According to some estimates , there are over 8, online dating sites worldwide, and over 2, in the US alone. These days, it is often the first option for someone looking for romance, not the last. The industry has completely transformed a fundamental aspect of human communication, changing how we meet new people and go looking for partners. In the US, online dating is now the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet behind introductions through friends.
And then along came online dating to blow that idea away. According to some estimates, over a third of marriages in the US are now from couples who first met online. And this is particularly true for older adults. But how is this possible? If some people are finding love through online dating sites, why does it fail so many others?
And it gets worse the more prescriptive you are about your requirements. Some sites take this to an extreme degree and let you go nuts specifying the attributes you want: Forget 1 in , you could literally be talking about 1 in a million.
There is increasing evidence that, in face-to-face meetings, we are subconsciously picking up clues about the suitability of future partners based on a wide variety of non-verbal information.
No profile, no matter how well-written, could ever hope to capture the full extent of your personality. To make matters worse, most people suck at selling themselves, and do a terrible job of their profiles. And, of course, the ones who are good at selling themselves generally do so by misrepresenting themselves to some extent. And as a result, you will either underestimate them — and dismiss someone who could be a good match — or else overestimate them and then be disappointed when you meet in person.
Either way, judging people by what they say about themselves is a sure-fire path to disappointment. This may account for the rise of an app like Tinder, which does away with the premise of algorithms altogether and relies pretty much wholly on the ability to make a snap judgement based on looks alone. But it unfortunately exposes them to one of the other perils of online dating: With no financial requirement, free sites will naturally attract a greater proportion of people who are not really committed to finding a genuine relationship.
Anyone you meet on a free app has been trained to believe that there could always be someone better just a click away. The moment they decide that you are not perfect enough for them, their interest in you fades and they have clicked on to the next person. Nobody is the best version of themselves when they date Picture sitting down for a drink or dinner for the first time with someone you met on an online dating site. The awkward small talk.
By the same logic, the same holds true for everyone you date. Yet none of us seems to stop us from going out on these awkward, not-fun, misery-inducing dates in an attempt to find a compatible partner.
For most people, meeting for a first date is neither of these things. No, neither would I. OK, but what do we do about it? After all, we know that a growing number of people are finding success when it comes to searching for a partner online. You just need to use a different approach. I mean change your entire attitude about how you assess someone as a potential match.
Challenge some of the assumptions you hold about the sort of person would could be a compatible match for you. Or is it more important that they are interesting and fun?
Or is the main thing that they young enough in spirit to do the things you want to do? Instead, simply get yourself out there doing the things you love. And put yourself in an environment where you meet people who love those things too. Talk is cheap, and anyone can say they like dancing, going for long walks, or abstract art.
You need to trust yourself to make the decisions, by looking for the things that matter. They could simply have been burned by unscrupulous dating sites in the past, and are trying to avoid being ripped off again. You will be surprised what you discover. Keep yourself safe This one is fundamentally important. But even if you choose to use something else, make sure you follow our guidelines for keeping yourself safe online.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below! Stitch is for anyone over 50 looking for companionship. For a limited time we're giving away free copies of the e-book we've written for our members, 'How to Stay Safe Online'. Just leave your email address and we'll send you a copy for FREE! Your eBook is on its way.