With the internet at our fingertips, meeting people online makes a lot of sense in the 21st century
If movies have taught us anything it is that love is magically meeting someone by chance, hitting of off (maybe not at first but eventually) and in the end you’ll live happily ever after. And this might be the case for older generations and a lucky few but how preposterous it is for the rest of us who can never seem to find that perfect match.
Even I was jaded by this Hollywood idea that Prince Charming would come along and sweep me off my feet but real life doesn’t have a fairy-tale ending. Not everyone may be looking for their soul mate but at least dating has progressed from having to select out of people you know, as well as having arranged marriages. Approximately 1 in 3 couples are reported to have met online. With the internet and modern technology now dominating our lives and the population and divorce rates increasing significantly, online dating seems to be the solution to creating more stronger relationships.
Is online dating for you?
Having a crush on someone who’s not interested is devastating, maybe you don`t want to risk jeopardizing your job dating a co-worker or have no time to meet people outside your busy schedule. If you’re fed up meeting people that don’t understand what you want in a relationship, take advantage or you, or don’t have anything in common with you then you just might want to give online dating a shot. I admit I was hesitant when a friend suggested I try online dating after I had little luck clicking with anyone in my circles but I decided to try anyway. Online dating is refreshing because it gives you the opportunity to connect with so many new people around the world that share your interests and that you would have probably never met in your lifetime.
Is it risky?
The idea of meeting someone in person that you only know through email or an avatar used to be a bit terrifying back in the day. What if the person turns out to be someone different all together or a psychopath? At least this is how I felt when I initially heard about online dating many years ago, and yes there is always a risk with contacting people blindly but how well do you also know the people you meet in person? Meeting people online is now the norm and social media had led individuals to advertise their presence online tenfold (and yes everyone lies a little) but those you meet nowadays are probably less likely to hide behind a facade or give you misinformation.
Choosing a site
The first step to taking the plunge into online dating is choosing a site or dating app like Tinder that is suited to you. Whether you`re looking for the love of your life or a quick fling, make sure you pick a website that caters to your dating goal, if you have one.
Plenty of Fish allows you to easily browse user profiles and connect with who you want but it is difficult to filter out those users you’re not interested in, which can be very frustrating. OK Cupid (where I had success in meeting my partner) shows you your percentage match with users based questions you answer and your profiles and makes browsing much easier.
If you’re looking to secure a longer relationship then successful sites like Match and eHarmony might be for you but they do cost money. However, this means its users will more serious about finding someone if they have to pay a monthly fee. Lavalife is another popular site that costs a small fee for users to contact one another but is a bit more geared towards those looking to hook up. If you are unsure of what site to sign up to talk to your friends and peers and listen to their success or failure stories with online dating.
Why it works
Meeting a partner in person that you click with is exciting but what if down the road you hit big road blocks that can stop a relationship dead it its tracks? Topics like children, religion, interests, pets, and long term goals can destroy even the strongest relationship, which is part of the reason I feel so strongly about online dating.
Questions like: Do you ever want to get married? Want to have kids? Are you allergic to cats? Do you believe in God? can mean a lot to some people so getting them out of the way early in a relationship will help you match with those more compatible. Getting to know someone online before can get all the boring stuff out of the way so when you do meet you can focus on personalities and connecting on more than just what movies you both like.
It may be safer than it was 20 years ago but always remember to exercise caution when you’re conversing with someone online. Be honest but don’t give them too much information; remember you still don’t really know this person so keep it smart. When you do meet them in person, use common sense. Meet in a public place and if you’re really not comfortable meeting them alone you can invite them out with friends. If you decide on a blind date then it’s also a good idea to let friends know where you are going and who with.
Whatever you do decide to so remember to stick to your comfort zone.
Persistence pays off
Just like dating people you know, online dating can get frustrating too, especially if you don’t end up meeting many people in person. I was annoyed after a while, meeting people who didn’t want the same things as me but perseverance can pay off. If you take the time to correspond with more people, try different sites if one isn’t working like you hoped, and take the initiative you might find someone awesome. You can’t always wait for someone to message you first, even if you’re shy about making the first move because they might be equally as shy. As much fun as it is to message someone you really like, if the online chatting goes on too long you may never actually meet or they might find someone else, so deciding to meet in person sooner is sometimes better.
The internet has made the world a much smaller place and brought so people together who would have never met otherwise, and even if you are unsuccessful in finding someone to date you may end up meeting new friends too. No matter if you’re determined to find for your soul mate or a date for Friday, remember not to give up too easily if things get frustrating because that special someone might just be a click away.
Have you had luck or failure with online dating?
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