This may seem like an odd question to pose by someone who actually specialises in online dating advice for men. But I am serious: Is Online Dating Worth It?
Let’s see what we are cover in this article.
Table of Contents
- 1. Why you could think that online dating is NOT worth it
- 1.1. Everybody is the same
- 1.2. Pictures aren’t reliable
- 1.3. The competition is ridiculous
- 2. So is online dating worth it? It is!
- 3. Are people the same on online dating sites?
- 3.1. People may seem similar
- 3.2. Are people actually similar?
- 4. Pictures are deceiving
- 4.1. It’s no different than in real life
- 5. Enormous competition: what to do?
- 6. My advice on competition to make online dating worth it for you
- 7. She may be better than a porn star, even though she doesn’t look like one
- 8. Conclusion
I believe it is a fair question. Online dating has been around for decades, and it has changed how we meet our partners.
It has even changed the nature of our relationships!
As one study indicates:
Dating websites have changed the way couples meet. Now evidence is emerging that this change is influencing levels of interracial marriage and even the stability of marriage itself.MIT Technology Review
The same study says that online dating is the number two method for heterosexual couples to meet, after meeting people through friends.
It is precisely because online dating has become so mainstream that I think this question is fair to ask: Is online dating worth it?
Admittedly, the thought of answering this question here first came to me after reading a Quora response to this question by a contributor named Curt Tiggens.
Curt says online dating is not worth it any more. He offers a bunch of reasons, and I will summarise them for you here.
I will then offer you my own perspective on why, I deeply believe, online dating is totally worth it!
1. Why you could think that online dating is NOT worth it
So here is the list of reasons why you may be discouraged from giving online dating a try.
1.1. Everybody is the same
Arguably, everyone on the dating sites appears the same:
There’s very little to go on to distinguish one person from another. People talk about the same very limited group of things, they all express similar hobbies with slight variations, they all want to be unique but are much less so than they think, they all try for the same types of pictures (or just don’t put in any effort).Curt Tiggens
1.2. Pictures aren’t reliable
This one is unsurprising: on the Internet, we typically try to look our best, which differs from how we look in every-day life:
Here is this point summarised by Curt:
Only a fraction of people actually look as attractive as their profile photos make them seem (at least, on the female side), due not only to photographic techniques but also to the plethora of digital editing tools now available. You won’t really know how someone looks or conveys themselves until you meet them.Curt Tiggens
1.3. The competition is ridiculous
Sure, this one is also true. Competition over women who seem the most attractive on dating sites is large:
If you’re male, you have to face the fact that you’re always going to be just one of scores or hundreds of other guys sending a message to that girl this week. And every one of them is trying to say something interesting. So it doesn’t really matter how much effort you’re putting in—you’re probably not going to stand out.Curt Tiggens
I don’t actually think that you cannot stand out no matter what kind of effort you put in, but I will leave it for now.
OK, so these are the main points raised in that particular response on Quora.
2. So is online dating worth it? It is!
I will now give you my own take on this question. One thing I will say though is that the points raised are all fair.
It can indeed seem like people often write about similar things in their online dating profiles.
Or that the images women (and often men) upload there are edited and should come with the disclaimer: ‘Real-life look may vary’.
So do you feel like giving up on online dating yet? It does not matter, because I am now going to tell you exactly why you should not give up.
In fact, I believe online dating is not only worth it. It is actually great for meeting new people – be it for sex, relationships, or just fun.
3. Are people the same on online dating sites?
Let’s start with the claim that ‘everyone looks the same’ on online dating sites. I believe there are, in fact, two separate issues here.
3.1. People may seem similar
The first one is that people may SEEM to look similar on adult dating websites, simply because there are so many of them.
The issue here is not that they actually have very similar profiles.
Rather, the issue is that after viewing 20th, 50th or 100th profile, we fail to distinguish them in our head, and they all APPEAR similar.[cp_modal display=”inline” id=”cp_id_522d8″][/cp_modal]
This is common, and not just in online dating. I have recently come across the Guardian article where one anonymous university teacher has a confession.
He admits that after going through dozens of essays to mark, one after another, all those assignments begin to look similar:
Your essay is one of 20 or so I’ve tackled in one sitting this afternoon. They are beginning to blur into one; a profusion of themes and things “to be noted” and endless variations on the phrase “It is interesting that…”.Academics Anonymous
A similar thing can happen on adult dating sites.
Because it is SO EASY to move on to the next profile, we just may put very little effort to actually care for all their details.
Swipe, and here is the next one.
3.2. Are people actually similar?
So why does everyone actually sound the same, you may ask?
Most people like travel. They like good books. Yes, they also like those popular Netflix shows. Many people like photography. And so on.
Indeed, it may seem like most people share similar interests. But what is wrong with that?
I remember when being a little girl, we would spend a lot of time playing outside. That was our main activity, real fun was always outdoors.
So we were all the same in that regard. But there is more. The moment the Dynasty or Beverly Hills 90210 started, there was no one outside.
We were all back home glued to TV. You see, there was no TV on demand back then, so we had to coordinate our playtime around those holly special time slots.
What’s my point? My point is that, based on our behaviour, you could think we were all the same.
And we were, in some respects. But in many others, we were different.
Dating profiles only allow to tell you so much about yourself. There is often so much more to women than you can find on their dating profile.
Plus, bear in mind, women will often feel a bit insecure about sharing their all their little ‘secrets’.
If she likes collecting and restoring old furniture (as I do!) she may not be so keen to share it with everyone upfront.
She may feel more comfortable saying she likes sunny holiday destinations instead. Because she also likes that, who doesn’t!
4. Pictures are deceiving
Time to talk about pictures. Arguably, women don’t look the same in reality as they do on the pictures.
The first thing I will say is this. Yes, there are going to be women on adult dating sites that in reality look NOTHING like on their pictures.
Professional photography involves pre-production (special make up), production (lighting, camera setup) and post-production (Photoshop, retouch).
If a girl only has professional photos, it tells you something.
In my view, however, it does not tell you that online dating is not worth it. Instead, it tells you that before committing to a meeting, you may want to ask for more pictures, or – ideally – for a video chat.
But most girls will either have amateur photos or a combination of professional and amateur pictures.
4.1. It’s no different than in real life
In that case, you may still say that they look different on pictures.
Of course, they do! They selected their best pictures – or so they hope.
But is it so much different in real life? I look different in the morning than I do when shopping. And in a restaurant I look different again.
Think about the most beautiful celebrity. The one you think is really hot. Now google her up and add ‘no make up’. Go on, I will wait.
There are entire lists of stars who are completely unrecognizable without makeup, like Demi Lovato on these photos.
Again, if that’s something you are concerned about, ask for more photos or a video chat!
4.2. But the surprise can work both ways!
The opposite of what I just described is also possible!
When I recall my own experience with online dating, I know I didn’t have the best pictures.
Actually, the pictures I posted were nowhere near as compelling as the ones I have on this website, for example.
And I know I could actually look way better in real life than I did on the pictures, if I only put a bit of effort.
The truth is women look different all the time. That means you will never get to the ‘bottom of the truth’ on this one.
Again, ask her for a video chat. Then meet her up. Meet her up again, in a different time, in a different setting. Then see how she looks in the morning with no make up.
You just might start getting the idea.
5. Enormous competition: what to do?
Yes, men face enormous competition on adult dating sites. There are not only other guys there.
There are also other guys who are too shy to approach a woman in real life. And that’s a lot of guys!
So what do you do?
The first thing I would do is this: Ask yourself, which women are you trying to approach?
Let me guess: the hottest ones?
OK, by now we have established that you are probably not trying to impress the actual hottest girls on the website/app.
You are trying to impress those who look like they are the hottest. They have the best, most tempting photos.
And yes, those girls do receive TONS of messages, and it may be difficult to get through to them, although not impossible (as I write in my Number 1 Rule for Men in Online Dating).
6. My advice on competition to make online dating worth it for you
My advice in that case is this: Approach a wider variety of women. I mean women which, at first sight, fall outside of your ‘strict hotness criteria’.
Why? You know why. As we already established, you don’t really know how a woman looks like.
Message girls who approximate your preferred type. They may not come across as super hot on their photos.
That means, they get fewer guys messaging them.
But they actually may be way more attractive than the ones everyone seems to want!
Don’t believe me? Go to that list of celebrities with no make up again. You get the idea, right?
And I also know it from my own experience. I used to work with the most beautiful girls.
But believe me, they were the most beautiful when on stage. Off stage – a completely different story!
So again, you may get surprised. That girl who seems ‘average’ can spend 20 minutes in her bathroom and come out looking stunning.
That’s just the reality of ‘external’ beauty.
7. She may be better than a porn star, even though she doesn’t look like one
Regardless of everything else I just said, the most surprising thing of all for you may be this:
The girl who you did not consider ‘your type’ at first, may turn out the best thing you ever had – in sex and even in life.
Conversely, remember that mainstream pornography is fake and sex is not real there.
For example, as attested by Gareth May from Metro, sex in porn is actually very boring:
Remember when you were young and you’d read an interview with Kate Moss and she’d be like, ‘It’s hard work. There’s a lot of waiting around. It can be very boring’. Bollocks, right? She’s getting paid uber bucks to stand around looking pretty, how can that be boring? Erm… Because it is. Think about it. A person can only bone for so long (in Kate’s instance, pout) the rest of the time they’re sitting on their hands.Gareth May
What I actually think is even more interesting in that case is this:
But what’s so fascinating about conversing with porn stars is that you soon realise they’re just like everybody else. They’re friendly, interesting, opinionated, and into other things – loads of other things – than their job.Gareth May
You know what that means, right? It means that your ‘average’ girl can be the reverse of that.
She can project, on her dating profile, that she loves travelling, learning French, and listing to whatever music.
But she can also have enormous appetite for sex and be really good at it.
Just like the porn stars. Only she wants to do it with you, for free.
OK, so now you tell me: Is online dating worth it?
I hope I have convinced you that it is. Sure, there are some fair points to raise against online dating.
We could even add to the initial list some other things, like the fact that people may not tell the truth about themselves in their profiles.
Sure, but do they always tell the truth in real life? Some people are just like that.
The more experienced you become, the quicker you will be able to weed out the dishonest ones.
I would love you to tell me in the comments what you think. Do you have other concerns about online dating? What issues are you struggling with?
I will be happy to help out![cp_modal display=”inline” id=”cp_id_c85a1″][/cp_modal]