Traditional Dating Vs Online Dating

by William Lynch

Finding love is never easy, and the dating process can often be a lonely, frustrating experience full of rejection and uncertainty. Technology has tried to make the process as painless as possible with online dating, which lets you search for romance from the comfort of your own home. Of course, no system is perfect, and online dating also has its potential pitfalls when compared to traditional dating.

Searching

Unless you're set up with a friend of a friend or you meet someone at work, traditional dating typically requires frequenting bars or other public social gatherings in an effort to meet someone new. Striking up a conversation with a stranger can be awkward and even embarrassing, reducing your chances for success. With online dating, you can browse the personal profiles of potential partners with no pressure or forced interactions. You choose exactly when and for how long you browse, dating on your terms. However, browsing so many profiles can prove daunting, and the experience may seem impersonal without the instant attraction and excitement felt when meeting someone new in a traditional dating environment.

Selectivity

Online dating profiles provide an individual's photo along with a wide variety of pertinent information, including everything from career aspirations to hobbies to personal tastes in movies and TV shows. If you choose to interact with the individual, you're doing so based on more than mere physical attraction, and the supplied information can also make sparking a conversation less challenging. Traditional dating requires a greater leap of faith, which can add to the emotional involvement. Also, traditional dating allows you to learn about your partner slowly over time, preserving an element of mystery and making future discoveries more meaningful.

Scope

Individuals often turn to online dating simply because their immediate business and social circles don't allow them to meet new people on a regular basis. Online dating greatly increases the number of potential romantic partners, letting you search for dates from within the surrounding local area or from around the country. Then again, this greater scope may be too much of a good thing. Finding a dating partner in your own town can be difficult enough, so expanding the search to include the entire country may make the quest seem overwhelming. And meeting someone who lives in another city or another part of the country creates travel concerns and logistical problems not generally found in traditional dating.

Misrepresentation

While people lie in traditional dating, online dating makes such misrepresentation much easier to accomplish. Unscrupulous daters may use fake or outdated profile photos and greatly exaggerate their personal histories in an attempt to lure unsuspecting admirers. When engaging in traditional dating, you at least know you're dealing with a real person, and the personal interaction eliminates any chance for exaggerated physical descriptions or fabricated character traits. You also have the opportunity to ask around and see what friends and family members think of the individual, which usually isn't possible with online dating.

Considerations

Online dating provides a layer of protection not found in traditional dating since you don't have to physically meet the individual until you are completely comfortable and secure in your interactions. For added personal security in online dating, be careful not to share personal contact information until you're convinced of the person's character. Furthermore, if you decide to meet, make the initial date in a public place like a restaurant or cafe before opting for something more intimate. The same basic rules apply in traditional dating scenarios, especially if the person is someone you met at a bar or someone with no shared social connections.

About the Author

William Lynch has been a freelance writer for the past fifteen years, working for various web sites and publications. He is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts program in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University. He hopes to one day become a mystery novelist.

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