The taboo that used to hang over internet dating has all but been lifted in recent years as social interaction over the internet has really blossomed. But there still are a lot of people that doubt the effectiveness of meeting others online, mainly due to the ease of which a person can hide and deceive you over the web. There is some definite truth to that viewpoint, but I think you take that same risk when you meet someone in person. If people are trying to hide something, chances are they will regardless of where you meet them.
The biggest benefit of meeting someone online is that you are forced to not have a first impression based solely on looks. A lot of times we judge books (and people) by their covers, which sometimes makes us miss out on some great dating possibilities. The interaction that you have with people online can end up being much deeper, especially at the very beginning. While you’ll obviously share pictures and “see” what each other looks like, it’s not quite the same. Plus, even if you don’t feel that instant physical attraction with someone online, you’re more likely to keep them around as an online friend which can spark deeper feelings over time.
Another benefit of meeting people online is that you allow yourself a certain amount of distance that can make you feel safe until you get to know them better. A lot of people are more likely to put their guard down and really relate with someone when they feel that they are at a safe distance. The internet barrier allows people to do that and wait until they know they’re really interested in someone before taking it to the next level.
I think the biggest mistake that people make with meeting people online is that they take the interaction for more than it is. Yes, interacting online with someone can have some major benefits that could potentially lead you to some very positive relationships, but it’s not a substitute for in-person interaction. When people get into trouble is when they assume they’re “dating someone” or that they’re “with someone” over the internet. I think that’s a dangerous way to look at it, as you’re opening yourself up for disappointment. If you’re able to use online social resources as an extra way to meet people and possibly get to know them on a deeper level, then you have a high chance for success.
So does meeting people online work? Well, the answer is yes and no. Your chances of success meeting people online are mostly the same as they are if you meet them anywhere else. The key isn’t so much where you meet them, but who you meet and how you relate to each other after that. However, there are some benefits to meeting people online that you can use to your advantage. While there’s no guarantee for success, meeting online happened to work for my wife and I, so there is hope! Just take it for what it is and work towards building positive relationships regardless where you meet people.