From time to time, I get asked my opinion on online dating. In the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve had more people bring it up than usual. And for clarity’s sake, when they refer to “online dating,” they’re usually referring to Match.com and eHarmony. Not Facebook and Instagram.
The question I get asked, of course, is “do you have anything against online dating?”
And I always answer the same way: “Of course not.”
Well, I’ve been lying.
I’ve heard all of the support statements in favor of online dating. People who are afraid of striking up conversations have it easy online. Or, the more popular response, is that “I’m not meeting any good guys/girls, so I’m going to try online dating.”
Are those understandable reasons? Sure. Do they sound logical? Yeah. But I still think they’re still wrong.
For starters, you don’t need to pay for an online dating site to circumvent the anxiety of striking up a conversation. Hell, I don’t think anyone dates that way anymore. Instead, they creep a bit and send a friend request on Facebook. Or they follow you on Instagram and start liking a fair amount of your pictures. Slowly but surely, you work up the “courage” to send a private message. Then you start chatting. You exchange numbers eventually. And you meet up, go on a date and pretty much never have to deal with the anxiety you had about approaching that person in the first place.
As for the notion that you’re “not meeting any good guys/girls” – do you think there are different people hanging out on eHarmony and Match than the ones you’re meeting in person? They’re all the same. They’re the same guys/girls you’re rejecting in public, but are giving a chance to online because they have the good fortune of favorable lighting and a chance to pre-emptively make themselves look good.
Online dating doesn’t change your circumstances; it just changes your mindset. You think it’s different, but in reality, the only difference is your mentality. If you were more receptive and forgiving of people in the real world, then guess what? You’d realize that online dating is nothing but insulation from the reality that you’re uncomfortable with in person.
Once you get these people into a real-world space, they’ll excite you or disappoint you the same way that anyone else would. How am I so sure?
Because I’m 28 and single.