The Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Dating
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of online dating and the search for the perfect date / mate.
Advantages of Dating Online
A "surfer" can immediately focus on people with similar interests, beliefs, age and other important criteria without having to spend time and money "going for coffee." Non-matching people can be sidestepped without ever needing to make contact. It's "partner shopping" in a global supermarket of humanity.
Meaningful dating can be done at a distance, even in other countries.
Relating thru writing (emailing) is a quick and efficient way to learn a lot about a person and how they tick, with minimum initial commitment or investment face-to-face and is the heart of effective online dating.
Disadvantages of Dating Online
If a "surfer" is not witty or doesn't write well, online dating can be difficult.
Prospects often circulate constantly thru a host of sites. The Internet offers unlimited options. This can make for cynical or dismissive prospects with little care for how their rejections or non-contact affects the feelings of others. It can be a conveyor belt.
Most humans are addicted to initial flirtations and the "drug" of being liked, appreciated and wanted. The Internet is an illusion of meeting. The connection is based on internalized and selfish feelings, often projections of what we are looking for, rather than what the other person is actually like.
This approach can morph people into the commodities of others' consumption.
Superficiality of the Internet
Physical attraction is fickle. Individuals can be intensely "in love" one minute, and not at all later, simply based on appearance. Often, people are in love with "being in love" not with you at all.
Photos can mislead. It's good advice to ask for many photographs, so if physical attractiveness is important to you, a balanced look at someone over time and in many contexts is achieved. People look very different in different photos. Don't project an illusion of a person from one image.
Painful Online Romance versus True Love
True love is solid, reliable and unconditional. People can learn to receive and give true love.
This approach goes against almost everything our body, mind and the Net convinces us is real. The most pain, hurt, brokenness and distress caused online by people attempting to find the divine within each other, is a misunderstanding about the voracity of emotional online connection, and an abandonment of what true love really is.
Robin Williams says to Matt Damon in the movie "Good Will Hunting" (Miramax, 1997), "it's not about whether you are perfect for her, or she is perfect for you...are you perfect for each other?...none of us are perfect."
Missing True Love While Waiting For Mr/Ms Perfect
Online daters often bypass wonderful prospects of enduring love in exchange for the endless anticipation of finding a "right" person who will be perfect. The Internet feeds this hope. It is a forlorn and hopeless vacuum. A better way is to find perfect love within, and give that unconditionally to another imperfect human being (to whom you are, or are not, at times, "attracted").
Consider using the Internet as a doorway to real life and real engagement with actual human beings, sovereign and independent of your wants and needs.
Last Updated: 25 March 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD