Let’s be real here, any member of society who is single and eligible and says they have never signed up for a dating website, or at least had the thought to join one cross their mind at some point, is lying. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve found myself engulfed in them from time to time, with entertainment typically being my chief motivation. I’ve never had high expectations for them, to be quite honest. With all of the corny pick up lines, messages that were clearly copied and pasted to a hundred different girls, and inappropriate pictures that I would receive almost daily, my initial impressions appeared to be accurate.
However, am I opposed to potentially meeting my soulmate via an app on my iPhone? No. Because although I’d like to believe that one day he is just going to miraculously appear in my life, via a magic carpet or something enchanting of the sorts, I realize the chances of that happening are slim to nothing. My friends in relationships would always tell me, “Don’t worry, love will come to find you when you aren’t looking for it.” Well here I am love, I’ve been sitting around waiting for you, and you are late.
Although I was hesitant to jump into the world of online dating after my last breakup (a guy who I met from a dating site – go figure), I can genuinely say that I have learned more than I ever thought I could, and I’m sharing a few of these things in hopes that I can help eliminate the negative stigma associated with online dating.
1. Most of us are looking for the same thing.
We are just like books, waiting for someone to take their time to read and understand us. While I’m well aware that many of the people you find on dating apps are there with the sole purpose to just hook up, I have found that a higher percentage are there to truly get to know more about you. It’s very possible to find love if you can score someone you have a genuine connection with.
2. It’s a great way to make friends.
It’s not so easy to introduce yourself to a stranger when you are face-to-face with them, but it’s nearly effortless to respond to a couple of messages from one. Perhaps you two spent weeks messaging back and forth, and when the time finally came to meet in person, you didn’t quite hit it off in a romantic way. That’s cool – because chances are you’ve probably made an awesome new friend. I can legitimately say that some of my favorite daily conversations are with people that I was introduced to by Tinder. And yes, men and women can JUST be friends. Shocking, I know.
3. You get to dig beyond just the looks.
This is probably my favorite part. While it is true that you are able to view someone’s pictures right from the start, they also have the opportunity to let their personality shine through. When you see someone in person for the first time, as much as you probably don’t want to admit it, 9 times out of 10 your first impression is based on their appearance. This new millennial method of dating allows you to see beyond just the physical attraction, and I for one, love it.
4. Trust your instincts.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I came across my fair share of less-than-gentleman. I’ve definitely seen more crude pick up lines and nude pictures than I ever wanted to, but this comes with the territory. If someone seems like a real jerk right off the bat, odds are that’s probably just who they are. I quit trying to change men after giving my high school boyfriend 8,259 chances, to which he proved my foolishness each and every time. If you get the vibes that someone is hiding something, or has bad intentions, you should probably run.
5. You have nothing to lose.
What’s the worst that could happen? If you change your mind about someone after matching with them, or they end up being totally creepy (this happens often), you have this super convenient option to ‘unmatch’ them, sending them right back into the pool of crazies/potential suitors. If you decide online dating is not the place for you, it takes all of three seconds to delete yourself from an app, making it as if you never existed on there in the first place. Just do it, you never know who you might meet.