When online dating began, I would sit around with my friends, reading and laughing at the profiles on these websites. It seemed there was nothing funnier or more fascinating; people were giving out so much more information about themselves here than they would (or could) in a print publication.
Times have changed and we don’t laugh about online dating so much anymore. In fact, it seems that every single person around is using at least one of these sites to meet people. It’s certainly more convenient to look for a date online compared to going out all the time hoping you’ll meet the right person.
A lot of these dating sites promise you that you’ll find the perfect match. Now of course, no one can realistically guarantee that, but speaking for myself, I’ve definitely met people through online dating. I’ve made more friends than dates, but expanding my social network is always a good thing – and I’ve also met people through these new friends.
As I’ve gotten more mature, I’ve come to understand how important these sites can be. We live busy lives and it’s hard to find the time to meet people the way that we used to. Courting has largely gone by the wayside and you’re much less likely to find interesting people out and about than you once were.
Is this transition to online dating a good thing? It’s still too early to say how this will affect us as a society over the long term, but one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s easier to be uninhibited when I’m typing a message to someone than it is on the phone. I’d prefer to talk to people fact to face, but online dating gives us a chance to open up to other people in a way which we don’t do all that often. It makes us bolder and more likely to raise topics or ask questions that we might be too shy to on a real life first date.
How many of us today even know our neighbors? Probably not many of you do. We talk in person less and less, but the web allows us to communicate with each other, whether we’re across the street or on the other side of the world from one another. Online dating may not be quite the same thing as chatting someone up in real life, it does give us a chance to communicate with and perhaps meet and date people who we might not ever run into otherwise.
How successful are relationships that start online? Exactly as successful (or unsuccessful) as real world ones. I know a few couples who have had long term relationships or even married after meeting online, though to be honest, most of the people I know who are coupled met the traditional way. However, online dating is a great tool for the less extroverted among us to build their self-confidence and get them accustomed to the idea of dating in real life.
There will always be people who will refuse to use online dating and those who will approach it with great caution. It’s perfectly understandable. There is always some degree of risk, no matter how small, in meeting someone new, especially if you only know them from the web – it can be hard to tell if someone creeps you out without meeting them in person. Always meet your dates in public and always have a plan B to bail if things aren’t looking good, just to be safe.
As with any kind of dating, you have to have realistic expectations. You’re no more likely to meet the perfect person for you online than you are anywhere else. All the same, you can meet new people, make friends and go on some dates, all while having fun. There’s also the possibility that you’ll be one of the lucky few who finds your ideal match online, so get out there and give it a shot!