Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dating Online: Upsides and downsides

      Have you ever considered finding a date via an app or a website? During most of my life, I depended on "regular" methods of partnering up. Not to brag, but I was great at it; I never felt I needed anything else. The clubbing and bar diving with friends provided for all of my social needs. As a rule, I’d end up with someone I met that night and then tried to figure out if I should even put in the effort of trying for a “relationship”. Newsflash: I never did.

     After I changed jobs… well, my social life changed, as well. The job itself was really great: I had more cash, better benefits, even a great health-care plan; nothing I could complain about, definitely. You can probably guess where the problems started springing up. Since I was so focused on my job, my social life began to suffer. I was doing extra hours, pulling double shifts… I even got to work on some special projects. While the experience and the extra money were great, hell the contacts I made alone were worth the time put in, I no longer had any free time. My clubbing and bar hopping days were over. I was either working or too tired to do anything other than browse the internet or watch TV. I started losing touch with my friends and my chances of meeting someone became practically non-existent.

     I’m not the person to just sit there and take it, though. While I was aware of online dating websites and mobile dating apps, I never felt like I needed them. I did it the way it was done in the good old days, I did it well… so why change what works? But, as I was quickly running out of free time and opportunities to date, I decided to go for it. I needed contact, a real connection with people, even if it was just online. I did my research (read: googled it a bit) and made a profile on a few websites and installed an app or two.

     The results were beyond my wildest dreams. There are a ton of people out there, the services are easy to get into and the whole thing is super quick. Of course, it’s not perfect, nothing is – it’s much harder to get a read of someone through text. In person, you can look at their posture, how they carry themselves and any number of personal quirks; online, you often only have a profile photo and “u r hot wanna cyber”. If anything, blocking or ignoring annoying people is easier than in person. On my best day, during my clubbing/bar hopping phase, I could realistically have a shot with two people. Online… I can get more, faster. Naturally, there can be awkward moments, particularly when somebody misreads the signals (an easy thing to do, happens to the best of us) or just wants more than is offered. But, at the same time, don’t worry too much about it; think about what you want and need, be grounded and go for it. Online dating can be a great thing, if you let it.

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