advertising and subscription services. Of that, around $1.1 billion is from online dating, $576 million is from mobile apps such as Grindr and Tinder, and the rest is made up mainly of matchmakers and singles events."
It's big business the art of online dating. If you can inspire millions of people to join your site in the hopes of finding true love then the cash will start rolling in. However, these colourful and hopeful sites have some dark secrets to hide and they would hate to reveal the real price of finding true love.
12 Adulterers Are The Best Clients
There was public outcry over the indecency of extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison, yet it should be known that this is not the only website that caters for the serial adulterer. Ilicitencounters.com and Affairs4u.com are just a couple of names among the dozens of sites that actively encourage affairs.
Adulterers are big business as they will return to the site time and time again. In a recent Durex Global Sex Survey they found that 44% of adults worldwide have had one-night extra-marital sex and 22% indulged in a full-blown affair. The statistics are staggering and with these services putting up premium joining fees it's a booming market for dating website owners.
11 There's A Lot Of Money In Loneliness
Many of the premium dating websites offer subscriptions via monthly payments over 12 months - the longer it takes you to find true love the cheaper your membership works out. These don't come cheap with Match.com charging $29.99 a month, eHarmony ask for $50 a month and PerfectMatch expects you to cough up $59.95 a month.
Some dating platforms such as Tinder, PlentyofFish.com and OkCupid do offer their service for free however just one look at the cliental and you'll soon be wishing you coughed up the money.
10 They Prompt People To Make Bad Decisions
According to a report from Psychology Today, we make bad decisions when using dating websites because "we invoke different and sometimes less cognitively taxing decision making strategies when choosing from a large array (as with online dating) than when we choose on a one to one basis in real life. The consequences are that we may end up making the wrong choice."
Many people who turn to online dating as a tool to meet someone could be using it as a "last resort" therefore our attitude to "find someone and quick" usually stops us thinking straight which exposes us to potentially rash decision making.
9 Many Profiles Are Not Even Active
In a heated battle between the competition, OKCupid claimed that 96.25% of eHarmony's profiles were inactive and Match also had inactivity amongst 93.1% of their profiles. Just to put this into better perspective: only 1 in 20 profiles are members who actually still the use the site.
This may be because the account owners don't log in anymore through lack of interest or they have found love and moved on. Something to be aware of when sites are bragging how many millions of people they have using their site.
8 Everyone Is Judged Primarily On Looks
The superficiality of new dating apps such as Tinder is described by relationship etiquette expert and co-founder of IDoNowIDont.com Mara Opperman as, "This myriad of online dating apps have given rise to a pick and choose shopping behavior that emphasizes looks more so than ever. We now browse potential suitors as if we're looking through a catalog, or better yet.. window shopping."
The average online dater does not have a PR team at their disposal so quite often they pick the wrong images to display themselves to the world. In a world where we need everything instantly, it's those with the staggering beautiful profiles that pick up all the dates.
7 Their Matching Algorithms Don't Always Work
Here's the catch: opposites attract. Much research has proven this to be a fact, so when the top dating sites try and match people to their identical other half - quite often it fails to be a success. Their are many sites that are ridiculously specific, such as Glutenfreesingles.com and Amishdatingservice.co.uk, but generally the big name sites try to play their best cupid card.
With so little evidence that these new technology savvy formulas actually work in matching up the right people - you may become disheartened after answering 80 personality based questions for absolutely nothing.
6 They Need You To Become Addicted
The one customer that no dating site needs is the person who is swept off their feet and then runs off to be happy with their new found partner. That won't bring in the big subscriptions. So they need you to become addicted to their service and use it continuously throughout the year. Quick matches, streams of profiles, the thrill of instant messaging and approval seeking techniques are all used to keep you hooked.
Psychotherapist Ross A. Rosenberg explained, "For the love addict, Internet dating sites are the crack cocaine of romantic exploration. Although the love addict consciously wants true and everlasting love, they are drawn to the exhilarating rush of new love like a moth is drawn to a flame. Love addicts rarely make it past the 30-day mark in any new relationship. It is as if they have a fuel tank that supplies the gasoline to a race-car engine... but it only has a one-gallon capacity!"
5 People Lie - A Lot
The Huffington Post reported that 13.3 percent of males and 6.7 percent of females misrepresent themselves when dating online. You've heard the horror stories from friends who have met with someone completely the opposite to their profile - well it's quite the bad habit for some people.
The four biggest bare-faced lies people tell on dating websites are: how old they really are (often opting for younger by five/six years), choosing to use an older photograph of themselves and over-exaggerating their interest in certain hobbies that you personally enjoy.
4 It's The Perfect Place For Scammers
Science Daily discovered that in just the United Kingdom alone, 230,000 people were the victims of online dating scams with a total damage of $60 billion dollars - in just one year alone. The statistics sound made up but many people who are vulnerable online have been tricked into handed over their credit card details or depositing large amounts of money in bank accounts belonging to complete strangers.
Action Fraud advise that you may be part of a scam if you notice the following activity:
They’ve arranged to visit you but need money to pay travel costs, visa costs etc. Or they’ve paid for a plane ticket which is then stolen
A family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment.
3 They Know More About You Than Facebook
When you first sign up to a dating website you give them every last detail about yourself: your physical stats, your interests, your work history, salary, where you live and even your sexual preferences. This kind of data is worth millions to dating website owners and they will use it to capitalize on the user experience.
OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder wrote on his blog that his site uses data and he's really not ashamed you know it. He revealed, "Guess what everybody: if you use the Internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work." Basically if you use his site and allow him to obtain your information then - tough.
2 You Are Not Very Likely To Find "The One"
Science reveals that the key to growing a relationship is to engage in face-to-face interactions, to give and receive communication is how we fall in love. Most users never get to this point as they miss out on the key point of it all: actually meeting up and dating someone. Pewresearch.org discovered that 66% of online daters had never actually gone on a physical date.
They also revealed that one in ten Americans have used online dating to search for a new partner, yet the success rate has been as low as 5%. With such low chances of finding the one, you would be damn lucky if you actually did.
1 This Can Be Dangerous
Online dating offers you the opportunity to meet with complete strangers online and to connect intimately. This can quite often pose a potential threat to your own personal safety and you should always be careful when meeting someone for a first date. Stay sober, phone a reputable taxi company and never give out your home address.
Sue Barenholtz, who runs the social community Wild Boomer Women, told YourSecurityResource.com, "I won’t go out with a guy unless he gives me his full name and phone number. I made my friend do this recently. She had been out with a guy two to three times and still didn’t get his last name. I told her I would not let her go out with him again until she got it. She told the guy, and he asked if she was going to look him up. When she said yes, he refused, and my girlfriend finally realized there might be something wrong."