Jul/Aug
2016

Online Dating: Who, Me?

Written by Danielle Teal
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Are you online dating? Yes, I’m asking if you are online dating. I know what you’re thinking: There are a lot of creeps out there. So, no one really wants to admit to doing it. 

The reality is people have been searching all over the world for a love connection on different mediums for decades. According to Lee (2016), finding love many moons ago existed through personal ads and even further back in history, lonely shepherds would carve works of art into tree bark to communicate their longing for human contact. It was inevitable that through the creation of internet, online dating would become one of the most popular attractions (literally) to browse on the internet. Match.com capitalized on the interest and debuted their site in 1995.  

 Mobile Dating Apps

In a 2016 survey, the Pew Research Center discovered that 15 percent of U.S. adults use online dating sites or mobile dating apps. The survey shared that the negative stigma of online dating has dwindled, and people are saying it’s a good way to meet someone. 

If you’ve been hesitant, it’s now totally cool to build that last resort desperate profile to find the last fish in the sea. But what you’ll discover with online dating is that there’s plenty of fish…maybe too many.

Good and Bad Experiences

I’ve had my fair share of good and bad online dating experiences. I’ve tried Match.com, eHarmony and Tinder (mobile app). I have discovered that there is a real difference between online dating versus meeting someone at an event, such as a friend’s Christmas party. Online dating opens the horizon a bit more and expands options. It fits with a busy lifestyle, helping to streamline the dating process. 

However, online dating comes with ambiguity and uncertainties. When you meet someone at a friend’s party, you at least know that your friend probably knows them or someone does and you can do some recon on them before you even commit to a date. 

Confused Woman

Melanie Reitz, a 45-year-old single mother from Minnesota, authored “Confused Woman: Tales & Advice on Love, Dating & Relationships,” a candid book of experiences and advice with online dating that all women can relate to. In the first chapter, she minces no words describing an experience of dating a “friend of a friend.” She goes on to share that he “looked good on paper and seemed nice enough. But after a few dates, the red flags started flying.” It turned out he liked his Iron Butterfly drinks and left a lasting image of puking all over a yard. 

This story reminds me of one of the guys I went on a date with who slammed some fancy whiskeys down the hatch (you do not disrespect whiskey like that). That date ended quickly with me driving safely home….alone.

Online Dating Advice 

With all the above said, here’s some online dating advice: 

  1. Always meet in public.
  2. Let your friends know all the details of your date.
  3. Google your prospective date’s full name.
  4. Get to know their friends and family.
  5. Actions must meet words.

 Most importantly, Reitz states “Be patient. Don’t settle.” I agree. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of dating but have faith—a keeper is out there.

Danielle Teal recently graduated with her associate’s degree from RCTC and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree while working full time, parenting and coordinating Random Acts of Kindness.

References
Lee, S. (2016). The History of Online Dating From 1695 to Now. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 May 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susie-lee/timeline-online-dating-fr_b_9228040.html
Reitz, M. (2015). Confused Woman: Tales & Advice on Love, Dating & Relationships. Hopkins, MN: Confused Woman, LLC
Smith, A. & Anderson, M. (2016). 5 facts about online dating. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 9 May 2016, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/29/5-facts-about-online-dating/

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