Yeah, the whole concept of online dating seems strange, contrary to all of our fathers’ ancient, hyper-macho tips on picking up women. But when the well of potential partners has run dry in your area and you’re one bad blind date away from moving across the continent, it might be time to take on a different strategy.
In fact, over 40 million people in the U.S. are in the same position as you, which is why they decided to take up online dating. So to decide if online dating is right for you, mull over a few of the pros and cons of dating sites.
Pro: Choices, choices…
With online dating, you get an ocean of people to choose from, rather than the pool that you’re used to in your circle of friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. You can find hundreds of people in your area, and narrow down your selection based on interests and lifestyle, rather than go through the trial and error of learning about new people through live dating.
Con: Searching the databases can be addicting
We’re serious. Sites like OkCupid offer an app for iPhone and Android, and whenever you have 30 seconds of downtime you’ll be opening that app to check for new messages. And when browsing the databases, it’s easy to find yourself overanalyzing personality profiles. Just be sure to set a time limit on how much time you spend on the site.
Pro: You don’t have to go to the bar to find attractive potential partners
It’s been a rough week at the office, and all you want to do is watch some college football and relax. Instead of buying a Malibu bay breeze for every cute chick you see at the bar, you can find a date right from the comfort of your home and even keep up with the game while you’re at it. Oh yeah, your wallet says “thanks.”
Con: It still costs money
Sites like PlentyofFish.com and OkCupid are free, while premium dating sites like eHarmony and True.com cost up to $60 a month. Add that monthly cost up over a year and you get $720 for what’s essentially a gamble, sans the craps, blackjack, and free drinks.
Pro: Dating sites offer personality testing for matching
This is an awesome feature that just about all of the major dating sites use. Sites will ask you questions about your interests and how you act in certain situations, and use that information to determine how compatible you are with another.
If online dating is new to you, you might want to dip your toe in the online pool while at the same time attending your local mixer. There's no harm in maximizing your options!
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