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Most people meet their significant others through their social circles or work/school functions. In the search for a potential date, more and more people are switching to less traditional methods. With the rise and rise of apps like Tinder (and the various copycat models) who could blame them.If you want to think about dating as a numbers game (and apparently many people do), you could probably swipe left/right between 10 – 100 times in the span of time that it would take you to interact with one potential date in ‘real-life’.Online dating services are now the second most popular way to meet a partner.The popularity of online dating is being driven by several things but a major factor is time.

According to research conducted at Michigan State University, relationships that start out online are 28% more likely to break down in their first year, than relationships where the couples first met face-to-face. Couples who met online are nearly 3 times as likely to get divorced as couples that met face-to-face. While the overwhelming majority of romantic relationships still begin offline, around 5% of Americans that are currently in either a committed relationship or marriage, suggest that they did in fact meet their significant other online.It might even be advisable to follow these general guidelines: Set up an anonymous email account from a widely used email service ([email protected] already taken) NEVER give out your home phone, address or your personal email address, unless you absolutely trust the recipient.Drive yourself to the date (your date doesn’t need to know where you live), keep an eye on your drink/food (…), pay half of the bill (you don’t need your date having expectations of repayment) Of course there are plenty more do’s and do not’s of online dating but I guess the most important thing here is to use your common sense. You don’t necessarily have to develop a ‘trust no-one and sleep with 1 eye open’ approach to online dating, but it is probably worthwhile having a healthy degree of skepticism in general.According to the Pew Research Center, the overwhelming majority of Americans suggest that online dating is a good way to meet people.Interestingly, more than 15% of adults say that they have used either mobile dating apps or an online dating site at least once in the past.