The Good News: Online dating has become the second most common way for couples to meet. In other words, this stuff works.
The Bad News: It is possible to do it incorrectly. Online dating, that is.
Related: 3 Steps to Writing a Killer Profile
According to a recent article on CBCNews:
“Comparing dozens and sometimes hundreds of possible dates may encourage a ‘shopping’ mentality in which people focus on a narrow set of criteria like attractiveness or interests, he said. And corresponding by computer for weeks or months before meeting face-to-face has been shown to create unrealistic expectations, he added.”
So, if you want to be part of the growing number of couples who meet online, be careful of your approach. Don’t spend too much time “window shopping” on an online dating site: it’s way too easy to flip through like, 60 people in 2 minutes and dismiss nearly all of them based solely on a picture. (The “QuickMatch” feature on OkCupid is notoriously bad for this.)
Related: See all posts in Online Dating 101
Lots of people on dating sites make the mistake of judging someone on their picture first, and THEN looking to see if their interests match up. The problem with this strategy is that most people are wayyyy more picky about how someone looks online than they are in real life. If you look at someone’s written profile before going through all their pictures, you might be a little more open minded.
But of course, chemistry is more than just an initial attraction to a picture and mutual love of drunk Jenga: this is why once you come across someone that you think you might like, it’s so important to just test it out in person as soon as possible. Don’t spend too long communicating online — you’ll develop a 2-D relationship that won’t necessarily correspond to what you have in person. Which, not to be biased (of course we’re totally biased) is why HowAboutWe, as far as dating sites go, rocks: you see a date you like, you say, “Yo, let’s do it!”, you meet them in person, and you see if you’ve got a shot of hitting it off or not.
(It’ll help you get to the good part, faster.)