by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Relationships Columnist
Published in Relationships on 21st August, 2018
There are a multitude of people using the internet to seek out relationships today. While it may have once been frowned upon, this type of relationship-seeking has become largely the norm of culture in many places. However, those who haven't tried it may wonder if it's worth the effort.
After all, how do you know the person you're talking to is actually interested, or if they're being truthful? To help you with making the decision as to whether or not you should try online dating, we're going to take a look into what it is as well as the positive and negative aspects.
Online dating is a method of dating in which you put a profile out into the world, and those who are interested can choose to match with, contact or otherwise get in touch with you. There are a variety of these kinds of dating programs, from websites, to phone apps, to more specialized sites for those looking for something specific.
If you're interested in trying out some version of online dating, it's going to be important to make sure you select the option that suits what you're looking for the best. That way, those who contact you will be most likely to share your goals and be on the same page about what you'rel ooking for.
With most online dating, you'll begin by making a profile. This could range from a quick picture and summary to something with a more in-depth look at your personality and who you are, including personality quizzes and more.
Depending on what you're looking for, many find that the more detailed profiles can be useful in gaining a longer term relationship. Meanwhile, the simpler versions are easier to get started with and tend to lean more towards short-term relationships. That's not to say that this is always true, of course exceptions do happen, meaning you can find just about anything on either type of site. It just may be easier to use the type of site that applies best to what you want.
Dating websites like OkCupid, Match.com and other similar websites tend to work a little better for those who are looking for something long term. These sites can either be free, or require a subscription cost. They also often offer quizzes and other features that can allow more of your personality to show.
When you're using these sites, it's highly important to make sure that your profile and quiz answers match your honest thoughts and feelings. That way, you'll have an easier time finding someone who wants what you want and shares your opinions on certain aspects of relationships.
An option that has been becoming highly popular is the use of dating apps. These can include standalone apps like Tinder, or ones that connect to dating sites like the OkCupid app. Many people tend to like these options because they are easy to access and allow you to track activity right from your phone.
If you try out these options, it is important to keep in mind that it can be very easy to get sucked into checking your phone too frequently for messages or matches. You'll want to make sure that you set a limit on your activity so that you still give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your life outside of the app.
These are options that lean toward those who are looking for something more specific than just a relationship. For example, there are dating sites for farmers, those of certain religious affiliations as well as those for people who have a stronger interest in fetishes than others and want that dynamic in their relationship.
If you feel that you fit into one of these categories, it can be a very good idea to check out dating sites that apply to your needs. The dating pool on these types of websites may be smaller, but it's also more likely that those you meet through it will share your interests.
Just like any online interaction, it's important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Because you don't already know the people you may meet there, it's wise to avoid giving them too much access to your life before you get a feel for who they are.
Consequently, it's worthwhile to talk to them online or through a free texting service for as long as needed until you're comfortable. When you're ready to meet them in person, select a public place to meet and have your own method of transportation. While these precautions may not seem the most romantic, they are highly important for your safety. There will be plenty of time for romance once you know the person you're seeing a little better.
In addition, it's a good idea to keep your address, phone number and other identifying information to yourself until you feel safe in knowing they are trustworthy. Taking these few simple precautions can really go a long way to keeping you safe and making sure the person you're seeing isn't going to harm you.
Just like dating in the outside world, this can depend on a number of variables. Firstly, you'll want to be on the same page about what you both want. For example, if you want children and they don't, it's not likely to be worth the continued effort, as this will likely be a point of contention in the future.
Second to that, both partners must be willing to make the other a priority. This isn't to say they should depend on each other for everything, but should make the time for deep conversations, personal attention and valuable time together.
The biggest difference between these two options is that you can generally expect people to be somewhat more serious about a long-term relationship on a paid site. After all, few people are going to pay a monthly subscription if they're just looking to hook up.
However, that's not to say you can't find a long-term partner on a free site. There may be more advertisements and obstacles, but it's still very possible. This is simply a point to consider while you're deciding on the dating site you want to use. You can also opt to try out both just to discover the differences.
Dating sites and apps can be a great way to get to know someone without the pressure that comes with going on a date with someone you don't know. However, that does mean you'll have to set firm boundaries, as not everyone is going to be willing to take the time to talk a lot before meeting.
Another benefit is the ability to have access to a number of potential partners in an easy way. Rather than one person taking an interest, there may be multiple. This can allow you to choose who would be the most compatible for you, making it easier to find what you're looking for.
Not everyone is truthful or trustworthy online. There are people who will lie about their age, gender, appearance, or a combination just to reel in unsuspecting victims. Consequently, it's important to be very careful and always have a way out for the sake of your safety.
There can also be a problem with flakiness on these sites. Many people want to look for a partner, but may not be interested in interacting with every message they get. This can result in potential partners disappearing before or after a date.
If your profile isn't impressive, it's not going to bring in many messages or matches. As a result, it's a good idea to make sure that you're honest about who you are, but also find ways to show off your more appealing features.
It can take some effort to find the line between boring and attention-seeking, but with a little trial and error it is entirely possible. Make sure that you take into account how your profile, pictures and quiz answers may appear to others. This can go a long way toward making yourself appealing to others.
In the end, the answer to this question is entirely up to you. If you're patient, willing to make adjustments to your profile, and remember to stay safe when meeting potential partners, then there is a good chance you'll find someone you want to be with in time.
That said, online dating isn't easy. It can take a lot of effort that some may feel is wasted, and many many dates. If you're okay with putting yourself out there, then it isn't a problem! However, if you prefer not to take that route, it might be better to keep your dating to the outside world.