The swipe/click phenomenon of online dating has somehow managed to change the genetic landscape of human interaction. In short, Tinder and e- harmony (though quite frankly polar opposites) have created an age of accessibility and sexual openness that has never before been touted as an acceptable form of dating.
At first, views on this “new age” form of dating were met with immense apprehension, as people preferred the cloak protection provided by dogmatic forms of interaction. But since the start of the new millennium, along with the search for professional greatness and self-discovery, some women have encountered great difficulties managing love and life. Singletons who are forced to deal with globalisation, the fleeting nature of youth and the awkward search for Mr Right, now welcome online dating. I mean, face it, traditional forms of dating required a certain degree of magic, spontaneity and being in the right place at the right time. And then, even after making an initial connection, we must face the “getting to know you phase,” which can be an exercise in time-wasting.
Behold the mirage of online dating. Providing an accessible interface, users can access an infinite catalogue of faces, bios, and titbits of personal details. Candidates are allowed to peruse these sites in a manner similar to online shopping, with tangible characteristics leading the pack as the initial sought-after quality. What’s interesting about online courtship is that even though it comes with far more complex nuances than traditional dating, its simplicity brings ease to the forefront. No longer do we have to endure the bar scene or pray that a blind date comes to fruition. A barrage of details, real or fictional, is provided upfront without the hassle of getting all dressed up, the pressure of a public meeting or the disappointment of a connection that fizzled before it began. Dr Ryan Anderson’s article titled the Ugly Truth of Online Dating revealed that time is the main factor that leads persons to online dating. Browsing profiles isn’t nearly as time-consuming as mixing with people in a social context and it reduces the pressure associated with putting yourself out there. Only when the dust settles on the initial interaction or numerous conversations later that people venture beyond the reach of the virtual platform and step into the real world. Research conducted in the US suggests that about one in five relationships begin online. It’s estimated that by 2040, 70 per cent of individuals will have met their significant other online.
A quick affair that reaps healthy relationships for some presents a potentially damaging situation both in terms of physical safety and mental well-being for others. Women are incredibly susceptible to the dangers of internet dating and are at a greater risk of being hurt emotionally and physically.
Because of the protective vale the internet provides, lies are a common feature of online dating. It is common for potential suitors to use digitally enhanced photos and lie about their likes and interest to appear more appealing. Still, there are a few cautionary tales that take on a sinister hue.
In particular, lies about age, financial status, and criminal history can potentially land you in a world of trouble. Because of the level of anonymity online dating provides, women have been swindled into giving large sums of cash to men and sexually assaulted after meeting in person.
Another issue that women face when subscribing to the online dating trend is the “looking for a relationship versus looking for a good time dichotomy.” A dangerous situation can arise when a potential suitor claims to be serious about pursuing a connection, only to resort to ghosting after physical intimacy has been attained.
With this in mind, women should also be on the lookout for wolves in sheep’s clothing or men that share rude/disgusting messages, sexual propositions and requests nude pics. Though online dating is a platform that makes it convenient to meet others in a less invasive manner, some sites are known to cater to those ready to have a “good time.” Women should be mindful of this, especially if they are searching for a meaningful, long-lasting connection.
Interestingly, online dating provides an opportunity to meet people you probably wouldn’t have otherwise met. But it does cause women to be a lot pickier than usual due to the overwhelming number of options. According to a study conducted by the Association for Psychological Science, people are more judgemental and inclined to dismiss a not-quite-perfect candidate than they otherwise would be in a face-to-face meeting. This results in some women rejecting a good match simply because they believed there are “better” options available.
Online dating provides accessibility, and sometimes an instantaneous connection welcomed in this fast-paced and ever-changing world. It is an endeavour that women should approach with extreme caution, for in some cases, the drawbacks of online dating significantly outweigh the good.