problems with online dating

Your life is busy and hectic. Your schedule leaves you very little time to regularly go out and meet others, so online dating seems like a convenient choice. You can stay in the comfort of your own home and relax. Smart attire or the application of cosmetics is not needed. You are safe behind your computer screen with no second party sitting opposite, making evaluations.

Online dating does not require as much effort as purposefully venturing out to public places to attract others. It provides an electronic veil for users, one which can be used to hide physical or mental blemishes. The veil can be partly lifted to reveal more by degrees. So this is providing a level of control and some comfort to the member of the dating site.

There are, however, some problems with online dating. Having used sites myself in the past, and knowing regular users of them, I feel I can share my views. This is not in the hopes of deterring you completely, as I also know of many successful unions through online dating. My intention is to make you aware of those major issues that online daters encounter.

1. You have too much choice

Sometimes, being provided with ample choice is great. However, it can become overwhelming. So many dating profiles are there to sift through at your convenience, but consider the analogy of a menu in a restaurant. You are so hungry and eager to appease your appetite, a decision will be made in haste. Naturally, the most appealing item will be chosen.

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This mode of selection can be applied to online dating. It concerns the desire for instant gratification and that’s where the problems come in. Greed for more arises when you are surrounded by so many alluring offers. Returning again to the restaurant example, one offering a buffet service. You are excited by the array of food on offer and aim for all the best items. In a rush to fill the void, different foods are sampled, then disregarded. You know you can do this because of the large selection available to you.

In other words, this is arguably the culture of online dating. People are so busy pursuing several desirables, one after the other. Neither time or care is taken to allow the chance to enjoy a relationship with one individual. I have also found, through talking to various acquaintances, that the broad range of choice on dating sites encourages egotistic and greedy individuals. Some view it as a game to see how many people they can attract, just to fuel their vanity. The chance of creating a genuine relationship with someone is lost in this endeavor because the focus is on quantity over quality.

The broad range of choice on dating sites encourages egotistic and greedy individuals. Click To Tweet

2. You are judging without knowing

Flitting through all those profiles on a dating website is a way of assessing others. The dating app Tinder, for example, has the feature of being able to swipe left or right as you are shown numbers of potential matches. If you find the person on the screen attractive, you swipe right, then left for the opposite. This is not a healthy method of determining a match. According to the Association of Psychological Science, looking through multiple profiles is more judgemental than meeting in person.

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You are also metaphorically throwing potentials to one side of the scrap heap, without even having seen this person in reality. It is an assortment that encourages online dating users to be judgemental. With the swiping feature on Tinder, they are quick to dismiss the person on the screen if they do not meet the standards of ‘conventional beauty’. Moving swiftly on is not an issue, knowing someone better could be just a mere swipe away.

It would seem physical appearance is highly regarded in online dating sites and apps. The photo of the potential match dominates the screen, just allowing for a small section underneath. This usually consists of an individual’s personality or interests. This section is treated as a footnote or an afterthought. It only serves as an addition to the clearly more important snapshot of the person’s face. You will be swiped left because someone easier on the eye could be next in line. This only encourages insecurity. A study from the University of North Texas has found men who used the Tinder app had lower self-esteem and female users were more dissatisfied with their looks.

Online dating provides an electronic veil that can be used to consciously hide physical and mental blemishes. Click To Tweet

3. You are deprived of sensory assessment

Online dating provides an electronic veil that can be used to consciously hide physical and mental blemishes, but it also limits your sensory experience. All you have is a visual display. You can see that person’s face: eyes and smile. All these features attract you; but is that enough?

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We need tangibility to determine whether we really like someone. The smell, the way the person carries themselves, the sound of their voice is what you get from actually meeting new people in reality. So aiming to attract people online is veering away from evolution and mating. All you have is the computer screen, that person’s photograph and yourself-trying desperately think of something witty and original to send as a message.

Of course, you can always meet someone from a dating website in person and then allow your senses to run wild. Initially, however, you are trying to attract them in the first instance. This has to include using your computer instead of allowing sounds, smells and textures to determine why you should start paying attention to this individual. According to research on sexual attraction, humans can use their body odor on a subconscious level. The purpose of this is to establish whether a potential mate will pass favorable traits on to offspring.

So, taking all the above into consideration, you do not need to feel bad if you encountered these problems with online dating and it doesn’t work for you. Your self-esteem will benefit more by not having to rely on strangers assessing your profile online. Allow the nature to run its course for you, instead of contriving to meet your match through a machine.

Kate loves writing short stories of the Victorian Gothic influence, book reviews, blogs and opinion articles. She fuels the passion by reading and her favourites are the 19th century Penguin Classics. She thinks more people should discover books and the power of expressing one’s self through writing. It is Kate’s belief that this mode of expression will inject colour into the duller hues of the relationship.

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