According to recent statistics (http://www.theweddingreport.com/bz/index.php/one-1-in-six-6-couples-meet-online/) 1 in every 6 couples in the United States now meets on-line. This is a lot of people meeting online! People are meeting and dating via the internet all over the world, so this information is probably not big news to you, but there is a lot of interesting information out there about on-line dating and some vocabulary related to on-line dating that I would like to teach you in this post.
One of the original on-line dating sites was called ElectronicMatchmaker, and started way back in 1992 (over 20 years ago!). This site later became Match.com and Match.com now has 17,000,000 people using their website per month. Match.com is only one of many English-language on-line dating sites, in fact there are many many others, like: eHarmony, PlentyofFish, and OkCupid, some of which are sites users pay for and others which are free.
To begin to look at some of the vocabulary related to on-line dating let’s first look at the names of some of these sites. PlentyofFish, gets its name from an expression “There are plenty of fish in the sea” which means ‘there are a lot of other possible options out there.’ This is an expression that is often used when talking about a relationship not working out, when someone is beginning to look for a new boyfriend or girlfriend. For example:
A: My boyfriend broke up with me. I know I’ll never find anyone else I love as much as him.
B: Come on, there are plenty of fish in the sea, I’m sure you will find someone else amazing very soon.
The site OKCupid gets its name from the classic mythological god of desire, love, and attraction who was called Cupido in Latin and Eros in Greek, and Cupid in English. Match.com gets its name from the definition of ‘a match,’ and I’m not talking about the thing you use to light a fire. ‘A match’ is also what it is called when you bring together two corresponding pieces. For example you may match one puzzle piece with another or match two cards that look the same in a card game.
So, what other of vocabulary related to on-line dating would be good to know? First of all you will need to know what a ‘profile’ is. A profile is the summary of who you are, with information ranging from you age, height, weight, and occupation, to likes, dislikes, favorite activities, etc. It is the summary of who you are that you share with others. Your ‘profile picture’ is also an important term to know. This is the picture of you attached to your written profile information. This is the first picture potential ‘matches’ will see of you. In the on-line dating world ‘a match’ is a person who you have been connected with by a computer program as someone who is potentially a good fit for you, based on your profile. If you are lucky, you might meet your ‘Mr. or Mrs. Right’ through on-line dating. The phrase Mr. or Mrs. Right is an English expression used to refer to a person who is perfect for you – your soul mate.
Even if you are not looking to get into on-line dating, a really great way to practice your English would be to write a ‘profile’ for yourself. Doing this will require you to think about and find the words to talk about yourself and your interests, which is just the type of information you will commonly share with new people. So being able to talk about this personal information easily in English is great for you to be able to do whether you are interested in on-line dating or not.