Single? Is online dating for you?
What do you do when you are scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, Instagram timelines, or twitter feed and see all of your friends coupled up with their significant other? Many of us ponder how we have gotten to this point. How are we the friend who is drinking endless wine, always ready to party, and unequivocally single? The good news is there are a lot of single people in America who feel similar to you.
With so many dating apps and websites out there, it’s now normal to use online dating to meet and become acquainted with someone. According to Pew Research, 5% of Americans who are married or in a committed relationship say they met their significant other online. So, are you thinking about giving online dating a try? I will lay out some pros and cons and let you make the decision.
Let’s Get Started
If you are completely new to the idea of online dating, you may struggle to find the perfect platform. This is understandable considering within the last 10 or so years the amount of online dating platforms has tripled in size.
If you are looking for “old reliable,” you can use sites like OkCupid and Match, which have been around for the longest, boast more than a million active users each, and have endless opportunity. The downfall to these older sites is that they considered less exciting than the conventional apps.
These days’ people are using mobile apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr. These apps shook up the online dating industry by inventing the idea of swiping. You can show interest in and reject a profile in a matter of seconds. The plus side is that these apps have evolved from their reputation of “hook-up” apps to a more standard dating app.
Online dating platforms inevitably bolster their share of pros and cons, but once you find one that is the perfect platform for you, you‘ll be off an running (or should I say dating).
The New Normal
A few years ago, social media apps like Tinder and Bumble were solely thought of as hook-up apps, and if you were lucky enough to match with someone who was actually seeking a meaningful relationship you were kinda embarrassed to share your story with your friends and family. In 2018, the millennial community has embraced the online dating culture. After all, 20% of current, committed relationship began online according to the online dating statistics posted by eHarmony. I mean it’s pretty cool and exciting to hear the various success stories that have blossomed from a single “swipe.”
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still run into the occasional weirdo who is simply looking for a fun time, but as long as you are open, honest, and set immediate boundaries, you should be okay.
In 2018, when you say catfish, people don’t think of food, they think of the act of luring someone into a relationship by means of fictional online persona (no seriously, that’s now listed as a definition of a catfish). Everyone has become obsessed with having (or claiming to have) the perfect body, teeth, hair, and even eyebrows. According to eharmony.com, 53% of people lie on their online dating profile about their age, height/weight, and job/income. This means online dating brings the added risk you’re communicating with someone who isn’t being honest about who they are.
We were raised in the age of over-communicating, which can be both good and bad. Most of us cannot properly function without our cell phones, smartphones, or tablets, so why not skip the basics and get right down to the nitty-gritty. The idea of the “friend zone” is pretty nonexistent when you match with someone on a social media site or app. You connect because there is a mutual interest and attractive from the start. There is less work involved when you meet on social media, of course, there are several reserves about the process, but if you’re the type to openly communicate and connect with someone without meeting them in a face-to-face environment – you have hit the jackpot.
When you have been communicating with someone online for months and months, you inevitably reach a point where you are ready to meet in person. When this time comes you are going to feel a rush of emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness. This is completely normal; as a best practice, you should always let a trusted friend or family member know that you are going to meet up with someone you’ve never met before. You should give them the person’s information, a picture, and the location of the meetup. Once this is done and you feel confident and safe, approach the situation as you normally would. You already speak to this person on a normal basis and now is the time to really see if the connection is there.
If you are still questioning whether online dating is for you? Don’t you worry; the online dating world accepts all shapes, size, and ethnicities. According to Statista (2014), In the United States alone, 14% of White, non-Hispanics, 11% of African Americans, and 7% of Hispanics have used online dating (Statista.com), and it’s safe to say the number has only grown larger. Just remember, at the end of the day, when you are starting to entertain the idea of online dating, be sure to have an open mind and remember the other person is just as nervous as you are. The ball is on your side of the court. You have the opportunity to make this interaction as personal or impersonal as you want. Online dating is both exciting and nerve-wrecking – YOU are in the driver’s seat.