This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of online dating and the search for the perfect date / mate.
Many people today are turning to the internet as a tool for finding a partner. The Internet has strong advantages but there are some serious pitfalls .
Advantages of Dating Online
A "surfer" can immediately focus on people with similar interests, beliefs, age and other important criteria without having to spend time and money "going for coffee." Non-matching people can be sidestepped without ever needing to make contact. It's "partner shopping" in a global supermarket of humanity.
Meaningful dating can be done at a distance, even in other countries.
Relating thru writing (emailing) is a quick and efficient way to learn a lot about a person and how they tick, with minimum initial commitment or investment face-to-face and is the heart of effective online dating.
Disadvantages of Dating Online
If a "surfer" is not witty or doesn't write well, online dating can be difficult.
Prospects often circulate constantly thru a host of sites. The Internet offers unlimited options. This can make for cynical or dismissive prospects with little care for how their rejections or non-contact affects the feelings of others. It can be a conveyor belt.
Most humans are addicted to initial flirtations and the "drug" of being liked, appreciated and wanted. The Internet is an illusion of meeting. The connection is based on internalized and selfish feelings, often projections of what we are looking for, rather than what the other person is actually like.
This approach can morph people into the commodities of others' consumption.
Superficiality of the Internet
Physical attraction is fickle. Individuals can be intensely "in love" one minute, and not at all later, simply based on appearance. Often, people are in love with "being in love" not with you at all.
Photos can mislead. It's good advice to ask for many photographs, so if physical attractiveness is important to you, a balanced look at someone over time and in many contexts is achieved. People look very different in different photos. Don't project an illusion of a person from one image.
Painful Online Romance versus True Love
True love is solid, reliable and unconditional. People can learn to receive and give true love.
This approach goes against almost everything our body, mind and the Net convinces us is real. The most pain, hurt, brokenness and distress caused online by people attempting to find the divine within each other, is a misunderstanding about the voracity of emotional online connection, and an abandonment of what true love really is.
Robin Williams says to Matt Damon in the movie "Good Will Hunting" (Miramax, 1997), "it's not about whether you are perfect for her, or she is perfect for you...are you perfect for each other?...none of us are perfect."
Missing True Love While Waiting For Mr/Ms Perfect
Online daters often bypass wonderful prospects of enduring love in exchange for the endless anticipation of finding a "right" person who will be perfect. The Internet feeds this hope. It is a forlorn and hopeless vacuum. A better way is to find perfect love within, and give that unconditionally to another imperfect human being (to whom you are, or are not, at times, "attracted").
Consider using the Internet as a doorway to real life and real engagement with actual human beings, sovereign and independent of your wants and needs.
next: Can an online relationship work?
Last Updated: 25 March 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD
Is Online Dating an Issue?
Dating is a troubled social gesture to begin with. It requires a series of trials and many errors before one can get it right. To add to that there are chases that one has to make and sometimes need time to recover after an episode of a harsh beatings. One is required to take a breath and step back to begin the thrill again. It is thought by some that online dating would reduce the frustrations that are associated with traditional, main-stream dating, but let’s analyze if it actually does.
Building a profile
To even begin the game, one has to create a profile which looks great but not over the top. The bridge to get it right is narrow and there is no pleasing everybody. Creation of profile for online dating could come to a point where a person has to market himself as great dating material, but without making it sound too lavish. An extravagant profile would be sidelined whereas a humble one may not get any consideration at all. The selection of the profile picture and the details that go on the post require technical precision.
What online dating lacks the most is the upfront communication between the involved individuals. Considering that up to 93 % of the total communication could happen without exchanging words means that there is a very large scope that online dating does not take into account. People rely on pictures and words that have been carefully placed on a website rather than being able to look into another person’s eyes and having a meaningful conversation before the next steps can be thought about. The depth of a person’s voice, the smell of their perfume and how they behave in general is all assumed from what they have posted on their profile. There can be no verification of the facts.
The increase in numbers
Suppose that one does decide to forgo the essence of a real meeting and chooses profiles that they like on an online dating site, but that does not guarantee success anyway! There are several cold emails that they would have to send and deal with a lot more rejection before they may actually get a response. The chance of a response increases with more people that are contacted, but then so do the rejections.
Even assuming that a person withstands the tremendous rejection rate and then puts in the efforts to contact the people that have an attractive profile, there is a great chance that a person who looks great on paper is dull in person. This could be a series of rejections that would be even harder to get over.
Online dating could be just as difficult, if not more as regular dating and poses more issues than it solves for the people involved in it.