Online Tabboo

“Don’t worry, I’m happy to lie about how we met! ;-)”

That line, or variations on it, is one I’ve seen on no small number of profiles. It says “I am embarrassed to be here, and no doubt you are too; we’re better than this. I don’t want anyone to know I’ve resorted to online dating.”

And I hate it.

Do you know what? I’m not embarrassed that I’m using apps to find dates. What on earth is embarrassing about online dating? I’m removing much of the cost and risk of meeting people and wasting less of my own and their time. I am firmly in the camp that is playing it smart.

Having been in a relationship for a long time as most of my friends are, I no longer mix in circles where I am regularly meeting single people looking to date. I work for a very small company (we’ve got hundreds of staff in the US but less than a dozen in the UK) so don’t meet single people in the office. Any single people I meet through work are potential clients, so talking of dating them would be inappropriate. All of the mums at school (or at least those I’d be interested in) are in relationships.

So where the hell else am I supposed to meet people?!

According to Bustle, 22% of people met their current partner online, second by only 2% to the number who met them through mutual friends. This is a mass movement, a cultural change that is going nowhere and which leads to people developing long lasting and serious relationships.

For a short while I smiled sheepishly when I mentioned I was online dating. Some people looked at me with a mixture of amusement, contempt and disdain, so I half-pretended to go along with them. No longer. When I mention what I am doing I do so proudly. None of them would comment if I simply said I was dating; the fact I am using an app as the intermediary rather than a friend is by the by.

My name is Glen Ocsko and I am an online dater. Deal with it. I’m going out and proud.

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