“Online dating was basically dominated by geeks,” says Sam A. Yagan, founder and CEO of Ok Cupid, and now the CEO of Match.com, was an applied math concentrator at Harvard.He continues, “Think about it: The only people on the Internet in 1993 were geeks....“Here at Harvard I have had no experience offline dating,” says Linda Trujano ’15.
According to The Crimson’s senior survey of the Class of 2012, 48.6 percent of women and 49.4 percent of men reported having dated zero to one person at Harvard.
The lack of dating at Harvard may not only be a function of time constraints, but also one of space constraints.
Love online is still far from perfect, but there seems to be a trend towards a social lifestyle that involves both online and offline dating.
A Stigmatized Practice Although the use of online dating tools is on the rise, there is still a significant social stigma attached to its use that prevents a meaningful dialogue on campus.
And the phenomenon is no longer limited to older adults: Over the past few years, websites such as Date My School and Ivy Date emerged as online dating sites specifically for college students.
“Date My School is responsible for over 50 percent of the dates that happen at Columbia and NYU.“People usually forget that once you’ve joined various clubs and activities, there’s going to be a bit of stasis in your lives,” says Paul W.Eastwick, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin who studies the psychology of romantic relationships and online dating.“Harvard’s dating scene is almost nonexistent, so I was sad about it and that’s why I decided to join [Date My School],” she explains.Since joining the online dating site, Trujano has gone on multiple dates with students from MIT and Harvard’s graduate schools, much to the envy of her friends and, it would appear, Harvard at large.You’re still young, you’re still in college,” says Michael Hughes ’15, who is in a long-term relationship with a student he did not meet online.