The Virtues & Downsides of Online Dating

By Joseph Bryson | Relationships

Dec 02

If you think about it, the fact that a huge number of modern relationships start on an online dating app isn’t really that surprising.

The internet has allowed for us to be more connected than ever before. We’re using it for business, we’re using it to shop and we’re using it to communicate with our friends and family, so why wouldn’t it also be used for romance? It makes sense considering it motivates out actions perhaps more so than anything else.

It’s not a new thing anyway when you think about what the actual function of it is. The internet has made it easier, but this sort of thing has kind of been around for over 300 years.

Even some 17th Century newspapers had personal ads for those seeking romance, and is that really any different from modern online dating? So really, it’s an entirely expected result of the internet becoming more advanced and more widely used.

Some people think it’s the best thing in the world and has made finding someone much easier, and others think it’s a waste of time and some believe that only the most desperate among us would resort to that.

Now, those who call it desperate are obviously just being jerks, but there are points to be made from both sides of the argument. Let’s have a look at some virtues and some downsides to online dating.

 

Virtue: The Options are Endless

You know the feeling when you’re single and you walk into a bar expecting to find someone you could potentially date or at the very least go home with for the night. Even if you’re confident, there’s only so many women there.

Even among the ones that are actually single and are looking for someone to meet that night, there’s still going to be many that you’re not compatible with. And as for the ones you are compatible with, are you going to talk to them that night?

How can you be sure that’s going to happen? Are you going to talk to every single woman in the bar? You won’t be able to, and that will turn what should be a fun night into a very stressful one. Online dating is not like a bar that has fifty women in it.

Now, there are over 30 million people in the United States alone using online dating sites and apps. That’s three times the population of Sweden. Let’s throw out a rough estimate here and assume that in your area, there are 5-10 thousand women on dating sites that you could potentially talk to.

That’s more people than you’ve spoken to in your entire life. And even if you are only genuinely compatible with a fifth of that number, that’s still a thousand women. Under what other circumstances are you going to find a thousand potential partners?

Online dating is unquestionably the path that will give you the most options.

Downside: Face to Face Communication is Always Better

It’s great that we are well past the days when if we wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t in our immediate vicinity, we had to send them a letter and not hear a response for possibly weeks. We can now write a message and have someone on the other side of the world respond in a matter of seconds.

Nobody will deny that this level of connectivity is indispensable and very useful for making new potentially romantic connections, but humans communicate most effectively when we are actually face-to-face.

This probably dates back to the earliest humans who could only communicate in person but it’s not like we’ve evolved past that, body language, tone of voice and facial expressions are still a huge part of how we express our thoughts and feelings.

And you get none of that in text form and even if you’re talking on Zoom you’re still not getting it entirely. So if you spend a lot of time communicating with someone through text before actually meeting them, you won’t know what they’re actually like.

You might end up with unrealistic expectations of them that they can’t fulfil. Or conversely, you might think that someone isn’t right for you, when you would feel the opposite way if you had initially met them in person.

Virtue: More Upfront information

Whilst it does generally depend on the app or site that you are using, you are going to have access to more information about the person you’re talking to. Some people will say that this is actually a downside, but I personally find it difficult to agree with.

Yes, there is a certain excitement to mystery and if you already know a lot of stuff about someone then it leaves you with less to talk about and discover, but at the same time, the more you know the better you can judge the likelihood of you actually being compatible.

You could have a conversation with someone and not realize until you’re an hour deep that they have a view which you find bigoted, or go on a couple of dates before realizing that you want completely different things out of a relationship. Online dating makes this less likely.

Downside: Cat fishing

You meet someone in person, you can see them and hear their voice. Online they could be anybody. They could be a different gender who is afraid to openly admit their sexuality or someone old and lonely who feels like they’ve missed their chance at love.

Sometimes cat fishing is very sinister and predatory, and sometimes it’s just a case of someone using older pictures of themselves or lying about their age, career or level of fitness. Either way, you don’t truly know who you’re talking to until you’ve met them.

That’s a downside for sure. Hell you might even be tempted to do this on some level yourself. But that’s not fair, you should be truthful and the stuff you feel compelled to lie about probably isn’t as big of a deal as you think anyway.

But if you do feel like you’ll get more responses if you were more in shape, get some exercise equipment and get to work. Or if you feel like you’re in the wrong line of work, start exploring your options. Don’t waste your time lying because the truth will come out eventually.

The most important thing to remember, is that online dating is not the only option. If you feel like the downsides are more significant, then meeting someone in a bar or through your friends or a hobby hasn’t gone away. You can still take that path.

These days, millions and millions of people are using online dating, and you can basically guarantee that you’ll be able to find someone through that method. So even if you are skeptical, it’s worth looking into.

About the Author

Joseph was born in Alberta, raised in NYC, and is living in New Zealand. He has been working in 4 different industries and helped numerous businesses grow. Now, he is focused on writing as his next career from home and lives a peaceful life with his family and a whole pack of dogs.

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