n this day and age, matchmaking is no longer done socially, through friends and family. Today, rather than meeting through a mutual friend, most matchmaking is done via computer algorithms.
Though the world of online dating can be an absolute shit show, it can also be pretty effective at helping people find “the one.”
With over 2,500 dating apps in the US alone, and almost 8,000 worldwide, online dating has become an incredibly common way of meeting one’s significant other. “A nationally representative 2017 survey of American adults found that about 39 percent of heterosexual couples reported meeting their partner online, compared to 22 percent in 2009.” (Shashkevich, n.d.)
From match.com, to tinder, to OkCupid, j-date, bumble and hinge, I have done my fair share of online dating. Personally, I haven’t had much luck yet, but I know so many people who have, and my sister and brother-in-law are two of these people.
The Pros and Cons
Below are some pros and cons of online dating.
1. You have access to a larger group of potentials, thus allowing you to expand your options beyond your social circle.
- Pros: allows you to connect with individuals you normally wouldn’t come across
- Cons: it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused when there are so many options. It’s possible to get stuck searching for the‘perfect match’ rather than truly and intimately exploring a relationship with someone specific.
2. It allows you to be picky - usually you can edit your dating profile settings to show people who match specific criteria that's important to you (ie: race, religion, height, career, if you want kids, etc...)
- Pros: you spend less time interacting with people who are totally not your type and can therefore focus more time and energy on matches that actually have potential to turn into a real and lasting relationship
- Cons: sometimes we think we know what we want, but we don’t. If we are so particular in our settings, we can prevent certain people who are amazing and who we could potentially fall for from showing up on our radar.
3. Allows you to vet someone prior to meeting
- Pros: this is safer than just showing up and meeting someone at a bar. You can spend more time getting to know the person and spend less time meeting people who you don’t click with. Computer-mediated communication allows for safe and convenient interactions.
- Cons: communicating mainly over the computer misses out on certain things that are only seen in person - ie: facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice
4. It's not face-to-face - this can be great for shy people .
- Pros: it also allows your to plan your messages and not feel put on the spot. And for the sake of our egos, being rejected online can hurt less than when it’s done in person, so it allows you to save face.
- Cons: some people aren’t as good with writing and online conversations. Their online persona may not represent their true selves. Some people thrive on face-to-face.
5. You’ll never be stuck on a date with someone you find unattractive.
- Pros: regardless of whether the conversation is enjoyable or not, you will at least be looking at someone you find good looking.
- Cons: you might veto someone based solely on their appearance, and they could have an amazing personality and be someone you grow to find attractive. A good personality can make the ugliest of uglies, attractive.
Give it a try!
I used to feel embarrassed to give online dating a shot. I thought it was desperado. Now I realize from personal experience just how hard it can be to meet awesome people who I click with romantically, in my everyday interactions.
Online dating allows me to stay at home, cuddling my kitty, warm in bed, and also be social and search for a partner, while in the comfort of my own home.
I’ve had some interesting, some horrible, and some awesome experiences with online dating. If you have yet to try it, I definitely suggest giving it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen?
You can always delete your profile/ the app if it’s not for you. Be open minded. You never know who you’ll meet.
Good luck swiping!