Dear Nancianne, Even though I live in a big city and I know people who have online dated, I still can't help but see online dating as a last resort. I mean, there are lots of ways to meet people where I live, and use of the Internet is associated with those people that can't find a mate in the usual ways. -Amelia
Thank you for your honesty. I live in Washington DC. There are lots of places to go and organizations to join where one could meet singles. In fact, some events are specifically designed for singles so that they can meet each other without the awkwardness of the "So, are you in a relationship?" hurdle.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy.
Challenge #1: If I join a running club and start dating Speedy Sam, that's wonderful. If Sam and I break up, I probably won't continue to be in the running club because it would be strained. Even if I stay in the club, I could probably kiss off the idea of meeting another guy because these people know Sam, and that makes me off limits. Worse, I might have to see that Sam found another woman, and I don't need that.
Challenge #2: If there is a singles event coming up this Thursday and I'm planning to spend my $40 and attend, I probably have the potential to meet a guy. However, I most likely will not meet more several guys because if guy #1 sees me flirting with guy #2, his ego will be bruised, he may fear rejection, and decide not to call me. Another realistic possibility is that on Thursday afternoon I come to find out that my work has a client deliverable pushed up to Friday morning. Goodbye singles event.
Challenge #3: Sexy Seth talks to me at The Pub on Saturday night and asks me out. Perfect. We go out twice. On our second date I come to find out that Sexy Seth does not want children. As someone who really wants a family, I know that he and I could never work. Unfortunately for me, such discussions are taboo in initial meetings. I was wasting my time going out with Seth. I could have been spending that time looking for a guy that is a good fit for me.
I could have been using an online dating site.
Online dating is a solution to every stumbling block mentioned in the above examples and then some. Here are some awesome benefits to finding a mate online:
You can search for mates at 3am
You see someone's values before you meet
Everyone online is single and looking
Chatting with several people simultaneously is realistic
Online dating should be revered as the way savvy people find a match, but it's not.
And we're the problem.
I've met many good men online, had several relationships, and been to weddings of friends who met online. Yet, when people asked me how I've met my boyfriends, I'd pause for a second, look down and give a reply such as "Well… actually, believe it or not… we met online."
I was a schmuck for giving such an answer. I should have been shouting off the walls how a great profile and a great attitude toward online dating can net you some great dates.
Every person who has met a great man or woman online should tell someone else about his/her experience. In business, this is called viral marketing. If normal people like you and I spread the word about the benefits of online dating then eventually people will start to see the concept through our lenses.