While all of life has changed immensely as the Internet and cell phone technology have evolved, perhaps no aspect of regular life has changed more than dating. Someone in a committed relationship for the past five years or more may not even recognize what single and dating life is like now. The advent of immensely popular dating websites (like eHarmony) and apps (like Tinder) has become the standard for single people today. It has added terms like “swipe left/right” into the modern lexicon.
On the whole, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One of the greatest challenges for single people has always been meeting other single people outside of work or going to a bar, which just isn’t for everyone. These apps and sites give people access to a wide pool of possible matches and it can be used as an excellent tool for single people. However, the keyword in that sentence is tool. These platforms should be used as a springboard into a real relationship and not as a replacement for real connections because love is physical, not digital.
An Important Reminder
The title of this post is an especially important reminder to younger, single individuals out there, who use these sites more than any demographic. A study conducted in October of 2019 shows that a whopping 48% of all people aged 18-29 had used a dating app or website. Of those, 17% of adults had either married or been in a committed relationship with someone they met via those methods. These numbers aren’t too bad and it proves that you can find real love via these platforms.
As good as online dating appears, there are still serious pitfalls to be aware of as a single person. First off, while a majority report a positive experience with dating apps, 43% said they had somewhat or very negative experiences with the apps. A large part of this comes from unwanted or negative interactions from potential matches. This same study showed that 48% of women continued to be contacted even after they told the person they weren’t interested, 46% received sexually explicit content they didn’t ask for, and 33% were called an offensive name by matches.
Obviously there are pros and cons associated with online dating however, when used properly, it can reward you with an introduction to someone you could share the rest of your life with. Here are just a few things to consider before you jump into online dating feet first.
- Keep your first meeting short and casual – Meet for lunch or coffee before committing yourself to an entire evening with someone you just don’t connect with.
- Be sure to connect in public whenever you meet someone for the first time. Always avoid the temptation to meet at a home or location where you will be alone.
- Never share your home address or other private information with anyone until you feel that they are someone you can trust.
- Be honest online and do not engage in “catfishing”. Nobody wants to date a person who pretends to be someone else.
As you can see online dating is the new norm but basing an entire relationship over a few shared interests and text messages isn’t enough. Instead, these platforms should be used to generate connections with people so you can create healthy relationships that are built on a tangible foundation rather than a digital connection that may be shaky at best. If you go into online dating with eyes wide open and a focus on building something concrete, you will increase the odds of finding “the one” and can avoid the pitfalls of placing too much stake in a digital connection that will leave you feeling more frustrated than when you started.
Staying connected and safe in this technological world can be a bit daunting, but we can help! Contact us for more information!