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When she recently logged on to one dating site, she saw one of her children's teachers."I figured if I could find that, some people could find me," she said.Laura Lamorette, 32, a graphic designer who lives in St.Louis, wants to meet someone in a more "organic" way.She isn't attracted to the niche sites, and many seem targeted to younger people.According to Pew data, most online daters are in their mid-20s to mid-40s."I think I'm too old and too kind of eclectic," said Julia, who asked that her last name be withheld.
This despite the growing popularity of online dating: One in 10 Americans has used an online dating site or mobile application, according to an October survey, "Online Dating and Relationships," from the Pew Research Center. Of those daters, Pew reports, 23 percent met a spouse or long-term partner, and the number goes up for "single and looking" Americans: Nearly 4 in 10 have dated digitally.
What's more, the survey offers proof of the vanishing stigma: 59 percent of Internet users said they consider online dating a good way to meet people, an increase from 44 percent in 2005. Still, those who are reluctant to venture into online dating cite myriad reasons.
Some think it's personally invasive; after all, you're putting out your image, personal hobbies and future dreams for others to see and judge. Others are nervous that the stranger typing missives to them could be a "crazy person," said Christie Hartman, a Denver-based behavioral scientist and author of "Find the Love of Your Life Online" (Press).
And many singles just want to meet someone the old-fashioned way: in person.
Fredric Neuman, director of the Anxiety & Phobia Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, N. Many people, he said, would feel OK telling a friend they wanted to date, but broadcasting it to the world is another story."It smacks of desperation in their minds," he said.
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Julia, a divorced mom over 40 in Pennsylvania, said she would consider online dating but hasn't found a site she fits into.