Online dating has become a normal, everyday activity for some. Barely a decade ago, it was considered a trend among the over-fifty and divorced crowd, but today, it’s wildly popular throughout every age group. People talk about their online dating profiles as if they’re discussing which haircut to get. People will even talk about online dating with their dates. There’s nothing taboo about it, and there shouldn’t be! We all have the right to try to find that somebody…or several somebodies. But you have to admit; if someone from the past was dropped off in 2017, and you had to explain online dating to them, they would probably think you needed to be committed. Here are things that are pretty unnatural about online dating, if you really think about it. The things may just make you re-think how you do it.
People can look at you without your consent
All someone has to do is sign up on the same site you’re on to get to look at your photo, anytime they want. They can if they’d like, obsess over it, print it out, and talk about it with their friends. There was a time when that was called stalking.
You decide how you look
Back when people got to meet in person, you could only manipulate your appearance so much. At the end of the day, a man standing in front of you knew what you looked like. Today, you can pin the back of your clothes, use photoshop, and place the camera at just the right angles to change your appearance. That amount of control is empowering, but also overwhelming.
You get far more personal, quickly
The very nature of speaking to someone without allowing them to see your facial expressions or hear your voice gives you the perceived license to get a lot more personal, quickly. Think of the things you share with someone in one online dating conversation that you wouldn’t normally share until a fifth date!
You can see who has viewed you
Some sites allow you to see who has been looking at you. That certainly gives you a leg up in knowing whether or not someone is interested. Before at a bar, you could try to catch a guy looking at you, but nobody could confirm it.
You know your date is being hit on
If you met a man online, then even when you go on a date with him, you know that as you eat appetizers, he is probably receiving flirtatious messages from other women. Right there in his pocket.
You have to sum yourself up
If you make yourself look really good, then you can also look egotistical. If you are honest about your flaws, you can sound down on yourself. There’s almost no right way to do it.
You’re making it known that you want someone
Remember when, at bars, you could always use the excuse, “I have a boyfriend” or “I’m not interested in dating right now?” You can’t use that excuse when a guy finds you on a dating site.
The shy guys can hit on you
There’s a good chance that half of the men who talk to you online would never speak to you in person. Why? Too shy. And you eventually realize, after meeting them, that they lack confidence in real life. But they got you on that first date because of the Internet.
Conversations can just end
We’ve all had it happen; online chats were going great with someone, and then they just disappeared. People can do that online if they lose interest in you. Can you imagine if, at a bar, a man stopped speaking mid-conversation, turned around, and walked away without so much as a goodbye?
You can get attached for no reason
Sending dozens of messages a day to someone you meet online is actually quite normal. But that type of rapid communication wouldn’t be normal back when all we had were our phones. For that reason, you can get quickly attached to someone you barely know.
You can communicate using memes
And funny videos, articles, photos and more. Someone may seem tremendously witty and communicative, but then when you meet them, you realize that they were letting the memes talk for them.
You can get matched with someone you know
If you online date long enough, it’s bound to happen. You may have thought you were totally incompatible with Jim from work, but some complicated computer formula thinks otherwise. And now you and Jim both got that notification.
Lying is very easy
You’ve been on plenty of dates with men who didn’t turn out to be who they said they were, right? Even if their job or height just wasn’t quite as they described, it was still a lie. But they could tell that lie easily because they got to type it, rather than look you in the eye when they said it.
Everyone always seems happy
Even if someone tells you in online dating, “I’m having a rough day” you never really see the devastated look on their face or hear their sad voice. It’s the world where someone can seem mostly happy all of the time until you meet in person. They may be the bluest person in the world.
You can lose touch if you don’t make a payment
If you fail to make a payment, your subscription can be canceled right in the middle of communication with a great guy! Then, you may lose the special offer you originally received, and no longer be able to pay for the service.
You can show your friends ten guys
Yup; over cocktails, you can pull up the profiles of ten guys you like and show them to your girlfriends. You can all sit there and analyze the poor men.
Men can show their friends ten women
Don’t forget that you could be in a batch of ten women that a man is analyzing with his friends. They have your stats and bio in front of them as if you’re an athlete on a baseball card.
You get the illusion of knowing one another
You really don’t know someone until you spend time with them. Being in somebody’s presence puts a whole new spin on everything they type online. But online dating can give us the feeling that we’ve already been on five dates by the time we reach the first one.
You can narrow it down by geography
You can choose the geographical location of your matches. If you’d like, you don’t need to travel more than five miles to meet somebody. Imagine all of the couples who would have never met if they’d set those limitations on themselves.
Your mom could use the same thing
Your mom, aunt, teacher, and accountant could, potentially, all be using the same “matchmaker” as you are.