Is Finding Love Online Catfish?
It was just 20 years ago that the first online dating websites dotted the Internet landscape, the two main ones were eHarmony and Match. Since then, millions have joined them and use them, Match alone has 2.4 million and 35% of them are over 50. EHarmony claims it has created over 4 million marriages or "serious" relationships.
Today, there are many that target certain races, religious beliefs, age groups, like Jdate, for Jewish believers in 1997 and now has 750,000 members. Most ask the usual personality questions to find commonality between seekers. But, while many online dating sites are similar in ways, some have taken a new approach. The five newest ones target or present members differently.
With Coffee Meets Bagel, the age target is 18-30 yrs. and most have a college degree. It gives you only one match per day, so you can think about the person. This is contrary to nearly all online sites that present you with many potential mates. Definitely, not for the impatient seeker!
How About We focuses on common activities between the parties over just reading a profile. The target group again is the same. Members simply provide a few facts about them and then suggests an activity to meet and greet. Most online seekers do not want to meet on the first encounter, if ever. Usually, it takes many emails or texts just to get to that point at Starbucks.
Hinge uses your friends-in-common to find the right date. It uses FaceBook to do this. Again, the demographics is the same. I guess the obvious question is, what occurs if there are no such friends in common? It is entirely possible.
Grouper finds your date and then groups them making the affair into a six person group date. Each member lists the usual things and then asks each to list five friends that would join you on a date-to avoid going solo. The app then arranges the times between all. I can see how this would be okay if you are petrified of meeting one on one, but other than that, I can more negatives than positives, like getting to know the person. Then there is the scheduling dilemma.
Tastebuds finds your love via common musical interests. Not a bad idea to start with. The demographics are the same. Candidates list their favorite musical interests and artists and can select them also. The app will then provide you with possible mates based on similar musical tastes. Makes sense.
Of course, with any online dating site, a Catfish scenario might occur. As with MTV's Catfish show, where online dating realities are exposed as either real or fraud, it can happen to anyone. The person you have fallen for is not who they say they are in some manner. And while texting, email, video chats, Skype, all help know a person and validate them, the critical moment is face to face meetings, doing things together over time. Unless you can do this, having an affair long distance is difficult to sustain or confirm. Like anything, dater beware, the person you fell in love with may actually be a teen getting his kicks.