Opinion: Is online dating bae?

It’s that time of year when people either gloat about their significant other, own their singleness or lust for something more. That’s right … it’s Valentine’s Day.

For those of you who fall into the latter category, there is good news. If you aren’t among the 59 percent of Americans who consider online dating a good way to meet people, you may want to rethink your stance.

A 2013 study led by the National Academy of Sciences found more than one third of U.S. marriages begin with online dating.

— Kacy Capobres

Online dating has become a haven for those looking to not just date but find a spouse.

In their sixth annual Singles In America survey, match.com found that 93 percent of online daters are more likely to want to marry.

While this statistic may shock some, when you look at how the dating landscape has changed in the last decade, it should come as no surprise.

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From the advent of traditional online dating websites like match.com to the emergence of dating apps like Tinder, the rapid growth of these types of platforms demonstrates how much people are yearning to find the one.

But if you’ve heard this same spiel from your grandma every Thanksgiving since you and your ex broke up, and still aren’t convinced online dating is for you, there is more good news.

A 2013 study led by the National Academy of Sciences (PNA) found more than one third of U.S. marriages begin with online dating.

These marriages, in particular, were also less likely to end in divorce or separation, according to the study.

Unlike with most of the studies done on online dating, the PNA's findings came from looking at individuals who organically found their significant other on social media along with those who found their partner through a more traditional online dating site.

This is an important distinction to make because one of the most surprising ways people are now connecting is through social media. And no, we aren’t talking about the dating social networks.

We’re talking about universally accepted sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

With how much time we spend on social media as a culture, it only makes sense that we would start connecting beyond the screen as well.

But how is it that these connections are happening? Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you and some stranger from Indiana follow the same person on Twitter. And this person decides that you and this stranger should virtually meet so he suggests you follow one another.

And then, five months later, you find yourself traveling to Indianapolis for the first time to meet your Twitter crush.

If this sounds outlandish, that’s because it is. But the best part is, the scenario above is how I met my husband.

Now, countless tweets, texts, and cross country trips later, I am living a sweet newlywed life with my husband in the Midwest.

My story is not an isolated incident either. Take actor Jake T. Austin for instance. In January, he announced that he was dating one of his fans which he had met through social media.

So, all of you out there who don’t want to give online dating a chance: maybe you just need to rethink what online dating means to you.

You never know when your next mention on Twitter or comment on Instagram could be the person you have been looking for.