Disabled Dating Online - What's the latest? This is a brief series of articles sponsored by Datebility.com on the topic of online dating.
It will cover everything from why bother going online in the first place, to tips, risks, and various offerings on the Internet. The author, Wayne Stillerman, is the founder of Datebililty.com, the first fully inclusive dating website.
Online Dating - Size and Scope
Google "online dating". You'll get almost 73 million responses. Google "disability dating" and you'll still get over 2.5 million. According to a report published by Jupiter Research entitled, "US Paid Content Forecast, 2007 to 2012", online dating sites are projected to increase in revenue from $900 million in 2007 to $1.9 billion in 2012, or 16% over five years. Match.com claims over 20,000 people join every day, and Plentyoffish.com claims over 10 million members! When you look at dating sites for the disability community, the numbers are much smaller. Whispers4u.com is the biggest, with 35,000 members worldwide. There are also niche dating sites for everything from fetish/S&M to Christian dating. A little something for everyone, if you put the right words into your search engine.
So why are there are so many people online? What's the matter with the good old fashioned approach?
Well, in this author's opinion, there's nothing wrong with the "old fashioned approach." Going to bars, joining groups, getting hobbies, meeting at church or synagogue or the gym, support groups, etc. all can work great and have served our ancestors fairly well since the days of the caveman (no reference for that statement, just making a guess!).
But, we do live a little differently these days. Some of us are busy with work, some of us don't frequent bars and nightclubs, some of us are a little cautious about meeting strangers (which are getting stranger every day!) And as far as meeting someone at church, or a gym, well - what if it doesn't work out? Do you want to drop your membership because you don't want to run into that certain someone that maybe didn't turn out to be your soul mate after all? And do you want everyone else knowing your business before you want them to
Let's face one of the realities of dating that most people don't recognize or acknowledge - if your goal and definition of success is to meet a life partner (rather than simply having a one-nighter) all attempts will result in "failure" until you are married. Now I know that's a bit of a drastic statement and kind of a downer, but if "success" is marriage, then anything short of that is minimally a "non-success."
So, in my humble opinion, dating is a trial-and-error process. And, just like anything, having a plan and using technology to your advantage can make the process more efficient, faster, and above, all more fun and enjoyable. After all, though dating should be fun, how many of us have had [more than one] dates that you might not describe to your friends using that particular adjective!