In twenty eighteen meeting your other half online is more normal than ever, the days where you had to make up some awkward story about where you supposedly met are slowly becoming a thing of the past, the number of excuses myself alone have used varies from meeting at university, in a bar and even through a friend the list of reasons could go on forever. For some reason to me I feel like people judge those who met online, but it is becoming more normal by the day, I often feel like it is an assumed stereotype of online dating that a lot of it is only about the one night stands and people not actually looking for love, but online like with most things in life you never really know what an intention of a person is and with online dating the fear of the unknown becomes the elephant in the room for most people.
But why are we ashamed of online dating?
I feel like it started out as the perception of people who date online couldn’t find someone in real life and there are a huge amount of horror stories about people who do date online, meeting some creep (or worse) and it ending really badly, but with technology advancing and people being more aware of the dos and don’ts as well as being aware of the catfish of the internet (cheers Nev and Max), it makes it harder to be someone you’re not online. For me the reason I started to online date was due to anxiety, I have never been able to approach someone in person and try to flirt, that’s just not me and I would never have the guts, and although to some extent the internet gives me a persona to hide behind, it allows you to talk to someone online before meeting them, which gives you the chance to build up an idea of this person and what they like, making conversation often a lot easier.
There are so many online dating sites, which one(s) to use?
I’ve personally used Tinder, Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid, and met people on all of them. Some people are more decent than others and I feel like primarily Tinder is usually a person taken on face value first, which can be hard for someone like myself who hates taking selfies and struggles with self-confidence, I met my ex-partner of two years on Tinder, he wasn’t my usual type, but we had a conversation and he seemed like a genuinely nice person, and although things didn’t work out between us due to us being completely different people and wanting different things, it was strange knowing we met through Tinder and our relationship helped me progress as a person and meet my landlord who I still rent from now which I am thankful for. Once this ended I was keen to go back into the world of dating to see what was out there, I was older so I was looking for someone a bit more mature, however, ended up falling into a trap of someone who didn’t really care about me at all. The saga went on for months and ended badly for me but that experience did change me, I learnt not to trust people as much, and some people really just are a piece of rubbish. Surprisingly this person was off Plenty Of Fish, this had been a personal dating favourite of mine up until this point. After that experience, I deleted POF and decided to go to OK Cupid, the site that you can match with people based on the way you answer questions, in hope that you have similar views on things, as well as long-term goals. Oh, and whether you like cats or dogs, I mean that’s important right?
This was where I met Will, who I have been with almost a year and from the start, things seemed easy, like we already knew each other. Turned out we had been to the same college and studied the same thing and knew the tutors and were now at university doing the same degree with him a year below me, small world right? However, without the enabling of online dating, this wouldn’t have happened.
What are the pros of online dating?
IMO the pros outweigh the cons by a mile with online dating. Living in a fairly small place where everyone knows each other or at least knows someone who knows that person, it is hard to find someone without any baggage linked to another person you know. Being able to online date gives you the choice to date further afield and living in the middle of a fair few cities it’s great to reach out to those people who you wouldn’t usually have the chance to meet. It also allows you to be a bit pickier, most people have a bio within their profile and although we all fluff it up a little… there is usually some truth it to, which can help you learn more about that person, plus of course you get to see what they look like before meeting. With online dating, if you didn’t meet ‘the one’ you can jump back online and keep trying to date, and often you end up having interesting conversations with people even if nothing becomes of it.
And the cons?
You can meet strange people on the internet as you can anywhere, but with arranging to meet people who you don’t know can come with some dangerous risks. It’s always worth telling somewhere where you’re going and who you are meeting in case of an emergency. I always make sure we meet in a public place in case they turn out to be dodgy, and somewhere I know well so I know the best ways to get home. Another con sadly is you may just not get on, you may think they’re attractive but you have nothing in common, or the feelings are one way. But if you don’t take risks in life, I guess you won’t ever know, right?
As someone who has had the good, the bad and the ugly experiences of online dating I would urge anyone to try it who hasn’t yet and is looking to find love, there are so many dating sites out there, and it’s totally worth looking into them. You can usually find people who are more matched to you, and this usually is a great start to a relationship. Like most dating experiences, you win some and you lose some but it’s often something to look back on and if nothing else to learn from. Most importantly, remember to have fun!
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