Forget meeting an axe murderer; the real risks of online dating are far subtler. Check out how the internet is undercutting your chances at love. You’ve heard the horror stories of online dating. The person you’re matched with could be an axe murderer, they could be a creep, they stalk you online and find out where you live.
We all know the classic dangers. But what about the subtler risk? Rather than buying pepper spray, what you should worry about is how online dating undercuts the natural process of finding the love of your life. It sounds counter intuitive, doesn’t it? It’s actually more obvious than you’d think.
Here are the main ways digital matchmaking cancels out finding a special someone, and what you should keep an eye out for when crafting your own profile.
1. Poor writing skills don’t tell the whole story
Someone can be well-spoken, intelligent, and even eloquent offline. Put them in text? They’re a complete buffoon. While spelling and grammar abilities are a good method of judging a person’s brainpower, there are a few that are unfairly judged off this alone. Since dating profiles only give the small parameters of a bio to describe why we’re unique and appealing creatures in an overpopulated world, this undercuts a huge crop of people who love those obscure cult classics like you, would be a great parent, are incredible painters and don’t know it – but are looked over, all because they can’t string a sentence together very well. It can’t be helped, but you could be missing “the one” off this alone.
2. True character is hard to show
Much like the above issue, let’s say you are a brilliant worker of words. Restricting an entire impression of someone to a few lines of texts is impossible. Perhaps you like to use a certain phrase, or prefer to break punctuation rules in a clever way, or decided your favorite TV show wasn’t important enough to mention. All these little details are insignificant; but while someone is flipping past your profile out of dozens, it can be the very thing that makes them keep swiping. Your character, what makes you unique and stand out to your soul mate, is completely dulled in a way face-to-face dates wouldn’t be.
3. No smell, taste, or touch
Recent studies show that perfumes and colognes are confusing the natural matchmaking process of humans. We each give off a unique scent, which others will instinctively use to interpret whether we’re a potentially good mate. This is the evolution process in action, and if we thought perfumes were messing it up – online dating has completely destroyed it. Without the ability to interact with each other on this instinctive level, we’ve lost our most important asset: our instinct. Ever get a bad vibe off someone for no apparent reason? Ever been unsure but went with your gut, only to find out the person is great? Instinct isn’t just a primal behavior in animals – it exists in a more civilized way with us as well, and we’re denying our body’s methods of using this tool by denying ourselves real life interaction.
4. Putting on your best face isn’t a must online
If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning, when someone’s at your door, you force yourself to paint on a good face. There’s a real person who you can disappoint or impress; there are social graces that need to be maintained. However, with online dating, a message is easy to ignore and it’s even easier to shoot back an unpleasant response. What’s the worse they can do to you, right?
Many times, these chance encounters develop into more; being nice at the right time when it wasn’t necessary becomes one of your greatest relationships. Online dating invites more knee-jerk reactions, which costs us this valuable step in the human matchmaking process.
5. There’s a different culture online
Even if you’re the most polite and honest person in the world, you do act differently online. That’s not always a negative thing. Some are more prone to teasing or sarcasm when they have time to formulate their response; some are quieter and more philosophical.
It’s not because we’re liars or fakes; there’s a different vibe and culture online. It’s difficult to not emulate the personalities around us. Because of this, your match may seem like a dreamboat or a dud simply because they’re not being the version of themselves you’d learn to know or hate after a few face-to-face dates.
There’s no real way to avoid the shortfalls of online dating. However, there are plenty of advantages that make traditional dating second best, so the key is to use online dating in balance with the old-fashioned route. Keep your flirt for texting cuties in your area; after a few months, then decide if the intellectual connection is strong enough to overcome those other elements. Keep your friends of friends or flirty co-workers for something more certain and serious.
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