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Editorial: Online Dating - Is the Stigma Gone?
by Joe Tracy, Publisher of Online Dating Magazine


(April 2006) One of the questions I'm most often asked by media is whether or not there is still a stigma attached to online dating. You know, that stereotype that only those doing it are "desperate," "geeks," "losers" or "liars" (i.e. married people looking to hook up).

The good news is that the stigma, over the years, has been disappearing. Dr. Phil is connected at the hip with and every month it seems that there is a story about a celebrity trying online dating. Just this month, Life & Style Weekly reported that Charlie Sheen had been using MillionaireMatch and successfully found a date (not that it would be hard for him to ever find one - wait, is that a stigma statement?). Joan Rivers posted an ad on Even Halle Berry has stated that she's checked out online dating services.

Overall, singles around the world (online dating is experiencing record growth in Europe) have embraced online dating as a legitimate means to meet amazing people.

Most importantly, however, is that there are success stories abound every day. eHarmony is responsible for 33,000 marriages a year, according to one study. reports that 200,000 of its members tell them they've found who they were looking for on - every year.

In my own experience, I've met some of the most amazing people ever - people I would have never met if online dating didn't exist. From a successful and talented veterinarian to a casting director for a popular TV show, the people I've met are proof that any stigma associated with online dating is unfairly applied.

But that brings us back to the original question - is their still a stigma? And, unfortunately, the answer is yes. It's growing smaller every day, but it still exists. And you can see samples of this during the course of your experience. For example, it's likely that you've read in someone's profile the words "I can't believe I'm doing this." Doing what? Using the best medium in the world to meet an awesome person that may become your soulmate and lifetime partner? Doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me!

In a morning radio show interview I did earlier this year, the two hosts (one male and one female) were discussing online dating just before bringing me into the conversation and the single female told her co-host, "I would never do that." Then the first question she proceeded to ask me was "do you think there is a stigma still attached to online dating?" Um... yeah.

The stigma is mostly still existent amongst the increasingly smaller number of singles who haven't tried online dating. In October 2004, writer Rachel Lawrence wrote an Online Dating Magazine guest editorial where she shared how her own prejudices against online dating were changed. And that's what is happening everywhere - people hear success stories, try it for themselves, shed the stigma, and later proudly announce (when asked how they met their significant other) - "We met on an online dating service."

Wishing you much online dating success,

Joe Tracy


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