More couples today are meeting on the Internet and living happily ever after, with Hispanics leading the trend – the majority of them say they met their spouses online than offline.
Latino-specific dating sites have multiplied over the last few years, and now love can be found en español in myriad places such as eHarmony Hispanic Dating, LatinAmericanCupid.com, Amigos.com, LatinoLoveSearch.com, LatinoPeopleMeet.com, Amor.com, LatinaRomance.com, AmoLatina.com.
With over three million registered members, LatinAmericanCupid.com seems to be leading the pack, followed by Amigos.com with a reported 1.5 million users. As for the big guys, both eHarmony and Match boast of having around 20 million members, although it’s not clear what percentage of those are Hispanic.
But do Latinos really need a specific site targeting those looking for love?
On eHarmony, specific advice is provided for “Hispanic dating” including consideration of the importance of family, faith and tradition, as well as the recommendation to “take it slow.”
The site further offers: “Hispanic daters may have traditional, stricter dating rules and expect certain restraint or dating etiquette,” eHarmony says on its website. “Don’t overwhelm your date with premature advances and instead talk about physical boundaries and the pace of your relationship,” it adds.
Studies by the Pew Research Center show that while today's younger generation – millennials – is more likely to support interracial marriages, within this group, Hispanics are the least seeking love among other ethnicities. As the trend of acceptance continues, however, the question remains if these ethnic-specific sites will remain relevant and successful.
“I don’t think it’s best to niche dating sites for a given race or culture, or in some cases even religion. There are SO MANY single Latino folks on bigger sites like OkCupid and Match, and the systems let you filter for your preferences so it’s easy to date within your own race or culture if that’s what you prefer,” said one blog user.
But some disagree, arguing these niche dating sites are valuable particularly because they offer users potential matches strictly within their own ethnic group, not worrying about being paired up with people from other backgrounds.
“Are there any good Latina dating sites? I don't feel comfortable dating outside of my community. I moved to a new town and I don't know anyone here,” asked a Yahoo user recently. To which another user responded, “I’ve had good experiences… I've tried several sites previously and had bad ordeals when it comes to payment and also localized members. I've been with [Amo Latina] for a while now and made some great relationships.”
More people than ever seem to be turning online to find a mate, apparently dispelling any remnant of negative societal connotation associated with the phenomenon.According to a study published by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, relationships beginning online are more likely to be happier and less likely to split up than those beginning offline.
The PNAS study, published in Dec. 2012, also revealed that around 35 percent of married couples met online and 45 percent of all couples met on dating sites, with the rest meeting over social networks, chat rooms, instant messaging, or other forums online.
Even popular celebrity couple Naya Rivera and Big Sean first connected via Twitter and have now revealed that they have “set the date” to be married sometime in the near future.