Online Dating is Not for Everybody

Online dating is not for everybody: here’s why.

Experiences with online dating tend to be awkward. Some people have excellent experiences with online dating that end in satisfying relationships. Others have stories filled with confusion and frustration when they realized they have been catfished. Much like any other way to date, meeting someone online has both benefits and drawbacks.

Whether creating an Internet dating profile leads you to marriage or not, finding love online needs to be part of your dating regime, just like finding a job online from a LinkedIn can help you find your dream job. Being able to grow and maintain your relationship offline is critical as you go through the different phases of a relationship.

If you’re truly not comfortable with the computer and don’t think your iPhone or Android is truly Cupid, you’re leaving opportunities behind that could change your relationship status to “in a relationship,” “engaged” or “married,” or just “complicated” while watching your friends cheer you on.

Whether you’re looking to hook-up or mate for life, there is a website out there that fits your lifestyle.

Which dating site should you be using since there are now basically 6 million of them, right?

Before I dive into using online dating to your advantage I wanted to point of the pros and cons of online datving vs. traditional dating.

Lets start with online dating.

Pro:  Usually today relationships start online. Whether it’s on Social media, Facebook, Twitter, a mobile app, or traditional online dating site, there are a lot of success stories about finding love online.
Con: People lie about their age, weight, height, income, and relationship status. If we are talking Tinder here, just pretend everyone is single and don’t ask questions.

Pro:  You can meet people outside of your area and find people with similar interests. You’ll meet more people, so you can learn what you’re truly looking for in bae.

Con: It can become addicting to some, who never meet offline or are looking for the next pretty face. Beware of the Digital Pen-Pal Syndrome.

Pro: It’s efficient and available 24-hours a day.
Con: It’s feels like a full-time job and you feel confused if you are dating a human or your cell phone.

Pros: Online dating provided individuals with access to many more potential partners than they could often find in their daily lives.
Cons: The choices of partners can become confusing and overwhelming. Without a clear plan, online daters can get stuck endlessly “shopping” for the perfect partner, rather than actually starting a satisfying relationship.

Pro: Many sites provide matching tools and send you emails of suggested matches to make it more convenient.
Con: Many singles limit their search criteria to height, zip code, or income and can miss the opportunity to meet a compatible match just because they are being greedy.

Now lets move into offline dating.

Pro: You may have friends in common which will make you more comfortable and not as awkward meeting alone for the first time.
Con: You’re not really sure of their relationship status. But, who cares.

Pro:  You will know if there’s chemistry in person sooner.
Con: You wont separate if it all works out, limiting social circles.

Pro: It’s basically hanging out, without the pressure of wondering if you’re actually dating.
Con: Singles may feel shy and not ask someone out for an official date because that is scary.

Lets talk now about using online dating to your advantage.

Clearly, the features of online dating have both costs and benefits. Here are a few suggestions to become a boss at online dating.

Access – Having choices is wonderful, but keep them practicable. If you want an actual face-to-face dating interaction, then don’t get stuck endlessly scrolling online. Instead, narrow your search to a small location, or a certain set of “must have” features. After your narrow it down, rather than just long walks on the beach”, talk to those who make the list.

Communication – Online dating apps designed to make an initial connection, not set the foundation for a whole relationship. So, keep initial online conversation focused on finding out the basics quickly, then setting up an actual date or at least get their number. Also, save the long introductory emails for a date and say it in person. If you are crunched for time, then meet for coffee or something quick. If you still have safety concerns, meet in a public place, with people around you incase shit hits the fan.

Matching – Online tests may not be able to tell you your perfect match, but they can help narrow down the options. While you may have to date a few matches to find out who is a good fit for you, matching can help you avoid those who might be a disaster.

Bottom line, online dating has been around long enough now that you can match your site up with what you’re shopping for. Marriage? Try eHarmony. Slightly serious hook-up? Tinder. Good times with a sprinkling of WTF?  OK Cupid’s your poison. Looking to shut your mom up? I think JDate is that way.

At the end of the digital day, if you’re serious about meeting someone special, you must include a combination of both online and offline dating in your relationship. Remember the goal of online dating is to take your relationship offline.

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