“Are you online?”
If you’re single, chances are you’ve heard this. When you aren’t in a relationship, everyone around you suddenly transforms into a relationship expert. They all know what’s best. They will tell you to try this, or stop doing that, or did-you-know-their-neighbor’s-dog-walker-found-love-on-Match.com?
And I get it; people just want to help. And it IS 2015, so online dating has become more of the norm. There are commercials for it on television and new ones popping up seemingly every day. And I’ll admit, I wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid at first. If I was going to meet someone, I wanted it to be organic. The old fashioned way. I wanted a guy to approach me while out and strike up a conversation and ask for my number. I wanted to have a cool “how we met” story that didn’t involve the f*%king word “Tinder.”
But I got a nice dose of reality and realized: that is a Fantasy World. Maybe not for everyone – I mean, SOMEONE has to win the lottery, right? But most people – especially ones my age (early 30s) need a little extra help in the dating department. We don’t go out as much as we used to and when we do, everyone in the bar is 5-10 years younger than us in some cases. If they ARE our age they’re probably in a relationship, and if not – well, I’ll be honest: they’re not going to talk to you anyway. Because no one does that anymore.
Like I said, it’s 2015.
So, online dating. I get it. I know why it’s popular. I know how, in some cases, it works. But what about the side people DON’T talk about? The ugly, downside to online dating? I’ll explain:
1. It’s superficial. I know, I know – way to state the obvious. But apps like Tinder are based solely on appearances and if you happen to be attractive and photogenic; well, how nice for you. But there are great people out there who you may be writing off based on looks alone. Oh – and let’s not forget, pictures can ALSO be deceiving. What you see may not necessarily be what you get.
2. You are essentially competing with the entire world. An exaggeration? Sure. But a good friend of mine once told me that when participating in the online dating scene, you’re up against a TON of other suitors. Sure, that cute guy or girl you’re talking to seems into you now, but they’re also simultaneously chatting with 18 other people. There are so many options with online dating and it creates this environment where we’re all looking for the next best thing. Keep in mind that you could meet up with someone, have a great date, and they’ll STILL hop on their online dating profiles when they get home to see who’s up next. And that kind of blows.
3. Certain personality traits don’t translate over text. You can match up with someone and have an immediate connection and GREAT banter – but don’t get your hopes up just yet! Some people are much more comfortable chatting via text or behind a computer and are much more shy/awkward in person. On the contrary, that person who gives you one-word answers and doesn’t say much may just be bad at texting and MUCH more fun and outgoing in person. It’s a crap shoot.
4. It’s time consuming. Be prepared to treat this like a second job if you want to get anything out of it. You need to create profiles, write bios, scroll through matches, chat AND meet up with these people. If you work or go to school full time and have an already active social calendar, this can be difficult. They should make the equivalent of job recruiters for online dating. Can’t I just tell someone what I want and they can find them for me?
5. The disappointment factor. This goes for regular dating too, of course – but you may find yourself getting excited at a potential online suitor based on your conversations and mutual interests. You chat for days – maybe even weeks, look forward to meeting them, pick out the perfect outfit and feel like you’re gonna vom minutes before your first date. And then you see them and… nothing. It’s just not there. Or maybe it’s the other scenario and you’re into it but they don’t seem to be. Or maybe you have a GREAT date and then never hear from them again (potentially because of reason #2 listed above?).As fast as online dating can boost your ego is as fast as it can crush it. It’s not easy out there, folks.
I am not anti-online dating and I know there are a TON of success stories from it. But I think it’s important to note that just like anything else; it may not work for everyone and it ALSO may not be as easy and fun as your peers want you to think it is.
What are your experiences with online dating?