Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The whats and whys of online dating

People ask me all the time why I do online dating.  I think they mean it in a nice way (or at least I'm pretending they do).  And, honestly, I understand why they ask. Especially if they've never done it.  The whole concept is foreign to them and maybe a little scary.

Here are some of the concerns I have heard:

"The guys on there are jerks who are only looking for one thing."
Spoiler alert -- those guys don't just exist online; they're everywhere.  And I think they're easier to spot online than in real life.  But that's just me.  Similarly, I've also had people warn that if we don't have mutual friends, the guy is more likely to treat me poorly. I tend to think I can teach a man how to treat me, and I've seen plenty of friends mistreated by guys they met through other friends. So that's not a fool-proof theory.

"The guys on there are all creepy and weird."
Admittedly, I've shared some horror stories about those I've encountered online. The guy who asked how long I thought my cats would live. The guy who said he would love to be with me during the zombie apocalypse. The guy who asked me a question I do not feel comfortable publishing on this blog (Hi Mom!), so I'll leave it to your imagination, and you're probably pretty close.  So, yes, there are some creepy/awkward guys out there, but again, they exist in real life too.

"Online dating is only for people who are desperate."

OK, this is where I kind of get insulted.  I try not to take this comment personally, but ... if you know me, you know I have a hard time with that.  I am in no way, shape, or form, what I would consider desperate.  I'm very independent and I'm quite fond of my alone time. I also have a great group of friends, an awesome family, and a pretty enjoyable life.  I am perfectly happy being single, but I am also leaving the door open for someone with whom I can share my awesomeness because let's face it, I have a lot to offer.

+++++

Honestly, online dating is not for everyone.  There are positives and negatives (as there are in all things), but it's not as terrible as some people seem to want to think it is.

Here are a few reasons why I have tried it and why I haven't completely written it off as a good option:

:: I know no less than a dozen couples (married and in long-term situations) who met online and they could not be happier.

:: Meeting people as a grown-up is hard.  I'm not keen on the idea of dating someone with whom I work. When I'm out with friends, I'm focused on them; I usually don't even notice other people in the area. I've had two friends in the last year try to introduce me to guys the knew -- both times, the guy bailed (for one reason or another) -- so that's clearly not 100 percent effective either. So how do you meet people?!?

:: Online dating can make you go beyond your comfort zone a little.  In the last year or so, I've made a conscious effort to be open to people who might not be my "type" otherwise. Even though none of them have turned into a love connection (yet), I certainly learned something (even if only about myself) from each guy.


Have you tried online dating? 

What kind of questions did you get from people about it?
How do you respond?


7 comments:

  1. I have lots of friends who have had mucho success with online dating! Even two couples who are married now, with babies. I just haven't taken the plunge and tried it yet. I think it's because I'm not actively looking for a relationship right now so I feel like it might be a waste of time. But I'm all for it. If it works for you, DO IT!

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  2. I firmly believe that you can find the right guy in all sorts of ways. And honestly, I'd much rather do it through online dating than bar hopping. I do think you get to see the crazy a little earlier with online dating than in real life sometimes, but that's a positive not a negative. A lot of people I know have met through online dating. Technically, Donny and I "met" through twitter! So, whatever works for you. :)

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  3. I think in this day and age, everybody knows somebody who has met their spouse online. I tried online dating twice when I was single. Both times, it was after a breakup. If anything, it is a major self-esteem boost to be getting all these emails from guys. I was scheduling two dates a night at one point :P I only did it briefly both times, but I did end up dating a guy for a couple of months that I met online.

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  4. I haaaate those negative stigmas that come with online dating. I heard the same things all the time. I just responded by saying, "There are just as many weirdos 'in real life' as there are online" - I honestly don't see how it's any different. I think finding your match can be done in any way!

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  5. 1) I totally agree with the jerk thing, and I will definitely second your thoughts that they're easier to spot online. You can tell by their pictures, their profiles, and their e-mails almost immediately what they're looking for and if they're a jerk or not. Usually.

    2) Creepers are everywhere. There's no right or wrong place to meet a guy, in my opinion.

    3) I don't think it's for desperate people at all!! I think it's just a great way for people who are either too busy, sick of the bar scene, don't know where else to meet new guys, or are too shy to make a move in person. It's non threatening and it's easier to deal with rejection via the internet than in person, from my experience.

    4) I hattteeeee being set up with people by friends!!! It's so awkward and you feel like you either have to admit you like them right away or hope that you made an OK impression because you don't want to offend your friend. It's just awkward and I have never been a fan of that.

    5) I think the stigma from online dating is getting less and less 'bad'. There are a lot of people I know who have gotten married because of online sites and I think that's positive. Obviously it doesn't work out for everyone, but neither does the 'normal' way of meeting people!

    I really love this post, btw. When I respond with 'online dating' when people ask how A and I met, they are surprisingly supportive about it! I think it's because we're both fairly normal people and they don't always think that's possible? LOL who knows. But that's the thing....you're a normal person, I'm a normal person, we're just looking for someone else 'normal', and there has to be guys out there like that, right?! Haha I don't know if I just made any sense but I hope I did.

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  6. I love this post!! I've tried online dating and actually met my husband through a matchmaking service last year. I too went on some crazy blind dates through the service but it got me out of my comfort ozone and showed me that the person I am meant to be with didn't need to come in a "traditional" way!!!

    Keep powering through the bad dates...they make for great stories with friends later. :)

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  7. Great post! I've never done it, but I'm all for it. My sister met her husband on Match. I totally agree that meeting new people is hard as a grown up. I feel that way with friends too!

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