Finally, we will demonstrate the concrete role that “love myths” play in the formation of a couple.This article is based on a study conducted through interviews carried out between 20 and involving approximately fifty users of French-language online dating sites.The extent of the phenomenon was also measured in the survey “Context of sexuality in France” carried out in 2006.
In the late 1990s, the first online dating sites appeared on the Internet in France, a few years after the United States.
The development of these sites specialised in bringing together partners expanded the geography of romantic encounters in France and led to a proliferation of literature on the subject.
As such, they are disqualified as spaces for romantic encounters.
More specifically, a dominant discourse is developing that compares online dating with consumer culture.
Even more than astonishment, the literature on online dating sites demonstrates consternation and even indignation: spaces are developing that have been designed specifically for romance and love and yet they seem to be so much at odds with such concepts.
The sites are characterised by an abundance of potential partners, by distance communication, and by the substitution of a synthetic “profile” for the physical body.It is within this context of rapid expansion that the debate about online dating sites is taking place.As unprecedented and highly popular spaces, these sites are considered a sign of the times.This consumer criticism of online dating is also found among the users who, just like the different commentators, often disqualify these sites as spaces for romantic encounters.The study of the registers used by users when expressing their views on these sites gives us a better understanding of the nature and the sources of this consumerist critique.Considered a product of capitalist consumer society, the sites have been described as “hypermarkets of desire” (Baqué 2008, 122; Kaufmann 2010, 14) in which partner selection is governed by a process of calculation and competition (Kessous 2011).