Speaking as someone in their early 20s, I find this to be a really interesting topic. As a disclaimer, I met my husband online.
Most of the people I know from high school see it as some sort of taboo. Why should you not meet some one in real life? Why should you not meet someone at a restaurant or bar or lounge in the state I grew up in? Why did I feel the need to venture out into the whole of the internet to find the man that I love?
The truth is, I didn't. I didn't particularly go looking for anything; it just happened.
My parents were against it. My friends thought it was weird and I'm sure they thought I was looking for it. I wasn't. Everyone I knew thought it was trouble.
I wasn't looking for someone to fall in love with. I was looking for people I related to, that I could talk to.
It just so happened that Richard and I were a part of the same Q&A site, that we knew the same people and had mutual friends. It just so happened that we had been through and had felt a lot of the same things. We each knew what we were looking for, and could give each other some reassurance. We were exactly what each other needed.
We were lucky in that we were both, more or less, a product of the internet. We knew what we wanted, what we knew would be safe, and how to go about it. We webcammed for a few weeks, had phone calls, and eventually made it a point to meet each other in real life.
That was the best thing we could have done, and have been together since then (Jan '10, for those interested). I couldn't possibly picture myself without him. Whether taboo or not, it was the best decision I have made in my life. I don't regret anything and would totally do it all over again..
If you meet someone online that you feel completely comfortable and wonderful with. If you have seen and heard from them, and if you honestly feel that you could spend your life with them, take a risk. I did, and it was worth everything.More questions on online dating: