By: Alonso Chavarriaga
While it may take some getting used to, meeting someone online first instead of a traditional setting like a coffee shop, restaurant, or through a friend may allow you to find a better match. If you decide to start online dating, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of it.
According to the Washington Post, more than 42 million people tried online dating at least once last year, and 17 percent of marriages were from couples that met online. These statistics reveal that not only are you far from alone when it comes to online dating, but that it can work with optimal results.
Popular Love Advice vs. Reality
Ken Page, LCSW, is an internationally renowned psychotherapist and leading Psychology Today blogger that has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, New York Times, and more. According to Page, there are two primary schools of thought when it comes to dating: the popular advice that is all about instant attraction, and the scientifically backed advice.
Popular advice places huge emphasis on your appearance, age, how you act, play hard to get, and inflated confidence. Luckily, research backs up a more hopeful message. It’s less about age or appearance, and more about who you actually are and how you look for love that determines how you find it. By using online dating, Page believes that it gives more value to these invisible qualities and helps increase your chances of finding a great relationship.
Choosing the Right Website
There seems to be countless dating websites, but how do you know which ones are best for you? Page recommends signing up for websites that respect the participants and visitors. Using a website that consists of just swiping through pictures, sending one word replies, or that don’t contain any sort of information about the person (aside from what they look like) may not work well since matching up with someone is all appearance-based.
The biggest online matchmaking sites can be a great starting point because they have strength in numbers, but you can also try niche websites that are focused on certain interests. If you are a vegetarian or yoga enthusiast, for example, finding a site full of people that share the same values can greatly increase your chances of finding a match. After all, sharing values is crucial when it comes to finding love.
Meet New People Safely
After you’ve met someone online, how can you take safety precautions? Perhaps one of the easiest things you can do is screen people over the phone. Page encourages you to have at least one or two phone conversations to get a proper feel for how they are. When it comes time to meeting in person, ensure your safety by meeting in a public place. Don’t get intoxicated, and make sure the other person is sober as well. By playing it safe, you’ll be able to really get to know the other person and see them for who they really are.
Online dating can work for you as long as you take the right steps. More than half of all adults in the United States are single, and long relationships are becoming a rare sight. With so many people struggling in the dating world, online dating sites can serve as a wonderful platform for meeting someone who is more in line with what you are looking for in a partner.
In the accompanying audio segment, Ken Page, LCSW, shares the four proven steps to finding real love, as well as how to make online dating work for you.