While the popularity and acceptance of online dating grows year after year, some still dismiss it as a credible source for finding "true love". Adrienne C. Laursen, MA, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares findings from a new eHarmony study that shows more satisfaction and less divorce for those couples who meet their spouse online. She also talks about why online dating does work, and the pros of going online vs. traditional dating.
PROS OF ONLINE DATING:
1. It's a great way to practice your dating skills to become a great "first dater".
Let's face it, first dates are key. If you're not giving off a great first impression, there isn't likely going to be a second date. So when you're first starting out online, meet with several people that could be potential mates. Even if it's a long shot, be willing to put yourself out there and see it as an opportunity to practice your skills. If you haven't dated in a while (or maybe ever), your skills are likely a little rusty. Being a good "dater" does take some work, a lot of self-awareness, and a good amount of vulnerability. Going on several dates (keep them to just coffee or drinks) will undoubtedly boost your confidence and sharpen your skills. You'll also be much better equipped to know what you do/don't want in a partner, what will/won't work in a relationship, and who you are/aren't attracted to.
2. You have so many more people to choose from!
Unlike traditional dating, with online dating you don't have to wait around for that perfect chance encounter or for a friend to introduce you to the right person. You get to choose who you spend your time with and the possibilities may be endless. You have the opportunity to talk with people who wouldn't otherwise cross your path in life. You can date on your schedule, and start and stop whenever and as often as you like. It really does offer a lot of conveniences!
3. You don't have to waste a lot of time to figure out if he/she is a match.
With traditional dating, you don't typically spend a lot of time emailing or having phone conversations prior to meeting. Spending a lot of face-to-face time right off the bat can have it's drawbacks. Meeting someone you really haven't spent time talking to can jeopardize your personal safety, allow you to possibly rush into a relationship you're not sure you want, and often involves skipping the step of really getting to know someone. With online dating, you have the luxury of extra time. . . time to ask questions, learn more about someone's personality, their likes and dislikes, etc.
4. You get to be in control and set the pace.
Whether it's quality or quantity you're after, you get to decide with online dating. If quantity is your thing, be prepared for it! If you're even remotely good looking and can write a decent profile page, you're likely to be bombarded with messages, winks and likes, especially if you're new to a site. It can be really flattering to see the amount of attention you receive, just remember that not all of it will be positive, and please remember to be logical and maintain personal safety. If quality is your goal, you get to pick and choose who you spend time getting to know. You can limit or expand your dating criteria as you see fit, to ensure you're only meeting the people with similar interests, goals, income, background, etc. You can also control the amount of personal information you reveal, and let potential suitors get to know you at your pace.
For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.