There’s no question that online dating is a business that’s growing by leaps and bounds, with over 300 sites and counting. They say that one in five marriages are a result of e-dating. And this is something that I just can’t ignore.
In fact, I’ve been writing about the pros and cons regarding internet dating for a while now, turning it upside down, and sideways, in order to learn more about this booming cultural phenomenon. You can check out my previous posts about online dating here, here, and here.
Online dating positives
“I like it that you already have a lot of personal information as opposed to blindly meeting someone at a party or a bar. You already know something about the person when you read the profile. If the guy writes that he doesn’t want kids, and I do, then I can just move on to the next one.”
There’s some good reasons why online dating is taking off in this country.
Here’s the short list:
A good way to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet otherwise.
Geographical accessibility – it’s global!
There’s a huge pool of prospective partners.
Access to profiles of people looking for romance.
You’re your own matchmaker – no family involved!
Compared to the bar scene, online dating is safe.
There hundreds of “specialty” sites to choose from.
Can be done from the privacy of your own home.
An effective way to meet someone, especially if you are shy or introverted.
The not-so-positive things about online dating
“… there are lots of psychological games being played online within the e-dating world by both men and women who, unfortunately, prey upon, deceive, ‘quick judge,’ or mislead the other. This is where online dating can turn into a hollow, heavily-controlled game of deception, in which human beings may be regarded as easily manipulated, two-dimensional commodities on the “cyberspace meat market”.
-Robert Page Kaufman – Honeymoon Forever: Secrets to Life Long Intimacy
Well, not to burst the ever-expanding bubble of online dating, but there’s some negative aspects that you might want to consider.
Here’s that list:
Sexual predators are becoming a problem. I recently posted a blog all about the subject of predatory behavior and online dating. Suffice it to say that “bad people” who have no interest in finding true love, are causing problems for unsuspecting internet daters.
Deception is rampant. Unfortunately, a lot of folks on dating sites just aren’t that honest. They’ll lie about their age, weight, post old pics, and deceptively present a false image of who they really are on their profiles.
The merry-go-round of emails. There’s that mistake of sending endless emails back and forth, but never actually meeting in person. Not only is this kind of communication time-consuming and inevitably frustrating, but you end up not getting to know your prospective partner.
Not my cup of tea. Not everyone responds favorably to all the hype and marketing gimmicks associated with online dating. Connecting with another the old-fashioned way, at a local party or a singles meet-up group, may be more appealing and natural to some.
You live where? Sure, there’s a ton of people for your perusal out there in the world of online dating – literally thousands. But where are they? Chances are, farther than you’re willing to travel in order to meet-up with a prospective partner – at least, that’s what they say, statistically.
Misused sensitive information. So you think that you’re sharing your personal information with a perspective partner? Well, I hate to tell you, but your info can easily be picked up by advertisers, data collectors, internet scammers and even sexual predators. And worse yet, your precious facts and figures could be ultimately used to defame you – not a good thing for your reputation.
Although the online dating industry is taking this problem more seriously, by passing recent legislation, your personal info is always at risk – and never really deleted.
Not so scientific! A lot of dating sites will typically make incredible predictions with regards to future love success by flashing all sorts of mystifying data and scientific concepts on their sites.
Unfortunately, a lot of these claims are just that – empty and ultimately unprovable.
The things that really matter are missing. Sure, you get their supposed height, weight, age, favorite foods, favorite animals, and favorite destinations. But what about the things that you don’t see in most dating profiles, like medical history, current level of stress, trauma history, and the other’s present state of emotional healthiness or unhealthiness?
Let’s face it; too many online dating services are only into number crunching, and randomly spit out dating possibilities that may not have any chance of compatibility or likelihood for a good match – and who needs that?
The best way?
So is online dating really the best way to find long lasting love?
Well, I guess it depends on who you ask.
Some think that online dating is one big crap shoot, and others, usually the ones who end up in successful marriages, will swear by its effectiveness.
But, in my daily work, I speak with lots of online daters, and they’re not so impressed, mainly due to their negative impression of the largely unregulated internet. They (usually the ladies) tell me that they just don’t feel safe and too often feel scammed and manipulated.
In any case, for some, for whatever reasons, internet dating is “the only game in town,” the only viable way to meet another – so they press on and make the best of it.
And that’s the way I see it.
Online dating, with all its pitfalls, is still, although imperfect, an honorable pursuit that’s well worth the effort…that is, if you’re truly serious about finding that special person.
So, we make the best of it and press on in hopes of attaining that wonderful brass ring of love – an ever-evolving and successful long-term relationship.
*What’s your personal experience(s) with online dating? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Please leave your input in the comments section below – I value your feedback!