So I was talking to a single friend about online dating and she mentioned that she is not into online dating as she sees it as desperate. This is the same girl that goes to buy an outfit every week and goes clubbing in the hope of finding a boyfriend. She is also the same girl that has flown around the world (to popular wedding destination resorts) in the hope to meet single groomsmen but yet she thinks signing up to online dating is desperate?
I wanted to say something but I decided not to because I used to think the same about online dating. I started exploring online dating ten years after my divorce at 37. I had tried everything clubbing, gym, church, weddings and at one time became a bit of a socialite in the hope of finding "the one" and sadly for me I just didn't. I got tired of trying and spending money and gave up and left it to God. Well that didn't work either and after a couple of fasting and prayer sessions I realized that the guys at church including the pastors are just as bad as the guys in the clubs so I stopped bothering.
When a friend suggested online dating I was not too keen. To me that was just a little bit too desperate (as if I wasn't). Online dating felt to me like a last resort, the sign that I was not that attractive and I possessed a fatal flaw that had prevented the achievement of true love through the traditional routes. I really wanted a romantic meet up story to tell my kids about how I met their father and online dating was just not it. I was also scared of seeing people that knew me there. The thought of them telling "everyone" that I was so desperate and was looking for men online scared me more that being single.
So I left it alone, until I moved to Atlanta from London away from my family and friends. I was lonely and desperate for company and as you know desperate times calls for desperate measures. No one new me here so I created a nice profile with a couple of pictures. I went on a couple of dates and after a couple of months I met my husband and I have never been happier. I also managed to make great friends and network.
Online dating seems to be a taboo in the African communities. Even those using online dating will never admit to using it because of the stigma surrounding it. I would like to let you know on a little secret, according to statistics about 49 million singles have used online dating at least once, a majority of us are probably among that statistic or know somebody who is.
Still not convinced? From giving you the chance to ‘be yourself’ to opening a world of new opportunities, here are the top 10 reasons why online dating is becoming more popular.
1. It’s easy to get started
While many fear taking the plunge, online dating is actually an easy option for those who are slowly getting out there. Taking your time to write the perfect online dating profile will ease you into the dating scene by giving you the chance to think how you want to come across, and more importantly, who you are looking for.
2. It works at your own pace
No pressure, if you haven’t been out in dates in a long time, online dating lets you pick the pace that works best for you. If you want someone to talk to but are not ready to meet face-to-face, meeting people online will let you start making connections from the comfort of your own home.
3. You can be ‘picky’ if you want
With online dating, the dating pool is right at your fingertips. You will find plenty of people you can connect with, which means you get to be as picky as you wish. I did not want to date people that smoke and most good dating sites ask this question when you sign up so all my matches where non smokers. Also having a little browse around the site will also help you understand what’s out there.
4. You will find better matches
Dating websites will match you with potential partners according to compatibility, which means less hassle for you trying to find ‘the one’. I have children and I wanted someone that had no problem with dating someone with children so I put that in my profile, This was I eliminated those awkward silences and increased a chance of meeting someone with whom I was compatible with you’re compatible with.
5. It’s easier to talk if you are feeling a little shy
Not everyone finds it easy to jump into conversation when meeting someone for the first time. However online dating lets the shy types shine by allowing them to think about what they want to say and taking the pressure of social interactions off.
Establishing a good rapport ahead of meeting face-to-face makes it easier for people to open up.
6. You will meet people outside your social circle
My husband is from Alabama in USA I am from Harare, Zimbabwe if it wasn't for online dating we would never have met even though we have a lot in common. Online dating makes it easy to meet someone outside your social circle or local community. We are now leading busier work lives, it is not easy to meet like-minded people. With online dating you are more likely to find a person truly compatible with you instead of simply settling for a friend of a friend.
7. Most interactions will start with honesty
While running into liars is one of the online dating myths, the truth is that online daters tend to be more straightforward than their offline counterparts. Dating websites will ask you to pen down what you are looking for, and thus giving everyone the chance to connect with like-minded people. If you are into true love but the other person is looking for a fling, you’ll be sure to know this long before an actual date is arranged.
8. You don’t have to wonder how to approach the other person
Perhaps the greatest advantage of online dating is that you won’t need to come up with the wittiest line to catch your love interest’s attention. If you feel impressive one liners are not your forte, simply look at their profile and start the conversation by mentioning their hobbies or interests.
9. You can take safety precautions before meeting
Surveys have shown that nearly 86 per cent of women will check out their date on Facebook ahead of their first meeting, compared to 65 per cent of men. But men - 22 per cent - are more likely to google their date in search of scandalous data, while only 19 per cent of women will google them. The possibility of looking further into your love interest from the safety of your own home is likely to give you a confidence boost and a sense of security. It also means you can politely back out of the date and pretend nothing happened.
10. It is definitely cheaper
Choosing more carefully who you go out with means less wasted dates. You will save money by going on fewer dates, which will also give you the possibility to spend it better on the dates that are worthy.