Since the launch of Match.com in 1995, men and women have struggled with the pros and cons of online dating. Millions of people log onto Internet dating sites, chat rooms and matchmaker services in an effort to find that special someone. Online dating isn't for everyone and while it's possible to jump into the Internet dating pool with no preparation, the experts recommend against it.
Once a taboo subject, online dating is taken more seriously now than it was in the early 2000s. The involvement of the Internet in the daily life of people from their recreation to their business to their shopping may have played a part in that acceptance. Tales of successful couplings found through online dating continued the trend of accepting the online world as a reasonable forum for finding a romantic connection.
Pros of Online Dating
Online daters save time by meeting a lot of people in a shorter amount of time. The online process allows potential dates to be winnowed by specific criteria before the first meeting occurs. A second major benefit to online dating is that physical looks plays a less crucial role in the process of two people getting to know each other. Online dating is about presentation and intellectual connections rather than just physical chemistry. Some Internet dating sites will handle the selection process, assuring that each match is potentially a good one based on the criteria submitted by both candidates. These types of sites provide an online dater with positive experiences in their effort to find the right person.
Cons of Online Dating
Before logging onto the Internet and uploading a profile, novice users should be warned that online dating is not always safe. While the anonymity of the internet provides certain protection to your identity, it also works against users. Until an actual physical meeting takes place, the person at the other end of the connection can be anyone from the kindly next door neighbor to a person in jail for fraud. Online dating also removes a certain amount of the spontaneity of getting to know someone by creating real, perceptible barriers that are not lowered until mental curiosity is satisfied. A con that even people who enjoy online dating warn about is that friends and family do not take meeting someone on the Internet very seriously (see Resources section below).
Looking at profiles and meeting people in the safe confines of the virtual world can be very addictive. The allure to keep looking is very powerful and not everyone can live up to the perception created by their online personalities. Unfortunately, many couples find themselves disappointed when their first physical meeting takes place. Experts recommend that despite developing a rapport or mutual interest online, first meetings should be treated like first dates with all the trimmings.
Don't just dive into the realm of online dating without considering all the ramifications. Discuss the perceptions of meeting people online with trusted friends and family. Do research how to meet people and what safety precautions to take. Be aware of the allure that constantly seeking someone new on the Internet and most of all, practice cautious behavior on the road to looking for love.