When I mention to people that I “Date Online”, I get various reactions. These range from Really? How cool! I’ve always wanted to try doing that, to Nooooo….all the guys online are creeps and losers! No matter the initial response, just about everyone is curious about it. If they’re not single themselves then they have a single friend or relative who they think should try dating online.
I’ve helped singles get online, pick a site and write a great profile. Some of these folks do quite well and, even if they don’t immediately find the love of their life, have loads of fun looking. Then there are people who go online, meet one or two people and drop off the site immediately because they HATE IT.
This is why I always advise everyone to at least try it, because you don’t know if cyber-dating is for you or not…until you get in the pool at least once.
There are pros and cons to dating online and you have to decide what your comfort level is with the down-side and whether the benefits outweigh them. So here are a few to ponder.
1. You get to date. More than you would by hanging out at a club. Certainly more than you ever will if you’re just relying on friends and family to hook you up with someone. Ever notice how the “perfect” person your friend/relative fixed you up with is just SOOO wrong for you? I have…makes me wonder what these people who should know me well are thinking!!
2. You get to meet people you NEVER would have met otherwise. Fact is, you probably will have to date many people online before you meet someone with whom you’d consider a long-term relationship. But that doesn’t mean that all the others are horrible dates…just not right for you. You’ll at least be able to look forward to coffee, drinks or dinner with a new person and interesting conversation.
3. It’s cheaper than psycho-analysis. I’ve found that setting up a profile calls for much self-examination. You need to be able to describe yourself in less than 2000 words, and that is more challenging than you’d think. You really have to look into yourself to decide who you are and who your ideal match would be. When I first went online to date I described myself as shy. A few dates later, I realized that I wasn’t “shy” at all – just more interested in hearing what my date had to say than in going on and on about Me. You learn much about yourself.
4. You hone your sense-of-humor to a razor sharp point. The first thing I tell singles about online dating is…you must have a sense of humor. You will meet wackos, unsavory types and people who are charming but…weird. You need to be able to laugh about these encounters at some point. Remember, they’re just brief stops on a journey to love.
1. Dating online takes time. It’s a lot of work. You need to craft a great profile, put up pictures (you don’t have to, but you should) and you have to update them from time to time. You have to troll through the profiles of potential dates (they do all seem to run together into one big “I like walking on the beach at sunset” profile at times). Send emails, answer emails, wonder why only “strange” or “weird” people are sending YOU emails. It takes a certain commitment to finding love to be able to stay patient.
2. There are liars and baddies online. And not necessarily compulsive liars. People lie about their age all the time! I don’t and have actually gotten into a bit of an argument with a date because he kept insisting that I was older than my profile stated, since “everyone” lied. No, I didn’t show him my driver’s license…which brings me to the Baddies. There are unsavory people online and you have to be aware of that. This is often what scares us off from online dating, but it shouldn’t. If you are a savvy dater, you will learn to recognize these people before you even meet them. You will follow the safety rules: Meet in a public, crowded place. Drive yourself there! NO super personal information is to be shared.
3. You need a thick skin. There is rejection galore online. People will reject you…and YOU will reject some of them. It happens, don’t take it personally. When you meet Mr./Ms. Right you will know it and it will work out, and you’ll marvel at how easy THAT came about…because it is easier when you have a good connection.
4. You can lose your sense-of-humor. See number 4 in the pros. You will have to work at finding the funny sometimes, but it’s there. Just think of all the laughs you’ll have about past bad dates with the guy/gal who eventually steals your heart!
So there you have the basic Pros and Cons. There are a few more, but these are the major points to consider when deciding if online dating is for you. And if it is, send us a story or two about your adventures!