You’ve more than likely heard extremely mixed reviews about online dating from personal sources as well as articles, social media, and news stories. Everyone who uses online dating has a different experience, and in 2020 alone, over 32 million Americans have tried an online dating site or app. This number is expected to increase steadily over the next few years, which means even more mixed reviews will be surfacing as time goes on.
If you’re considering looking for your soulmate, your next fling, or just some friendly encounters, do yourself a favor and check out these pros and cons of online dating so that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into!
Pro: There is no shortage of online daters.
In 2017, a study indicated that there were more than 1,500 online dating apps and sites available. While many of these dating services require a paid subscription to use the features that actually allow you to connect with others, many are completely free to use but offer in-app purchases, such as OkCupid, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish.
A survey conducted in 2019 shows that 7 million individuals use Tinder, 5 million individuals use Bumble, 4 million individuals use Plenty of Fish, and 1 to 2 million individuals use similar online dating services. Due to these large numbers, you can be pretty much guaranteed that you will find at least one match who’s worth pursuing.
Con: More than half the users you meet will be undateable.
Despite the large number of potential suitors, a considerable portion of these users will not be within your age range preference, will not be within your geographic area, or will not be appealing enough for you to pursue.
It can be frustrating to find someone whose profile you immediately gravitate toward only to later realize they’re not within a reasonable distance or one of their lifestyle choices is an automatic dealbreaker!
Pro: You can be as picky as you want.
Many online dating services encourage or require their users to provide extensive information about their interests, background, and characteristics. Most users also post pictures of themselves, so you can easily scan through your potential matches until you find as many or as few as you’d like to contact to get to know better.
Con: Getting to know handfuls of potential matches can become tedious.
Although it can be exciting and useful to get to know dozens of potential matches, if you don’t find someone worth pursuing in the first few weeks or months, you might start to get frustrated and lean toward giving up. If you do start feeling this type of burnout, remember that you’re essentially sifting through hundreds to thousands of potential matches near you, which is statistically bound to take some time.
Pro: You can learn everything you need to know about a person before agreeing to meet.
You can screen every user you interact with before agreeing to meet up to make sure that meeting up will be worth your time. This is where online dating beats dating someone you meet at school, a mutual friend, or someone your friends are fixing you up with because you’ll have a much better idea of whether or not you want to pursue something with a person you’ve already spent significant time getting to know online.
Con: You might be disappointed when you finally meet in person.
Even though you can wait until you find someone who you really think you like before agreeing to meet up, you still run the risk of being disappointed by how they are when they’re not sitting in front of a screen with unlimited time to think of the best possible things to say during a virtual conversation.
Another issue with online dating is that users can claim to be literally anyone, which means you have to assume no one is who they say they are in order to protect yourself. Always meet for the first few times in public places during the day, and always drive yourself so you’re able to get away quickly if necessary.
Pro: Two of every five couples meet online.
That’s a great statistic—40% to be exact. If 40% of all couples meet online, then you’ve got a pretty good shot of meeting someone worth dating long term if you just keep your head up and stick with it long enough!
Con: It might take several bad dates before you meet someone worth dating long term.
Even though the odds are in your favor, you still might have to endure a handful of bad dates before you find the right one. Remember that online dating is not for everyone, so if you do decide to give up, you haven’t failed—you’ve simply decided to move on!
Pro: Many online dating sites match users based on compatibility.
For instance, eHarmony and Match are paid services that match their users based on compatible interests, life goals, career paths, and much more. This feature eliminates time that you would normally spend looking through hundreds to thousands of profiles to read each user’s individual bio until finding a few that list interests similar to yours.
Con: Chemistry isn’t determined by compatibility.
You could have everything in common with someone and then have zero chemistry when you actually meet. Even if you both want all the same things from life and from a relationship, there might just not be a spark when you’re hanging out in the real world.
Chemistry is important because it’s what enables passion, and passion keeps the fire aflame once the initial excitement of the relationship starts wearing out.
Pro: Lots of quality individuals use online dating services for the same reasons as you.
Different online dating services attract different groups of people with varying reasons for wanting to sign up for online dating. For instance, Tinder is infamous for being a dating app used primarily for casual flings, whereas Hinge is regarded as a place for people looking for more serious connections.
Before randomly signing up for just any free online dating service, do some research to figure out which app or site most closely meets your needs.
Con: Nearly half of all online daters aren’t looking for a serious relationship.
Approximately 48% of users use online dating for fun or to find friends, which means roughly half of the users you’re going to interact with don’t actually want to form a serious relationship. Even so, roughly 30% of users are looking for a long-term partner or eventual marriage partner, while 22% of users are either looking for sex or checking to make sure their partner isn’t cheating on them!
Basically, this means about one in every three users is looking for a long-term relationship. If this is also your goal, then plan on being very, very patient!
The bottom line is that online dating isn’t for everyone, but if you choose wisely, you might just find exactly what you’re looking for. Comment your online dating experience below!
Featured image source: https://mashable.com/roundup/best-dating-sites-apps-working-professionals/
Jamie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is an aspiring writer, professional editor/proofreader, and piano player. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading classic literary works, composing music, and playing Xbox with her husband!