The Ugly Truth About Online Dating
Are we sacrificing love, for convenience?
Browsing profiles isn’t nearly as time-consuming (or daunting) as mixing with people in a social context. Statistics suggest that about 1 in 5 relationships begin online nowadays. It’s estimated that by 2040, 70% of us will have met our significant other online.
The problem with a lot of online dating applications is that they don’t really work. Many are just ‘fad’ applications that squeeze money from punters with no intention of matching you with a suitable partner. Before you throw caution to the wind and empty your wallet into the pockets of an online app with the reckless abandon of a lovestruck teenager, there are a few things you should know.
1. People lie on their online dating profiles
Ok this is hardly an earth-shattering revelation. Well duh, people want to be appealing. Most people probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s more common for people to lie in their online profile than be completely honest.
A study of over 1,000 online daters in the US and UK conducted by global research agency Opinion Matters founds some very interesting statistics. A total of 53% of US participants admitted to having lied in their online dating profile. Women apparently lied more than men, with the most common dishonesties being about looks. Over 20% of women posted photos of their younger selves. But men were only marginally better. Their most common lies revolved around their financial situation, specifically, about having a better job (financially) than they actually do. More than 40% of men indicated that they did this, but the tactic was also employed by nearly a third of women.
While dishonesty was slightly less prevalent among the British sample, 44% did admit to lying in their online profile. In both the US and UK samples, dishonesty declined with age. Maybe older people are just more interested in projecting their real self, rather than an imagined or ideal version.
2. Looking for a relationship? That must mean all you want is sex
One of the big problems with online dating for women is that, although there are genuine relationship-seeking men on the sites, there are also plenty of guys on there simply looking for sex. While most people would agree that on average men are more eager for sex than women, it seems that many men make the assumption that if a woman has an online dating presence, she’s interested in sleeping with relative strangers. Online dating does represent the convenience of being able to meet others that you possibly never would have otherwise, but women should be aware that they probably will receive rude/disgusting messages from horny guys, sexual propositions/requests, dick-pics, and a lot of creepy vibes.
3. Negotiating the scam-ternet
Let’s be honest, the internet is really just a super elaborate and sophisticated farce designed to distract you from having your pockets picked by greasy conmen in cheap suits, right? Not quite, but it is full of unscrupulous vendors looking to separate you from your money by whatever means possible (in other news, have you heard about the secret to getting killer abs in less than 7 minutes using this 1 weird trick…?).
Scams have been around as long as the internet (possibly even before…). Of course there are pitfalls and tripwires in every sphere of life, but this may be particularly true in the context of online dating. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of online scams, and I’m not going to run through any in detail here, but do some research before you go giving your bank details to ‘Nigerian princes’ promising ‘fun moments’. As a matter of fact, you should probably be wary of any person, group or entity asking for any kind of financial or personal information. It might even be advisable to follow these general guidelines:
Set up an anonymous email account from a widely used email service (I_heart_scamming123@gmail.com(link sends e-mail) is already taken)
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NEVER give out your home phone, address or your personal email address, unless you absolutely trust the recipient.
Drive yourself to the date (your date doesn’t need to know where you live), keep an eye on your drink/food (…), pay half of the bill (you don’t need your date having expectations of repayment)
Of course there are plenty more do’s and don’ts of online dating but I guess the most important thing here is to use your common sense. If something feels off, trust your gut. You don’t necessarily have to develop a ‘trust no-one and sleep with 1 eye open’ approach to online dating, but it is probably worthwhile having a healthy degree of skepticism in general.
4. Relationships don’t last
Never mind the fact that more than one-third of all people who use online dating sites have never actually gone on a date with someone they met online, those that somehow do manage to find someone else they are willing to marry AND who is willing to marry them (a vanishingly tiny subset of online daters) face an uphill battle. According to research conducted at Michigan State University, relationships that start out online are 28% more likely to break down in their first year, than relationships where the couples first met face-to-face. And it gets worse. Couples who met online are nearly 3 times as likely to get divorced as couples that met face-to-face.
However, it isn’t all misery and woe. While the overwhelming majority of romantic relationships still begin offline, around 5% of Americans that are currently in either a committed relationship or marriage, suggest that they did in fact meet their significant other online.
5. It makes you picky and judgmental
It’s very easy to send one course back (or even one after another, after another, after another) when the menu is overflowing with other potential courses. The US Association of Psychological Science found that reviewing multiple candidates causes people to be more judgmental, and inclined to dismiss a not-quite-perfect candidate than they otherwise would be in a face-to-face meeting. (Ryan Anderson The Mating Game Posted Sep 06, 2016)
That was only the social problems it causes, let’s look at the other half, the criminal problems it causes!!!
13 Annoying and Inconvenient Online Dating Problems By DANIELLE ANNE
Online dating is not a new concept, but it has evolved into something that offers more positive results, as opposed to its predecessors’ platforms. It used to be that there was a one-in-a-billion chance for success. Now, there’s actually one in a million, but only if the people who utilized it were open-minded and sincere.
At this point in time, thousands of people have hacked online dating and got themselves the love of a lifetime. Unfortunately, those people had to wade through thousands of failed attempts and sleazy pick-up lines in order to find their other halves.
Online dating may have increased your chances of success, but it also increases the number of failures you’ll need to go through. The silver lining, however, is that you can tip the scales in your favor. How? By knowing what to expect and how to prepare yourself for it.
The advantages of online dating
If you’re reluctant to try online dating, you should know that it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Those who don’t understand its good points will label it as a desperate attempt to catch a date or a last resort before the biological clock strikes 12.
To this, I say an emphatic, “Hell no!”� Online dating, for me, is a godsend. Rather than end up with someone who’s not meant for you, online dating has given you the chance to weed out the people whom you’re least likely to be attracted to.
It’s not just about physical attraction either. You can converse with a possible date, and see if they’re the type of person you can actually connect with. Online messages and texts are not very reliable, but it’s better than not having an idea of what you’re in for in real life.
The best part about online dating is that you have an exit strategy as well. You can say goodbye at any time when you’re talking online. You can opt not to give out your address and personal information. Not having common friends is also an advantage because there’s no middle man to worry about.
And the best advantage of all is that you get a chance to meet the person of your dreams without having to scour every bar, pub, bookstore, coffee shop, library, and other possible singles-friendly areas. You can choose one person at a time from the comfort of your own home.
The most common problems of online dating
While there are a lot of advantages to online dating, there will be disadvantages as well. It is just as difficult as real-life dating, but with more options to spare. That is why you have to be ready for the problems that you will encounter, which are as follows:
#1 Catfishing. Catfishing happens when you start to talk to someone online, and they end up not being the person you’re expecting. A woman could end up being a guy, and vice versa. A person might end up being a site or advertising bot. They could even be someone who made up a different persona and showed you a different picture.
In order to prevent this from happening, look for the signs that tell you something’s fishy. Ask for a social media profile that has updates that span at least three years. If that doesn’t pan out, request a video call. [Read: Catfishing tactics and how catch them in the act]
#2 The bait and switch. It’s almost the same as Catfishing, but you’re actually talking to someone legitimate. The only problem is that they can make themselves seem more attractive than they really are by posting old pictures or omitting certain aspects of their job and personality.
#3 Stalkers. You never know if you’re dealing with one, so it’s best not to give out any sensitive information, unless you’re sure that the person you’re seeing is sane. Stalkers can range from slightly annoying to downright scary. Be careful who you talk to, and make sure that their social media profiles show that they engage in healthy conversations with their friends and families.
#4 The two-faced date. At first, they seem nice and charming, but things quickly change when you’re finally on the date. These types of dates can lure you with the pretense of a relationship, and then surprise you by asking for a hook-up or leaving you the morning after you sleep together. If you’re not into hook-ups, you should establish this before going home with them. [Read: 10 techniques guys use to get in your pants]
#5 Baggage. When a person has emotional baggage, it can be anything from an ex that just won’t go away or a personality disorder that has never been diagnosed. It’s easy to know who these people are because they have an air of negativity about them. They don’t seem enthusiastic about the date, and they are more likely to complain about their lives than enjoy their night out with you.
#6 The ones that got away. Chatting online is an amazing way to get to know a person, but there is a limit to how long that should go. These people have hundreds of other choices within the immediate vicinity. You should either lock them down for a date or at least give them your number. [Read: Why do nice guys suck at online dating?]
#7 The rejections. There will be many, especially if you’re socially inept at conversing with strangers online. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, there will be people out there who won’t like you, and that’s okay. That’s because there are just as many, or even more, who will think that you’re awesome. Just keep your head up, and don’t let those unanswered messages bother you.
#8 The clingy dates. These types of online daters are a bit too much for most people. They’re the type who fall for people on the first date, and they will do everything they can to turn it into a relationship. This is acceptable for some people, but not so much for online daters. It’s hard to trust people, and even more so if you only know each other online.
#9 The trolls. These people are just on the sites to make fun of people and embarrass them. When you encounter one of these, block them immediately, and refrain from further engagement, no matter how much you want to call them out. You never know what they’ll do to your photo if you step on the wrong toes.
#10 The bitter rejects. These are people who have had enough rejection in real life, and are now taking out their problems on the ones who reject them online. When they start harassing you, block them. You’re not only protecting yourself, but you are also helping them by saving them from further embarrassment.
#11 Scammers. There are criminals in the real world, and there are criminals online. Always be safe. Give your friends and family detailed information about your date, keep your GPS on, and always date someone who is easy to find. Never trust anyone implicitly on the first date, and always find out everything you can about them.
#12 Perverts. These people are more common than you think. They’re only there to look for people who are willing to engage in illicit, sexual deviance online. Or if not, they’re just there to harass you and use your picture for unmentionable purposes. Block and report these people, so they won’t get a chance to traumatize others. [Read: 14 important dos and don’ts of online dating]
#13 The sense of hopelessness. This one’s on you. Even without the rejections, you will encounter unsavory characters that will make you doubt why you tried online dating in the first place. Just remember that no matter how many bad dates you have, you have an opportunity to find twice as many good dates. Learn from those bad dates, so you can find a better prospect.
[Read: 30 effective tips to help you win at online dating]
Finding love has changed over the years from, courting to dating to eventually, online dating. Also the meeting place has gone from our homes in the family parlor, to public place meetings, to meeting online. Over time we learned that, no matter the meeting place we have the same issues, that is “The majority of the problems in dating revolve around the people that you encounter.” When looking at it through that perspective, we come to this conclusion, that dating in the real world has small differences from dating online. One major difference is that while online dating, you know a little bit about the person you are meeting, what you’re getting into before you go out, which is more than you can say for the strangers that you meet at the bar…Lastly remember: the same rules apply in any dating situation, watch yourself out there!!!