Internet dating – is it a good way to find love?

Couple on a date

How does a singleton find love in today’s fast-paced world? Work colleagues could get complicated, and picking up at loud and seedy bars is strictly one-night-stand territory only. And when you’re over 30 and all your friends are already shacked up and reproducing like rabbits, it seems as though the only singles remaining are the commitment-phobe players or those that have more baggage than a Qantas jet.

One of the most popular ways to hunt down the man or woman of your dreams is via internet dating. All the cool kids are doing it these days, so the stigma attached to advertising yourself online has now pretty much disappeared. If you can get over the idea of putting yourself out there publicly and having a colleague, neighbour, or family friend know that you’re seeking a 6’2 atheist non-smoker that likes dogs and long walks on the beach, here are some things that you should know about internet dating.

Choosing the right site

Whether you are looking for a marriageable mate or a casual lover, whether you’re straight or gay, there is a site for you. A site such as eHarmony positions itself as the place to look for your future life partner, but doesn’t have as many people as Match or RSVP, where you are bound to find someone that ticks a few of your checkboxes. For casual dalliances, straight or gay, there are sites such as Adult Match Maker or Grindr, and there are further niche sites specifically for Christians, Asians, or Latinos. Then there are a variety of payment models, with some requiring a monthly subscription before you can search for your true love, and some that are entirely free.

Picking the right site will increase the likelihood of finding someone that is after the same thing as you.

It’s about marketing after all

Naturally, people will want to portray themselves in the best light on their internet dating profile. Women will definitely not admit that they’re a moody bitch most of the time and men won’t admit to being in love with their ex.

One of the most common occurrences is for people to slightly exaggerate their characteristics in favour of the more attractive options. Men will tend to add a couple of inches to their height and women will magically seem slimmer (men too, actually). This only ends up being embarrassing and disappointing for both parties, especially when that flattering photo showing a full head of hair in reality resembles an outgoing tide, so she doesn’t even recognise him at the bar on the first date!

And when they’re at least 3 inches shorter and 5 years older than their profile has stated, they will just come across as a liar and lose all credibility.

Spontaneity v prior vetting

People often complain that internet dating has killed spontaneity when it comes to meeting the love of your life, however I’m not sure that having a random drunk man standing next to you at a bar and trying their game on while ogling down your top is all that successful a tactic either.

The best thing about internet dating is that you can “window shop” for a potential mate, and then vet them for compatibility. You can read a bit about them in their profile to see whether you both love skiing, or listening to dubstep, or long brunches over the weekend papers, or whether they at least have half a brain to string a sentence together. For those that are shy or just scared by rejection (who isn’t?), hiding behind an online persona allows you to be a bit braver in approaching someone that has caught your eye and starting a conversation without being humiliated by a withering look or a drink thrown in your face.

With people being increasingly busier – we’re all working longer hours, struggling to find time to catch up with our friends and family, as well going to the gym – internet dating is becoming a favoured choice for singles to meet other singles. It may lack spontaneity but I’m sure that the chances of finding someone that is truly compatible are far better than the traditional methods of trawling trashy nightclubs and bars. Or you could keep trying both!

Have you had any success with internet dating? Were you looking for a relationship or just a casual fling?

* Image courtesy of sxc.hu

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14 thoughts on “Internet dating – is it a good way to find love?

  1. Just had a thought…..is window shopping on internet dating really any different to the old school of arranged marriages. Back then it would be our parents doing the window shopping among their outer circles and choosing who they thought was the best pick. Now we can do the window shopping for ourselves. Just a thought!!!

  2. I think internet dating will continue to increase in popularity… it’s the easiest way where I can find a man while sitting on my bed at midnight without makeup wearing my “fat clothes” ! BUT…. one needs to be cautious. Just because something is written doesn’t mean it’s true !

    • Congratulations! I have lots of friends who have successfully found love online, so my fingers are crossed for The Rational Optimist 😉

  3. Been there, done that – and I am very -very- done with it.

    I know it works. Which is great. Friends of mine have been successfully with the meeting mates on the www. That’s probably the reason why I let myself talk into round 2 even though I swore myself that I was done already after round 1. And no – third time is not a charm.
    I tend to attract about 2 types of men. Both are a very bad match with Yours Truly. And it seems that the potential to attract this type over the internet is even higher then normal. So I still hope for the “We bumped into each other in the supermarket and it clicked!” – version of meeting a partner – otherwise I just stay single. So there!

    • Interesting viewpoint Ironyonhighheels! Are you sure that you are attracting these 2 types of men, or perhaps you are attracted to them too? I have a friend that is looking for that one man that she’ll fall in love with instantly and want to tear his clothes off, but when she describes his characteristics, he sounds exactly like the bad boy player type! Probably not the “stick around through thick and thin” type!!

      So have you gone back to picking up men at sleazy bars then? 😉

      • LOL Cross my heart and hope to die – I am not attracted to type 1 or 2.

        How to explain without sounding like my ego is completely blown out of proportion….? What’s the female equivalent of the male GQ comparison? Victoria’s Secret? 😛
        Well, in reality I do not fit the VS [or fill in preferred analogy] profile but on paper I do have the stats that might make it look that way. Tall, slender and long (dark) hair. Maybe the face isn’t something you want to run away from either.
        Which in turn seems to attract the type of man who wants a ‘Yes darling’ – accessory – bimbo. Oftentimes, even though they pretend to be all macho and confident, they are extremely insecure and built their ego on your back.

        I left home at age 20 and moved to a foreign country, built myself a life and been independent for the past 16 years. That shaped my way of thinking and reacting.
        This tends to attract that the type of men who wants more of a mother then an equal partner. Someone who pulls the load of the relationship.

        As you may take from my description I don’t fit the first profile and I do not tolerate any man who wants a free ride.

        What your friend describes sounds to me more like instant passion 😆 Don’t get me wrong I actually believe in ‘love at first sight’. I have been there myself. But it doesn’t come around often.
        I also believe in interpersonal chemistry. I am a gut/intuition person. From the moment I meet a person I can tell whether there is potential or not (not necessarily Love at first sight, but knowing you could fall that person if met more then once). Something that is a lot harder online. Especially with many people sugarcoating their profile.
        Which in my case felt like a monumental waste of time. Mine and the other persons. I do drool over good looking man like about any woman – but in the end it’s the chemistry I rely on.
        Intuition is a powerful thing and has so far never let me down (my rational brain has though in the times I felt it safer to trust that then my intuition)

        And a big sorry for that extremely long comment!

      • Ahem – and regarding your question of sleazy bars: that’s a ‘no’.
        Because of physical reasons I almost never do alcohol. So my tolerance towards slurred pick up lines is about Zero. *lowly whistling and looking towards the ceiling*

      • I see some similarities between us actually. I am also a strong, well-educated professional and independent woman that has travelled extensively, and I also tend to attract men who are looking for a mother-type. At the same time, these are not the type of men I’m attracted to, which means that I have struggled big time to find someone that is my equal but also someone that gets my heart pumping and the blood rushing to my head 🙂

        As much as I don’t think that I have ridiculously high standards, I’m also not easily impressed by the superficial things that a lot of other women are attracted to, such as a flash job, luxury car, being wined and dined, etc. I’m just looking for someone that I have an emotional, physical and intellectual connection. Maybe that does mean that I’m fussy??

  4. I tried internet dating but found that, without exception, all of the men I ended up meeting had falsely advertised! The thing I found the most frustrating was that even when someone sounded good on paper, there was no predicting whether that genuine spark of attraction would be there when we met in person. I think I’ll stick to my most promising method of meeting someone to date, the way I met my current boyfriend… in the métro! 🙂

  5. So there seems to be a few of us about. Travelled, educated, professionals!!

    So tell me, why does that make so many guys steer clear?? Like they can’t handle someone that can take care of themselves. Now, I don’t scream “I can do it myself” but when needed I can and do.

    I’ve only every been told once by a guy (that I wasn’t dating) that it might be intimidating for some guys. But seriously…do the majority really want a woman that is needy 24/7?? Mayby they do.

    I also had a conversation with some girlfriends recently about male friends..mates. Some think it puts guys off. Others say its fine. What does everyone else think??

  6. Pingback: Why being single rocks « Laugh Lots, Travel Often

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