Love and finding the one has a mythic quality in popular culture. The death of a relationship causes life changing feelings of angst, or, at least, we are told it is supposed to do so, and finding the person you want to marry is an event so major it is the climax of thousands of movies. This obsession trickles out from popular media into our everyday lives, and there are hundreds of ways and suggestions for the unfortunate single guy or gal to find Mr/Ms. Right. Some, of course, have a better chance of success than others. One of the ways that have been around for a while, but really only gained popular approval is signing up for an online dating site. This route has become so common that now 38% of those that are currently actively pursuing a new relationship have tried an online dating site. This method, like most things, has both a positive and a negative side, which deserve to be examined.
- Pros: Online dating first has the benefit of being based not simply on the first impression of looks. Disastrous first conversations are harder to ignore in a text form than in a loud bar, with constant distractions. Also, without the distractions, the only real conversation piece becomes mutual interests, which 64% of people say is the most important factor in finding a mate. Dating websites allow a person more luxury to explore those shared preferences and beliefs because there is no pressure to make a decision before going home that evening.
- Cons: Everyone hates cliche’s, even more so when they are right. Well, the cliche about the dangers of online dating sites has, at the minimum, an element of truth. It is far easier to misrepresent yourself online than in person. Many “tells” of dishonesty are actually body language or facial expression, eliminating the instinctive response to those signs that a person might otherwise have as a warning. Also, the amount of conversation and often deep or highly personal topics lends an illusion of intimacy, where participants feel that they truly know the person in a short amount of time when dishonesty could easily have been employed. Online dating websites can be perilous places, a danger that for many is not compensated for by the possibility of love. This problem will likely eventually be partially corrected by new dating websites. To attract more customers, they will find a way to verify identity and background, making them much safer for single women and men.
In the end, not many negative features would deter some people from trying an online dating site. All people assume “it won’t happen to me” in the face of life’s risks, so the fact that new dating sites will come along with higher standards is incredibly reassuring, since 66% of those that use a dating site or app have gone out on a date with someone they met by those means. Best to ensure safety and as much honesty as is possible to prevent the worst from happening.