Traditional people believe that our world is changing for the worse in terms of our relationships. They point to the ever-increasing divorce rate as a sign that individuals are not taking their relationships seriously, and that dating has become just a game, instead of a serious search for meaningful connections and life partners. Many people make fun of and look down on those who choose to find partners through online dating sites like OkCupid, EHarmony, and Match.com, but the reality of online dating is very different from people’s perceptions of it. Online dating is certainly superior to traditional dating for three reasons: it allows people a better chance of finding someone whose interest and values are similar, it is the most efficient way to find a partner in this age when people are extremely busy, and it can be a safer way to date.
Online dating is superior to traditional dating because it gives people a better chance of finding someone who shares their interests and values. First of all, people seeking a partner online can maximize their chance of finding someone who is compatible by carefully selecting a dating site that matches their demographic position. For example, a Christian seeking a Christian partner would better use a site like Christian Mingle, instead of a site like Adult Friend Finder. One could argue that people are just as likely to find potential partners through interest-based clubs and organizations like churches, which attract people with similar values and interests, but it is not always easy to find people who are single in these organizations. When one logs onto a dating site, the advantage is that one already knows that everyone on the site looks for a potential partner – a factor that reduces stress and helps people find like-minded people immediately. Another example of an advantage of online dating in helping people find compatible partners is that young people are likely to find other young people by using a dating site like OkCupid, which is wildly popular among 20-somethings instead of a more traditional dating site like EHarmony, which tends to attract older adults. While seeking through a website geared towards people of their generation and broad interests, people can increase their chances of finding someone compatible. Imagine a Christian male (who is unable to find anyone through his church) goes on a date with a female, only to find out that she is not very religious. Instead of wasting his time, trying to find a compatible Christian female through random dates, he would have much better luck by joining a Christian dating site. Some people have special requirements for their future partner. For example, a doctor may seek out someone who is also in the medical field. For these individuals, specialized dating sites provide the answers.
Another reason why online dating makes it easier to find someone compatible is because individuals have the ability to screen through numbers of people at a time, which makes the whole process more efficient – a very important quality in this busy, technology-driven day and age. A successful young professional is often focused on their career and, therefore, does not have the time to go on the date after the date in search of the perfect partner. For example, one of my older cousins was single and hoping to find someone with whom he could settle down. For years, he would go on dates with various women only to break things off when he realized that they had very different interests, values, or life goals. This was incredibly frustrating to him, and he felt like he had no luck. By the way, he was at an important point in his career where he had to work extremely long hours in order to be promoted, so he did not have time to waste going on dates with people who were not going to work out. Luckily, he was able to join a dating site – this was at a point where online dating was not quite so common, so he did not feel comfortable sharing the news at the time – where he found his future wife. The site he joined was not even one focusing on special types of individuals (Christians, doctors, or young people, etc), but instead he found that the main advantage of online dating was that he could automatically eliminate people off the bat. Their personal information was posted, and he could start the onine conversations with people and determine whether they should continue seeing each other. Although he was, at first, embarrassed to admit that he had joined an online dating site, he was so happy to have found his perfect match that he proudly told anyone who asked later on that he’d met his wife online. In another example, I recently was browsing a dating site with a friend who looked for someone to date. While she looked through profiles, I noticed that each person on the site had an “About Me” section in which they told everyone else a little bit about themselves. I found that, just by reading the “About Me” section, I could get a good sense of person behind the profile and whether or not they would get along with my friend. The language they used, as well as how they talked about themselves, was very revealing in that it showed us a lot about their personality. These examples show the advantages of online dating: it is more efficient because it allows people to eliminate those who do not have similar values or interests. This saves countless hours that would have otherwise been spent going on dates with people, before realizing that there was some important incompatibility that would break them up, before too long. Online dating is a smart way of finding a potential partner quickly and efficiently, which is important because most individuals do not have time to waste on dates that go nowhere.
Most people may associate the Internet with predators and other dangers, but online dating is a way to stay safer on dates and avoid incidents like date rape or assault. When going on a real-life date, one often has no idea of knowing a person’s true intentions, and whether they are good or bad, or whether people are who they truly say they are. With online dating, it is easy to verify information that the potential date provides. For example, one of my friends was planning to go on a date with someone he had met online. He had asked her to provide some basic information about herself, such as her name, age, and school. By using an incredibly simple method like the Google search engine, he was able to double-check whether this person was, in fact, who she claimed to be by finding her on Facebook and her name associated with her school on a school webpage. Dating sites encourage people to take caution when meeting their online conversation partners in real life, and to take precautions, (which seem like common sense, but are not for much of the population) like to meet their date in a public place. This way, participants on online dating sites have an extra edge in the safety department, because they have not only a way of checking to make sure people are who they say they are for real, but they receive valuable safety advice from the dating site itself. These factors probably lead to a lower rate of rape and assault on dates that were a result of online dating, than with people who meet just a few times in real life, and decide to go on a few dates.
In conclusion, while there are a number of critics of online dating, online dating is superior to traditional dating for three important reasons. Firstly, it maximizes the chance of someone finding a partner with similar interests, values, and life goals; because it allows them to join dating sites that have a special focus directly (like ChristianSingles or OkCupid) instead of aimlessly going on dates that do not work out due to personal differences. Secondly, in this age of busy schedules and long work hours, online dating is better than traditional dating because it allows people to weed out individuals online that they would have otherwise gone on dates with in real life. This allows people to save a lot of time (and money) by focusing on people who, as they can tell by their profiles, will be a better match. Finally, the last reason why online dating is superior to traditional dating is because it is a safer way to date. When someone receives a potential date’s personal information, they can check a few sources online to makes sure that their date is who he or she claims to be. Additionally, most dating sites are good about making sure people are safe and follow tips like, “Always meet in a public place.”