Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Internet dating: cop off, or cop out?

It's no secret amongst my friends that I met my boyfriend through internet dating. I don't want to show a preference, but I happened to use Plenty of Fish to meet the man. However, is internet dating a necessary way to meet the man of your dreams, or just a coward's way out? 

 The advert that is currently on tv is one that definitely draws you in to a cute meet-up story. A man is busking on a train platform, and starts singing about a girl waiting for a train on the platform opposite. She then goes over to meet him. It's interesting how a website for meeting a partner online has used a cute meet-up story using a real-life meeting to advertise itself. The tag line is 'start your love story'. The sad thing about internet dating is you lose out on those real-life romantic stories. When someone asks you at a dinner party, "How did you guys meet?", the romantic story is instead replaced with the phrase"We met online". 

Spoof version of the advert

Not only this, but you also lose out on those incidental meetings. I have had office romances, or at least flirtations, and nothing beats the excitement of wondering if you will into your crush during the day, and the stomach flip when you do. Online dating is so organised that there isn't the opportunity for this. Ok, you could get a little stomach flip when they send you a message, but in my experience, it just isn't the same as putting on your best outfit just in case you run into them in a corridor.

On the other hand, internet dating worked for me, and it is the relationship result that is the most important part. If you have had the same job for a number of years, see the same group of friends and don't like the idea of making eyes at people in bars, internet dating is sometimes the only option. My boyfriend is a social worker for children, and the chances that I would have run into him are miniscule, yet we met through the internet and he's a great fit for me. Of course, there was some perseverance on my part; he did talk about pimping me out to his virgin friends on the first date, thankfully I put this down to nerves and a little too much to drink, and I was right to (believe me, his friends are still virgins). It is important to not be too quick to write a guy off when having those initial meet ups, but a balance with not wanting to waste your time either.

Ultimately I think internet dating is a great option for a lot of people. It does spoil the romance somewhat, and there is still some stigma attached: I won't be telling my mother how we met just yet. The idea of having to go online to meet someone screams desperation to some people, but it really isn't about being desperate, it's about seeing what's out there. Of course, there are going to be some bad dates *cough* Italian Physicist *cough*, but as long as you take that as part of the journey and can laugh about it with friends, you should be ok. I do find the online dating world is far less brutal than the one in real life.

Anyone who has tried internet dating, I would love to hear any of your internet dating stories. Leave me a comment and share the humor.

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