Online dating can be fun, but it can also be soul-crushing. Sometimes you have such bad experiences that you wonder if it’s even worth using them. Maybe you were ghosted, received unsolicited images out of the blue, or maybe you were really into someone, but they didn’t reciprocate.
But despite all that, you still keep hearing about people who found their person on a dating app. So you wonder, are dating apps worth it? Well, let’s weigh some pros and cons of online dating and try to figure out if you should give them a chance.
Benefits of Online Dating
Let’s tackle the benefits that can come out of using dating apps, including finding successful relationships and the convenience.
1. People Find Happy Relationships on Dating Apps
The biggest advantage to signing up for a dating app is that it can lead to a meaningful connection. The potential for a lasting relationship is there. You can match with someone and have amazing conversations that grow into a connection and ultimately into a meaningful relationship. Then all the bad matches and frustrations seem worth it.
Browse any social media platform, and you’re bound to find countless posts about how people met through a dating app, decided to be together, and remain together years after the fact. It’s pretty romantic and, most of all, reassuring. It gives dating app users hope that it could happen to them, too.
2. Apps Make it Easy to Meet New People
Dating apps offer an easy and convenient way to make friends online and meet new people. Given that nowadays, we spend a big chunk of our lives online, staying online to meet people is pretty standard.
There aren’t a lot of people meeting offline organically. After all, not many people are okay with being interrupted and being expected to maintain a conversation while picking out avocados at the supermarket. The places that were previously the norm for meeting new people, like bars, parks, libraries, and so on, don’t quite hold the same status anymore.
Many people, when they’re out and about, only wish to focus on their tasks and not be bothered. So using dating apps to find friends and romantic prospects has slowly become the new norm. And it works, too. You have the control to leave a conversation that’s uncomfortable, which, sadly, isn’t always a given in the offline world.
3. Online Dating Gives You Control
And that brings us to, arguably, the most important benefit of online dating—you have control. You have control throughout the entire online dating experience. For example, if you match with someone but discover they’re not right for you, you can unmatch.
You can also block them, and that will be that. You’re free to cut and leave a conversation at any given point without feeling unsafe.
4. You Can Filter the Dating Pool
If you do speed dating, a blind date, or any other kind of offline date, you have to elaborate on your preferences and vet each potential partner to discover if they fit. That can get a bit awkward, to say the least.
With online dating, you tick a few boxes, and the algorithm ensures to match you with people with those same boxes. That way, you know that whoever you’re talking to has made the cut and fits the base requirements of what you need to consider them a potential partner. And, you won’t waste your time or theirs.
5. You Can Talk to Multiple People at Once
With dating apps, you can maintain multiple conversations simultaneously, no problem. You can match with many people at once, immediately begin talking to them and see if you mesh well. If you don’t, you can easily move on to the next match and carry on until you find a good match.
There are cases when you can click with multiple people at once. And, thanks to using dating apps, you can continue talking to them until you sift through your matches and settle on whoever fits you best. That can take a long or a short time to do, and it’s super easy to do while on a dating app.
If you’re doing that offline, it can raise questions about propriety and cheating, and someone might end up feeling disrespected. Whereas, on dating apps, it’s an unspoken rule that you can have a ton of matches and talk to all of them at the same time. And, until you and your potential partner define your relationship, it’s all fair play.
Cons of Online Dating
Now to uncover some of the negatives associated with dating apps, including the difficulties of communicating via text and online dating scams.
1. Misunderstandings Can Happen
Everything you say while messaging back and forth on a dating app is open to interpretation. Once you click send and your message goes through, your match interprets it as they see fit. And that can backfire spectacularly.
Inflection is irrelevant when online dating unless you’re sending voice notes. Maybe you were being sarcastic, but they thought you were literal. Or, you made a joke, but they took it as fact. There’s a ton of room for error, and you need to accept that many conversations may end abruptly because the other party misunderstood what you meant.
2. You Can Face Off With a Catfish
It’s not uncommon to deal with catfishing when online dating. Whether you encounter someone who slightly fibbed about their height or touched up their photos to plump their lips, or completely changed their appearance, it’s an issue you need to consider. Some people on dating apps even go the extra mile and pretend to be different people entirely—they steal someone else’s image.
That can be quite worrisome if you decide to meet them offline. At the very least, you’ll feel lied to and, at worst, disrespected and betrayed, depending on how your relationship progressed while talking on the dating app. In any case, you should take precautions to protect yourself from catfishing.
3. Online Dating Can Lead to Online Harassment
You meet all sorts of people online dating, and, unfortunately, that includes the bad kind. While it’s true that you can always unmatch and block people, you still have to suffer through the experience of dealing with their toxicity before you take action.
Sometimes people you matched with can get pushy and out of line for no reason, and other times they refuse to take no for an answer. Whatever the reason behind their behavior, the result is that you may suffer online harassment.
Some app users even go as far as creating new accounts so that they can continue their harassment. The whole thing sours your dating app experience entirely. The best thing you can do is look out for online dating red flags, and hope you caught on to them early enough.
4. Costs Can Add Up
Sure, free dating apps are widespread, but those are usually not good enough if you’re set to date full-time. Of course, if you’re a casual dater and don’t spend too much time on dating apps, you might not need to upgrade your accounts.
But if it’s the opposite, then it’s better to pay for subscriptions. Most premium accounts get you invaluable perks like endless swipes, the ability to super-like, and tons more. And, if you’re exploring the world of online dating, it’s unlikely you’ll stick to just one app but rather branch out to several. That means your monthly online dating bill can add up, which you need to consider.
5. It Can Take a Lot of Time and Effort
Online dating can fail to produce results for a long time. While using dating apps saves you a ton of hassle and shows you countless potential matches you can go through in mere minutes, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll like a single one. And, even if you like a few or all of them, that doesn’t mean the conversation will flow naturally.
Many things can go wrong when online dating. There’s a fine line between seeming like seeming too inquiring and seeming disinterested. Sometimes a conversation can stretch a week, but during that time, you’ve said five things to each other. Other times, it’s the opposite, and it’s an endless back and forth. Until it isn’t, and you need to start again.
You need a ton of patience to navigate the world of dating apps.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Online Dating
Though it may seem bleak, don’t be afraid to venture off into the world of dating apps. Sure, there’s a lot to consider. Like, choosing the right app, creating the perfect profile, whether to pay for a subscription, and so on. But don’t let that deter you from trying.
Online dating can lead to fulfilling relationships, companionship, or fun flings. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on a dating app. So, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran using apps to date online, be sure to dive right in and try.