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Sunny is a contributing writer at The Hudsucker. Born and raised in Atlanta, she graduated with a degree in Journalism, concentrating in Public Relations, from Georgia State University in 2009. Sunny now lives in Midtown and works as a Digital Media Specialist in the Greater Atlanta Area. Being a passionate lover of good food, art of all kinds, friendly people and home-brewed Southern sweet tea, Sunny couldn't imagine a better place to call home. Follow Sunny on Twitter @SociallySunny.

The Quarter-Life Crisis: Online Dating

Source: WordPress

Source: All Women Stalk

Online dating, like most things, has evolved greatly these last few years. Well, I guess it hasn’t evolved, but rather our attitudes as a society towards the idea of it has.

As little as three years ago, admitting to being on a dating website wasn’t a popular choice. People would act as though you just told them you have social leprosy and judge you. I think even now that social stigma stands a little bit, but it’s on its way out.

Quite honestly, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t one of those judgmental people. To me, and my generation, true love was sold as an entirely different package. You were supposed to fall in love with a stranger you met on the subway, through a friend or at the coffee shop. The exchange of nervous but flirtatious glances, the fragile construction of just the right things to say, the inevitable mental beating yourself up for saying something seemingly stupid…that was how love was supposed to be. Love was never supposed to be shuffling through hundreds of pages filled with hard data about people you’ve never met or seen before. Love was supposed to be personal.

But many things aren’t how they used to be anymore. Technology has taken over almost every aspect of our lives. Want to find the best steak in town? Google it. And in a few taps, you even have a reservation. Want a new job? Fire off your resume to several companies in just a few clicks.  Want to see what your high school ex is up to? Hello, Facebook.

So in a day and age where we turn to the internet for everything else, why wouldn’t we eventually turn to it to find our soul mate? After all, it isn’t as easy to make eye contact with strangers or meet people organically now because we are all constantly tuned in, blinders on, to our tablets, laptops and smart phones. Can you remember a time waiting in a long line at the Starbucks counter and instead of pulling out your iPhone, you actually looked around or talked to the person next to you? Me, neither.

And though online dating may feel like “shopping” for a date, it does expose you to a lot more people that you wouldn’t otherwise meet. You could meet someone amazing from out of state, that you may  have never otherwise crossed paths with.

However, if you do decide to give the world of internet dating a try, keep some tips in mind.

Be Honest

If you’re going to actually try to meet someone worthwhile, approach the entire experience with complete honesty. Don’t say that you like working out when you haven’t been to the gym in over a year or that you’re looking for something casual when you’re seeking a relationship. Don’t spend time talking to someone that you aren’t genuinely interested in. Be honest with yourself and what you want.

Be Picky

It’s the plus side to internet dating. You literally have a nationwide search at your fingertips. Be picky! Quality over quantity is the way to go in the search for love.

Watch For Red Flags

There are a lot of people on internet dating that are there with good intentions of meeting someone for the long haul. However, there are also a few bad apples in every batch. Keep an eye out for the odd, erratic online behavior (like messaging you every hour on the hour and getting irate over your lack of reply) or overly sexualized comments. Nothing good comes from these.

Be Particular About Giving Out Information

It’s easy to over-share on the internet, but always stay mindful of how easy it is to find out more information about anyone these days. Share carefully. Don’t give out your address for a first date or your place of work. If you think you’ll want to exchange numbers with people, consider setting up a Google Voice account.

First Dates

Needless to say, it’s better to meet someone at a public place than to have them come pick you up at your house. Consider telling a friend where you’re going and when you’re going to be gone. That’s good for safety, as well as a way to bail out of a boring, terribly awkward date.

Don’t Go In With Any Expectations

Every first date isn’t going to end up in a happily ever after. Don’t go into that first date expecting Prince Charming. Go in expecting to meet someone new…that’s it. This person could end up being Prince Charming, a new friend or someone you never see again.

And lastly…

Have Fun

Internet dating is definitely gaining popularity. And why shouldn’t it? Though “unconventional” and different, it’s a decent way to cut out a lot of the guesswork. Typically, those that sign up for internet dating are there for the same reason: they want to meet someone special.

So, get out there! Expand your horizons in real life and virtually.

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2 Comments on “The Quarter-Life Crisis: Online Dating”

  1. kleeellis February 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Great advice! :)

  2. Glenn.A February 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    Excellent post! One thing you can also mention is to have a separate mobile phone with a different Sim card to use to give out once you decide to date someone. This tactic helped me feel more secure because its not my own personal number.

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