Online dating: a new gateway to marriage?

Dr. Neill Neill examines the issue of online dating and marriage.

In my travels in the south I set up my tent beside a small trailer belonging to a very happy 75-year-old man and woman. As I got to know them they told me about meeting on the Internet, one of them moving across four states and marrying at 70.

After they had met on the Internet, the turning point was their discovery that they shared an interest in a particular kind of pet.

When you think about it, isn’t finding a common interest— a shared faith, an activity or a type of work—the way we’ve always met our spouses?

In the last few years, however, the number of men and women who enter committed relationships after meeting their partner online has risen dramatically.

Recent figures are that 20 million people per month are engaging in online dating. About 70 per cent of people surveyed said they would use an online dating service to find their partner if they were looking for a relationship.

And in a large-scale survey 17 per cent of couples married from 2007 to early 2010 said they had met online. Such statistics indicate a huge shift in the way people meet and mate.

However, some things have not changed, like the advice I write in my articles. My stated premise is “choosing well is the foundation of a good marriage.” The advice stands, whether you are meeting someone in a traditional way through friends, family or work, or you are meeting them through a dating site. So choose carefully.

Personally, I have not always chosen wisely. Two divorces attest to that. However, for the last 30 years or so I have been in a marriage that does work. I know the difference.

In my world, marriage is a wonderful institution; a long-term, romantic, emotional, intellectual commitment. It’s family. It’s connection. I love it. A good marriage is a great place to live.

Lurking in the dating scene forever, however, are con artists, deadbeats, addicts, and predators, always looking for the vulnerable. And they love the initial anonymity of the Internet. Their first choice is a free dating site, the source of the worst horror stories that come in my door.

The advent of online dating has indeed broadened the ways in which people can meet. It has greatly expanded the pool of potential partners.

But the art of choosing well is still at the heart of a good marriage. If you are seriously considering online dating, you can check out the big paid dating services like eHarmony.com or Match.com, or a smaller, local service like IslandIntroductions.ca.

Whether online or offline, choosing well includes not letting the predators and joyriders slip under your radar.

Dr. Neill is a Central-Island Registered Psychologist. You can reach him for an appointment at 250-752-8684 or through his website www.neillneill.com/contact.

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s high school gets a rainbow crosswalk for Pride Day

Students and staff at Alberni District Secondary School celebrated the official opening… Continue reading

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni imposing water restrictions

Stage 1 restrictions go into effect June 17

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker goes green

Music festival has sustainable initiatives planned for fifth year

Fundraiser set up after fire destroys Alberni Valley family’s home

Fire on Tseshaht First Nation land leaves young family in need

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read