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For the past 10 years or so, online dating has been a big part of the dating landscape. There’s really no getting around it. Chances are you have dabbled in online dating yourself, or you have at least had a friend, family member, or co-worker tell you about their experiences on a dating site or mobile dating app.
I wholeheartedly believe that online dating will greatly aid you on your path to dating success, especially in these current times. The pandemic has shown us more than ever before that we can still work, socialize, shop, date, and live our lives even if it’s all online. A wealth of information about a potential match is available to you on a dating site or dating app that wouldn’t otherwise be apparent if you were set up on a blind date or just met someone at a bar.
Here are my favorite benefits of online dating and a few highlights on how online dating can be a strategic way of finding a gentlemanly gem.
Are you that person who constantly wishes that your best friend’s friend would finally ask you out? If you two have known each other for quite a while and nothing romantic has come up in your interactions, chances are he’s just not that into you. The same goes for the bartender at the bar around the corner, the barista at your favorite coffee shop, and the guy in your sociology class. You shouldn’t wait around forever. You need to move on.
Online and mobile dating allow you to venture out from your normal social circle, and I promise you’ll meet at least one person who is compatible. Some dating sites and apps actually connect to your social media accounts, broadening your web of opportunity with acquaintances and those who have the same hobbies and interests.
I like to think of these online dating tools as matchmakers. Typically, if you are being introduced to friends of friends, it’s likely you’ll find something in their personalities that you’ll find attractive. These online dating tools are just more accurate and make the process so much easier.
At the end of the day, you and your date have to be attracted to one another. I want my potential partner to immediately find me attractive. I want to feel some sort of chemistry right from the get-go, and I’m sure you feel the same way.
I do believe that physical attraction can grow, but with gay men specifically, I see the value in instant attraction more so than in any other peer group. I remember being set up on a blind date, and, within five minutes, I knew we weren’t a physical match. If I had seen a few photos of this guy before we met, I would have known right then and there that our chemistry would be nonexistent in person.
Looking at someone’s online dating profile and photos can give you an idea of the activities he enjoys, maybe a glimpse of his values, and from the photos he posts some idea of a person’s attraction level. You want to be attracted to this person whether he’s in sweatpants or a nice blazer.
With online and mobile dating, you can date in your pajamas, as you’re sitting in a boring business meeting, while on vacation, and even while going to the bathroom. Your dating schedule has a take-it-or-leave-it ambiance thanks to online dating.
The one caveat I have with this benefit is you should know that some people will not take online dating as seriously as you do. For example, you may like timely responses, but they may not get back to your messages until a day or so later — an impolite way of telling you “I have been busy.” This comes with the territory, unfortunately. I would often get so offended and write someone off if they did this to me on a dating site or app, but I eventually realized that I took the importance of prompt communication more seriously than most people.
On the flip side, a person just as communicative as you is a sign of additional compatibility. I bet you this type of person won’t ghost you and will set up a plan for you guys to meet sooner rather than later. Treasure these kinds of matches.
Something I really enjoyed when I was online dating is all the different types of search and filtering features. Over the years, I feel the features online dating sites and apps offer to fine-tune your search have really expanded to the benefit of every online dater.
For example, if you aren’t ready to date someone with kids, there’s usually a search feature on the dating site or app that allows you to filter out people with kids, or there’s a section in your dating profile where you can specify your preference in this department. Being upfront is an important aspect of online dating. Don’t worry, you won’t be seen as being closed-minded and not open to anything different. Everyone says what they want on dating platforms.
Other preferences you can sort by with search features or mention on your dating profile are diet, physical activity level, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, pet ownership, and age range. You don’t want to string someone along, so it’s best to use these tools to your advantage. Take the time to note your preferences in your profile, so incompatible match candidates can disqualify themselves without you even knowing. You’ll be doing yourself and them a huge favor. Think of all the time saved.
When I was first online dating, I met a guy who didn’t fill out his profile all the way, but I decided to give him a chance anyway and meet for drinks. Turns out, he and I didn’t share the same views on monogamy, which was a huge dealbreaker for me. I felt like I had wasted $60 and a Friday night.
That situation taught me to be more careful when determining who’s compatible with me and who isn’t, and I realized it’s OK to just call it sometimes. Your wallet will thank you and your mental health will be spared from wasted time getting ready, sitting for an hour with someone who isn’t right for you, and traveling to and from the date location.
When using these online dating platforms, you should take the time to ask your potential matches a lot of questions. If you don’t know what questions to ask, you can literally Google “good questions to ask an online match” to get some ideas. You can also Google things like “bad answers to online dating questions” to know what red flags to be aware of.
This process may be seen as being a little more impersonal than discovering things naturally over brunch. However, in the end, this preliminary discovery helps individuals unsuited for each other avoid getting frustrated with dating altogether. Dating should be fun. Most individuals want to know what they are getting themselves into before making the sacrifice of their money and personal time.
On certain online dating sites and apps, like OkCupid, you can see how other users have answered specific questions and how important they rank their answers. You’ll answer those same questions and rank your answers when you create your profile, too. Sometimes everyone is required to spend five to 10 minutes answering these questions and ranking their answers before their profile becomes activated.
All of that information is then put into the dating platform’s algorithm, and the digital matchmaking magic will give you a compatibility percentage with every other user. Of course, this compatibility percentage isn’t the end-all, be-all, but there are some evident truths that can help you determine whether you should entertain a conservation with someone.
If the option is there, take the time to see how someone answered these questions and how they labeled their importance. You can catch signs of incompatibility you may have missed by using filter features earlier in the process. The benefit of having this information can aid you in deciphering which men you’d like to get to know more.
The way people court one another has drastically evolved over the past 10 years, and it’ll only continue to do so. You have to adapt with the times.
I understand that some people have an issue with saying they met someone through virtual means. But online dating isn’t a resource you want to leave by the wayside. The worst that can happen is you try it for a month and then realize it wasn’t a fit for you.
I have always been a firm believer in that you can’t truly judge something unless you’ve tried to the point of proving yourself right. Don’t be afraid, and embrace the future of dating. My hope is that it looks bright and online dating works for you. Good luck!