Monday, July 18, 2011

Online Dating vs. The Bar: 5 Reasons Online Dating Wins

There was a time when online dating was strictly taboo. The perception was that it was reserved for those poor desperate souls, like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, who couldn't turn any heads in person. A former supervisor told me she had never seen a single relationship work out that originated through online dating. Those couples that did meet through online dating often went to great lengths to hide the truth behind their relationship.

Yet, last year alone, I attended the weddings of two friends who met their spouses through online dating sites, and I have heard of countless other online dating success stories. In its April 25, 2010 edition, The Washington Post cited a recent survey commissioned by Match.com, stating: "More than twice as many couples who married last year met through online dating services than at a club or social event," and, "17 percent of those who married in the past three years met online, making it the third-most-frequent method of introduction."

Apparently, it's not so taboo anymore. In fact, I can think of five good reasons to meet your future spouse through online dating, rather than the stereotypical alternative - at the bar.

1. Online dating gives personality the chance to shine through before physical attraction takes over.

Relationships based predominantly on physical attraction have a high chance of failure. Why? Beauty fades. Sex cannot be the glue that holds a relationship together. As Sonny asked in the movie Grease, "What are you supposed to do with them for the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day?"

Although you may see a photograph of your potential date before you initiate communication, chances are that when it comes to online dating, looks are only the flame that lights the fire. Once you have experienced initial attraction from a picture, you will likely peruse the other personal information provided in an online dating profile, such as hobbies, values, location, and professional interests. You will probably select the people with whom you communicate based on a much more developed picture than the brief snapshot of a face you get at the bar. Your decision to invest the time and effort it takes to initiate a conversation will not be such a gamble.

2. Online dating provides a wider variety of people from whom to choose.
 
Let's face it. When you get to a certain age, there just isn't a wide selection of people to choose from anymore. There are only so many people at your workplace, or so many available friends of friends with whom you can be set up on blind dates. Not all of us are fortunate enough to meet our soul mates in high school and somehow dodge the whole dating game.

With online dating, people have a whole world to choose from. They can be selective. They can type their criteria into an online dating search engine and be provided a list of viable candidates. They can browse online dating profiles of people from across the country. They can post their online dating profiles and wait to be selected by people. Thanks to online dating, no longer does "Mr. Right" just have to happen to waltz into the right place at the right time.

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