There’s no reason ever to wait in line for a crowded bar again, because science has determined that the best way to get a date now is by searching online.
This year’s Singles in America study, released by Match.com today, showed for the first time ever that you’re more likely to get a date online than any other way.
Thirty-one percent of respondents’ most recent first dates stemmed from an online connection. It edged out meeting through a friend for the first time ever. Friend-of-a-friend connections accounted for 25 percent of first dates.
Meeting through work came in third place, with 8 percent of singles getting dates that way, while meeting at a bar came in last with 6 percent.
Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor for Match.com, confirmed to Betabeat that this is the first year online dating beat out any other way of clinching a first date.
She isn’t surprised that online dating has become so prevalent. Reading someone’s online dating profile, one can immediately figure out that they’re looking for a date, which usually takes some digging in real life. Also, you can usually judge their social and cultural views and their background from a quick profile perusal.
Still, bars continue to be considered sexual meat markets, despite the fact that they lead to fewer and fewer unions. Dr. Fisher points out they’re becoming more like social clubs.
“We’ve had for a long time this artificial belief that it’s better to meet somebody at a bar than online,” Dr. Fisher said. “But you walk into a bar and you really don’t know who these people are. You don’t know if they’re married or interested in a relationship.”
Betabeat also knows from anecdotal evidence that searching for mates at a bar rarely ends in cinching an actual date. Still, it can lead to, um, shorter-term romantic activities that may not necessarily put you on the fast track to marriage.
“It’s more natural to meet someone online,” Dr. Fisher concluded.
So, there you have it. Forget going outside today; find some good lighting, make eye contact with your front-facing camera, smile nice and big, read some hot tips and snap a new selfie for your dating profile.