There’s nothing wrong with online dating to hopefully find the love of your life. Some people might think it’s a little silly to go online and meet someone that they’ve never met. Though it’s true that you never really know who you’re talking to until you meet them in person, some of us are still willing to risk it!
Before you take the dive and sign up with an online dating site to see what’s out there, here’s a few things that you should know before you get started. For starters, there is a big different between adult ‘dating’ sites and dating sites! However, these dating tips can be applied to both different types of online dating.
1) Online dating can be sketchy.
You just never really know who you are talking to! Some people that are online are just simply awkward, rude, or just plain scary. There are those people that if you don’t get back to them within a certain amount of time, or if you send a polite message saying that you are not interested, they will send some nasty hate mail back at you. The best thing that you can do is report them to the website, block them, and ignore whatever else they send you. They’re not worth getting angry over.
2) Hold out when giving away your phone number and other contact information.
This is more common among younger teenagers. They talk to someone online for an hour or two, sometimes only for a few minutes, and they give away their phone number or home address. The next thing they know, they are getting harassing text messages, endless voicemails, and who knows what else. Never give away your contact information easily, especially if they press you for it. No means No! They should respect your wishes. If they don’t, then move on.
TIP: Create a junk email account, and sign up for whichever online dating site that you want to join. This makes it easier to keep track of who’s trying to contact you with each website. It also adds a good sense of privacy and security. If you ever get spammed or harassed, it’s easier to delete a junk email than a personal or professional email you’ve had for a long time.
3) Video chat is a great way to get to know someone.
Before you meet someone in person, video chat with them in real time via Skype or other similar program. By doing this, you won’t be surprised when you find out that the good looking guy or girl in the photo is actually 50 pounds overweight when you meet them in person.
I’ve heard one too many stories where people have used younger or better looking photos of themselves to get people to contact them. Some of them actually use photos of someone else. It’s ridiculous.
If you’re using video chat, and if don’t like what you see, it’s a lot easier to say goodbye and hit the ‘end chat’ button than telling them in person that you have to go home and feed your pets.
4) Meet up in a neutral place, or bring a friend.
You should not meet up at anyone’s place on the first date. Instead, meet them half way in a public place like a restaurant, movie theater, ball game, etc., somewhere there’s enough people to feel safe, but not enough people to bother you. Not only is it a safety concern, but it’s also a privacy concern. Your family shouldn’t have to worry about who you bring home.
In addition, if you would rather bring a friend to accompany, then make sure you let your date know that you are going to bring a friend. You could schedule a double date, have your friend accompany you on the date (which may prove annoying to your actual date), or have them stand close by in case you need to leave in a hurry.
5) Beware date rape drugs!
These are very rare occurrences, but it is still worth mentioning. Some people can be really nice while chatting online or over the phone, but when they meet you in person, things can get very dangerous rather quickly. There are some instances where people have tried to sneak drugs into their date’s drink or food, took them to the back room, and raped them. Alcohol is the number one date rape drug, so be careful!
6) Don’t expect to find the one.
According to the Pew Research Study about online dating, an estimated 5% of couples that met online resulted in a marriage, but according to some other studies, that percentage is as high as 35%. But how happy are married couples that met their partners online? According to the this study made by the University of Chicago in 2013, the overall happiness of married couples that met online are not that much different from couples that didn’t meet online.
7) You won’t know until you try!
Don’t let a lot of people’s bad online experiences deter you from at least trying online dating sites. Sure, online dating can be sketchy, awkward, and down right dangerous. On the other hand, some couples that meet online end up having a happily ever after. Is online dating right for you? It’s possible. If you have not met anyone in your area that you like, there’s simply not enough eligible people to date locally (not everyone lives in a big city), or maybe you just want to meet new people and go from there, then online dating could be worth a shot. At the end of the day, you never really know who’s out there, and sometimes, you have to go through the bad people to appreciate the good people!
*For statistics related to online dating, please visit www.pewinternet.org.
LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!
Have you tried online dating? How did you like it? Did you meet a lot of good or bad people? What was the best/worst date that you have been on? What did you learn from online dating? Would you do it again? Which dating websites did you try? Which websites were the best/worst? Would you recommend online dating?
I had a friend that tried online dating, and no, that is not code for me. There were no dating sites when I was growing up. I remember growing up with Windows 3.1, America Online (AOL), dial up, AOL instant messenger, and email. I thought that instant messenger was the coolest thing. In fact, I was so clueless about the internet that I had no idea what abbreviations meant (lol, lmao, & lmfao just to name a few), but I digress.
Anyway, my friend went on quite a few dates over a few months. He said that he met the most people on OKCupid. He tried eharmony and match.com, but he didn’t meet anyone because there weren’t many people around his age (21). Some of his dates went well, some were bad, and some were just a complete waste of time. He said that quite a few people (men and women included) either lie about their physical appearance, slightly stretch the truth, or post outdated photos of themselves in hopes of getting a date.
On a personal note, I can’t imagine why people would lie about themselves knowing that the other person will eventually find out. Maybe it’s because they think that if they get to know someone enough online, then the other person will most likely overlook their flaws, forgive them, and give them a chance? I don’t really know. I mean, why lie about something when one of the most important parts of a relationship is honesty? By lying about who you are, it doesn’t make you look good. Be proud of who you are is what I say! Confidence is key, and people can respect minor flaws since we all have them, but it takes true strength and courage to admitting your flaws and working on improving them. What do you think?