So you’re home for summer break and after a few weeks of catching up with old friends, you’re starting to get bored. Maybe you just graduated and are living back in your hometown. You’re lonely. You are definitely not interested in any of your high school crushes but you want a summer fling or you want to find love, and you’re willing to try something new. Online dating.
In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that online dating and dating apps are huge. There are plenty of success stories that stem from meeting online. It seems that individuals ranging from college students to divorced singles are all prowling the different sites online in hopes of finding their perfect match.
There is no shame in meeting someone online, whether you are looking for something long-term or something just for fun. Some sites gather a bunch of information about your personality and interests and pair you up with someone you are compatible with, which allows you to skip all the first date jitters as you already know what you have in common. Other sites allow you to choose your match based on pictures and pick up lines, letting you decide once you meet them whether they are someone you could actually be interested in. Some sites are so specific that you have to meet certain qualifications to even join, like being a farmer, or practicing a certain religion.
Back in the day when you had to meet someone face to face in the real world, there were dating expectations. A few examples of this would be the man paying for the meal, holding the door open, not calling each other on the phone until two days after the initial date. These things may seem old fashioned and outdated, and they are. Not only has the way of meeting people changed, the way we date people has changed as well. How much texting and messaging is too much? When is it okay to start sending pictures, or FaceTiming? How long should you wait before you decide to meet in person? If online dating is new to you these questions could be daunting.
Here a few important things to remember when joining an online dating site or downloading a dating app:
While it may seem glamorous to travel the world and look great when you wake up, these things may not be realistic and you shouldn’t pretend to do things that you don’t actually do just to make your profile more appealing. You are looking for someone who will like you for you are, and if you lie about that then what kind of message are you sending? The people you are attracting are not interested in who you really are, because they have no idea who that is.
Have Realistic Standards
We all want the wealthy, attractive, successful person out there but we can’t all expect to get them. Remember that looks aren’t everything and that someone’s job status does not truly define who they are as a person. If you try to go for only the unattainable you will end up feeling pretty bitter about the whole thing.
Meeting someone online can seem unnatural and awkward, so remember to keep an open mind and give it a chance. The first person you match up with may not be right for you at all but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find the right person.
Set Realistic Goals
While you do hear success stories about people finding their soul mates, falling in love, getting married, and starting a family, that’s not always the case. Don’t expect to jump on the fast track to love. You might find someone who likes to take things slow, or maybe you find someone who has commitment issues. Whatever the case may be, you shouldn’t go into it with a one track mind.
Don’t Force it or Fake it
Someone may look great on paper but you just don’t have the chemistry. If this happens it’s okay to cut ties, and that’s much better than continuing to force a relationship that you know isn’t going to work out.
Go With Your Gut
Do you believe in love at first sight? If so, how does that work with online dating? If you’re getting a weird vibe from someone’s profile even though they are attractive, it’s best to go with your gut feeling and move on to the next contender.
Apps/Sites for those of you looking to have just a fun fling:
- Coffee Meets Bagel
Apps/Site for those of you looking for something a little more serious
- The Catch
- The League
Keep in mind that online dating really works for some people, and doesn’t work at all for others. Maybe you will find your soul mate and eventually get married, maybe you will meet someone to just have a fun fling with, maybe you will make some new friends but nothing more, or maybe you won’t meet anyone at all. Before you rule it out you should give it a try, you can always go back to meeting people in person.