By Alex Lloyd
Internet dating has lost the old stigma attached to it, and it’s now perfectly normal to meet online – in fact it’s become of one of the most successful ways to meet a partner. But does internet dating work?
What are the advantages of internet dating?
One of the biggest is advantages is that you have a huge catchment pool of possible partners. But if you’d like to, you can also narrow this down to someone who has your interests or the same beliefs as yourself, political or religious. In fact you can find a niche dating site for just about everything.
Another advantage is that it means you don’t have to spend time trawling bars and clubs for a partner, you can do it from the comfort of your own living room. This will become especially appealing if you’ve got past the age of wanting to spend a lot of time in clubs or in bars.
The other most common way of meeting new partners is at work but this can cause difficulties, particularly if things go wrong. Breaking up with someone and then having to work with them is far from ideal.
And the disadvantages?
Well, with that huge pool of partners it can take quite a lot of work to go through all the profiles and narrow it down to those who might be suitable. And even more work e-mailing the potential candidates. Some people like spending a long time e-mailing before meeting, so be prepared for lots of writing.
Internet dangers to beware of include exaggeration, or downright lies, in a profile , for example, the person you’re communicating with may not be as young, or as tall as they say they are. And some people use old pictures, or have just one picture (perhaps taken at an unusual angle) making it difficult to tell what that person actually looks like.
Some sites now offer webcam dating, which seems like it could become very widespread in the future. Hopefully that added interaction will give more clues as to whether you will be compatible with that person and it seems worth meeting them.
If you do decide to meet up with someone, it’s obviously important to take some basic safety measures. Always arrange to meet in a public place, and don’t give your address or any personal information to someone on a first date. And obviously don’t give any money to anyone you meet online, there’s a lot of scammers out there.
Where should you go on a date?
Well going for a drink either to a bar or for a coffee is probably the best idea. There’s not much point going to the cinema as you won’t get chance to talk. Going for a meal is more risky, there’s lots of hazards like spilling spaghetti and sauce all down your front! Plus it’s hard to end the date early if it’s going badly.
So can internet dating work?
Well the evidence says overwhelming that it can, but it might take some time, so don’t give up if the first few dates don’t work out. Have a look here for some online dating tips