Finding your match online has become the new normal these days. It’s an easy and convenient way to survey a large number and a wide variety of potential dates all at once. It’s also an easy way to keep things casual and take the pressure off.
From websites dedicated to finding a long-term partner to fun dating apps you can use to find a fun fling, there’s something for everyone out there.
The problem is – it’s not always as great as they make it seem.
You come across a lot of creeps, and the whole thing becomes overwhelming in no time.
Online Dating in A Nutshell
If you’re looking to date online, you can find almost any kind of dating site.
Some are very broad and generic while others are quite specific.
There are dating sites specifically for people groups like self-identified “nerds,” fitness gurus, and even fans of particular musical genres.
For finding a more serious potential relationship, services like Match.com and eHarmony are among the top.
If you’re 50+ and looking for someone, a site like OurTime.com is dedicated to the older generation.
For something more fun and casual, you have dating apps like Tinder and Bumble that offer shorter, more direct profiles and the infamous “swipe left or right” dynamic.
A quick yes or no based on a first impression determines who you match with and will subsequently speak to.
Why Online Dating Sucks
Everyone is on these dating apps all the time, so many are always complaining bout how much online dating sucks. As popular as it is, there are many reasons why it can suck a lot.
People lie all the time.
One of the biggest issues in the online dating world is a lack of honesty. Lots of people lie about themselves in different capacities.
Much of the time, it’s little things like their age, location, or interests to get attention from others.
This makes it hard to know if a connection is real. Some people lie about everything and pretend to be a different person, which can actually lead to some dangerous situations.
Many only want hookups.
Dating apps especially are full of people who only want to be casual and hook up. If this is what you’re after, too, that’s great.
But many aren’t honest about this upfront, so you may end up seeing a relationship with someone who isn’t serious at all.
You need to be vigilant about learning what a person truly wants.
Most relationships don’t last.
The truth is that a lot of relationships that start online won’t last. This can stem from the fact that there was a lack of foundation when you met in such an artificial environment.
This is especially true for long-distance relationships, which can be easy to start when the internet gives you access to the entire world. It can be easy to fall for someone who lives in another country.
Still, the relationship isn’t always a practical long term.
People are judgmental
A lot of people are judgemental, and this is only exacerbated online. They might misread something you say or misunderstand what you put on your profile.
They might also just judge simple things about your personality or appearance, and this makes it hard to connect.
Online Dating Algorithms are unreliable.
Many dating websites rely on algorithms to match people up. Sometimes, they might be onto something, but computer programs can’t read real people and real personalities.
The best way to find real matches is to create a good profile to make a good impression.
This will give potential matches a much better idea of who you are then a computer program looking for keywords and common interests.
Too many options
On the surface, this may seem like a good thing, but it can actually be quite overwhelming.
First, it can make it difficult for you to choose who to pursue. It also means everyone else has a ton of options, and it may prevent them from giving you a real chance and paying all of their attention to you.
This creates a cycle of constant dates but no relationship.
Chemistry is hard to read.
When all you’re doing is chatting online, it’s hard to determine if the chemistry is actually there. Being online may remove some of the nerves and pressure, but it’s confusing at times.
You’ll need to meet in person to determine if there is something there, and this ends up wasting a lot of time if you meet a lot of people that don’t go anywhere.
There are many scams out there.
As with anything online, there are always scammers. The online dating world isn’t immune to this. Scammers can be found infiltrating legitimate websites, and some entire websites may turn out to be a scam.
Either way, you must be careful and attentive. Take the necessary precautions to ensure you’re being safe and not falling for scams.
Can be a waste of time
In the end, all of these things can culminate into a colossal waste of time.
Think about all the hours you spend reading profiles, swiping, chatting, and eventually dating. If you’re unable to channel any of this into anything real, what’s the point?
If you don’t want to end up wasting your time, you can take some steps and precautions to ensure you get the most out of your online dating experience.
How to Make Online Dating Work
While the consensus still remains that online dating pretty much sucks, there are still some things you can do to make it better and more successful.
Take the following things into consideration before you begin your online dating experience, and you’ll find it much more pleasant.
Begin by setting clear boundaries for yourself. Decide what you’re going to do with the dating sites, how far you’ll go with people, how much you’ll reveal, etc. This will dissuade you from going too far or straying from what you really want.
If necessary, you can go over these boundaries with potential matches as you navigate the early stages of the conversation.
Even with boundaries set, it’s important to remain open-minded when venturing into the online dating world. If you are set on making it work and finding something real and special, you can’t let yourself get too picky.
You must realize that there can be a lot of competition in the online dating world.
If you have a crazy specific set of criteria, you might only find one or two people who fit your list. But, it’s important to understand that multiple people will be after these people.
There are thousands of people out there on the internet, looking. Keep your mind open and broaden your search.
You might end up pleasantly surprised when an unlikely match turns into something really cool.
You must know what it is you are looking for before starting.
While you can’t let yourself be too picky, it’s still important to know what you’re looking for before you start. Things like age range, distance, and religion are important things to work out before you begin.
Kids are another important thing to decide on. If you don’t have them – do you want them? Will you date someone who already has kids? Weeding the right people out in terms of kids is an important step to finding a successful relationship.
If you know these things ahead of time, you won’t waste your time on people who don’t fit into these core attributes.
It’s also important to be patient. Many people jump online and expect to get into it right away.
While it’s true that you’ll most likely make some initial connections, but they’ll still take some time to develop.
You’ll also need to keep in mind that even if conversations develop, not every match will turn into a date, and not every date will turn into a relationship.
It may be a while before you begin to see anything real, and this may become frustrating.
However, if you remain patient and stick to it, your chances of eventually finding something more long-term is better.
Do not expect too much.
Lastly, you can’t expect too much. If you set your sights on something major like marriage right away, you’ll only find yourself disappointed.
It’s true that many marriages began on a dating website, but it’s also true that more people end up with nothing than end up married.
Set your expectations low, and let yourself see what happens and where things go.
This way, you won’t be too upset if you don’t find anything for yourself, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you do find a real relationship.
At the end of the day, online dating is what it is. It’s convenient, frustrating, overwhelming, and sometimes fun all at the same time. You need to take it at face value and keep your expectations low.
Put the right boundaries in place, and find the right dating site for you. If you’re looking for someone who shares your faith, start there. If you want someone who shares your taste in music, see if there’s a dating site for that.
Approaching online dating with the right attitude is the best way to ensure a good experience for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why is online dating so difficult?
Many things will make online dating difficult. These include:
- Not filling out your profile fully.
- Failing to upload photos.
- Being too picky.
- Setting your expectations too high.
- People are dishonest and flakey.
- People are quick to swipe left.
- A lot of people rely on photos only and not common interests.
While these things are all true, don’t let it deter you from online dating entirely. Simply keep these things in mind and go into the experience knowing what it could look like.
2. Is online dating a waste of time?
In truth, it can be. If you don’t know what you want and entertain conversations with people you know won’t work out, you are wasting your time.
However, if you set clear boundaries and create balanced criteria, your chances of finding someone are higher. This means knowing what you want, but keeping an open mind within your most basic, core parameters.
3. What are the dangers of online dating?
As with any online activity, online dating can certainly be dangerous.
First, there are scammers and hackers. These people may target you to hack into your computer or your accounts. This can give them access to private information that they may use against you in real life.
By corresponding with them on the internet, you can become a target and even inadvertently provide them with information without even realizing it.
Second, are the predators. These are people who will masquerade as someone else to lure you into a real-life meeting. They can have all kinds of horrible intentions.
The best way to avoid this is to always meet in public for the first dates. Never go anywhere private and never get into their car or invite them into yours, until you’re sure they’re real with you.
You may also be able to get an idea of their authenticity if you gain access to their social media.
This is never a guarantee, but normal, active, social media accounts can at least point to them being the person they say they are.
Follow general internet safety precautions, and you’ll be able to stay safe while dating online.
4. Why does online dating not work for me?
If online dating isn’t working for you, try taking a step back and looking at the big picture. Does your profile have good information? Is your location accurate?
It can also be worth examining your conversations. Are you being too shy or not asking enough questions?
If none of these offer any help or insight, perhaps you need to broaden your search field. If you have too many specific criteria or you find yourself being too picky, you won’t be finding yourself a date any time soon.