In spite of the fact that online dating has been an established presence for over two decades, there are still a surprising number of myths that persist about it. The reasons for this are many.
Some of the myths are perpetrated and circulated by people who have never used the services of an online dating platform. These people usually consist of individuals that are in long-term and established relationships. Most formed romantic bonds during a time in which online dating was not as popular as it is today. Also, there are individuals who may have dabbled in online dating and due to an outlying negative experience spend the rest of their time badmouthing an otherwise impressive industry. Regardless of the “who” and the “how,” here are some of the most prevalent myths about online dating.
1. It’s Dangerous
The way some people describe online dating it is as if the only people that use online dating sites are those with murky pasts. When you hear some people describe the “perils of online dating” they make it seem as if by swiping right on a profile you are going to be coming face-to-face with Jack the Ripper himself.
The reality, of course, is far different. Online dating in many ways creates an environment that is safer than traditional dating. When using an established and trusted online dating platform, individuals have the ability to scrutinize the person that they will be meeting long before they meet face-to-face. Also, some online dating sites link their members’ profiles to established social media accounts, such as Facebook. This adds an efficient way for dating sites to verify the genuineness of their new members. Some online dating and hookup sites go as far as to verify the identity of their members manually. All of this is done to ensure the safety of their members.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that online daters should throw caution to the wind. It is still important to use common sense much as you would in traditional dating. Always meet a potential match in a public place. Make sure to inform a trusted friend or family member about your whereabouts and anticipated schedule. With common sense, online dating can be truly safer than traditional dating and hookups.
2. Online Dating Is for Losers
Back in the 1990’s when online dating was getting off the ground, it was popular to relate it to other forms of alternative dating. Some people used to equate it to dating agencies. For those of you too young to remember dating agencies, they consisted of operations that helped individuals who were shy or otherwise socially awkward find romantic partners. They reached their heyday in the 1980s in the form of video dating services.
Obviously, not everybody that used dating agencies deserved to be called “losers” — yet the stereotype remained. That’s why when online dating came on the scene, many people transposed that “loser” stereotype to these new platforms.
The reality is much different. Online dating sites — from the moment they got off the ground — had one strong difference when compared to old-fashioned dating agencies. Namely, they had an almost endless reach. By leveraging this endless reach that the internet facilitated, online dating and hookup sites were able to give a voice to the wide variety of people and tastes that existed online. This meant that not only was it a safe haven for the shy and socially awkward, but it was also a beacon for those who were outgoing, sexually promiscuous, into specific fetishes, as well as for those seeking serious relationships.
Basically, online dating sites — from the beginning — had a universal attraction. That meant that even though it is inevitable for the occasional “loser” to appear on these sites, the vast majority of members are individuals that are anything but losers. They are interesting and attractive men and women of varying interests and pursuits. There is literally someone for everyone when it comes to online dating.
3. Online Dating Is for the Young
Initially, online dating may have been the purview of a younger demographic. By the same token, it was likely also the purview of the tech-savvy. However, in the present day, online dating is for everyone. There are online dating and hookup sites for every age group, sexual orientation, and life outlook. As a matter of fact, one of the demographics that has shown consistent year-over-year growth is the segment of adults 55 years of age and older. Don’t let the naysayers misguide you, online dating can be effective for anyone — be they 21 or 71.
4. It’s All About Sex and Desperation
As we’ve already noted, there are a wide variety of online dating and hookup sites. Yes, there are sites that are dedicated exclusively to adults seeking like-minded adults for casual encounters. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. If two consenting adults want to find each other and engage in casual sex, that’s their business.
Usually, those individuals will join sites dedicated for that purpose. There are, however, countless other sites that are focused strictly on helping individuals find long-term partners. Those sites are structured in a way to help you find partners based on compatible personalities and lifestyles. They are not focused on setting you up for a quickie.
In other words, online dating is suitable for both the person seeking no-strings-attached encounters as well as those seeking long-term romance and even marriage.
5. Everybody Lies on Dating Sites
All types of courtship — traditional as well as online — has its fair share of exaggeration. After all, part of the seduction process usually entails trying to put your best face forward. In traditional dating that usually implies being on your best possible behavior, trying to impress your new partner by going too expensive restaurants, purchasing new outfits, etc. That in and of itself can hardly be classified as being deceitful.
In the early days of online dating, it was not uncommon for some users to take certain liberties with their online dating profiles in an attempt to impress potential suitors. Some used images of themselves when they were younger and thinner. Others exaggerated their achievements or expressed interests and hobbies that were idealized as opposed to real.
Again, this was not too different from the little white lies that new couples would tell each other in traditional dating. However, the fact that the initial contact was being conducted via a computer facilitated these types of fibs and helped to advance the myth that all dating profiles were lies.
The reality today is different. The majority of dating sites reward honesty and truthfulness when it comes to profiles. Many dating and hookup sites now offer live video chat functionality. This has essentially rendered the days of the creative profile picture to come to an end. Most people that meet online will usually have some sort of video chat before they meet in person. That means that you will have a very good idea of what that person looks like in the here and now.
— Conclusion —
If any of these myths have been holding you back from participating in online dating, you now know the truth. There is no legitimate reason to avoid or fear online dating. It has become an integral part of modern courtship. To allow old and unsubstantiated myths to get in the way does you a great disservice. So, get in line with the times and give online dating a shot.