Church. Bars. Extension classes. Volunteering. Friends of friends. Your brother’s friends.
You have tried everything to meet guys, and nothing is working. Putting yourself out there is exhausting, and you’ve had it up to here *gestures to forehead* competing for guys’ attention with little 22-year-olds. At the end of the day, you’d rather just curl up with the computer to watch some Netflix and…wait, what?
Computer. Internet. Guys.
For better or worse, I have been using the Internet as a means of meeting gents since 1998. (Yes, I am old.) It’s fair to say I’ve seen a thing or two when it comes to meeting dates online. Of course being single myself, I have yet to meet The One online, but I’ve met my fair share of decent chaps and downright jerks on the Internet.
In this first of a five-part series, I want to give you some arguments on why online dating sites are the best way to meet guys in our busy, 21st-century lifestyle. I will also detail four of the most popular dating sites and give you some personal anecdotes. But first, I want to give 7 reasons why you should consider even setting up an online profile to find Mr. Right.
- Ladies first. It depends on what site you visit and your age, but generally men outnumber women on the major dating sites1, especially Tinder. Though most of the time men only slightly outnumber women on Internet dating sites, men usually send more messages, so you are far more likely to attract attention when you sign up for a dating site.
- Convenience. This may be the single most compelling argument for online dating. It can be as easy as click a mouse or swiping right on your phone. The ease of sifting through online profiles is undeniable, and so much easier to do from the privacy of your own home and in your jammies than from a loud, sweaty club.
- Safety first! Unlike icky guys who can follow you around a bar, it is easier to get them off your computer or mobile device. Many of the major online dating sites have block or reporting features, so it is easy to delete the crazies from your inbox. Problem solved—you never have to hear from them again.
- Expand your horizons. You are not just confined to your hometown. The beauty of the Internet is you can meet guys from other towns, states, and countries. If you don’t mind traveling, you could increase your chances of finding your soulmate. I have personally traveled 3 hours to meet a guy I met online, and to be perfectly honest, I would never consider traveling any further than that. (Stay tuned for my eHarmony post for that particular disaster.)
- Easier to weed out the weirdos. I could write an entire book on this topic, but online dating has made it so easy to screen potential dates. Bad grammar? Adios! Doesn’t write back when he says he will? Move along! Why can’t you give guys a chance? I can hear some of you ask. My biggest pet peeve is when someone doesn’t follow through with a promise they make. If a guy says he will text/message in a certain timeframe and he doesn’t, that is a red flag for me. How am I supposed to trust someone if they can’t even keep a small promise. Nobody’s got time for that!
- Measure the chemistry. If you know what to look for, it is pretty easy to see within a couple emails if there is any chemistry there or not. If I have to pull teeth to get an answer out of a guy or if I have to struggle to come up with questions to ask him, how scintillating would our F2F conversation be? I do cut people slack for being introverts—after all, I am one myself! But I don’t have time to waste if the lack of chemistry is obvious.
- Niche is nice. There are dating sites for almost any niche you can imagine. From farmers to Canadians to Catholics, you are almost guaranteed to find the dating niche market you crave. I have friends who met their spouses on niche dating sites, so I have seen them work. Maybe just not for me.
Because of the rising popularity of online dating, its easy use and many niche sites, why wouldn’t you at least dip your toe into the water? I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the weird, and I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for anything because—if nothing else—they make great stories.
W hat are your thoughts about online dating? Are there sites that are better than others? Worse? Please share your experiences or any questions you have about this topic!