Valentine’s Day: Latinos Looking for Love Online
Love is in the air – or at least it is on the internet.
From dating web sites to social media love connections, over 27 percent of single American’s have reported dating someone they met online. And for Latinos, online dating has sprouted some fairytale endings along with a horror story here and there.
Matt Villegas, a 32-year-old professional in Phoenix, Az, did not know what to expect when he jumped into the online dating pool. “It was a pretty shocking experience,” Villegas told Fox News Latino. Sick of “soul searching through bars,” Villegas decide to give e-harmony a try after receiving a free month pass. “I went on there trying to find a long term relationship.” After a string of seemingly meaningless dates, Villegas was ready to give up on the process altogether. But with just a week left on his membership Villegas decided to give the site one last perusal. Four years later, Villegas is now engaged to the last profile he ever clicked on during his time in the online dating world.
While Villegas was the first of his group to try online dating, he says the friends that once gave him flack are now using online dating profiles themselves.
“Online dating doesn’t carry the same stigma as it did before.”
With online dating still a relatively new concept since sites began to pop up in 1995, “it’s amazing it has caught on so rapidly,” Dr. Helen Fisher, a Biological Anthropologist, told Fox News Latino.
As online dating expert Julia Spira has seen, there is a continuing growth in demand among Latinos for online dating. “It’s the peak season,” says Spira, with a lot of people currently testing the waters of an online for the first time. While there are dating sites like amigos.com and Latin American Cupid that cater solely to Latinos, Spira says “a lot of people joining the main stream dating sites are checking off the box that they’re Hispanic.” “The trend is that people who used to look for serious relationships are looking at online dating as the #1 source to meet people.”
Another interesting new trend is that more and more relationships from the web are coming from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. “A lot of people are meeting through social media because they just want to dip their toes in the online dating pool,” says Spira. “So many couples are meeting on Facebook in unique and interesting ways.”
Adds online dating coach Laurie Davis, “Meeting online and meeting via social media are not mutually exclusive.”
“You might meet your right click on a dating site, a social network or in-person … you just never know!”
For Joe Peña, a 29-year-old Southern California resident, both social media and online dating have sprouted a few good dates here and there, though nothing serious. “I wanted to meet people outside of the normal circle,” he told Fox News Latino. While Peña has yet to find the one, “I still haven’t given up on it.”
Written By Kacy Capobres
Article originally appeared on Latino Fox News