In a time when a simple Google search will return hundreds of negative opinions about online and app dating sites, I’m here to give you a different perspective.
While so many singles complain about apps like Tinder and joke about sites like FarmersOnly.com, online dating wouldn’t be a $2 Billion industry if those same people weren’t actively involved in one or more of these online dating platforms. The stigma surrounding online dating is quickly breaking down as the industry is growing steadily.
Although the margins are small, people who meet in online relationships report being happier and staying together long than those who meet offline. Online dating gives you the option to pursue potential partners that you wouldn’t normally meet, matches you based on things you already have in common, and provides niche sites to increase your potential compatibility.
Of course, there is going to be a normal amount of anxiety associated with any form of dating.
Looking Outside Your Social Circles
So, you love running but you’re too shy to join a club. You enjoy skiing, wine, and paint night with your friends but you’re too shy to talk to new people while you’re there. You’re working crazy hours to build your empire and you’re simply too busy to date, but you want that connection with someone. All your friends are settled in relationships, so the pool of single people near you is quickly dwindling. You’re tired of being set up by friends and family members.
How Are You Going To Meet New People?
The men and women you see on dating sites most likely share the same circumstances you do when it comes to meeting new people. You can now swipe to your heart’s content in any free time you do have— standing in line at Starbucks, waiting for your kid to finish up at soccer practice, in the bathroom (go ahead and laugh, but MiMedia reports that 69% of people admit to using their smartphones on the toilet— and that’s just the number that admit it!).
There are even apps where the woman is the only one who can initiate conversation for the shy guys and one app called Hinge that matches you with friends of friends, so you can check someone out with people you trust.
Now there is no excuse for not having time or options of people to date anymore. They’re literally at your fingertips all the time. These sites and apps give you the opportunity to view several potential matches at once, increasing your odds at finding someone with similar interests and less time it takes to find them.
Connecting with Familiar Strangers
It’s hard to find the one who we consider to be the ‘whole package.’ We’re all looking for that someone who is physically attractive, and also with our same level of intellect, interest in similar hobbies, shared sense of humor, etc. Even the most basic dating apps, like Tinder, compare your interests with those of the people you’re shown, taking the guess work out of finding common ground.
Starting the conversation is made simple because you already know what you have in common with this person. No more having to guess or fish for information at a seedy dive bar and hope your advances don’t come off as creepy or inappropriate.
In addition, you’re avoiding the face to face awkwardness when you’re not into the other person, or vice versa. There are less feelings of guilt or rejection when turning down a date via instant message versus in person. You are able to chat casually with more than one person until you decide it’s time to meet in person and invest your time in them fully.
Finding Your Niche
Finally, it’s important to recognize there are now so many options for online dating that it’s no longer one giant fishbowl for you to feel lost in while you’re trying to find love. If you’re feeling this way, there’s a perfectly good reason.
Ever asked your friend where you should go for dinner and they respond, “I don’t know.”? But if you ask, “Would you like sushi or Italian?” they suddenly know what they want to eat. That’s because, when faced with too many options our brains can go into overdrive and our ability to make good decisions (or any decisions) decreases. By limiting the options, you actually increase your potential to make good choices.
It’s clear that sites like Match.com and eHarmony.com ask plenty of questions to successfully match you with a compatible partner. Their goal in asking these questions is to limit the number of profiles for you to sort through; however, while narrowing down from millions of people to thousands or even hundreds is great, having that many profiles to scroll through can still be extremely overwhelming.
Enter: the niche online dating scene. Just like meeting someone at church, or through your running club, you can increase your chances at finding your match by exploring sites specifically designed to appeal to your passion and interests. There are sites for nearly every demographic out there. UniformDating.com for military and first responders, OurTime.com for the age 50+ singles, CyclistSingles.com, DatingForParents.com for single parents, ChristianMingle.com, DateAGolfer.com, and even GlutenFreeSingles.com to name just a few of the available niche sites.