Oh, online dating. It began as a way for middle-aged adults to find late-in-life love, but has since expanded into a full-fledged online enterprise. Like porn, there is literally a site tuned to any sort of person. There are the vanillas like Eharmony
, the free, young-adult Reddit friendly sites like Okcupid
(the site I personally used), and even sites specifically geared towards gamers. (gamingpassion.com
Feeling that this dating alternative had a pretty ugly stigma with people in my age range, and after reading an AskReddit thread pertaining to horror stories from first in-person dates after meeting on a dating site (almost all were from Okcupid), I decided to do some investigating and hey, maybe find some love of my own.
First of all, it takes a lot of confidence to make the move to create a profile on any dating site. Not only are you putting yourself out there, but you’re putting yourself out there to the Internet, which we can all agree is about 1000x uglier than the real world
. While every person regardless of confidence likes to be complimented and meet interesting people, a backbone is mandatory for survival in this realm.
You will be insulted and unnecessarily trolled. To anyone who has made a genuine profile on any sort of online dating site, you have my unrelenting respect.
Going under the pretense of, "wanting to see what all of the hulaballoo is about" (but really I was curious, single, and a little lonely), I set up my Okcupid profile and within minutes, men began to traffic my profile and messages began pouring in
. In sifting through these messages I learned that my negative premonitions were all very true (skeez, gross, 33?), but what I also found was that there was actually a large community of fellow college students from my university that were attractive, non-trolling guys who were looking to meet someone lovely and nice outside of lectures and 6th Street (the legendary bar area here in Austin).
A very bright lightbulb went off in my head as I quickly realized I had found exactly what I had been searching for and within online dating nonetheless: college students coming together totally separate from a campus setting and eliminating the question of, “are you single and looking”?
Back IRL, I began asking people that I knew what their thoughts were about online dating. Again, I continued to be pleasantly surprised by the feedback I received. A lot of the people I talked to either had dabbled in online dating themselves
(some of them very good friends of mine) or had a good friend who had done as such
. Even better, many of these stories ended very happily as did my own.
After using the site for roughly a month, I had gone on a couple of dates, had some others lined up, and was overall talking to about 5 guys including a reconnection with a guy who has been in my Ecology class the previous Spring semester (this was October) and he and I have been dating ever since!
Shortly after seeing my personal success, my friends hopped on the bandwagon as well and have had results ranging from current serious relationships to hot hookups to total flops. (Hey, it can’t work for everyone!) All of this led me to a quick conclusion: online dating is a beautiful thing for all people in all stages of life
Even better, online dating provides a way to put all players on the same field: socially awkward and confident, extroverts and introverts, the wretched beautiful and the sweet and introspective. The Internet may be a playground for anonymity and trolling, but due to the nature of the site and just like the people down at the club, if you want to truly date someone, you can only be so fake for so long.
I think the relevant questions here are fairly obvious, but here we go: Have/would you use a dating site if it meant that you might find love, or at least that you meet some interesting people? Is online dating a way for sad people to be lazy about meeting new people? And my personal favorite: what are your horror stories of first IRL encounters with someone you’ve met on a dating site?
Let’s chat!Image Source