5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Online Dating

When you think online dating, what comes to mind?

Even though I haven’t had to make the foray into the murky world of online dating, the first name that pops up in my mind is definitely “”

Their website boasts,

“Who’s on Your neighbors, coworkers and more. members form a diverse, global community of singles who share common goals – to meet other singles, find dates, form romantic relationships and meet life partners. Young and old alike, gay and straight, from everywhere around the world, singles come to to flirt, meet, date, have fun, fall in love and to form meaningful, loving relationships.”

As my group of friends and family approach our 30s (what the?!), I hear about more and more people who are venturing into trying some sort of version of online dating, and I can’t say that I blame them. If I happened to be suddenly single, aside from hoping that somehow Channing Tatum would live a real-life reversal of his role in The Vow and wake up thinking that I was his wife, there is no way you would ever catch me doing anything remotely close to a bar scene. Online dating would totally make sense to me.

So being the curious writer that I am, I had to do a little research on the history of the online matchmaking world, and I was surprised to find out that there are a few things I didn’t know about how this love match made in Internet heaven all got started…

  • 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Online Dating 1 of 6

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  • The founder of got dumped…for someone his girlfriend met at 2 of 6

    Oh, the irony! Way back in 2011, The Week reported the founder of, Gary Kreman got dumped...for someone his girlfriend met on! I don't know whether that is a testament to Gary's genius or just plain cruel. 

    Image via ind{yeah}/Flickr

  • wasn’t Kreman’s only money-making venture… 3 of 6

    According to good ol' Wikipedia, founder Kreman is quite the entrepreneur. Not only is he the genius behind the online love match made in heaven, but in 1994, Kreman bought the domain name of he later sold for over $15 million dollars. At least the guy's consistent. 

    Image via Just Deon/Flickr

  • It all started with one lonely man… 4 of 6

    In an interview with Online Personals Watch, Kreman admitted that he started not to help those `round the world find love--but to find it for himself. "My genesis and idea was to find the right woman for myself.  I had the idea that if I put all the women in the world in a database and sorted it on my criteria, I'd find the right woman to marry." I almost feel badly for him...

    Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr 

  • The first online dating computer program started at a fair 5 of 6

    The inspiration for the world's first version of a dating program came from the World's Fair, where a giant computer made its debut to match up pen pals with similar interests. 

    Image via jurvetson/Flickr

  • Personal ads have been around forever 6 of 6

    Apparently, online dating is a modern twist on an age-old idea. According to the book, Classified: The Secret History of Personal Ads, men looking for love have advertised their desire to find a mate as early as the 18th century, dishing out big bucks for so-called "matrimonial agencies" to provide them with some professional love matches. Look at that poor guy with the empty chair just waiting for the right woman to fill it...

    Image via Wickerfurniture/Flickr 

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