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