There are about 96 million single people over the age of 18 in the US. 40 million of them date online. That’s not quite half the unattached population, but it’s safe to say that online daters are far from a fringe group. It’s about time we stopped acting like they are.

Dating online is nothing to be embarrassed about. It doesn’t mean that you have failed at relationships in the “real world.” It doesn’t mean that you are hopeless. What it does mean is that, just like 40 million other Americans, you’re taking charge of your love life.

Take a look at your online dating profile. Have you sheepishly indicated that you are “giving this online dating thing a try?” Have you felt the need to explain that “you wouldn’t normally date online but, ______?” Delete those phrases. There’s no need for them.

Just express yourself as clearly and concisely and possible and hold your head high. You are in good company.