Online dating on the rise


Online Dating

Lindsay Miller

For the first time ever, online dating has surpassed traditional means of dating, according to Singles in America’s 2013 survey.

For the past four years,, an online dating website, conducted a survey of more than 5,000 people across the U.S. The most recent survey, released Feb. 5, 2014, shows 31 percent of singles met his or her last first date from online dating.

Manfred H. M. Van Dulmen, Kent State associate psychology professor, said the convenience of online dating is helping to make the push.

“I do think that time constraint is an issue, and with people being very busy, online dating makes it a lot easier,” Van Dulmen said.  “You can put a profile together and be matched on a number of compatibility characteristics, so it seems easier than trying to meet somebody in a more traditional way.”

Online dating sites state claims of success, which plays a part in the draw to online dating as well, especially with college students.

“I think one of the things that makes it appealing is that a lot of the websites themselves suggest that online dating is the way to go. They have good success stories about people who have met online, get married and stay together,” Van Dulmen said. “The other part that appeals to individuals to seek someone online is that people are prescreened on most of these sites and it is relatively safe and you can generally look at a pool of people and you get the sense that you are being matched with someone similar to you, where if you meet somebody in everyday life, it may take longer to figure out whether or not you are compatible.”

Samantha Clarke, junior applied conflict management major, said she turned to online dating at the recommendation of a friend who had success. Her boyfriend, Kent State alumnus John Keffer, said he used it for the convenience.

“Once you’re no longer on campus as much as you used to be, it’s harder to meet people,” Keffer said. “A friend suggested I turn to [online dating] just to see what my options were.”

Clarke and Keffer met on OkCupid, a free online dating website that claims to be the best on Earth.

“John messaged me first when he noticed that my username was connected to a song by one of my favorite bands. I was immediately intrigued because not many people have heard of the band [X Ambassadors],” Clarke said. “We talked for a couple days before deciding to meet up. The conversation had been so wonderful, we decided to go for it.”

After meeting for the first time, Keffer said things between him and Clarke progressed quickly, but naturally, and they are still together after three months.

Clarke and Keffer said they both agree that online dating’s new stigma is both positive and encouraging.

“I think there used to be a negative stigma toward it but it’s evolving as more and more people find love,” Keffer said. “There’s nothing to lose by just logging on and checking out your options.”

Contact Lindsay Miller at [email protected]