We live in an age where we can swipe our phone screens left and right to find our soul mate (or, let’s be honest, a man that will even call after the first date).
Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid, Match.com, JDate, Coffee Meets Bagel … What is this craziness about online dating, and more importantly, does it really work?
For me, it did. I’ve been seeing a great guy that I met online for two months now, and it's going strong! To be honest though, it hasn’t been easy.
Finding what I was looking for involved many failed dates and “amazing” guys who are now on the Lost Men Island, as Carrie Bradshaw calls it, and they apparently have no cell reception.
Online dating certainly has its pros and cons and do's and don'ts. So here is the long and short of it — give it a shot and maybe you will find what you’re looking for!
It’s Raining Men!
Probably the biggest advantage of online dating is the huge pool of potential partners — partners that you may not get a chance to meet “organically” in your everyday life.
Having access to people who are your type, who share similar interests, who live in the same area, and who you might even have mutual friends with, increases your chances of finding someone that you could actually date for a long time.
The downside? The curse of too much choice.
Going through candidates can get confusing, and going on too many first dates can definitely get overwhelming. You might lose your focus and get stuck in a “browsing” cycle. So try to pick an app that gives you a limited number of options per day to minimize the distraction.
Make sure you know what you are really looking for and communicate it to those who you are interested in meeting.
Safe and Easy
Online dating offers a chance to talk to a potential date before the date actually takes place. That’s why chatting online before you meet in person can help you narrow down your options — and avoid scams — without much effort and time commitment.
Online dating can be more efficient if you are working crazy hours and have no time to waste on dates that won’t go anywhere, or if you have concerns about meeting a total stranger.
You Know Who?
Some apps use your Facebook friends to find you potential matches. If you like to get a friend’s opinion before meeting someone, try an app that has that feature. Knowing that you have common friends can also be a great conversation starter and make it easier to bond before the first date.
Give It a Second Chance
Everyone deserves a second chance! Ok, maybe not everyone, but if a date went “okay” or “above average”, you should give him another chance. Don’t set out with such high expectations that you disappoint yourself in the end.
Be realistic, and if you even slightly enjoyed someone’s company, know that it is worth pursuing. If the second date is also so-so, then you can move on to the next candidate.
Trust your gut feeling
You are looking at a picture of an attractive candidate but you really aren’t feeling his interests, or something just doesn’t feel right. Go with your gut feeling and move on.
Matching can be great and help you narrow down your options to those who can be great fits for you, but it is not foolproof. If something feels off, don’t get stuck on a cute picture and swipe on!
If you have been talking to a guy for a few days, it is time to set up an actual date. Coffee and drinks could be good options since if you end up not liking him you don’t have to get stuck for a two-hour date. And if you are enjoying his company, then it's time to order some appetizers!
Know when to stop
Knowing that you have a new batch of potential candidates waiting for you on your phone every day might distract you from enjoying a current relationship. If you’ve been on several good dates with a guy and you like where things are going, take a break from swiping and actually focus on your current relationship.
Online dating is meant to lead to in-person relationships, so know when to end the “online” portion and start enjoying the romance in real life!
Pros and Cons of Online Dating. Psychology Today. Retrieved Feb 23.
Online Dating Vs. Offline Dating: Pros and Cons. Huffington Post. Retrieved Feb 23.
Reviewed February 24, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith