It always baffles me that there are still so many myths about online dating floating around, usually started by those who have never tried finding a date online. I often hear these online dating civilians spouting off their perception of online dating and those that would dare find a date online and it never ceases to amaze me how wrong they are. In an attempt to break the cycle, here are the most common online dating myths and the truth behind them.
1. "Online Daters Are Desperate"
When you sign up for an online dating site, you're very clearly telling the world that you are looking for love (or just a great date). Somehow, this leads others to believe you're desperate, since you'd be willing to peddle your lonely self online in hopes of finding love but real love is just something that happens magically like in a fairytale, right? Wrong. For most people, online dating isn't a last ditch effort to meet someone, anyone, to date after striking out repeatedly in the "real world." It's a calculated move, for sure, but just because you know what you want (a relationship) and are taking steps to find it doesn't mean you're desperate. There are all different types of fairytales, and some just happen to be digital ones.
2. "Online Dating Is Just Like Dating At a Bar"
While I can definitely appreciate the sentiment behind this statement, and have probably used it in an article or two myself, come on...online dating is nothing like dating in a bar. Let us compare:
Online Dating-Comfortable clothes, sitting on my couch, glass of wine in hand, no makeup, definitely no spanx, emailing multiple men and being very specific about who I am and what I'm looking for, and choosing who to meet in person while wondering if we will have anything to talk about when we do.
Single at a bar-Dressed to the nines, physical attraction is all that matters, difficult to hear what someone's name is-let alone learn about their interests or hobbies, can instantly tell if there is chemistry or not, may get too shy or nervous to make a move and talk to someone I find attractive.
There are pros and cons to both types of dating, but they definitely are not the same.
3. "Online Dating is Easy!"
Sure, it's easy to stare at a blank page and write about yourself-your hopes, dreams, wants and desires when it comes to matters of the heart and beyond. It's easy to send engaging, well thought out emails to attractive strangers and it's easy to ignore the rejection that stings when they don't write you back. It's easy to sort through your inbox, deleting the sometimes horribly offensive messages while responding to the ones you feel might be worth a shot. It's easy to put aside your nervousness before meeting someone you've been talking to online in person for the first time, and it's easy to handle the disappointment you feel when they don't live up to their profile photo or idea you had of them in your head. It's easy to do it all over again the next day..and the day after that. Online dating is convenient in the sense that you can stay home on your couch for a while (see above) but easy? I don't think so. Which is to say that dating of any kind is not easy, but online dating definitely not a stroll down easy street.
4. "You Should Never Have To Pay For Love"
I feel like the people who love to say this are the rare ones who married their high-school sweetheart and have zero experience dating in today's society. Nobody has to pay for love, they pay for the heightened opportunity and chance to find someone whom they will truly connect with. In essence, they are putting their money where their mouth is. If you sign up for a paid online dating service, there is no guarantee that you'll even go on a decent date, let alone fall head over heels in love. People sign up for paid online dating sites for a multitude of reasons-maybe they think that by spending some cash upfront their chances will be better, or they will take the process more seriously and get their monies worth, in hopes that others are doing the same. They aren't paying for love...they are paying for a step up in a society that is very cluttered and very noisy. I bet if you ask any couples who met on a paid online dating site if they would like a refund, they'd laugh in your face and tell you it was the best money they'd ever spent and that if they could do it again they would pay double!