Online dating can get a bad rap sometimes — we get it. When it got started in the ’90s, it was often looked at as a desperate way to find a date or partner. While online dating has become less of a taboo (thanks to the continuous rise of technology), there are still some skeptics who wonder how it could be better than meeting someone in real life. What does online dating offer that events, sports, school, and setups through friends and family don’t?
Below we’ll take you through 11 online dating benefits that just might convince you to give it a try.
1. You Can Get Started & Find a Match Quickly
On most dating sites, you can create a profile and start browsing through singles literally in seconds. Often all you have to do is input your name, gender, location, age, email address, and basic dating preferences, and then you’re on your way. While we recommend taking some time on your profile to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, if you’re really excited and just can’t wait, go right ahead. Just remember to come back to your profile later, as this is the main component that will attract people to you.
2. Dating Sites are Very Affordable
When you’re single and at a bar or club, more than likely you’re paying for your drinks, someone else’s drinks, an entry fee, and sometimes food — all of which adds up very quickly. Plus, there’s no guarantee you’ll actually meet someone special. On the other hand, almost every dating site offers a free trial or membership that will put you in front of millions of eligible singles.
With so many options out there, we’ve narrowed own our three favorites:
Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships
Match System: Search, plus daily match suggestions
Our Experts Say: “Zoosk's integration with social networks and its popular smartphone app make it one of the web's fastest-growing dating sites for casual and serious daters...” Full Review »
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|Gender Ratio||M: 48% | F: 52%*|
Relationships: Serious Relationships
Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions
Our Experts Say: “Elite Singles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »
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|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships
Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more
Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »
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|Gender Ratio||M: 49% | F: 51%*|
The sites above do have premium memberships with more advanced features (e.g., see when someone reads your messages), but with a basic membership, you already have everything you need to find a perfect match.
3. Millions of People All Over the Country Do It
Statistic Brain Research Institute says more than 49 million people in the U.S. have tried online dating. However, if you’re at a bar, how many people do you think are there? 50 to 75? What about a club? A couple hundred? Your chances of catching someone’s eye, and vice versa, are significantly greater online.
4. Online Dating Saves You Time
A singles night out takes a lot of work — you have to decide where you want to go, you have to get all dressed up, you have to drive or Uber to the destination, and you have to be there for several hours, going up to people until you meet someone to have a conversation with. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. And, in the end, you still may go home without a number.
Online dating, though, can be done in your pajamas from the comfort of your couch. I’m not saying you should never go out or you should be lazy about your dating efforts, but when you can’t bear another night in a tight dress or uncomfortable blazer, turn to online dating.
5. Get as Specific as You Want About Your Needs
Meeting singles in real life can be exciting because you never know what the person is going to be like or what they’re going to be interested in. But sometimes you have deal-breakers that aren’t discovered until later. For example, what if you hit it off with someone but then find out a few days down the road that they’re a smoker, and you hate smoking? It can be a bubble burster.
With online dating, you can list as many desires as you want and see who meets those before investing your feelings and time. For example, you could say you’re looking for a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy who’s 6 feet tall, has facial hair, is an actor, is passionate about the environment, and dances like a dad (yes, I just described Leonardo DiCaprio). While you should probably be a little more open-minded than that, and Leo’s already taken anyways, you get the idea. Find that happy balance between expressing your needs without being demanding.
6. Common Ground With Someone is Established Right Away
One of the hardest parts of meeting people offline is getting the conversation started. Do you walk up and say “Hey, my name is [name]. Just wanted to introduce myself and see if you needed another drink”? Do you ask them how they like the band that’s playing? Do you just stare at them and try to will them to come over with your mind? Kidding on that one.
Since online daters share so much information about themselves, it’s easier to break the ice. For instance, if you see in someone’s profile that they also like the cinematic genius that is “Sorority Boys,” you can put that in the subject line of your message and ask them who their favorite character is.
7. It’s Way Less Stressful Than Offline
Since the beginning of time, people have been meeting their dates and partners offline. It may not seem so, since most of us have been attached to our phones for so long, but online dating is only a couple of decades old. It’s still a relatively young industry. Even so, it’s become a go-to because it takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders. In online dating, you can have as little or as much control as you want, you can log on at any time wherever you are, if you get sick of it, you can just cancel your subscription (or freeze it if the site allows that) come back to it later, and so on.
8. Numerous Security Measures Keep Users Safe
Yes, there have been plenty of scary stories about online dating, but overall, we’d say it can be safer than meeting a random stranger while out.
Unlike bars, clubs, parks, restaurants, gyms, or other places you could meet someone, dating sites have tons of safety features in place to protect their users. These include 24/7 customer support, extensive help pages, SSL encryption technology to prevent scammers from entering the site, moderators to remove fake profiles, and buttons to block and report abusive members. Some sites will also verify and/or do background checks on every member to prove they are who they say they are.
9. Online Dating is Really Fun
Not to trivialize online dating or turn people into objects, but it’s nice sometimes to be able to browse through a bunch of potential dates or partners all at once. That’s probably why Tinder is so popular. And, if you’re broad with your criteria, you’ll get to meet and go out with all sorts of people from various places and of various backgrounds.
10. Facing Rejection Can Be Easier
Rejection sucks no matter what, but it might not sting as much if it happens online. You don’t have to see the look of disinterest in their eyes or try to hide the disappointment in your face. You can just move on to the next match the dating site suggests or take another look at the search results. Remember, millions and millions of people use online dating, so you’re sure to find that special someone… or a few special someones.
11. Most Importantly, It Works!
The most important benefit that comes with online dating is that it actually does work for people. Below are some impressive statistics that prove it:
- Match.com is responsible for the most dates, relationships, and marriages of any other dating site.
- 4% of U.S. marriages started on eHarmony.
- 66% of users have gone on a date with someone they met online.
- 20% of relationships and 17% of marriages started online.
Not to mention most dating sites have an entire page or an entire blog dedicated to sharing touching success stories from their former members.
Online Dating Benefits: The Facts, the Good & the Impressive
Even though we’re proponents of online dating, we know it isn’t for everyone, but how do you really know if it’ll work for you unless you give it a try? We’ve laid out numerous benefits of online dating, but you should always combine it with offline dating. That way, you’ll be connected with your ideal match in no time. Have fun!
Photo sources: hollywoodreporter.com