Online dating seems to be the thing to do if you are single in this age and time. But, it is not for everyone. Should you try online dating?
Should you try online dating? Online dating seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, it is anything but. Considering whether or not to try online dating is not as simple as trying a new restaurant.
Online dating comes with a lot of rejection. It comes with insecurity. It comes with baggage and trust issues. And it is not right for everyone.
Should you try online dating?
A few years ago, I asked myself this very question. Should you try online dating? I wasn’t the only one either. All my friends and family asked me too.
Being single for a while makes you think that online dating is the next logical step. If you are of a certain age and are not in a relationship but would like to be, online dating makes sense, right?
Well, not necessarily. It seems as easy as creating a social media account. You share some info about yourself and post your favorite photos and maybe a joke or two. It sounds simple enough.
But, what comes after you sign up is the hard part. Matching with someone and never hearing from them. Messaging someone and not getting a response. Connecting with someone only for them to ghost you. Trying to make plans when you have anxiety. Not cancelling plans once you’ve made them. And it goes on.
Sometimes you have to see for yourself, but maybe I can protect you from that.
I tried online dating on and off for years. At first, it seems okay. You chat with someone. Then you text them and maybe even FaceTime. But for me, I had trouble shutting down the nerves. There is a build-up of expectations when you meet someone you have only talked to online. And being a model overthinker, I couldn’t shake the nerves.
Skip ahead a few years and I was managing my nerves better. I even went on a few dates. But, still, I found that my trust issues from past relationships carried over so intensely. The lack of proof you get from meeting someone online led me to the worst possible assumptions.
Then meeting someone that turned out to have a whole family he lied to me about was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Sure, there is never a sure thing in dating, but when you meet someone at work or through friends, there is at least some level of honesty and accountability when you have a mutual connection. I realized after a few failed dates that I needed that reassurance. But, do you?
Should you try online dating?
Online dating is perfect for some people. They can meet a lot of people without too much investment. There is little risk because if it doesn’t work out you’ll never see them again. You get a clean slate and can have fun.
But, if you have remaining baggage, trust issues, or anxiety, some aspects of online dating may not be for you. So, before signing up for the latest app, ask yourself these questions.
#1 Do you have trust issues? If your answer is no, I am jealous. But, online dating is a petridish of liars. I do not want to sour your hopefulness, but it is a fact. People lie about what they want, who they are, their relationship status, and more.
If you trust yourself and are not going to be affected by facing someone who is lying to you, online dating could be right for you.
#2 Do you know what you want? Online dating can be a great place for you to test the waters. You can go on a lot of dates and figure out what you want. But, if you are dead set on what you want and are unwilling to waver on that, online dating will likely become a headache.
No one is going to fit your mold, so you have to know what you want, but be open for it to work.
#3 Are you an overthinker? Should you try online dating as an overthinker? Yes and no. Yes, if you want to try to do better. If you want to try to get used to things and let them be without worrying, this could be a good place to start.
But, if you are an overthinker who has no plans to change, online dating will drive you bonkers. It can corrupt your life and take over if you let it.
#4 Can you shut down expectations? This is something I always had trouble with. Whether you chat with someone for a few hours or weeks before meeting, your mind builds up a picture of them. If you dwell too much on that you will be disappointed.
If you can’t shut down your mind from jumping to conclusions, each date will be intense.
#5 Do you have thick skin? I am not talking about someone turning you down, but turning others down. It will happen. You won’t like everyone that messages you. Whether you tell them or ghost people can be cruel. They can name call or worse.
If you can’t handle the variety of weirdos out there, online dating, no matter how, will be too much for you.
#6 Can you handle rejection? Rejection is a part of dating, especially online dating. You can chat with someone for two minutes and be rejected. If you struggle with self-esteem and being rejected regularly will weigh on your mental health, skip online dating.
#7 Are you decisive? Online dating provides you with more options than most other types of dating. You are given the opportunity to meet so many people. But, you need to know where to draw the line. Know what your standards and dealbreakers are.
You also should be able to let someone know what your intentions are or if you are unsure. Making decisions is a big part of online dating and if you’re no good at that, you may want to hire a matchmaker.
#8 Are you picky? I am. I am the queen of being picky. I have high standards and ask a lot from someone I’m dating. So when I was online dating I online swiped right *liked* maybe three out of every fifty people I passed.
Not only was I being shallow, but I was doing myself a disservice. I was shutting myself off from some potentially great people because they had weird taste in something, had a picture with a girl in it, or other random things. Being picky is no good when it comes to whether you should try online dating.
You need a balance between decisiveness and pickiness.
#9 Are you okay with shallowness? There is no escape from being shallow when it comes to online dating. You see a photo of someone and immediately decide if you are attracted to them or not. It is part of it whether you like it or not.
You cannot hide from that when online dating. And you need to show yourself and be okay with people basing their interest in you on that and vice versa.
#10 Have you tried everything else? Online dating does not need to be a last resort, signing up for The Bachelor should be. But, if you are hesitant about online dating, try other outlets first. Go to mixers or networking events.
Ask your friends to set you up. Take classes. Actually, try other methods of dating before saying you have tried it all.
#11 Do you actually want to date? Here is the big one. Being single is totally okay. You do not need to be actively dating or in a relationship to matter. You are worth a lot all on your own. If you like being single why bother going through the hurdles of dating?
Do not let friends or family push you into it. If you don’t want to date, don’t online date to prove something to anyone else or because you feel like you should.
Should you try online dating? Hopefully, you can answer that question for yourself now.