Is Online Dating The New Night Out?

Is Online Dating The New Night Out?

Everyone we know has at least tried online dating at some point, and we’ll admit that we’ve dabbled, too. The dating landscape has totally changed even in the past year or two ago. Whereas online dating used to be all about furtive confessions and trying not to seem lame, the game has changed.

Hip web 2.0 startups like HowAboutWe have gone a long way to remove the old taboos, and, let’s face it, the whole thing is kind of fun. Last year, we compared some of the most popular dating sites back-to-back to figure out which give the best bang for the buck. This time around, we want to know: How have our finances reacted to this movement online?

If Only We Could Filter The Bar By People Who Like Puppies And Fine Dining.

Although some of the best online dating sites charge fees, taking a more targeted approach means that we don’t need to lurk around bar scenes so much in order to make eye contact with someone we like. To settle the debate, we spoke with two readers, one who met her current significant other at a bar when she was out with her friends, and another who found hers through online dating. For privacy, we’ll call the first one Sara and the second one Emily.

Case Study: Sara And The Dive Bar.

Sara had been actively looking for someone to date for close to a year. She told us that, although she goes out with friends for fun, she was going to bars and clubs more often than usual to try to meet someone. Finally, she met someone she truly clicked with at friend’s birthday celebration at a local bar. In the meantime, she’d been going out about twice a week with friends. After a beer or two at trivia night and a cocktail or two over the weekend, she was spending close to $40 per week, or $160 per month—for about ten months.

Case Study: Emily And The Internet.

Emily, meanwhile, decided to try out online dating as an experiment. She signed up for just three months to try it out, at $23 per month. Since she was going out on a bunch of first dates that way, she didn’t feel so pressured to try to meet people at bars. Instead, she just went out about once a week with friends, purely for fun, generally spending about $20 per week for two drinks. “It was nice,” she says, “to feel like I was being proactive in getting what I wanted, without constantly having to scope out every scene or go out even when I was feeling tired.” In total, she was spending just over $100 per month for both online dating and going out with friends—and she met someone toward the end of her three-month stint.

Results: If You Really Want To Find Someone, Online Is Where It’s At.

Although spending over $20 per month in order to get dates may seem a little over the top, the internet can actually be the less expensive option if you’re serious about what you want. If you’re concerned about money, you can always try a free site like Ok Cupid, though we’ve heard more mixed results than for other sites like Match. Our current favorite is HowAboutWe, which lets you find people by the type of date they propose (ensuring from the get-go that your dates won’t be too lame). It also happens to be one of the cheaper ones—$12 per month if you sign up for 6 months at a time, or $18 per month if you sign up for 3 months.

Whichever site you choose, the fact that everyone is heading online means not only that the taboo has lifted, but also that there are plenty of interesting, normal people on those sites. In summary, we’re all for it.

Our next pressing question: In this modern era, who pays on a date? Keep your eyes out; this article will find its way to your inbox in the coming weeks.

A Special Deal For LearnVest Readers.

HowAboutWe is offering LV readers 50% off subscription services--just enter code "learnvest" at checkout.

Additionally, if you are already a Match.com user, HowAboutWe will offer you 3 months of service for free as an incentive to switch over.

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