Is Online Dating Embarrassing?

The date had gone well and he was walking me to my car when instead of asking about our second date he says “we gotta start thinking about what we’re going to tell people about how we met”. Honestly, I was a little taken back. Should I be offended? Is he embarrassed of me? about how we met?

Of course, I couldn’t really be offended because I had similar thoughts just last week. Dating apps are where all the people who have been rejected in their real life congregate. Honestly though, that’s not exactly true. If you work really long hours or in an industry predominately populated by the gender you’re not interested in then you’re just not meeting enough people in the outside world that you could even consider dating. When I first joined online dating, I was in college surrounded mainly by college guys who were only interested in hooking up and partying. Since neither of those interests me, I decided to search for people who actually matched my interests.

Perhaps 5 years ago, when dating apps were much less mainstream, the few people meeting online would be embarrassed about admitting how they met. Now though, 49,650,000 people have tried online dating out of the 54,350,000 singles in the US. For those that haven’t given it a try, they probably still know a relative, friend, or coworker who is on a dating app. So if you’re talking to someone under 75 years old then you most likely don’t have to worry about anyone asking which fishing dock is named Plenty of Fish.

But maybe the issue isn’t IF people know about dating apps, it’s WHAT they know about them. Are dating apps seen in a negative light? Do people look down at those on such sites? But with one-third of marriages starting online, it now seems like an appropriate possibility with reasonable success for relationships. Sure, Tinder will probably always be seen as the hook up app or just a mobile game everyone plays now to pass the time. But even then, I still know a couple that originally met on Tinder now planning their wedding for next year.

Or maybe, it’s time we care less about what people think of us and our dating lives. If you’re dating a guy who treats you well and makes you happy, who cares how you met him! Your close friends and family will forget all about his dating profile once they begin to see him together with you more. And for everyone else’s opinions who don’t really matter, you’ll be too busy holding hands and making future plans to ever worry about such opinions.


61 thoughts on “Is Online Dating Embarrassing?”

  1. “If you work really long hours or in an industry predominately populated by the gender you’re not interested in then you’re just not meeting enough people in the outside world that you could even consider dating. ”

    Arghh story of my life. You speak a great deal of truths though, which I agree with. I wouldn’t say they’re embarrassing. I believe (experience based) these apps are necessary in some cases. Some people aren’t lucky enough to find time these days.

    1. I absolutely agree that for a large population they’re definitely necessary in order to meet new people! It’s just important to value the various profiles and not treat dating apps like going to the grocery store.

      1. The saddest part is most people online are fake with fake profiles…many men pretending to be a female by using female pictures, Asians pretending to be Americans, which you can tell from their flow and commands of English.😀

  2. Great information on this post! I like the research you did to find the number of singles out there and how many marriages start with the online dating connection. Of course meeting organically out in the “real world” is ideal but not everyone is that lucky or is in a situation that even gives them the opportunity to be that lucky.

    1. I think it was important to do some research for this article and have real numbers. Some voices are louder than others when it comes to online dating vs not; And I think sometimes the data should do the talking. Excellent point, online dating does open a lot of new doors for a lot of people

      1. That’s before probably in the early 2000’s 😀…Not anymore, 99% of people especially females online who claim to be looking for a friend or partner are fake, trust me 😀. Online dating now only works when you’ve had physical contact with the person before and then you can continue online. But as for the dating sites, they are not genuine and they are waste of time.

  3. I met my boyfriend online and before him I definitely felt like the leftovers were what was online. (It made me sad I was part of that group!) We debated if we should tell people how we had met. Should we make up a story even worse (narcotics anonymous, court ordered community service, etc.)? We decided the story was so funny as is that we should just be honest. Loved this post!

    1. Omg this is so relatable! Sometimes you just get down on yourself and feel like a group of rejects. It’s funny that you guys considered softening the blow of online dating by staring with an even worse meet story!? It’s a bummer we have to feel kind of ashamed for online dating

  4. I think the stigma of online dating, is mostly passed, so I wouldn’t worry about what people think, unless you’re talking to your 90 year old grandmother, and even then, she probably knows about it too! I have several friends my age – 50+ that have met and married from online dating apps. You gotta do what you gotta do to get out there, or else you spend your life alone!

    1. That’s awesome! Is there an app/site that’s most popular among your friends? Does the 50+ age group also consider tinder a casual hook up dating app? Exactly! I’d rather online date than commit myself to being alone!

      1. I think Christian Singles was one, and eHarmony was another, both married men they met through the site, and I have other friends that are in a relationship. I haven’t heard anyone talk about Tinder, but that one they might want to keep secret.

  5. Good points. I’ve been doing research from around the world for the past couple of years. The embarrassment factor is definitely old hat, although that might depend where you live. Thanks for sharing

  6. I am not embarrassed about it at all… I have used Christian mingle,, POF, OKCupid, Zoosk and Tinder

    I would say Tinder is the only one that I still consider a hook up site in my mind… Although I will say many people there are looking for more than a hook up…

    They all have pluses and minuses…

    1. Have you written a dating app review post? I have one scheduled for later on but I feel like you would definitely be able to help people figure out which site might be best for them!

  7. I don’t think embarrassment about online dating is so rife over here in the UK. The only people who judge it tend to be narrow-minded people who never tried it or those who had a bad experience. Feeling embarrassed for trying out a modern way of meeting new people seems rather unnecessary to me. I mean what’s Facebook if not a means to meet people? It doesn’t have the ‘dating website’ tag so nobody cares, but Facebook could essentially be used in the same way as a dating website. I’ve made a tonne of friends because of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Is anybody embarrassed to admit something like that?

  8. Great post! I’ve tried dating sites on and off for a few years now and am familiar with the common stigma of being embarrassed/ashamed to tell people how I met my partner.

    Since more people are using these apps now than ever, I think the stigma is becoming less and less apparent. Which sites/apps are your personal favorites?

      1. I get mostly raised eyebrows from people. As if they’re thinking “really dude? You couldn’t meet someone in person?”

        It’s been a while since I’ve tried ok cupid I forgot all about that one. I’ve gotten most of my success from tinder though

  9. “So if you’re talking to someone under 75 years old then you most likely don’t have to worry about anyone asking which fishing dock is named Plenty of Fish.” I love this!

    I met my girlfriend on Tinder, and we happily tell people so because we find it is met with more positivity that something has come from an app like Tinder – which people tend to use just to hook up!

    1. Hahah I️ appreciate you enjoying my humor! Lol I️ never know if they flop or sail.

      Do most people assume you guys we like just hooking up first or do you get more credit? I’m glad you guys are giving tinder a better name!

  10. I love this!
    I think dating apps are just the norm now.. I’ve even matched guys that I know, but haven’t had the confidence to ask me out in person, and vice versa.
    Dating has changed so much since I was last single, and I think Apps are perfect for those with busy lives that don’t have time to get out there and meet people.

    1. That’s so interesting! I haven’t really heard of that happening, usually if you see someone you know on a dating app it’s an unspoken rule to like never speak of I️t lol. I definitely agree, modern dating is all about widening the dating pool

  11. Some people hide their dating profiles or keep it a secret because they think the same with your date. It would be great if most people have the same mindset as you. Just simply ignore what other people think about our dating lives but sometimes they love to talk behind your back about how you met somebody on a dating site, or worse, tell you frankly how bad online dating is.

    1. Yeah some people can be very close minded or judgmental which makes I️t tough on those who put themselves out there. If they were judging us for dating apps then I️t would be something else so I say ignore them!

  12. Internet liaisons of any kind intrigue me … how words connect, can give hope, and lead to something. It’s what I write of, albeit fictional. Different yet in some ways similar, I’ve met up with folk I’ve got to know through blogging, two now good friends, perhaps the best of. I like your take on things.

  13. Dating apps are an amazing way to take control of your life. So many of my girlfriends would just wait around for a guy to come around out of nowhere and it just doesn’t happened like that anymore (where I’m from, anyway.) Of course they have their faults but overall they are the way of the future, so I think we just need to adjust. Great post!

    1. You make such a great point! I know girls that won’t go on apps and yet complain how they can’t find anyone to date or whatever. Yet they take no action or control of their unhappiness! Of course I think they would still complain even if they were on dating apps but still. Thanks for the comment!

  14. These days, when people meet out in the wild they say things like, “We actually met in real life!” Because it’s almost more common to meet on an app – at least, in the San Francisco area ;D

    1. Haha out in the wild 😂 that’s an excellent point. I feel like it’s only when you talk to couples that have been together more than 5 years is when you get judged a little because apps were less popular back then

  15. So many people are ashamed of online dating, and yet a staggering percentage of relationships are being formed based on it now. I have had several men lie to others about how we met. Very interesting that the stigma still exists.

  16. I joined online dating for a laugh because I was bored one evening and after a year and a half of enforced singledom decided it was time to get back on the waggon. I don’t believe in dating sites and honestly, I’m not looking for a committed relationship. Maybe that’s why I’m having so much success and meeting such gorgeous guys. I’ve only been there 3 weeks but already I’ve met 3 amazing men. I’m inspired and flattered and my confidence is going through the roof. I’m blogging about it because I can’t help it. All names have been changed to protect the innocent. 😉

  17. I’m certainly not embarrassed about online dating, but I am definitely jaded. I thought I was pretty astute at spotting fakes, but recently I got duped. And I mean VERY recently. Fortunately I am not the type to part with my hard earned cash – and so there was no real harm done. In fact, it spurred me into action and I have created a new website, blog, and social media pages dedicated to outing online fakery. I haven’t given up with the online either – I’ve just become a little bit more bad-ass in my attitude 🙂

      1. Nope …wasnt just the pictures…assumed the real life identity of someone else. So everything seemed plausible, and my prudent checks were not able to ascertain he was a fake. I got suckered good n proper.

  18. Not even 5 years ago, 20 years ago people didn’t want to admit they met online! Who cares today? Just tell people. You don’t need to announce, but tell when they ask

  19. It’s not as simple as people think. From someone else’s perspective, online dating is, desperation time. Said people still don’t realize that it’s the norm now. Match, Eharmony, POF, Tinder, Zoosk, and many many more. Even Facebook. Which isn’t a dating site, but plenty of couples meet on Facebook. So… to them, online dating, or meeting someone online is (in fact) embarrassing. They believe the old ways (traditional) are the right way and online is… lowering oneself to find a date. So… they’d rather create an illusion of how you two met, vs admitting that online dating actually works. Not logical, but it’s how they feel. Right or wrong.

    I’ve been there. But jokingly, dates I’ve been on, we always laugh.. like..”soooo what will we tell people?” But when we were asked, we told them straight up. It was a good conversation and gave other single people hope.

  20. I met my boyfriend on Tinder over 3 years ago now and I am proud of it. I am only in my early 20s and to be honest, I don’t know anyone that’s in a relationship that didn’t start through online dating. Times are certainly changing and I think there is nothing to be embarrassed about at all!

  21. I really liked this post! I myself have been in this situation on both ends. For me, I was never the type of guy that walked up to a girl and could say “how you doin?” and so unless a girl approached me, nothing ever happened. At some point online dating became an option and I tried it simply because then it took the mystery out of “is she single?” and “would she be interested in me?”, it was simple- if she and I connected on the site/app she was single (hopefully) and at least slightly interested. Whenever it came to the moment of people asking “how did you two meet?”, I was hit with embarrassment because I realized people might get the idea that I’m not good at talking to women. These days though with apps like Tinder it is so common that nobody shames you for talking to people from a dating site/app much anymore but I think some people may lie these days because they feel the story lacks romance. The romantic side of us wants that cool story of “It seemed like fate”, but in my opinion no matter how the connection is found we shouldn’t worry about where the initial contact came from. Love is love. Again, great post- it made me think about how silly I was to ever worry about admitting it.

  22. Not 5 years, more like 20. The stigma of internet dating should be done. It’s a tool. A way to meet people. But that’s all it should be – a tool. The problem is that people use it as an end all be all thing. People don’t go out and engage with other people to meet them. They don’t think about meeting people at social events. Or when they do (I can share the full story later) They don’t want to date them because they make stupid rules about not dating people who go to those events. Use the internet to date, but don’t make it your only way.

  23. I met my ex on a dating site. LOL… We told everyone that we met in a “adult shop”. After that, it didn’t matter what we said on how we met, nobody believed us!

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