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Opinion

Internet dating a legitimate way to meet significant other, friends

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April 2, 2009

Traditional meeting “singles” methods are being thrown out the window. Less often do you see or experience successful couples who have meet in school, at work or at the bar.

There is a stereotype that meeting your significant other online is wrong. I’ve seen it in my family too many times before. My cousins have introduced several men they had met online to the family as their significant other. The fact that the couples met online was kept quiet and sometimes even lied about. Some people have a perception that looking for love online is dangerous and immoral.

We’ve all been warned about online predators. Anyone can go online and figuratively become a new person. You have to be careful who you talk to and who you choose to tell information too. These are all valid points of caution that I agree with.

However (you knew it was coming), I’m on the other side of the argument. Being safe online is important, just as being safe in the community is. I’ve met a group of close friends online. I was more protective with them than any of my other friends because that is what I had been taught to do.

Others have met their significant other online and had it actually work out. Web sites such as match.com and eHarmony have created programs that are safe and accurate in bringing singles together. These services are not something to look down upon. They work and they can bring people together.

So often we are only exposed to those in our immediate area. The Internet offers the opportunity to create connections. You can express yourself and open up to others, because of the unique situation that online features offer. Some of the most successful couples I know have started out or were brought together via the Internet.

I admire these couple because of their ability to make a sometimes long-distance relationship work. It requires patience and a whole lot of effort. They face challenges that other couples don’t.

I’m really tired of hearing and watching the looks when someone says “we met online.” It’s more common than ever before, and in my opinion, it’s as safe as meeting someone in person. The same risks exist. We need to stop getting stuck in our personal bubbles and realize that there are other individuals, groups and communities out there.

I would most certainly say that picking up some men or ladies at the bar is more or just as risky as meeting someone online. With that said, this argument demonstrates two important points. Number one; don’t assume that because you’ve met someone in person, you can automatically trust them. They may have intentions that you are unaware of. Number two; don’t look down upon a couple who has met online. Just because you’re not comfortable with it doesn’t mean others feel the same. Safety is a concern in both situations. The best option is to be protective and don’t be stupid in giving out personal information. There are a lot of genuine, real people out there. Not everyone is out to get ya.

Cristy Brusoe is a student at UW-River Falls.