Four Common Misconceptions About Online Dating

sexting, online dating, dating tips, dating advice
sexting, online dating, dating tips, dating advice

Online dating can be a great tool. Having thousands of eligible singles at the click of a mouse (or the tap of a finger) can mean the difference between perpetual loneliness and happiness with another person.

However, finding love on the internet is only effective if you approach it realistically and honestly. Many people hold misguided views about online dating, which, more often than not, lead to failure.

Here are four common misconceptions:

It Solves Dating Problems

If you can’t flirt to save your life, have trouble making conversation, or are just plain unattractive, going the online route isn’t going to magically turn you into a dating master. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the rules of attraction always apply, whether in the “real world” or on the internet.

So, if you can’t get a date in more traditional environments because your social skills are lacking, you’re not going to magically develop those skills just because you decide to create an online profile.

It’s Less Superficial

Lots of men and women get tired of the club or bar scene and hope by going online they can find a less superficial dating environment. And, while online dating is slower paced and lower pressure, it can actually be more superficial.

In person, people evaluate all sorts of factors in choosing to be attracted to others: body language, sexual chemistry, charm, scent, etc. These are difficult (or impossible) to show in a dating profile or express through messaging.

What is easy to show? A picture and stats. So, factors like height, weight, body type, and physical appearance play a much greater role, especially in determining whether to initiate contact with another person or to respond to messages.

The Odds Are In Your Favor

You haven’t met that special someone at work or the bar down the street. Even church has failed you. But, if you just had access to thousands of people, you’d have no trouble meeting your soul mate. Right? Well, maybe.

While those thousands of people with profiles in your metro area represent a bigger pool of potential dates, the large numbers also present a problem. More people also means more competition.

Unless you can find a way to stick out (in a positive way), it’s easy to get lost in the noise. This is especially true if you’re not particularly good looking or interesting.

It’s Easy

Online dating has become a haven for lazy daters. They think throwing up a generic profile and sending a few copy and paste messages will get them an easy date. Then, they become angry when they can’t even get another person out for coffee.

Online dating isn’t easy, even for those who are physically attractive. It requires effort and strategy to even get noticed, let alone go out on an actual date.

If you aren’t willing to put in the work to make a good profile, write unique messages, choose the right pictures, and do anything else necessary to succeed, don’t even bother setting up an account. It will just lead to futility.

So, while online dating can be a great resource for single people, you have to go into it with realistic expectations. If you believe too many misconceptions, you won’t find the love of your life–just frustration.

Author profile

Jonathan is a professor, counselor, speaker, and relationship expert. He is co-editor and consultant at The Popular Man and The Popular Teen. He has written six books on dating, relationships, and the science of attraction.

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5 Comments

  1. Yes, Yes, and Yes. This idea that online dating is the miracle fix for all your regular dating woes is so pervasive, I think a LOT of people are extremely disappointed when the people who wouldn’t talk to them at the bar don’t respond to their messages on Okcupid. I might even argue that dating online is MORE difficult, because it’s way easier to ‘swipe left’ than it is to reject someone to their face (at least, for me..hahaha). Thanks for the post- I just found your site, and so far, I really appreciate your topics and writing style!

  2. Online dating can sometimes be a bit of a daunting place! It certainly isn’t for everyone but I have also known many couples who are married or have been in long-term relationships who met online. I believe the reason that online dating are so popular nowadays is for the pure convenience of it! We are a world of convenience seekers, but if you get tired of typing away at a computer, you could always try phone dating and speak to potential dates!

  3. Great post! All of these points are spot on! I always tell folks to put in real effort and temper their expectations!

  4. Online dating… People from both line doesn’t tell the truth! Not all but most. there’s nothing wrong with dating sites but you must be wiser than he or she is. ^^ I also agree with Richard. This will just serve as first step. After online dating, meet outside often and know each other. 🙂

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