In a world were meeting via the internet is now considered the “norm”, with shows like ‘Catfish’ in which people have internet based relationships only, yes this means they never meet incase you haven’t seen the show. Do you think this is weird or would you give it a go?
I have been newly single for nearly 3 months now, previous to that I dated casually for a few months here and there, none ever going further than the 3 -4 month mark along with a year ish long distance relationship thrown in for good measure, add in the usual smatterings of a first young love relationship, university flings and an occasional travel romance, and hey presto, I’m here and writing a blog to try and make sense of where my next relationship fits in!
Since my first paragraph noted the serious rise in internet relationships, I’m going to admit my experience of signing up to a dating site, albeit fairly brief. The dating industry is said to have a global worth of nearly £2 billion, with 1 in 5 relationships starting online – yes I was surprised at this statistic too, it’s safe to say meeting someone over the internet is not such a taboo these days, or is it?
I own an account on all the usual social media time suckers; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (no, I’m not giving them away for you to figure out who I am!) and I regularly meet new people on all these platforms, a good old flirt later and some of these casual ‘add’s’ or ‘follows’ have resulted in a date or 2, that’s a story for another time, so if this is so socially acceptable now, why are *some* people still so wary of dating sites such as match.com, plentyoffish.com, zoosk.com, to name but a few?
Signing up to a dating site is so quick and easy with most having apps to download I found myself downloading the POF app to my snazzy techy phone and within 5 minutes I had my very own POF profile. A few friends had done it so what harm was there in me giving it a go also? Pictures uploaded, questions answered; what’s your personality type, are you looking for casual dating or long term love, do you smoke, take drugs, your height, eye colour, interests, hobbies, you name it, the site wants to know it! Not to sound like I am blowing one’s own trumpet, but within the space of a mere few hours my inbox was flooded with messages, I am talking in the 100′s. Hello massive ego boost!
The fun starts here, getting through these messages and responding I soon realised was going to be some task. I didn’t merely want to read and dismiss based upon the message alone, some took real time and effort writing major essays, some were copied and pasted, some a simple “hi u ok” – yes these were deleted straight away, there is never a need for text speak! Off I went, open message, read message, view profile, read, skim the pictures, delete or reply (I did try to respond with a polite thanks but no thanks but 99% of the time they took this the wrong way). I literally found myself sucked in for a whole evening doing this, and at the time I didn’t note how much of a drain on actual real life this was. I continued this process almost every evening for a good week or 2, even sometimes getting in the casual sneak during work hours (sorry boss!). Some conversations turned to a number swap, some a Facebook add, Twitter follow and some even discussions of a date. However throughout all this I had serious reservations in the back of my mind, what do I say when someone asks “so, how did you 2 meet?” and I really couldn’t shake that feeling I had. Does this make me shallow and too concerned with others opinions or am I just not ready for the world of internet dating?
I choose the latter, I prefer real life one on one, likely meeting scenarios; in the supermarket, taking a walk, on a night out with friends, I am much more comfortable and relaxed meeting a potential date this way, but that’s not to say internet dating isn’t for you, so if you are considering it, definitely give it a go, it’s free, fun and if nothing comes of it it’s a massive confidence boost when confidence may be at a slight low.
A few kind experienced words of warning; watch out for the naked penis profiles, yes these people really do exist and are purely looking for sex (which hey, if that’s your thing, you’re in for a treat!). Dont get too wrapped up in spending too much time on these sites, remember there is a real world out there too and finally, if you get a message off “Jazzy B” with a rap he claims to be his own, it’s not and get using the delete and block buttons pronto, you’ll thank me later!!
Good luck dating!