Online dating is not a new concept, but it has evolved into something that offers more positive results, as opposed to its predecessors’ platforms. It used to be that there was a one-in-a-billion chance for success. Now, there’s actually one in a million, but only if the people who utilized it were open-minded and sincere.
At this point in time, thousands of people have hacked online dating and got themselves the love of a lifetime. Unfortunately, those people had to wade through thousands of failed attempts and sleazy pick-up lines in order to find their other halves.
Online dating may have increased your chances of success, but it also increases the number of failures you’ll need to go through. The silver lining, however, is that you can tip the scales in your favor. How? By knowing what to expect and how to prepare yourself for it.
The advantages of online dating
If you’re reluctant to try online dating, you should know that it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Those who don’t understand its good points will label it as a desperate attempt to catch a date or a last resort before the biological clock strikes 12.
To this, I say an emphatic, “Hell no!” Online dating, for me, is a godsend. Rather than end up with someone who’s not meant for you, online dating has given you the chance to weed out the people whom you’re least likely to be attracted to.
It’s not just about physical attraction either. You can converse with a possible date, and see if they’re the type of person you can actually connect with. Online messages and texts are not very reliable, but it’s better than not having an idea of what you’re in for in real life.
The best part about online dating is that you have an exit strategy as well. You can say goodbye at any time when you’re talking online. You can opt not to give out your address and personal information. Not having common friends is also an advantage because there’s no middle man to worry about.
And the best advantage of all is that you get a chance to meet the person of your dreams without having to scour every bar, pub, bookstore, coffee shop, library, and other possible singles-friendly areas. You can choose one person at a time from the comfort of your own home.
The most common problems of online dating
While there are a lot of advantages to online dating, there will be disadvantages as well. It is just as difficult as real-life dating, but with more options to spare. That is why you have to be ready for the problems that you will encounter, which are as follows:
#1 Catfishing. Catfishing happens when you start to talk to someone online, and they end up not being the person you’re expecting. A woman could end up being a guy, and vice versa. A person might end up being a site or advertising bot. They could even be someone who made up a different persona and showed you a different picture.
In order to prevent this from happening, look for the signs that tell you something’s fishy. Ask for a social media profile that has updates that span at least three years. If that doesn’t pan out, request a video call. [Read: Catfishing tactics and how catch them in the act]
#2 The bait and switch. It’s almost the same as Catfishing, but you’re actually talking to someone legitimate. The only problem is that they can make themselves seem more attractive than they really are by posting old pictures or omitting certain aspects of their job and personality.
#3 Stalkers. You never know if you’re dealing with one, so it’s best not to give out any sensitive information, unless you’re sure that the person you’re seeing is sane. Stalkers can range from slightly annoying to downright scary. Be careful who you talk to, and make sure that their social media profiles show that they engage in healthy conversations with their friends and families.
#4 The two-faced date. At first, they seem nice and charming, but things quickly change when you’re finally on the date. These types of dates can lure you with the pretense of a relationship, and then surprise you by asking for a hook-up or leaving you the morning after you sleep together. If you’re not into hook-ups, you should establish this before going home with them. [Read: 10 techniques guys use to get in your pants]
#5 Baggage. When a person has emotional baggage, it can be anything from an ex that just won’t go away or a personality disorder that has never been diagnosed. It’s easy to know who these people are because they have an air of negativity about them. They don’t seem enthusiastic about the date, and they are more likely to complain about their lives than enjoy their night out with you.
#6 The ones that got away. Chatting online is an amazing way to get to know a person, but there is a limit to how long that should go. These people have hundreds of other choices within the immediate vicinity. You should either lock them down for a date or at least give them your number. [Read: Why do nice guys suck at online dating?]
#7 The rejections. There will be many, especially if you’re socially inept at conversing with strangers online. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, there will be people out there who won’t like you, and that’s okay. That’s because there are just as many, or even more, who will think that you’re awesome. Just keep your head up, and don’t let those unanswered messages bother you.
#8 The clingy dates. These types of online daters are a bit too much for most people. They’re the type who fall for people on the first date, and they will do everything they can to turn it into a relationship. This is acceptable for some people, but not so much for online daters. It’s hard to trust people, and even more so if you only know each other online.
#9 The trolls. These people are just on the sites to make fun of people and embarrass them. When you encounter one of these, block them immediately, and refrain from further engagement, no matter how much you want to call them out. You never know what they’ll do to your photo if you step on the wrong toes.
#10 The bitter rejects. These are people who have had enough rejection in real life, and are now taking out their problems on the ones who reject them online. When they start harassing you, block them. You’re not only protecting yourself, but you are also helping them by saving them from further embarrassment.
#11 Scammers. There are criminals in the real world, and there are criminals online. Always be safe. Give your friends and family detailed information about your date, keep your GPS on, and always date someone who is easy to find. Never trust anyone implicitly on the first date, and always find out everything you can about them.
#12 Perverts. These people are more common than you think. They’re only there to look for people who are willing to engage in illicit, sexual deviance online. Or if not, they’re just there to harass you and use your picture for unmentionable purposes. Block and report these people, so they won’t get a chance to traumatize others. [Read: 14 important dos and don’ts of online dating]
#13 The sense of hopelessness. This one’s on you. Even without the rejections, you will encounter unsavory characters that will make you doubt why you tried online dating in the first place. Just remember that no matter how many bad dates you have, you have an opportunity to find twice as many good dates. Learn from those bad dates, so you can find a better prospect.
The majority of the problems in online dating revolve around the people that you encounter. When looking at it through that perspective, you’ll see that it’s no different from dating in the real world. The good thing about it is that you know a little bit about what you’re getting into, which is more than you can say for the strangers that you meet at the bar.