Do you view online dating as something you’d only do if you were desperate? You aren’t alone – a lot of people would rather try their hardest to make something happen in the real world before resorting to online dating. The thing is, this kind of attitude is often based on the fear of being stigmatized, rather than actual preferences.
Anyone who thinks this way can’t really be blamed for it; after all, maybe they’ve only heard about the downsides of online dating. Some people point to all the misrepresentation on dating profiles, while others talk about how it’s ruining the way we approach to romance. There may be something to those viewpoints, but what about the advantages of online dating? You can find just about any kind of romantic interest you want online, from your soulmate on a typical dating site, to chat websites like Flingster or Tinder.
Another important thing to remember is that very few people are completely replacing in-person dating with the online version; they’re just going online to get whatever they can’t find in the real world. It’s changing the way we view dating, sure, but is it really a change for the worse?
In the interests of having a balanced discussion, this isn’t going to be a puff piece about how great online dating is; there are already plenty of those! Instead, it’s going to include some of the pros and cons of the process. Also, since most people are already aware of how the average online dating experience works, we’re going to focus on the type that potentially involves video chat.
Pros of online dating
- It costs less money. Not to start with the most boring advantage ever, but it’s true – between getting ready, transport costs, and then the date itself, real-life meetups can run up quite the bill. Arrange a date online, though, and your wallet won’t take nearly as much of a hit. Even if you plan on ordering dinner so you can “share” a meal together, all the usual peripheral costs simply won’t be a factor.
- The logistical issues of many online relationships are less of a problem when you can connect with video chats. Not only can you genuinely get to know the other person, but you can also get to virtual fourth base if that’s where the relationship ends up. It isn’t the same as the real thing, of course, but it’s enough for many couples.
- Rejections are easier to recover from if they happen online. They’ll still hurt, for sure, but the blow will be softened with the knowledge that there are always more potential dates just a couple of clicks away.
- Speaking of always having more dates, one of the big draws of online dating sites is that there are so many options. Yes, most of them won’t be compatible, and yes, not everybody finds love online; but still, it’s encouraging to know that you now have more choices than what your current social circles have to offer. A necessary part of the process will involve turning people down – and getting turned down yourself – but there will always be more profiles to flip through.
Cons of online dating
- Whatever date night entails, it’ll have to fit within your webcam’s range of view. There are still plenty of ways to spend time together, but you may have to brainstorm some new ideas to keep things from getting monotonous.
- This should be obvious, but it’s worth covering anyway. Between good marketing and false optimism, some people join a dating site with the impression that it’s only a matter of time before they find the kind of person they’re looking for. However, this isn’t guaranteed, and it often isn’t the case. While it’s certainly true that a lot of people end up with a good result after online dating, it isn’t 100% – and many people simply aren’t prepared for the possibility of failure.
- Video chatting is one of the biggest pros of online dating, but it’s also part of the biggest con – you can’t actually have physical contact with your partner if the relationship is entirely online. Since intimacy is a big part of most relationships – and may even be the entire point if you’re just after a quick fling – this barrier could keep you from fully enjoying the experience.
Why do some people choose to look for partners online?
There is a number of reasons why people decide to try their luck with online dating, but it often boils down to the fact that they’ve run out of options everywhere else. It would be weird to date anyone in their friend group, office romance is out of the question, and the blind dates set up by their parents have not ended well. Where else will their next date come from? Aside from deciding to see what turns up at local bars, the options are 1) leave it up to dumb luck, and 2) make an online dating profile.
And guess what? For a lot of people, this turns into a productive way to channel their energies. Even if they don’t end up with the life partner of their dreams, it’s more than enough to keep their dating life alive and well.
Boundaries still matter with online dating
You may not have to worry about your date crossing physical boundaries, but those aren’t the only limits you should ask them to respect. An online date could still attempt to pressure you into going further than you’re comfortable with, but if you know what to look out for beforehand, you’ll be less likely to do something that you’ll regret later.
What could online dating do for your love life?
Some people go online to find a life partner, while others are just interested in filling a gap while they look for something else. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, there are plenty of online dating sites that could be a perfect fit for your preferences!