Online dating-- horrible idea or best concept ever?

So we've all heard the horror stories before, recounting in gory detail the scarring first dates and awkward encounters with quasi-strangers who look nothing like their online photos. For those of us who've tried the online circuit to find our plus ones, I think we can all agree that it's truly a matter of trial and error (more often than not, the later). With Valentine's Day fast approaching, my girlfriends and I got to talking about the years prior and our sentiments concerning the somewhat ominous day. We went from reminiscing about romantic dinners with our then boyfriends, to solo nights spent on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry's, and of course, my all time favorite memory: "Remember that time we found that teddy bear your ex gave you and set it on fire in his front yard?" Yeah, we're insane... but we've made a pact, being that we're all currently single (hmmm, wonder why?), to each make an online profile in the hopes of finding dates worthy of us on Valentine's Day. So, what we're wondering is, is it worth a shot? And what are the top five things we should know before we unleash ourselves upon the world of online dating?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Online dating CAN be great, but there are plenty of pitfalls as well. The big pluses for OD are that you get much greater exposure to many more people than you probably get in your normal life, AND that you can filter out people who aren't a good match (assuming they did a good job building their profile), saving both of you wasted time and effort.

    Know that if you're a good-looking girl, you're going to get a ton of guys who are "window-lickers"; guys who are trying to hit on you just based on your looks. Many will be directly sexual with their offers. Every decent-looking girl deals with that, and you have to have a thick-enough skin to just delete those emails and move on. Don't bother replying; you'd just be wasting your time.

    Concentrate on the guys who write to you and actually have something to say, and know how to say it. Guys who treat you like a person instead of a call girl or stripper. If they can't compose a few sentences properly and introduce themselves, you probably wouldn't get much out of a date with them either, no matter how good that picture of them might look.

    Finally, you aren't going to meet a ton of guys online who look like they could be on TV. Most really good-looking guys get enough interest in the real world that they aren't online; they're either taken or busy juggling 3 girls. You'll have a few guys above average, but most are going to be average or below. Looks aren't everything, but again, keep your expectations reasonable.

    If you meet someone you like, email them back and forth a few times and ask plenty of questions. If things are going good, try to set up a video chat (Skype or Google Hangout). That's a good, safe way to make sure the guy is real, and to get a better idea of what he's like. If that goes well, arrange a date in a public place. Try to have fun, but take some safety precautions too. Arrange some check-in phone calls with someone, and make sure they know where you're going and when to expect you home. You might want to give them the guy's picture and info too. It's almost always overkill, but your safety IS important, and if you take these steps, then once on the date, you can relax more.

    Don't expect a Pretty Woman date. A good date is one where you have lots of time to talk to each other and be comfortable, not one where he's showing off where he can take you and how much he can spend. Beware of those guys.

    Ask plenty of questions; your main job is to check for compatibility, and also to have fun. If you aren't having fun, don't accept another date with the guy. If you are, then you're in good shape.


What Guys Said 33

  • i've been with my girlfriend for goign on 2yrs now. we met on eharmony so yeah I'd say it's worth it.

    top 5 things to know:

    1) look out for dudes just looking for sex

    2) I spent nearly a one 1/2 years on the site and went out with a lot o losers

    3) more reputable sites (eharm, match, etc) generally do a better job of getting quality peeps. free sites obviously often have sketch balls

    4) if you really want to do it be patient, I went through a lot of crap before I found a diamond

    5) cast a wide net and then filter out the bad ones rather than casting a small net and having less options

    good luck

  • You're better off posting photos of random guys on a dart baord, and asking whoever you hit with the dart for a date.

    At least the 'winner' won't be someone who spends a lot of time writing about himself online to impress people.

  • Its just another way to meet people.

    To a large extent, people who are good in any other dating arena do well online, those who don't, don't. It does provide you with a large pool of single people.

    The guy I know who had the most success with online dating (i.e. multiple girlfriends and TONS of dates between them looking for next girlfriend) was of the view that online dating is inherently odd, so he always tried to move it 'offline' as soon as possible. Based on that, he'd generally -directly- ask girls out rather then engaging in a big back and forth for a long time. Now that probably is more awkward if you're geographically isolated, but he lived downtown in a big city, so if he thought someone had an interesting profile, he'd immediately ask if they were interested in a drink or coffee. His view was that if they weren't interested in meeting him for coffee (or at least talking about it) they were either not into his profile or they were not -actually- looking to date.

    Almost always quick drink dates to start - basically he assumed that what you see online is never more than 20-30% so all you can do is say 'yeah, lets meet in person' and see if there's enough to set up a longer date or not.

  • I say yes...definitely get into online dating. It's a way to "catch more fish" versus just meeting guys in your daily grind of a life.

    MrOracle touched upon the rest of the details, so I'm speechless!

  • My thoughts on online dating, in general, is that it's a lot like regular dating, and slightly better than a singles bar. (Though I went into detail on it here - link I say go for it if you want, but not specifically just to get a date on Valentine's Day. That would be wrong.

    Five things you should know?

    Number one: Actually fill out a lengthy profile. I'm serious, talk and talk alot. There are a few reasons for this. One, is because if your profile just consists of cute, pretty or sexy pictures of you - or if it just consists of pictures of you - and nothing else, then the only possible messages you're going to get are from guys messaging you on your looks alone. It's simple logic but true. So fill it out, or you have no right to complain if a guy turns out to just want sex. When you do fill it out, try to think of as much to say as possible so that people know who you are, but say just enough, so you can bury things in the mix, to see if he was paying attention.

    Number two: Never respond to a hot guy who's initial message is (or similar to) just "Hey" and nothing else. Any guy who does that is usually stupid and / or shallow, with the intent of just getting sex. If the guy read your profile, and had nothing to say about it, or nothing interesting to say about himself, then he's either not interested in you, or he's got nothing to say. Either way, the relationship will come down to just sex. That's not usually ideal.

    Number Three: Not giving information that is too personal, or makes you easy to track down. I mean, there are many people who portray the internet as if all men are rapists who will lie about everything, just to meet you and stuff you into a van, but that's stupid. This is just the fallacy that contributes to the stigma on internet dating. Still, it's best you remain at least a little anonymous, in case things don't work out. After all, look at all the stalkers on Facebook, right?

    Number Four: Common sense is your best tool. Basically just think about what they say. A good profile can say a lot about someone, even if they're lying. If you exercise common sense you should see the holes in their story. But the more you talk to someone the more you can get to know them, and a good profile aides in getting to know someone. It's the foot in the door. Just figure out who they are as they talk. Kinda like real life.

    Number Five: Don't let one, or a couple bad experiences get you down. Internet dating is just like regular dating. There are good people and bad people. Some you'll want to talk to, and some you should steer clear. Use common sense, along with the other three pieces of advice, and it should help you weed out some of the less desirable people, but remember, just because the last guy sucked, doesn't mean should write off everyone else. The internet is Soylent Green. It's people.

    Good luck out there.

  • Be as honest as possible, and open minded. Online dating is different to any other dating, you need to be able to remain genuine and polite, and if your interested in any guys, don't fall over yourselves and get to full on to soon, the way you present yourself during the course of each conversation will put in place for him wether your a hit or miss, we will only go for genuine profiles, so keep it real,x

    • That's really good advice. Thanks! :)

  • you can give it a shot but, that still has risks.

    1) Be confident

    2) Get yourself always alert

    3) Never give your info to anyone (not even a known friend) by the internet

    4) Never trust a person

    5) NEVER date someone for the first time at a place with a small amount of people

    6) If you follow the 5th, be sure that you don't show him your address. Try to get his information first and be sure they are accurate (ID card and address evidence)

    Even by doing that, you are still at risk...

  • Found my current Girlfriend from online dating in my first try so it can obviously work, but there are a LOT of negatives that go with it. For guys mostly the fact that it is hard to get noticed and for girls mostly that you get hounded by creeps like nothing you'll experience from real life dating. Everyone grows confidence online

  • honestly its one way of meeting people but you shouldn't exclude other possibilities like nightclubs /pubs on a weekend or the gym .

    but back to online dating , it is a way to meet people but being a girl its more about being selective than anything else . your going to get replies to your add . the key is being selective and not wasting time on guys who aren't worth your time . but in the end its one option and definity not the only way to meet new people at your age

    • I've heard a lot of that! The fact of the matter is, the sheer volume of messages my friends and I have been getting necessitates that we be extremely selective. There just aren't enough hours in the day to respond to every guy! haha

    • the gym doesn't work especially when you are the ugliest guy there

    • you will get a lot of messages that's why its key to be selective , maybe decide what type of guy your looking for and when he messages you reply back but don't waste your time with the others if your not looking to date them

  • I do it and it is bittersweet. It is hard to find someone who isn't flawed in some way. I've had some good times. I have also blocked a few numbers from some of the crazier ones. You look pretty enough to get plenty of dates online but I doubt you will find a quality one by Valentine's Day.

  • No harm in checking it out, but like dating in general don't go into it with big expectations...relationships aren't really the type of thing you can force, it's just gotta happen in the natural flow of life.

    And like others have said, if/when you do get to the point of actually meeting someone from an online site, trust your instincts & be smart about it...since you've got friends in the same boat a double date might be good for an initial meeting. Good luck.

  • You seem to be a pretty girl. If you are careful, smart, attentive, you'll find someone who is good for you.

    The internet is as good a way as any. I'm sure there are a few great guys in your area asking themselves the same questions as they set up their own profiles.

  • I would not do it. If you really like that person, it might hurt you more to know that you are apart and you can't be with them, hold them, hug them. kiss them.

  • good concept horrible implementation

  • It is buyer beware.

  • Girls think they're too good for direct dating, and they mostly need a personal fairy tale encounter to become interested. As a result those sites will be flooded by desperate guys that will spam you. Good looking guys are about as rare as good looking girls that aren't just playing on those sites. Naturally most guys would say it's only good for girls, but it would also be good for very good looking guys. But these types usually wouldn't get around to making a dating effort signing up to a site, that's why they're not there.

  • Horrible idea for the failure ones and best concept ever for the successful ones. A mixture of both for the ones with variable results.

  • Probably a bad idea to be honest, online dating sites are filled with weirdos. Meeting someone you met on Facebook is a much better idea IMO. I met 3 girls from Facebook, 2 of them I became good friends with and the other I dated for a year. And are you Romanian?

    • I'm 100% Sicilian. Good answer, btw.

  • Its the worst idea anyone ever come up with, it's just for the lazy people who can't be bothered to goo out and find someone themselves, that's my view oh it

  • There are a few pros, but mostly cons. It wasn't a very good idea to begin with!

  • No.

  • Greatest. Ever.

    I can flip through candidates faster than actual dates where I'm spending my time, money, energy to figure out of she qualifies.

    I can see her pictures, hobbies, style of talk, friends, all things I can use to get an idea of what she's about.

  • horrible idea

  • Trust me you will get raped if you date online. I had experience

  • works for girls but not for guys

    • So what you're saying is that it only works for lesbians?

  • Probably the worst thing that can or has ever happened to the internet. Have you ever noticed the websites and commercials for these dating sites always feature really good looking people. You never or rarely ever see average or below average people what does that say about society? It says hey if your ugly, average or below average don't waste your time or money. Yes I for one think dating websites are scams.

  • Is there no middle ground in this question? I'd say it's a good thing, depends on the person really. Most people use it as a booty call service though.

  • I think you should spend time exploring who you are and what you really like. Visit new states/countries and try new foods and music genres. Fall in love with yourself and your family and the prince charming who you might be "worthy of" will show up in his own time :).

  • Like most things, there are pros and cons. Originally before I started getting noticed by women, I thought online dating was the dumbest idea ever. I think the best reason to use it is if you have a hard time meeting someone. When I was at community college, I didn't really meet many women. There weren't any parties with college students because everyone commuted and lived far away from each other. Most of the women I did meet were either taken or not interested.

    After I started using online dating sites, I started getting a few messages back. You'll get rejected by a lot of girls but it comes with the territory. Keep in mind, girls get tons of messages a day while guys are lucky to get a message but then again guys are the ones that are supposed to initiate conversation anyways. I've been messaged by some women but most of them don't like being put in that spot. Rejection wasn't really an issue. If anything, I found it to be an issue where I'd have something going with a girl, talk for awhile and then out of nowhere they'd cut off contact and I didn't think I did anything wrong.

    There are no guarantees you'll get responses from women, but to improve your chances take a few pictures (have some of doing stuff you like) and have some where you're smiling. Talk about yourself a little bit, but don't give out too much. Also, don't lie about anything that you can't hide in person. For instance, as shallow as this may sound I've met a few girls off POF that either had no recent pictures or pictures at angles and say they're average or athletic and then you meet them theyre fat. Now I've met some girls that admitted they're thick or somewhat chubby on their profile, but the difference was I knew what was coming. It'd be like me trying to look buff and saying I'm a bodybuilder or athletic when I'm really just very skinny.

    Like I said, there are pros and cons, but in the end it's all a numbers game. Talk to as many as you can and see which one is the best.

  • Horrible if you're a guy, wonderful if you're a girl. Even unattractive and fat girls get messages online. An average guy could send 100 custom messages based upon every girl's profile and would be lucky to get 5 replies if that. Girls online are hyper pick and just looking for ego boosts. They don't actually value men unless the man is super hot or rich. Girls treat online dating like a game.

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What Girls Said 2

  • It's a really terrible idea, in my opinion. Then again I had a terrible experience with a horny pig who just kept me around until he found a girl who would give him the time of day. Even if the two people who find each other are madly in love, it's still a bad idea because they'll have limited time around each other. They may never get to see each otehr and it won't be like a real relationship

  • Sure it's worth a shot, but be careful. It's dangerous and people lie all the time.