History of Online Dating

Illuminated Blog Post

Written By: Nicole Di Tomasso

Matchmaking intermediaries, whose purpose is to facilitate marriage, have been a part of the marriage-courtship market long before the initiation of online dating. Historically, human matchmakers worked for pay or barter and were carried out by rabbis, priests, clergy, and sometimes elderly women within communities as described in the Bible. These matchmakers were chosen by parents who were on the hunt for potential spouses for their children. Today, human matchmakers continue to offer their assistance; however, in Western culture, the service is usually sought out my single adults themselves instead of their parents. Rather than relying on mathematical algorithms, a human matchmaker's decision stems from intuition and experience.

Furthermore, shortly after the advent of the modern newspaper, people used it to advertise for a spouse, with the release of the first printed personal advertisements during the early 1700s. By the 1970's, personal advertisements were becoming more popular, but only a small fraction of people met their partners in this way. In printed personal advertisements, the advertiser provided a description of his or her qualities, stated what type of relationship he or she was interested in, and mentioned qualities desired in an ideal partner.

In the 1980's, video-dating emerged. Members provided profile descriptions and photographs and then participated in a brief, videotaped interview. If an interest was mutual between two people, their contact information was exchanged in hopes to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Although as with personal advertisements, video-dating did not remain a conventional way to meet partners.

The emergence of computers, allowed for the gathering of academic research on the attraction process; however, as computers became cheaper, smaller, and more powerful, and as the Internet became widespread, a new computer dating business surfaced.

Work Cited

Finkel, Eli J, et al. "Online Dating: A Critical Analysis from the Perspective of Psychological Science." Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2.3 (2012): 1-64. Web. 27 Nov 2015.