This is going to be a little cliché for online dating tips, but here goes. With the invention of the internet, a lot of people don’t quite seem to meet organically anymore. It’s cliché, because it is true. And since so much of dating has moved onto cyberspace, it can leave a person puzzled wondering what exactly is the best way to go about meeting people online. This isn’t all bad. The internet allows us more room to put our best foot forward. Just don’t lie about yourself obviously, no one wants false advertising. But, because we can edit what we say and have more time to think about what we’re saying before we do so, the internet can potentially cut initial awkwardness in half. So, when getting down to it you might be wondering which one of these newfangled, or oldfangled, websites/apps to turn to, to meet people online. We’ve got a few tips and things to say about the common ones.
This one can be hit or miss depending on your area. It seems that more-so these websites are popular in city or metropolitan areas. But if you live in the countryside or rural island Maui for example, good luck finding mature men that don’t look like weirdos. I have friends who have used this site with success in L.A., which seems to be a real hotspot for online dating in the first place. What’s nice about this site is that it does at least try to use some question features to gage your compatibility with other people. It asks you questions involving your preferences, politics, and ethics, and works your answers into your profile. This might save you some time, when normally you might be on date #4 before you find out that your date is a raging conservative and you’re a raging liberal, or vice versa. Overall it can be a useful site to meet people online; and on that note it can be used to find friends as well. There is an option on your profile where you can specify whether you’re looking to meet new friends or meet a potential date.
People really have mixed feelings about Tinder. Some people use it and like it. Some people use it begrudgingly. Vanity Fair calls it the “dating apocalypse”. The issue is that it was intended as a dating app, but somehow, perhaps because of an already existing hookup culture, it became more of an app to find people you want to sex with no intentions of connection at all. And because of its “quick-swiping” nature, it encourages users to make snap judgments on other people based on shallow standards in appearance. Now we all know physical chemistry is important. But we also know that if we really enjoy a person’s personality and at least enough aspects of their appearance, we are far more willing to overlook that one thing we’re not so fond of. But Tinder doesn’t foster that kind of realistic approach. There’s always that elusive “better option” waiting behind a few more swipes. Instead, it’s like a weird disconnected mating ground for the genetic lottery winners, addicted to placing bets as if they’re playing the slots to win a grand prize of one meaningless night, letting Mr. Right Genes into your jeans. Ba-dum-psh. If that sounded like a joke, it’s because the concept of courtship on this app is a bit of a joke. Now the interesting thing is that there are still people on this app that are sincere. Some people have reported actually meeting a person here or there that they genuinely wanted to date. It just might take a whole lot of weeding through the “players” to really get at the “game”, which is hopefully not a game at all but actually successfully meeting people online.
The reason why facebook can have some success is because it has something in common with old fashioned dating, “mutual friends”. In the olden times, Sally would set up Molly with her mutual friend Jack and maybe they’d go on a double date altogether. My own grandparents met in a roundabout way where my grandpa actually wanted to take my grand aunt out for a burger, but my grandma answered the phone and they hit it off and went out instead. It’s kind of a weird but cute story. Facebook allows us to cling to this old method of meeting people through people that we already know. It tells us right on someone’s profile how many mutual friends we have with them. And sometimes this can help, if you do want to go ahead and put yourself out there by messaging them, because it seems less weird and random if you both already know some people together. It feels a little safer. You’re a stranger, but not so stranger danger. I’ve had two relationships happen, that were it not for facebook, they never would have happened. Granted, I met them in real life first actually. But Facebook also has an uncanny way of allowing us to keep tabs, so that you can re-connect more easily with someone you met a long time ago. They were both people I’d met a “long time ago” that I may have completely forgotten about otherwise. The downside to facebook is that it is not primarily a site for dating. It is a place where we meet people online here and there, but mostly chat with our already existing friends and put out this egotistical best version of ourselves and our lives out to the world. If you’re very forward about dating on facebook, it might come off as weird because it’s jarring in that cyber environment. However, at the same time it can be great because courtship still actually exists on Facebook.
Here’s where Match.com succeeds where other usual contenders don’t. People don’t like to pay a price tag for dating, but this site having a price tag is precisely the reason that you can be confident its users are literally invested in finding someone. No one is likely to be using this for hookups, because it’s way too easy to do that for free. When you’re willing to pay a fee, it says you’re serious about finding someone to date and get to know. You want a return on your money and you’re not going to frivolously waste it. The other cool thing about Match.com is that, like OkCupid, it asks you questions. Except this site, asks you gratuitous amounts of questions. It really covers your preferences and deal breakers, while getting accurate information on you as well. It asks a lot about goals, and even finances, so that you can be paired with someone who wants the same things out of life or perhaps wants a similar lifestyle. It’s a good option if you’re down for no-monkey-business-serious-about-this dating.
We hope this list gives you some things to think about when trying to meet people online. A good thing to remember however is that we as people are not entirely ourselves over the web screen, and in order to really get to know someone down to their dirty habits, it requires a lot of time spent in person. Hopefully after the initial fun of internet flirting, you can embark on that wonderful, weird, fascinating journey with someone.
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