Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

7 Things I Love About Online Dating

has a bad reputation.  A really, really bad reputation.

Recently, one of my readers mentioned to me (he was being very nice about it, and I’m not mocking him or taking that comment negatively) that perhaps I shouldn’t be wasting my time with online .  That I should be using my energy to meet guys in person.

And just last week (I think it was last week) I got into it with someone who constantly tweets “Online dating safetly tips”.  I told him he was fearmongering, and implicitly suggesting that online dating was more dangerous than meeting people in bars or clubs.  Which it isn’t.

Yes, I posted my own safety tips for online dating.  I think it’s important that people, especially women,  think about safety.  But I also use these same measures with men I meet “in the real world”.  And honestly, I think meeting a guy in a bar is absolutely no safer than meeting him online.  You have no more assurances that what you’re being told is true.  The only thing you have is the ability to see him, in person.  So, yes, you get that over with and know whether or not you’re attracted to him physically.

But there are a lot of advantages to online dating.  A lot.  So this week I bring you the 7 Things I Love About Online Dating.

  1. You can take the time to exchange thoughts and ideas in full sentence format via email. It’s usually too loud in bars/parties/clubs to hear each other well enough for this.  I’m not really interested in the pretty but dumb guys at this point in my life.  Online dating helps me weed them out.
  2. You really can tell quite a bit by a guy’s description of himself.  Certainly not everything about him.  But you can get a good sense of his tastes and attitudes (and his ability to use the English language with care).
  3. People have to disclose some pretty big potential dealbreakers on their online dating profile: whether or not they smoke, do drugs, how much they drink, whether or not they want more kids.  All things I’d want to know but wouldn’t feel comfortable asking someone I just met.  I love that we can get it out of the way right away (yeah, people can lie, but they tend be pretty truthful on those things).
  4. There are thousands of potential guys to choose from. Sure, it’s a little overwhelming, but I feel empowered by the choice.  I like the feeling of possibility.
  5. I can control how fast or slow things move.  It’s not preset.  I can very easily say to someone the day we connect, “you seem cool, let’s meet for a drink” or spend a week exchanging emails until I feel ready to make that leap.
  6. I know it works. I’ve met my last 5 boyfriends online.  And 1 in every 8 couples who married in the US last year met online.
  7. It’s what I want it to be. There are dozens of different sites catering to different needs and tastes.  And even within a single site you can state a desire to meet someone for serious dating, casual dating or just “play”.  How cool is that?

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6 to “7 Things I Love About Online Dating”

  1. Global Patriot says:

    The online dating paradigm is most interesting. As Simone spells out above there are many advantages, yet the “proof” is in the meeting, and ultimately in the compatibility. The odds are still quite low, maybe one in a hundred, but using online sites you will “meet” far more prospects than you will while standing in line for coffee. So, in the end, maybe the odds do play to your advantage.

  2. alfabeta says:

    @Global Patriot: I’ve been on over 80 first online dates and so far no “big love” found. Based on your number, I only have to go out with 20 more women to find the love of my life. Should be easy :)

  3. Barrett says:

    I’ve read so many negative articles on online dating recently I’m very happy to see your positive post on the subject. There really has been a lot of fear mongering, presumably to get readers or in Twitters case followers. It’s not the easy road to post about the positive side of online dating, it doesn’t bring in new readership or traffic but I really enjoyed reading your list. Number 5 especially as online dating is the best way to be able to set your own pace.

  4. Simone Grant says:

    -Global Patriot
    Yes, the odds are still quite low. I happen to think that the odds of meeting someone who makes your heart skip a beat are rather low no matter what.
    Only 80? Oh, you’re just a beginner. Seriously, I think it’s a game of chance. It could be the first person you meet, or the 150th person. Isn’t life fun?
    Yeah, I just write what I want to write. Not a great way to land on the front page of Digg, but oh well:-)

  5. Dont Be a Slut says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve made a few half-hearted attempts at online dating over the years, but frankly, I find it intimidating wading through all the profiles and trying to figure out what to say in mine. So I’m living vicariously through you until I’m brave enough to test the waters again.

  6. onedatewonder says:

    I find the discussion on odds to be laughable. Honestly, you get exposed to tons of people you may not have otherwise met in your day to day life. How can that possibly equal lower odds of meeting someone special?

    As Simone points out, meeting someone is just hard… especially someone you can really truly be with. That’s where the odds are against you. But don’t pin that on online dating. That’s just a general dating truth regardless of the medium.