Even these days, after 18 months of Covid and online meetings, we still don’t give it the credit it’s due.
I know this because I met Jamie on Tinder and when people ask how we met, there is still a part of me that cringes before I answer. It’s strange because I’m actually quite proud of the fact we met online, yet there is a little voice inside that thinks I am about to be judged.
Would it surprise you if I told you that online dating actually began 21 years ago? I know, how to feel old right? Match.com was the very first dating site and it quite literally revolutionised the way we socially date.
So why, 21 years later is online dating still not socially acceptable?
I should point out that this is all based on my own opinions and the feedback I get from clients. There is no concrete proof behind my statements other than the feelings of those I know.
Do you think online dating socially acceptable? Here are four reasons why I think it isn't...
1 - Mental trauma
Whilst online dating should be fun, the ‘swipe left or right’ culture can leave some singletons feeling dejected and rejected. It’s too easy to dismiss someone without really getting to know or understand them.
The good news is, not all sites are like this. For many, this is an easy way to date and to be fair, if you’re not looking for anything too serious, it’s probably one of the most fun ways to meet someone. However, if it’s not for you, there are a huge number of alternatives out there from dating apps that focus on professionals or the more mature or just have a more serious feel to them.
Don’t let this ‘quick and easy’ way of dating put you off. There are lots of alternatives and great ones at that!
2 – It’s seen as a little desperate
This one is ridiculous. It is so hard these days to meet someone, especially with everything that’s happened recently. It’s not that easy to pop out to the pub. Covid aside, everyone’s circumstances are different. Many of us are busy professionals who just don’t have time to socialise, many are single parents and it’s just not that easy to get out and there are a million other reasons why someone may find it more difficult to meet someone in a more traditional way. Online dating has become a lifeline for them.
Speaking of traditional dating, check out my in-person singles nights
3 – It’s a breeding ground for affairs
Now this one is relevant. There have been many occasions when a cheating spouse has been caught out and this doesn’t give online dating great publicity but hey, that’s the minority, not the majority. There’s always someone who ruins it for the rest of us and to be fair, if online dating didn’t exist, they would probably cheat anyway. Let’s face it, affairs have been around longer than online dating sites.
4 – Faking it
Ok, I can’t argue with this one. It is easy to create a fake profile online. It’s easy to lie about who you are, you can even use someone else’s photo. I can’t guarantee you that this won’t happen but what I will say is that there is no benefit to it. Once you meet, the truth will out so it shouldn’t waste too much of your time.
The great thing about modern technology is that you don’t even have to meet to find out if someone is who they say they are. You just have to video call or look them up on social media.
So, why should you be proud of online dating?
Well, firstly you’re putting yourself out there and that takes some guts. It shows that you’re brave, you’re strong and you’re ready to share your time with someone who is worthy. Go you!
There are so many success stories out there, including my own. Do some research. If you look for the positives, you’ll find them.
Secondly, your friends are doing it too. Don’t let them kid you. The chances are, they were online dating way before you were. There’s a big denial culture and actually, we need to shout loud and proud if ever we are going to get rid of this stigma.
The truth is online dating will never be socially acceptable to everyone but it’s not alone. There are many stigmas around that will never fully change but as the poet John Lydgate once said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.
My advice? Just go for it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this. Feel free to drop a comment on my blog or book a free consultation to talk all things dating!