Online dating – a force for good
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Using the internet to find the person of your dreams is, for the majority of people, an effective, fulfilling and fun experience. If you are thinking about giving it a go but aren’t sure it’s for you, consider this: no other method of finding The One gives you so much control over the outcome. Or variety. Lots of variety. But we’ll come back to that later.
Consider traditional methods. Would you really want a match arranged by your parents? No, I didn’t think so. How about a blind date arranged by your well-meaning, loved-up mates who think you’re living a life of quiet desperation longing to be just like them? It’s possible that would work, but it’s more likely your friendship will be ruined because they had such an appalling sense of who you are that they thought you were compatible with that dweeb they invited to dinner.
What about hanging out in meat-market bars? Sure, knock yourself out. But there are too many drawbacks. You can’t hear anyone speak, it costs a fortune, it’s problematic if you are on your own, it can be very superficial, looks play too much of a role and you have no idea whether the person chatting you up is who they say they are – all the things people criticise online dating for!
Office romances though have always been popular, but soon there won’t be any offices. The digital age has ushered in not only online dating but new ways of working. With so many of our manual jobs being exported to the third world, people equipped with smart devices will increasingly work from home, on the road, on the beach or in the pub, like I am at this moment.
All of this is not to say you won’t find romance offline. Many people do and will continue to do so. But technology does what it has always done – make our lives easier. What online dating does first and foremost is cut to the chase. If you are on eharmony, for instance, it is a given that you are looking for love, not just a quick fix. So what would be an awkward question in a bar is already answered. Online dating also allows your sparkling personality to be a factor in the equation. In a bar or a party or a HR-sanitised workplace, someone will judge you by your looks straight up. Online, you can have a conversation.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of online dating is how wide it allows you to cast the net. Plenty of variety! There are no boundaries or borders in cyberspace. Before the internet, you had to choose from the gene pool in your immediate vicinity. Now, you could be stuck in a one-pub town on the edge of the Simpson Desert and strike up a romance with your dream lover who just happens to live in New York. What you do after you establish the connection is up to you. Online sites like eharmony allow you to put as much or as little of yourself out there as you feel comfortable with.
In eharmony’s case, they ask a lot of questions about your likes and dislikes. You don’t have to answer a particular question if you don’t want to, but the aim is to build an accurate picture of the type of person who would be compatible with you. It can be challenging finding someone who shares your interests -and ignites that spark – but eharmony has developed a special algorithm that eliminates much of the guess work.
It is designed to put you in touch with people who have similar values, beliefs and attitudes as you, which is a good starting point if you are looking for a long-term, fulfilling relationship. But don’t take my word for it. Give it a go.
by Rory Gibson
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