Is it a flaw in our society that we find our dates on the internet these days?
In the last few years, the prevalence of online dating has increased dramatically, with an average of 10% meeting their current partner on the internet in 2015 alone. These amounts vary greatly depending on what the person is looking for – for example, up to 80% of gay men meet their partners in the online world. This is a huge rise from 14% in 2001. Considering the specifics of the gay community, this is a big deal!
Why is online dating so popular these days? Well, between the availability of online dating apps such as Zoosk, Badoo, and Tinder and the difficulty of finding someone in the “real world”, we’re becoming more reliant on the internet as a whole. I even found my current partner on the internet – although not through any of the typical channels (we met through Facebook after I became friends with her cousin, but that’s a much longer story).
So… Is it a flaw in our society that we find our dates on the internet these days? Well, I don’t think so.
Meeting partners through the internet allows us to learn more about them from the comfort of our own homes, without the stress involved with the traditional dating methods. There are definitely a number of things to look out for – such as “romantic scams”, which involve one party getting money and gifts from the other party without ever meeting in person.
However, for those who are cautious and impose their own rules, these risks can be minimized.
Interested in dating online? Here are the ground rules we recommend for your safety and satisfaction.
1. Don’t lie on your profiles.
Lying will soon be found out, and then you’ve just wasted the time of you and your partner.
2. Don’t use old photos.
If you use a photo that doesn’t look like you do now, meeting up with your date can be an embarrassing experience. We all want to put our best foot forward, but you shouldn’t be misleading.
3. Don’t agree to send money or gifts to anyone you don’t know.
This should be a given, but some people are very trusting of others. Generally speaking, this isn’t a good thing on the internet. Sure, there are more “good people” than “bad people” on the internet, but anyone who’s genuinely a good person won’t expect you to pay them without even knowing them.
4. Don’t lie to your friends and family about what you’re doing when you go on a date.
It’s sad that this even has to be mentioned, but the truth is, people do get raped and murdered by people they meet on the internet.
Sure, this can be extended to people you meet through friends as well, and even people you’ve personally known for a long time – but it’s much easier to avoid if you tell at least one reliable person where you’re going to be and who you’re supposed to be meeting with. Consider arranging for a call at some point to make sure you’re ok. It’s a good idea to discuss a “code word” just in case it’s not safe to say what’s really going on.
5. Be honest with yourself (and your matches) about what you want.
There are a good number of people who are looking for just sex (about 12%), a great deal of people who are looking for a casual relationship (about 70%), and a fair amount of people who are looking for someone to marry (about 11%). There’s no reason to be misleading about your intentions – you can find the person you want if you’re honest.
Take selfies! Women who take selfies are about 4% more likely to get a date through online dating apps and websites if they take selfies. Full-body selfies can up this to 203% more responses!
6. Don’t get desperate.
Up to 1/3 of people who date online don’t ever actually make a date with anyone they meet online – and that’s ok. The best relationships tend to happen when you’re not looking, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily give up. If you really want to find someone, you can. The internet is a big place. Just make sure it’s not the only place you look.
All in all, the important thing to remember if you choose to date online is to be safe and honest, and don’t set your expectations too high. The right woman is out there for you. She just might not be on the other side of the screen.