Nowadays, it is pretty easy to find love online. Gone are the old days when romanticizing with a person online was considered taboo. With the help of various dating apps and sites, you can easily find love online. However, opening yourself to love online is often accompanied by various serious risks. Therefore, the question is – does online love work?
The search for online love tends to stir up a lot of anxiety and tensions. In this article, we will talk about what online love is. And can you fall in love after dating online?
What Research Has to Say About Love Online and Dating Sites and Apps?
Is online relationship real? Based on research and observation, it has been found that online love dating is on the rise. Compared to 11% in 2013, almost 30% of Americans use dating apps and sites. Out of these, 12% have been in a committed relationship or married to someone they have met online – a significant increase from the 3% in 2013.
From this, we can say that online dating platforms have become a practical way for people to date. More than 60% of people worldwide have positively experienced what online dating apps and sites have to offer. They are successful in forging romantic relationships with online partners, whether they are casual relationships or serious ones. Overall, most people can easily find compatible partners based on whether they share interests/hobbies or find them attractive.
However, the research has also found quite an alarming number of negative consequences of online dating, particularly for young women. According to studies, nearly 60% of women between 18-34 years say that someone on the dating site or app kept contacting them, even after saying that they were not interested. Additionally, nearly the same number of women have reported being sent unsolicited sexually explicit messages and pictures.
According to experts, it is said that such negative aspects of online dating could be because there is a lack of ‘shared community.’ For online dating, the point of dating feels simply like meeting a stranger online and having to establish something meaningful with minimum real-world experience to hold on to. The absence of a shared community makes it easy for people to be inconsiderate without dealing with the consequences to your comfort and reputation in your community.
Things to Consider If You Want to Find Love Online
Here are some factors that you need to remember if you want to find love online:
1. You Will Have To Talk To Various People Before Meeting The One
Of course, this may never be the scenario in some cases. However, you will have to be incredibly lucky for something like this to happen. However, you need to prepare for the fact that it will take a lot of effort. This is the first step of learning how to love someone online.
You will see many people on these dating apps and sites. Therefore, it can be pretty overwhelming or challenging to find the people with whom you want to talk with. Here, you will mostly talk to people based on looks. After talking to many people, you will filter down the members with whom you think you can form a romantic relationship.
2. If Both Feel That You Should Meet, It Means You Are Winning
We may know of some people who have met online and gone on to get married and have children. Of course, this is the most definitive probability. You can potentially meet your soulmate online. While it may not be the most spontaneous or romantic way to understand where to find love online, it does not mean that the relationship is not special. Overall, it means that if you want that person and so does he/she, you have won in forging an online relationship.
3. A Relationship Over the Internet Means You Will Never Meet Them in Real Life
Even with the best dating sites and apps, you need to consider that most of the relationships start and finish over the internet. Of course, it does not mean that people are not putting effort into visiting and meeting one another. Many factors can prevent you from meeting your potential online date in real life, like distance, finance, etc.
If you have been talking to someone for months only on the dating site or app without meeting up, you should be aware that you probably will never meet. Many people’s relationship only exists online, which can be very unhealthy since you will can yourself from the outside world and may even break your relationships with other people. This is important online love advice that you should remember.
4. Things Move Quite Fast Online
When you discuss finding someone on online dating sites and apps, it may feel natural that things are moving quite fast and tend to be more intense. You can possibly develop feelings for a person much quicker than you would if you met them online.
This happens because there is no trying to figure out whether a person is single or interested in you, a scenario existing in real-life dating. Both people know that they are single, interested in one another, and looking for romance. Hence, conversations can get serious quickly, and you learn about one another quickly to determine whether you’re a good match so that you don’t end up wasting each other’s time.
5. You May Fall for Someone Living Far Away
One of the essential advantages of online dating is that you can meet and potentially date people with whom you would not have the chance to meet. You will always likely meet someone who lives far off from your location unless you use a local dating site/app or set a minimal proximity radius.
If you meet someone who lives far away, you need to prepare for the possibility of entering into a long-distance relationship or online love marriage. Additionally, if you plan on visiting, you will have to consider factors like travel cost, stay, etc. Therefore, always think about it before you start developing feelings for a person who lives miles away.
So, the question comes back to this – can online love be true? Of course, a healthy relationship is possible, whether you are meeting someone in real life or through a dating site/app. However, these two methods differ for several reasons. Yes, there are many positive aspects of meeting people in real life. You meet organically because there is already something in common, like hobbies and friends. This helps the couple find more opportunities to connect authentically.
However, this does not mean that you will find an online love problem in the other case. Since most people on dating sites and apps are single and available, you have many opportunities to market yourself and find a good match. Engaging in social events can help you meet new people. However, the pool of single people and looking for a relationship is much smaller than those of dating sites and apps. No matter what you are looking for, there is always something or the other for everyone in online dating, and you may find love online.
Author’s Bio: Margaret Cole is a psychologist who lives in Boston. She traveled around the world for a year after graduating and now lives with her husband in one of the most interesting cities in the world. Margaret met her significant other online and is currently doing her Ph.D. on the psychology behind distant relationships.