I would not call myself a trendsetter, or even someone that possesses the latest piece of technology..it was just by chance that when I needed a new laptop and was planning to get a MAC-the new MacBook Air came out..so I was like why not? *shrugs sheepishly*
ANYWAYS, online dating websites and apps have been around for ages…meeting people online (think Tinder, Ok CUPID, East meets East, bumble..) has always been a thing, but it still has such a stigma attached to it…because half-remembered quote from “Ralph Wrecks the Internet” – When something new comes along, the best thing for people to do is to fear it”.. something like that!
So..if we go back 18 years to when I was 10 years old (age reveal) and I made my first hotmail address which was something like firstname.lastname@example.org ..we used to all use something called MSN messenger! This is where online chats and adding random people on the internet became the new trend..suddenly …you could be whoever you wanted to be..! You could change your name to Blonde_Hunk_with_Blue_Eyes or Sexy_Asian Chick_that_looks_like_Mulan_and find some random picture on the internet and pretend it was you…then you can proceed to what we now call “Cat fish” random strangers on the internet and pretend you are the love of their life, when you are NOT. True story, I have to confess my sister and I might have been chatting up a “young girl” and pretending to be a sexy blue-eyed blonde haired Australian lifeguard…but anyways…
This is before the world started caring so much about verified identity and privacy…when people said the internet was bad! Because young girls were being baited by old men behind the screens posing as handsome men, when in reality, for me it was the other way round.
I still remember playing Neopets obsessively for a period of time during my primary school days… and I also made friends on those guild websites..one guy called Ryan helped me build a website for my Naruto Guild…Another girl obsessed with Naruto, called Tiffany told me about her home town Canada, and at that young age I decided I would go to Canada to visit. It made the world suddenly seem smaller. I looked up the sky one day and thought to myself, somewhere on the other side of the world, perhaps in Canada, someone else is staring at the same sky.
In summary, the online digital world is changing…and why shouldn’t the way we meet people change as well? We can meet people not online in our proximity but interesting people all over the world with many fascinating stories…why limit yourself to those around you? What is to say that it safer to date and meet someone at a bar, where you know nothing about them in comparison to a guy you have been talking to for weeks online (and you’ve stalked their fb and insta to make sure they are who they say they are)..?
Why is there stigma surrounding online dating?
I realised myself, I have been really afraid to tell people I joined dating apps and I only told a few people. They didn’t judge..but I can see it in their eyes..When they asked, where did you guys meet?
Online is where we meet people with similar interests, buy stuff off them or find study groups…we’ve all done it before…there are actual people behind those screens…its not robots and they aren’t all serial killers.
But in saying that, it is always a good idea to let people know you are meeting someone online, have your phone on you (GPS on) and meet in a public place in day time…and make sure you have your own transport home and scapegoat excuses if you need to leave early… But yes, only meet after making sure that person is legit!! Stalk their fb…ask around and play detective. The more information the better…people that are real will act real, they won’t be ‘perfect’ you know? You will know…
I knew one happily married couple who met online like over 10 years ago..I’ve always assumed that that was a abnormality…I never asked what website..but I had my reservations..but hey..it worked..
But..I’ve always been somewhat traditional…I prefer writing traditional Chinese to simplified, I like writing and sending letters and cards than emails and I love receiving hand-written and made things…But at the same time, I am always open to trying new things that can make your life more interesting, better, and more efficient.
SO probably a ,year ago I decided to revisit my hobby when I was 10. I made an account on a dating website, but since I felt so ashamed-and didn’t want to get found out… and just wanted to try it for fun ( I wanted to see which other people I knew also used it!! haha) …I put a fake name..but being a but stupid I put a real photo (filters and stuff) on there..DOH..someone I kinda knew saw it and told a friend of mine…and I was found out…felt so guilty LOL..Coz fake name..I think I MAY or may not have also put some interests, languages and changed my ethnicity that was not true *Cough cough*..guilty as charged….but I am still the one behind the screen right? I am still real…but maybe not being as honest as I should…aint a good start to any relationship…
I talked to a few people..but the only one I almost met -some doctor from Melb- flaked at the last second…saying he was sick. I think it may have been due to the fact I invited two other people to join us for dinner (for our first meeting)….LOL yes I am super noob…I don’t do online dating remember ? Anyways,,, after that I was like screw this and deactivated the account.
Meeting people in real life is easier….or is it? Maybe it is for people that go out heaps…That enjoy partying, clubbing or whatever..but what about those introverts?
Those who hate loud music and don’t drink (or do drugs)! Also, they don’t really like meeting new people because it takes a lot of effort to make small talk.. and plus shy too. Yeah…fine… okay, people like me…to me…online dating feels safer, I feel like I have more control…I get to find out a bit about these people online and ALSO you know that they are looking (most of the time) for a relationship too…and if they just want hookups-it’s usually written conveniently on their bio too..so you can swipe left for them -unless that’s what you want.
Suddenly you have an option to find the type of person you are looking for, depending on what app.website you new using..it could be due to physical attributes (like height, ethnicity or body type..) or due to common interests… It’s interesting…because don’t you hate meeting someone new...and finding out that you have absolutely nothing in common and you don’t know what to talk about?
That’s me…I just…talk about the weather..yes lame..
ANYWAYS…to be honest, in my past relationships…at the start..it was always friendship and getting to know each other more online -through facebook messenger/watsapp/text a lot more than meeting up…
There is always a risk that you will get ghosted (ignored) by potential new connections..and it does hurt ..ALOT.. but if they ghosted you, it doesn’t reflect anything on you- it’s them with the problem…it is polite to let someone know if you aren’t interested instead of leading them on.
There is a risk of being cat-fished…I mean …people age right? Some people I know put photos of them 10 years earlier…when they were skinny and handsome…WHEREAS when they finally send a recent photo they are about three times wider around the middle, acquired glasses and lost some hair…YES u know what I mean..
In my opinion now..some tips on online dating (not that I am a pro)
If you are really serious about online dating, dare to be yourself. There is no point in trying to be someone else…because if you are there to meet your soul mate, don’t you want them to accept you for who you are and not what they think you are?
it is tiring pretending to be someone else that you aren’t. trust me… I learnt this the hard way.
They will eventually find out anyways!!
No point putting up a fake picture and then disappointing them when you meet up, if you don’t like being deceived , don’t do the same!
GO Dutch – don’t let one person pay for everything..esp on the first date ..because the person paying might feel like you are just there for a free meal…and the one receiving may feel obligated to be kind to them because they paid….I personally don’t like people I don’t know well paying for me…I’ve always been told by my mother..unless they are your boyfriend-never let them pay for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!SO yeah, go half and if it doesn’t work out, don’t need to feel bad for the =meal they paid for!
Not sure about you, but funny people are more approachable than people who seem too mean or serious.
I legit saw a bio where the guy was saying how he was still there because he still hadn’t found love…but he paid for 3 month subscription…it sounded like he had bad experience with online dating… he was like- no flakey people-no people who just want to be friends and aren’t looking for a relationship (wth-rood?) AND he also said that he wont pay for the first meal and that they will go dutch. I think he said at least THREE times that he only wants people who want serious relationships…
I think this dude is just too serious…man…you be scaring off and putting off any girl…I dunno…I felt like he was judging everyone else for being gold digging hoes or something…
In conclusion, while there are both pros and cons to the world of online dating- I do believe it is very useful for helping people meet other people that they normally wouldn’t in their normal circle of friends.
It is still very important to think about safety, privacy , and mannerisms when meeting people online for the first time, but with careful planning, research and getting to know the other person, I believe it can be a very rewarding experience. I think and hope in 10 years now, meeting people online will be the norm and not be stigmatised.
These are my own opinions and thoughts and I know everyone may have different views…
Joy and Peace to you and if you have any thoughts and opinions on online dating, please let me know below 🙂
Have a good day!