By Anastasia Burton
Many of us meet people on Instagram, Twitter, Tinder and many other websites. We have hundreds of Facebook friends and Tinder matches, some of whom we may even interact with on a daily basis. But are these people really our friends? Or are they just loose connections refined to the virtual world? Particularly when it comes to online dating, it can be hard to separate the ones with genuine interest from those just chatting with you to pass the time in a boring lecture.
Some may say not all of the people one meets in their life will stay in it forever, why should it be different online? However, are we catching feelings too quick and getting attached to people online too easily?
I researched some statistics on online relationships which I would like to share with you.
In 2017, online dating became the most common way for newlyweds to meet one another. The Knot surveyed more than 14,000 engaged or recently married individuals and reported that 19% of brides said they met their spouses online. According to one longitudinal study, couples who meet online tend to get married much sooner rather than couples who meet offline.
We all know dating sites are a fast way to meet people. You can start chatting with someone online within minutes, so it’s easy to pigeonhole online dating as a tool for superficial hookups and not relationships. But personal compatibility algorithms work exceedingly well and yield great results for users looking for commitment.
Recent evidence suggests that dating sites facilitate more diverse and longer lasting connections between online users. Plus, when the University of Chicago surveyed nearly 20,000 people between 2005 and 2012, researchers concluded that those who met their spouses online expressed more marital satisfaction than those who met their spouses through more traditional avenues offline.
In some ways, online dating is a crutch for singles that feel uncomfortable or fearful about talking to their crushes in person. It’s much less intimidating to communicate with a date online because you don’t have to look the person in the eye and put your heart on the line.
In fact, over half of British single adults surveyed by The Sun admitted they’ve never asked a date out in person, and 46% said they’ve never dumped anyone in person. While online communication can make these tough conversations more bearable, at some point you are going to have to talk to your date in person. Whether you’re after a short – term fling or a long – term relationship, dating sites have proven remarkably effective at pairing up like – minded people.
From the information above, I’m led to believe that online relationships do work for some, but do they work for all? The answer is of course not! Online websites and apps help us find people, and help people find us. You must stay mindful that not all the people that you meet online or offline are interested in being there forever, and that’s ok. You know why? Because no matter what, you’ll always come out of that chat room or Tinder date feeling like you’ve experienced something new (whether it be a pleasant experience or not). It makes you stronger as an individual. It helps you distinguish between who will stick around and who won’t, and whom you genuinely want to build a relationship with.
I can only speak from experience and statistics, and in my own opinion, as long as you stay safe and enjoy the conversations without expectations; it will all work out on its own. My best friend has met her significant other online and they are now dating! I myself have found someone I love and cherish, online.
It’s possible to make long – term deep connections online, but we can’t completely disregard the short – term ones. If you think about it, haven’t you learned something new about yourself or about others from every curious once off conversation?
Photo by Chrysostomos Galathris from Pexels