Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The pros and cons of online dating

The days when making use of a dating service or a 'lonely hearts club' carried a stigma are long gone. Online dating has become an accepted and popular option for men and women seeking partners or simply wishing to expand their social networks. As with all things in life, there are disadvantages associated with online dating, but these are outweighed by the advantages!

Online dating provides a relatively safe platform from which to meet prospective partners. Many shy away from meeting in bars and clubs. Online dating sites provide an environment where you can gain some knowledge of your prospective dates before meeting face to face. Thousands of people of all ages register on dating sites providing a huge choice of potential partners.
Meeting traditionally takes place through social networks. Occasionally people do meet at clubs or bars. Online dating opens up the opportunity to meet a much broader range of people than would be possible using only your own resources.
Online dating provides the opportunity to meet. Members begin by viewing profiles of prospective dates followed by an email. Contact details are generally not exchanged until both parties are happy to meet. Dating sites provide an element of protection by allowing you to vet your prospective date.
Unsuitable prospects can be eliminated immediately. The prospective partner's profile or style of writing provides clues! The dating site may also provide an indication of how well you meet each other's requirements, whether or not you are a match.
But there are pitfalls to be aware of when joining an online dating site. The online environment provides a platform for those with dishonourable intentions to hide their true selves. People are able to adapt an online personality that bears little resemblance to their true selves.
Some use dating sites to deliberately misrepresent themselves. They post photographs that were taken many years ago. Sometimes they post photos of celebrities. There is an element of risk in moving from the email communication to meeting. The actual meeting can turn out to be a total shock. A stunning twenty year old blonde turns out to be an obese alcoholic of forty plus.
It is always a good idea to arrange a first meeting at a public venue. It your date is not what you expected then it is advisable to walk away. A person that misrepresents him or herself online is unlikely to become a trustworthy partner! A crowded bar or restaurant allows for a quick get-away and an easy escape.
Then there are those that use the dating sites as a base for their scams. They join the sites for financial gain. The person represented in the profile doesn't really exist. Instead it is a criminal organisation that scams lonely and vulnerable people by posting false profiles and mailing them. They operate from far away countries such as Russia
and Ghana. They would like to meet with the prospect of marriage but don't have the money to travel. Once the victim has transferred the funds, the object of their desire disappears. 

Online dating sites do vet the profiles to try to eliminate scammers and people that use celebrity photos as their own. But some inevitably slip through the net.
Don't send money to the stunning Russian or to the sexy Swede in Ghana. If you do you will never see your money - or your prospective bride - again. The object of your desire doesn't really exist. They are really scammers operating from Internet cafes. Listen to your common sense!
Used with an awareness of the dangers, online dating is a very useful way of meeting prospective partners. Avoid the pitfalls and never send money for someone to travel to meet you. If your date turns out to be a different person from the one on the site, then leave immediately. Many lasting relationships have originated in an online dating site. Of course on-line communication will never replace a face to face meeting, but used with care the pros far outweigh the cons!

No comments: