Rise in Online Dating for Students

Online DatingLooking for love at college? In honor of Valentine’s Day, online dating expert Julie Spira, author of the bestseller The Perils of Cyber-Dating, discusses the rise in online dating at college … and offers tips for success.

Students are finding dating more difficult these days, as they juggle studying, work and checking into their favorite multiple social networks. Between online courses, studying for finals and logging on to Facebook to stare at your high-school crush, sometimes they are just too busy to add traditional dating to the curriculum.

Dating while in college can be challenging. As a result, dating sites and mobile apps specifically designed for college students are making the headlines. On a given day, it’s not unusual to find your roommate logging onto Facebook, OkCupid or one of the fastest growing college dating sites: Date My School, which was launched by two Columbia University students – Jean Meyer and Balazs Alexa- who found themselves frustrated with the dating process and wanted a place for students to date outside their existing social and online networks.

Since most students created Facebook profiles while still in high school, they’ve been social dating without the formality of joining a traditional site. However, online dating sites require members to be 18 years or older.

What sites are college students using? Free dating sites Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, both claim that approximately 60 percent of their members are aged 18-30. Match.com reports that 20 percent of their members are under the age of 30. Most dating sites have mobile apps to help you date on-the-go or connect while taking a study break.

At the end of the digital day, finding love online – through Facebook chat or college dating sites from the convenience of your mobile phone or iPad – has never been easier for college students.

If you choose to date online, be sure to follow these dos and dont’s:
-Do post 3 to 5 photos and look into the camera and smile.
-Do say what you’re looking for, whether it’s friendship, a date or a serious relationship.
-Don’t get overwhelmed with the process. It’s like looking for a job. Stay organized and focused.

Remember, students, just because you have the added benefit of a built-in social network offline, it does not necessarily mean you need to wait until you’ve graduated to find love online.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have you tried online dating? How was your experience?

Read about college hook-up culture and how to maintain a long-distance relationship while in college. “Like” Campus Explorer on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more news and advice about college life.


Author Julie Spira, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, is a graduate of the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, where she has a bachelor of science degree in Television-Radio

8 responses to “Rise in Online Dating for Students

  1. Interesting factoid: marketing author Sally Hogshead met her husband through an online dating service while doing research for her book “Fascinate”! The story has also become an integral part of her keynote presentations.

  2. I can see why students would turn to the internet and online dating sites. First, they’ve grown up with the internet and feel comfortable with it and also, they can get a feel for someone before actually having to meet them face to face.

  3. It’s funny – when I hear this I have this knee-jerk negative response to the idea of meeting someone online, and yet I know people who actually met online who have gone on to marry and have very satisfying relationships. For that matter, I have a number of online friendships with people I know better than my own neighbors. So in reality I can totally see how this could be a great way to go.

  4. I remember back in the early 90s when I started using the internet, online dating had a stigma but over the years it became so commonplace. I’ve met people that I “knew” online over the years, but never dated them. On the other hand, my college roommate was someone I’d known online since high school, and we became best friends. A different sort of online dating, I suppose :)

  5. It’s definitely much more common nowadays. I’ve never tried online dating, but I have met new acquaintances and marketing contacts through various communities and mutual friends online. It amazes me how easy it is to connect! It sure makes working online much easier. :)

  6. Wow I though dating was so much easier for students. After all there is plenty of opportunity to meet other people. But I guess having another way to connect will always be something people are looking for.

  7. Julie Spira will be on Planet Love Match Radio this Thursday night!
    She gives excellent online dating advice!

  8. I think students have the best of both worlds, offline and online. Offline, they’re in a world where there are of course many many other students on campus. And online, social networking is like second nature to them. Dating, romance, finding someone should therefore be more likely (if that’s what they’re looking for).

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