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

Satellite visitors’ centre opens in Port Alberni Train Station

Chamber of commerce, McLean Mill will share staffing duties in new centre

Alberni Golf Club goes red, white and blue

Corey Nielson led all golfers, carding a gross 71

BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni’s first Indigenous-themed guest house opens

New beginnings and endings for businesspeople in Port Alberni

Dennis Olsen will rock Teas on the Terrace in Port Alberni

Spend an afternoon under a canopy of trees at Rollin Art Centre

Norwegian ship draws interest on Port Alberni’s waterfront

A ship from Norway has been gaining a lot of attention in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sproat Lake hosts annual regatta

2018 Alberni Valley event featured two days of boat racing action

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

Cougar shot by police in Nanaimo

Shooting occurred in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

Most Read