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One thing's for sure -- there's no shortage of dating sites. Fittingly for a site in a region that cherishes its history and traditions, Successful Singles has been around since 1984, which is not quite the Colonial Era but actually predates the Internet as we know it.No one really knows how many there are but the answer is somewhere in the thousands. Successful Singles even goes so far as to announce that it is not an online dating site, instead proclaiming itself to the "the premier social introduction service in Boston."Rather than using algorithms to match clients, Successful Singles uses a more personal approach, starting with a 10-minute phone consultation followed by a 50-minute face-to-face meeting, after which it promises introductions within 10 days.The approach seems to work with the upscale client base it's targeting.At Consumer Affairs, we don't hear much about Successful Singles but what we do hear is pretty positive."I spent months online with no success.You could meet people you don't like, people who don't like you, people who are boring or even downright dangerous. We're not saying these are the best sites for you -- that's something you need to decide for yourself -- but like examining puppies or seaside condos, looking can be half the fun. Remember how we said there were sites that cater to every demographic slice imaginable?But the same is true of just about any other method of meeting people. What it comes down to is that there are risks in everything so as long as you take the obvious precautions -- don't meet strangers in dark places, don't send money to someone you've never met and don't reveal all your personal information in a single gush -- online dating is probably less dangerous than crossing a busy street or trying to clean out your gutters on a windy day. Many cater to individual tastes -- there are sites for gays, Jews, Christians, equestrians, millionaires, Hispanics and old white people. Well, here's one that specializes in New England, a locale that can be a little forbidding and frosty to the uninitiated.But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts."There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.
Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.There are 40 million Americans using online dating websites and those users range from young to old.
Today, 27% of young adults report using online dating sites, which is up 10% from 2013, likely due to the influx of dating apps on smartphones.
You roll your eyes and move on but you might also catch yourself wondering why you're single, and when you're going to find your match. population consisted of single adults, which has increased from 48% in 2011.