Online Dating Essay

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A Brief History of Courtship

"Courtship takes many forms, depending mainly on the point in history and the culture in which it exists" (Cate, 1992)

Many popular love songs claim that being in love is similar to being under a magical spell. Some state that "all you need is love," and still others affirm that "love lifts us up where we belong." People dream about finding their one and only soul mate, and in this day and age, the pursuit for love and happiness is closer to home than ever fact, it's only a mouse-click away.

Of course, dating hasn't always been so convenient. In the early 19th Century, marriages were arranged with little emphasis on romance or love. Marriage itself was considered to be an
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By the 1960s, the sexual revolution dramatically changed the dating environment, and for many, the goal of courtship was no longer marriage. Cohabitation was a popular choice, however, during the mid-1980s, this notion of free love began to erode as concerns over the spread of HIV became more prominent. This in turn, lead to a greater emphasis on monogomy.

In today's post-modern society, dating practices are both vast and varied. People meet their romantic partners in any number of locations including at work, at the bar, and increasingly, on the Internet. Online dating has become very popular over the past decade, and according to a study done in Washington DC, over 74% of single Internet users in the US have taken part in at least one online dating-related activity. In addition, this study found that 15% of American adults (that's 30 million people) say that they know someone who has been in a long-term relationship with a partner they met online (Biever, 2006).

So, it seems as though cyber relationships have become fairly common, but the question remains to be online dating all it's cracked up to be?

Where Do People Meet Online?
Ever since the Internet first came into existence, people have utilized this medium as a means for communication, and as a

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