Not so very long ago, had you asked me about internet dating, I would have said that I had no problem with it but really couldn’t see how anybody could find someone they even wanted to spend more than 3 dates with, never mind a forever partner. These days we are literally bombarded with adverts for different dating sites, especially around Christmas and New Year when we’re most vulnerable and you can sign up for anything from a harmless sploshing session to looking for your future spouse. It’s pretty clear how the sites at the more sexual end of the spectrum work, they just let you know that there are people in your area who want the same thing and help you find them more easily than the trial and error method of bumping into people in bars and clubs. What attracts more scepticism though, is the sites that proclaim they will help you find “the one”.
Have you even decided what “the one” looks like on paper (and maybe even in the flesh)? Will you definitely know that it’s them when they send you the first, tentative opening message, something along the lines of: “Hi, you look hot, you sound normal. I am hot and normal too, promise. Please message me back…please…did I mention I’m normal and hot? Please, thank you, please.” What makes you decide which messages to reply to and which to bin straight away? I can’t tell you the number of moronic messages I replied to on PoF because I gave them the benefit of the doubt; “they might be dyslexic” or “not everyone is good at writing / selling themselves / communicating with other humans”…WTF!?! If somebody spoke to me like that in a bar, would I really give them any of my time??? Quite frankly I would not.
What about the great, interesting messages from people who have clearly taken the time to read your profile and send you a tailored message but look less than ideal in their pictures? Do you reply to those? Really? Majority binned by me but yet I’d say I go for personality over looks, clearly I don’t know myself as well as I thought! So how do you find anyone worth your time when you’re as fussy as most of us are, responding to the idiots with no personality and deleting the great guys because they had a bit too much of a bald head or they were only 5’11 instead of 6’3?
Well, the answer is, I think internet dating is just like dating in the real world…you just know. You “meet” someone and they might not be 100% perfect at first or you might have some questions but you keep chatting and suddenly you realise that the person is pretty awesome and definitely worth meeting again; this time face to face. Before you know it, you’ve ended up in some kind of a relationship and it all started with a tentative “hello” over email. Something about the tone of their message and the style of their profile just caught your eye and you could relate to it, in the same way that someone’s laugh or smile might grab you in a bar so you gave them more time and it paid off.
So now I say that internet dating is great because you can get to know lots of people at once and there’s none of the awkwardness when you don’t get on, you just stop chatting to the person without having to make crazy excuses or climb out of toilet windows. When you do meet someone you like though, it’s just like normal dating because you simply move it from online to real life. Really there’s no difference between internet dating and meeting people in bars, both require you to plough through a lot of rubbish to find the diamond but when you do, you’ll know it! x