Online dating: Everyone's doing it.
We know there's stigma attached to online dating. There's even more judgment based on the type of dating site or app you're using.
If you're paying for eHarmony or Match.com, you're old and desperate. If you're on Tinder, you're horny and desperate. Either way, you're going to be viewed as someone who can't get a date the “normal” way.
But let's be serious here: As Millennials, we're accustomed to instant gratification. So, why would we go out looking for a date at a bar when we can learn the same amount of information about our potential dates by scoping out their social media profiles? We don't even have to leave the house!
But have you ever tried explaining to your grandparents how you have a first date with someone you met through the internet? I'm pretty sure they would look at you as if you were asking to be murdered.
From a very young age, we're taught never to join chat rooms or talk to strangers on the internet... much less meet up with them.
Yet, in 2017, I don't know a single person who doesn't have a dating app profile. “Swiping right” has become the new normal.
Being physically attracted to someone is easy because it's instantaneous. Online dating gets that question out of the way immediately, since you're really only swiping right on people whose faces you wouldn't mind kissing anyway.
But then comes the real concern: Will you enjoy talking to each other while you're sitting right across from one another? The longer you've engaged with someone via text, the more of a “relationship” you're establishing.
Due to this, there's a ton of anxiety about meeting the person for the first time; it feels like more of an investment.
The more you think about it, the more your insecurities will come to light: Will my responses in person come out the same way as they did via text? What if they don't think I'm as attractive as my photos portrayed?
Then, on the other end, what if this person only told me what I wanted to hear while we've been texting? Worst of all, what if the chemistry doesn't translate well IRL, and the connection just isn't there?
All of these are valid fears. The more time there is between “matching” and meeting, the longer you'll have the pleasure of obsessing over the person. But just like everything else in this world worth taking a risk for, meeting up in person may be one of them.
After all, you never know.
Now, I'm not saying you should be an idiot and agree to go to a person's house or to some sketchy neighborhood for your first date. That just sounds like the plot of a bad Lifetime movie.
What I AM saying is, while it's likely your date will probably be another disappointment and you'll want to give up on dating for the 1000th time, it's also very possible this first date can lead to something special.
Marriage to your soulmate? Maybe not. A great relationship you'll learn a lot of life lessons from? Most likely.
Moral of the story? Be open to online dating. Whatever it is your little heart desires, there are a number of people looking for the same thing.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with looking for love, someone to casually date or even just a FWB through an app because as easy as it is to want to give up on the whole dating thing after a bad breakup or rejection, you may just as well end up meeting someone refreshing.
You could just end up being pleasantly surprised.