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Online Dating: Things to consider before taking the plunge

Online dating is a great way to meet new people…if you know what you’re doing. If you haven’t tried online dating, then you may be missing out on meeting someone great for you. However, overcoming the social stigma of online dating, especially for young people, can be daunting. Online dating, similar to offline dating can be as cool or lame as you make it. There are some benefits offered through dating online that don’t exist in offline dating as well.

Ditch the bar scene

The bar scene can be expensive. Spending almost a hundred dollars per outing is easier than you think. Think: $20 to get into a hot venue, $10 to park, and about $25 for two drinks…before you know it, you’ve spent a small fortune just entertaining yourself. Now try getting to know someone or impress them through buying drinks at the bar and you’re left with one handsomely expensive night. One of the social stigmas of online dating includes paying to meet someone. But, if you hit the club or bar scene a few times a week, you will have spent about the amount it takes to have an online dating profile registered for at least three months. In essence, it’s cheaper to sign up, complete a profile and link with other people who have similar interests.

Take it slow; keep it light.

One especially nice feature of online dating is the ability to begin a conversation with someone and take it slowly. Online correspondence can begin with something as simple as a “flirt;” which is a pre-transcribed one-liner delivered to the other party to express interest. A good old fashioned introduction can be done via email also. This offers the other person the chance to look over your profile, gauge their level of interest and respond accordingly. Offline dating is more direct for sure, but the rejection is immediate and can feel more personal at times. If a person isn’t interested and doesn’t respond to your online effort, there are many other profiles to browse and people to contact that you simply move along to the next.

Play it safe

We all have stories of meeting people in our everyday lives, making the decision to get to know them better and regretting it after learning more about them. Online dating may seem to present a more dangerous way of meeting people, but in fact, the odds of meeting someone dangerous online are almost the same as meeting them offline. A unique feature of online dating is the ability to investigate someone you’re interested in. It’s customary for online daters to exchange their outside social networking profiles, such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, if you are really ambitious, there are programs that will let you run a full background check on a potential mate for a small fee.

Typically, if you give yourself enough time to engage with a person online, just as you would offline, you will be able to determine their character to decide if they are a good match for you.

Meet new people

It may sound counter-intuitive to meet people from the comfort of your own home, but if you do a lot of traveling for work or have recently relocated to a new area, online dating may be a good way to maximize both your time and resources. Romantic relationships aren’t the only reason to join a dating site. Sure, there are other sites that offer networking opportunities exclusively, but those sites usually don’t have online forums designed for you meet people. More often than not, ordinary networking sites are devised to get people connected offline as much as possible. You might be surprised to learn that many new transplants to your area take advantage of online dating resources as a way to network also.

Have fun

Online dating isn’t without its challenges, but so is offline dating. When dating, it’s crucial to have fun. Approaching either situation with hesitation, fear and negativity will ensure your attempts are unsuccessful. Keep the benefits of online dating in mind and when you find yourself thinking about whether or not you will create an online profile, go for it and have fun!

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