Taking out a personal or ‘lonely hearts’ ad or hanging out in online chatrooms used to carry a stigma. There was a definite sense that people who turned to these methods to find a companion were somehow desperate or needy. Thankfully, this is no longer the case as the internet has revolutionized how we communicate and connect with each other in all walks of life and the world of romance is no exception. In fact, in many ways, it’s more common for people to say that they met their date or partner via a dating app than hearing that they first met them in the ‘real’ world.
Some may still view dating apps as being more about casual relationships than lasting love, and in many cases that may be true. Why, then, has online dating become so popular with people who are looking for companionship and love today? When 2 people make an emotional, intellectual and, if you’re that way inclined, a spiritual connection, does it really matter how they came to meet? Of course, the answer is no, and here are some of the reasons why online dating has plenty to offer people looking for love in the modern world.
It’s Easier to Talk
When you meet someone in a bar or a restaurant or any other popular first date venue, you have a lot of distractions to contend with. You’re likely to feel self-conscious about your appearance, nervous or agitated, you’ll be thinking about what to say, how to say it and it’s almost certain that your date will be feeling the same way. Sometimes, when people get nervous, they say and do things which are out of character, they feel shy, or they overcompensate by talking too much. If the other person dominates the conversation, you’ll find it difficult to talk about the important things or get to know anything about them that’s significant.
Online dating gives you the opportunity to communicate without distraction and confusion. You can consider what you want to say and how much information to share about yourself before you commit to meeting them in person.
It’s Easier to Be Honest
It may seem an unlikely benefit as there is a definite perception that online dating profiles aren’t honestly written, but, online dating is often far more honest than ‘traditional’ dating. There are famous accounts of people hiding behind fake identities, but that is a very small minority. Of course, people may exaggerate, omit some particularly personal facts or add a bit of filtering to photos, but most people are honest about the important factors. Today’s online dating profiles are like romance resumes. The Huffington Post has some tips on creating the perfect online dating profile.
We can see what people are looking for from the beginning. If they are looking for something casual but you’re hoping for marriage and children, this is something you can get out of the way early on. There’s no need for mixed messages, hidden agendas or wasted time. In real life, it could take several dates or even longer to work out that you’re not looking for the same things in life. Online dating is a far more efficient and less emotionally taxing way to find people who match your life ambitions.
You Can Be Specific About Who You Meet
In the real world, you have very limited control over who we’re going to meet. You can go to a single’s night or to see a live band, and there’s a chance you could meet someone you’re attracted to with similar interests, but a very small chance. In fact, you could meet someone you’re attracted to, but it will take time to work out if you have anything in common.
Online dating cuts straight to the important information. Firstly, you can choose which dating site you choose to join. There are websites and apps all over the world to help people find their ideal dates from dating for travelers, dating for people in certain age-ranges, dating by region such as Asia dating services to dating for people with higher incomes. Once you’re on the website, you can choose who you want to speak to. If for some reason you decide you don’t want to speak to someone anymore, you can simply hide their profile and move on.
There’s Far Less Pressure
When you’re in a face-to-face conversation, you have very little time to consider what you’re about to say before you say it. There’s always a risk that what you say will be misinterpreted or that you’ll disagree about something crucial, and that can place a lot of pressure on a conversation. Of course, a difference of opinion is fine and needn’t stop the relationship progressing, but the fear of it is often enough to make conversation stilted.
For people who like to take a more measured approach to their conversation and aren’t necessarily comfortable filling the silences with ‘small talk’, online messaging and texts are a much more comfortable way to communicate. You can simply talk without the worry of being judged on your appearance and, as you haven’t met the person, they’re in no position to judge you, so you’re far more likely to be honest about your opinions. Once you have talked with the other person enough to feel comfortable and you know you have enough in common to make the relationship viable, you can take the next step and meet in person.
Is Online Dating Right for You?
The most important thing to remember is that online dating is a platform to be used with the ultimate aim of meeting someone in real life. If you take the process too seriously or overthink things, you can get dragged down by the process. There are so many people using these services and apps now that there are lots of profiles to choose from. Try to narrow down your filters so you are only considering matches which have the potential to turn into more. If you find yourself confused or unsure, then you can meet someone over a casual drink and take things from there.
A final word on online dating…stay safe. You should never be pressured or made to feel uncomfortable. If you’re going to meet someone, make sure you do so in a public place and that you’ve told friends and family where you are going.