Online dating has seen a significant surge in the last few years, with apps like Tinder and mainstream sites like eHarmony, or niche dating sites like myTamilDate.com, rising in popularity. To me, it makes sense. We are living in the digital era, where many of our lives consist of online and offline dimensions, so why wouldn’t dating fall into the mix?
As I’ve attempted to play Cupid to many of my single friends, I find myself suggesting online dating as an option, which is surprisingly not easily embraced. Typical responses include, “I’m not doing THAT bad” or “I’m not that desperate”. Some have also expressed concerns for safety and their stance that “it makes it all about physical appearance” or “I’m not looking for something short-term.” Well I’m here to dispel some of these associations by bringing to light some of the things we already do that contradict these responses.
How many of us have networked in some way via an online medium, whether it be for a job, making new friends or taking referrals? If you do that, does that make you desperate? I would assume the answer is no because it makes sense to take advantage of the connections you can make through the virtual world. But why doesn’t that transpose to dating? Especially when you’re no longer a student or in an environment where it’s easier to consistently be around lots of different people, the virtual world provides a space to expand your pool of options.
Safety is also a natural concern but consider the precautions you may already take when meeting someone you vaguely know for other reasons. For example, you’d meet in a public place during the day, tell a friend where you’re going, trust your instinct if you feel the vibe is off (even before meeting) etc. These precautions are something you can apply to online dating!
Now to my favourite refute to online dating, “it makes it all about physical appearance”. Well, what is the first thing you notice about someone you meet even in person? Their great personality glistening through a poorly put together outfit? Tinder’s swiping left and swiping right is putting down in an app what you already do in your head when your single self enters a party or a club and is scanning the room. I am all for the whole “looks are not everything” because of course, how long can something really last without substance, but it can’t be denied that physical appearance does make a difference to the level of attraction.
And finally, online dating has been notoriously associated to people looking for short-term flings or “hook-ups” and it’s true, there are people on those sites looking for exactly that (and note there is nothing wrong with that) but there are also people out there looking to date and have a serious relationship as well! You may have a better chance at navigating through to find this people depending on the site you choose. Think about this way, is it more likely that you’ll find someone you’ll date in a club or at a social event? Not denying that it can happen at both but it’s blatantly obvious that each environment fosters certain types of interactions and similarly, that’s something you may want to consider when choosing an online dating site. (Cue myTamilDate.com)
At the end of the day, I think the reality is that the real issue isn’t online dating as much as it’s dating in general. Whether you’ve met someone initially online or at a party or through a friend of a friend, dating, albeit can be a lot of fun, it can also be a challenge. So don’t fuss over the way in which you met because that’s just the beginning.
The fact remains that you just may not be interested in online dating or have already tried it and found it’s not for you. But for the ones who are mulling over being single and can’t shake your perception around online dating, I hope this article may help you look at it differently because online dating really isn’t desperate. I mean when an online interaction leads to a date on Friday and you’re without plans, wondering how you’re going to meet someone…
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!