Whenever someone asks me how I met my wife, I proudly say, "Online!" But of course, I think to myself... Where else would one meet up with one's significant other nowadays?
Actually, my attitude is probably not the norm in society. At least not yet. But before long, it wouldn't surprise me to find that online dating has surpassed other forms of meeting one's significant other. Why? Because it is more efficient, produces better matches (and dates!), and allows love to bloom when the silly things (such as actually having something in common) are already taken care of ahead of time.
Using online dating services are far more efficient than other methods of dating. Getting set up by friends or family is purely a hit-or-miss proposition. While well-intentioned, friends and family often don't really know us half as well as they think they do. We don't often share all of the intimate details of our lives, our likes, dislikes, hopes, and dreams for the future with everyone. So people can get somewhat biased ideas of what we're like, because they only see what we're like with them.
Office romances, while convenient, are often fraught with possible problems, danger, and role conflicts. Meeting people randomly at bars or in bookstores or other interests such as hobbies is pure chance. While appealing to our romantic, impulsive side, you're better off throwing darts at random names within a phone book. There's nothing efficient or really, fun, about spending countless hours drinking in a bar looking for supposed "Mr. Right." Chances are he left with the woman just before you.
Better Matches (and Dates!)
Online dating allows you to get to know the person you may want to date long before you ever actually have to date them! How cool is that? Most people communicate a great deal by email or IM first, before talking on the phone. You've spent time reading their online profile, which includes not only their likes and dislikes, but hopes, dreams, reading and movie preferences, hobbies, shoe size, and in some cases, annual income. While these things vary in importance, they provide a fairly accurate snapshot of a person (or at least as much as they want you to know).
There's been a great deal of research to show that couples who are more compatible are more likely to remain committed in a relationship to one another. Lack of compatibility often comes from lack of knowledge and knowing one's partner as honestly and truly as one believes. Online dating gives you the chance to slow things down a bit and really get to know the person you're dating, again, sometimes long before you've ever gone on that first face-to-face date. That's a good thing, because it means you're more likely to find compatibility that works for you online.
Allowing Love to Bloom
Too many times, people get so caught up in the dating world and the need to date that they lose sight of love and finding happiness. It becomes as much a chore as it is something to do for Saturday nights. Going to a bar week after week or being constantly set up on a blind date is more like a recurring nightmare for most people than it is a joy or something to look forward to.
Online dating puts the hassle, stress and pressure of dating on the back burner. You take your time and go at your own pace, because there will always be hundreds of possible partners for you in the huge online databases that exist. New people are always signing up! There's no need to hurry because there will always be people who are compatible with you and your needs available. It's just a matter of finding them.
Once you start dating people through an online dating site, you already know a lot about the person when you go on your first date. That doesn't mean everything will always go smoothly, or that every date is going to be one with Ms. Right. But it does mean that you can relax your guard a little and stop worrying about providing and getting information from the other, or discover that every hobby or interest you like, he abhors. Instead, you're starting out on common ground with a lot to talk about and a lot to enjoy.
With so much less pressure on each date, online dating allows love to take root and more fully bloom far more easily than other methods.
Online dating may still seem a bit odd to some people, but then again, those folks have discovered the secret of it. You have, or are considering it, and for that, you're already a step ahead of many others. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride