“How did you two meet?” is a common curiosity when first introducing a new love to friends and family. Probably because it’s not easy to meet someone you really connect with. Meeting online is now mainstream and it’s no longer unusual if you met on an app. It’s actually more surprising if you met ‘the old-fashioned way’, meaning in person. So, what’s the best way for you to find your significant other? Let’s look at the pros and cons of online dating vs traditional dating so you can decide for yourself.
Ask yourself a few questions. Are you photogenic? Tech savvy? Do you have a good amount of free time? Are you better in person? How old are you? Your answers will help you choose the method most effective for you.
How is Online Dating Good?
A dating app will give you a lot of available people to search through while sitting at home. Your profile represents you, so it’s not required to look your best. You can vet if someone is what you’re looking for before you spend time to meet in person. If you’re photogenic, good with technology and enjoy it, and you’re youthful then a dating app will probably work well for you.
Sometimes Less is More
Think about this, if you saw an attractive person at a party, you wouldn’t start a conversation with rapid fire questions about age, income, religion, education, or her relationship goals to prequalify if you should spend some time getting to know her. You’d find something you had in common to talk about, and if the conversation flowed easily and you felt a connection, you’d ask her out.
Having too much information can work against you. When creating your online search parameters most people are too picky, which causes you to pass on matches who could have been the love of your life if you had met in person.
The Cons of Meeting on Dating Apps vs Real Life
- People Lie – It’s much easier to fib a little when you’re not looking someone in the eyes. The most common things people lie about are their age, their height and weight, and how many children they have. Studies have shown some people only report one or two kids when they have more. The problem is most online dating apps require you to answer questions you wouldn’t have to reveal upfront if you met in person. So a lot of people lie to make themselves more attractive, and to assure they appear in searches of the people they’re most attracted to. They believe you will forgive their ‘little white lies’ after they dupe you into meeting them.
- You MUST be Photogenic – A pretty picture is required or no one will even bother to read what you wrote, if you even bothered to write anything. It needs to be current and look just like you. The biggest complaint about online dating is that people don’t look like their pictures.
- Catfishing – Scammers post pretty pictures of someone else, to get you to talk to them. Emotional intimacy is a cruel tool used to manipulate you into feeling loved, so you can be taken advantage of.
- Miscommunication – Texting is your first communication, yet there is no emotional inflection in the written word. It’s hard to figure out what you should say, and if you say the wrong thing, you won’t get a response. Simply saying, “Hi” will never get a response. It’s hard to show your personality through text.
- It’s Time Consuming – You need to be on the dating app several times a day to find someone you find interesting and to respond to messages of potential matches. If you miss a day the person you really wanted to meet may already be communicating with someone else.
- Second Dates are Harder to Get – It’s great to have lots of options but the guy you really like has lots of options too. He may have liked you but then met someone he liked better the next day. Second dates are much harder to get when there’s a lot of competition.
You Could Meet Anywhere
The best thing about traditional dating is that you could literally be anywhere, in the grocery store, on the beach, at a sporting event, getting coffee. You can start a conversation while you’re waiting in line, just be open and friendly, talk to people. Not everyone will be available for a relationship, but if they are they’ll be happy to talk to you. Or if you see someone interesting across the room, make eye contact. If they don’t look away, then smile and say hi. That will make you approachable.
The Advantages of Dating in Real Life
- You can just say ‘Hi’ – To start a conversation with a stranger you can just smile and say hi. You could also share an observation about your surroundings or give a genuine compliment.
- Just be Yourself – You don’t need to be photogenic or a clever writer, you just need to be you. If your personality is your best asset this is absolutely the best option for you. Plus, you see your potential date in person, so you know exactly what she looks like.
- You Don’t Need to Reveal Your Age – As a Love Coach and Matchmaker, I can tell you most people, both men and women, want someone younger once they get a little older. But what’s in a number? You are what you think you are. So, if you feel young, you’ll attract someone young in person, potentially the same person who would have swiped left on a dating app based on your true age.
The Cons of Traditional Dating
- You need to Be Social – You can’t sit at home scrolling through pictures, you need to be out and about around people. If you get an invitation, you need to go. A girl friend of mine used to say, “Tonight was a waste of makeup.” Meaning, you won’t always meet a potential match; but hopefully you’ll still have fun.
- You can’t be shy – If you’re not comfortable in social situations it will be harder to start a conversation with a stranger. The following option might be best for you.
A Blend of Dating Apps and Real Life
The missing piece that combines the best of both is Matchmaking. How matchmaking works is quite simple, there is no preset algorithm, it’s personalized individually. You tell your matchmaker what you’re looking for, and then wait for her to arrange a date for you. It’s confidential so your name and pictures are not public. Your matchmaker will do all the work of searching and pre screening potential matches, and only set you up with someone chosen specifically for you.
Yesterday I was screening a potential match for a female client, and I asked the guy, “How serious are you about meeting someone for a long-term relationship leading to marriage?” He smiled and said, “Wow, great question, that’s certainly not something she can ask on a first date.” A matchmaker can ask all those important yet inappropriate questions that you need to ask to determine long-term potential, and weed out anyone not ready to find their life partner.
The Best Option for you
No matter what approach you decide is the best for you, you need to be proactive about it. You will never find a partner if you’re not actively looking. So, get out and be social, download an app, or sign up for matchmaking. Dating is a numbers game, the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your person. If you really want to be proactive, I highly recommend you do all three.