Five important things you should know about online dating
I’ve had my fair share of online dating – yep I’ve had the experience where my date sat across me eating too fast until one piece of risotto came out of his nose (Sorry, tmi at the beginning of article already). And whether or not you’re new to this, wanting to try but never get around to it, or just wondering whether or not online dating is even worth it, you need to know some truths to prepare you for this.
For a start, online dating is different from real life. In real life, you see the person’s appearance first, you then proceed to hear them talk. And if their appearance turns you off within the first three minutes, you’ll hear ‘la la la la la’ and nothing else. But with online dating, the first thing you see is their online profile. Appearance can be photoshopped and so you won’t know for sure whether or not the hunk you anticipate to meet is actually 4 feet tall (yes, another one of my experience). You then (if you are a woman) analyse his profile and match it to the invisible checklist you have i.e. is he marriage material, does he look nice, whether or not he says he loves children, pets, etc. And this is all before you even say a word to each other.
So should you try online dating at all?
Oh yes, because it works. Even I know a few people who met on eharmony.com and now happily married – and I don’t know that many people. Plus, it is sometimes easier to browse for profiles knowing these people have actually indicated they are single (hopefully) and ready for dates. It is definitely better than scanning a bar not knowing whether that hot person you see is even single.
So what are the truths you need to know about online dating?
1. You are not going to be interested in the majority of members
Even though eharmony.com (still my favourite online dating site) claims that they have more than a million members, and they will further tailor the members to your interests and profile in order to help you find the right person, it is still impossible for a program to matchmake you to another person. You still have to go through profiles yourself, and chances are, you are only interested in a handful of them.
2. Dating needs some effort – online or not
Yes you may browse for profiles while in your pjamas just before you go to bed, but dating still needs some kind of effort. Online dating hopefully leads you to a meeting in person, where you – hopefully – make decent conversation, and you sacrifice some of your time to meet this person (you simply cannot properly date through emails and the faster you meet this person, the better).
3. You will face disappointments
She might’ve put up an outdated, thinner version of herself on the site. He might’ve sounded fun on emails and boring in person. Or you may have to face some rejections yourself. After all, this is dating. So be prepared for rejections – or to reject – potential dates.
4. You are looking for a date, not penpal
Too many people are getting too comfortable chatting behind their computer screen, but flake out as soon as the other person suggest to meet. If you are one of the people who get cold feet, realise that you’ll never get married chatting to a profile (she/he is just a profile until you really meet them). And if what you’re looking for is a relationship, you need to get out there and meet this person.
This also means, you move on and stop chatting to a potential date if he/she refuses to meet you (or make excuses). Stick to the few emails (possibly 3 or 4) emails before you suggest to meet and that way you don’t have to waste too much time before finding out whether or not the chemistry actually exists in the first place.
5. Dating cost money
Well of course. In fact, there are too many online dating scam and fake profile out there, you should be wary of people who don’t want to spend money online dating. You don’t have to spend a fortune to subscribe to an online dating site, but I really think it’s a necessary step (not to mention small investment) to find the love of your life.
In saying that though, don’t just subscribe and start meeting every single person who is interested in you. You still need to respect your time and meeting too many people ‘just for the sake of it’ is a waste of time. So if you know you’re not attracted to their best photo version online, move on. I agree that someone’s personality is definitely more important than their looks, but from experience, meeting people without being attracted to their photos is normally a waste of time.
So what are you waiting for? Give online dating a try. My recommendation is of course, eharmony.com because I had more luck there than any other site. And once you finally move out of online dating into ‘real in person dating’, why don’t you try finding creative dating ideas rather than the normal dinner/movie date?
P.S. I end up marrying someone I met offline – breaking my own rule of not going out with someone from my workplace. But that’s life, you just never know where you will meet the love of your life. And for all I know, it may just be online 🙂