The good: New age dating: online dating. I love the concept. It is my lazy person’s guide to meeting a date. You can meet a ton of potential mates at one time. My single girl Saturday night guilty pleasure is sitting at my computer (probably looking like an absolute bum), and searching for men online who may have the attributes of a potential love interest.
Pick a site any site. Really there are a ton of online dating sites, and you don’t have to use just one. If you have the time and desire your profile can be on as many sites as you like at one time. From the free dating websites, to those that will cost you some money, there will always be someone who you can meet and, someone who wants to meet you. Most popular are Match, eHarmony, and Chemistry.com, but those will cost you. If you don’t mind paying a little to possibly find love, then go for it.
Now if you want to save your money because you figure “why do I have to pay to meet someone when I can meet them for free?”, then try Plenty of fish, or OK Cupid. Just remember those sites are free, and the people may not be as serious about finding someone special. They could have signed up just to browse or find a quick free hook up. So as always with any online dating experience, please be smart and use extreme caution.
The island of Oahu has an extremely small population when you compare it to a city like New York. So online dating may not be an absolute necessity on the island. Honestly if you are a social butterfly, and travel around to different parts of the island you just might meet everyone at least once. So the same person that you sent a wink to on match, just might be the same hottie that was standing next to you at the bar last Friday night.
When meeting people online the sense of rejection is not so apparent. No one likes the feeling of rejection (and truthfully girls hate it more than guys do). In online dating terms if you send a wink, smile, or if you actually choose to write a message to someone and they doesn’t respond, then don’t take it to heart or feel defeated because you probably sent 10 other messages that night and received a response from one or more of them. I must admit I am somewhat of a passive online dater. I usually let men find me and make the first contact. I would do the same if I in any other social situation. However, if I am really impressed by his picture (that counts!), or his profile, then I will send the first message, maybe he just hasn’t had the chance to notice me yet! If he responds great, if not; oh well then its on to the next one.
So if you have fears about online dating, don’t. Be smart, trust your instincts, and use your best judgment. Remember to make your first meeting at a very public place. If you can, try to have at least one actual phone conversation before going out to meet in real life. Texting and emails are nice, but you can save yourself time and trouble if you notice immediately that you have nothing to talk about due to long, uncomfortable periods of dead silence while you are on the phone.
The bad: On the internet anyone can be whoever and whatever they want. Be careful about trusting people because you are so amused by the countless emails, and mesmerized by the nightly phone conversations. I say have a face to face meeting as soon as possible so you can check out body language, affect, and get somewhat complete sense of who the actual person is. You may fall quickly in love with the idea of who you think a person is and not the actual person.
If you know a person’s first and last name, don’t be afraid to do a google search. At least if anything comes up you have information that may ease your mind, or make you run for the hills fast.
Internet dating can also be a frustrating experience. You will get a large amount of messages and request from people who you have no possible interest in. You can check the profile, if you don’t like what you see, move on. If this person continues to send you unwanted messages, I recommended blocking them to avoid contact.
If you are paying for these a site and not meeting anyone who is relationship worthy, then you might start to feel like you are wasting your money. Make a decision about how much money you are willing to spend to meet a potential mate, and how long you are willing to try it out for. I say give it a few months, that way you can get a clear sense of if this site is for you or not.
You need to be an active participant, even when dating online. You have a better chance of meeting someone if you respond quickly to messages, and write an engaging profile statement. This is your chance to make a first impression, put your best foot forward.
The Unfortunately Ugly: Not everyone you meet online will be who you originally thought they were. People are going to be people. Some people lie and deceive others for fun. So if physical attraction is what sparked your interest, then be aware that person may or may not look like that in real life. The picture could be ten years old, or someone could have had major physical changes since the date of that profile picture. So just be ready for anything when meeting someone.
Make your first encounter at someplace safe. I like Starbucks, Chilli’s, or Dave and Busters, or a beach walk, during mid day. That way it is not a romantic date like atmosphere, and if I need to bolt I can make up a good middle of the afternoon excuse.
Remember, the terms slim, athletic build, average, curvy, and a few extra pounds are all relative. You are what you want to be. Again, be prepared for any and everything!
You could be stood up at times. Maybe the person you were to meet got cold feet or was a complete flake. Don’t get yourself down about it. You really didn’t know that person anyway, and it is probably better that they are not in your life. Just move on. Call your friends, and let yourself enjoy the rest of the day.
Online dating is a good experience some days, and a crazy out of this world experience on other days. I defiantly have amazingly bad comedic stories that I will write about in future blogs, so stay tuned. However, it does give me an active social life, and great conversations when I am out with my friends. So if you haven’t tried it, give it a try. Surprisingly you just might meet “the one” at home on a Saturday night, while you are in your pajamas sitting in front of your computer screen.