The Pros and Cons of Online Dating
We all want to find our person, but it can be difficult to find them. The solution for many people is online dating. For many online dating applications and websites have become more appealing than being set up on a blind date by friends or family members.
Not everyone is having the same experience with online dating. Some people have an excellent experience that ends in healthy satisfying relationships. Others feel confused, frustrated and a bit lost. Meeting people online has both benefits and drawbacks.
What is online dating?
Although people meet online through applications like Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony the end goal is often to meet in person. Many apps and different matching websites work to connect people online so they can connect face-to-face.
Pros and Cons of Online Dating
Pro: Online dating allows people to access more potential partners then they could find in their daily lives in social circles. Online dating can give people access to partners that have a particular lifestyle, live in a certain area, or identify with a specific orientation. Different dating applications allow one to screen for certain characteristics that people find appealing like similar interests. It’s important to know what one is looking for and this aligns with having a successful and healthy relationship.
Cons: Too many partner options can be overwhelming and confusing. Some people get a bit addicted to the next date as they shop for the perfect partner which can stop them from slowing down and actually forming a satisfying relationship. It has never been so easy to get a date which can make it hard for people to settle especially when someone is not clear on what they are looking for.
Pro: Good communication is the foundation of healthy relationships. Having access to potential partners before going on a date can help you assess their ability to communicate. Although talking through a screen is less stimulating than talking face-to-face you can often get a good sense of who they are before having to meet. It’s important to know good questions to ask to assess if they are going to get along with them and avoid wasting your time.
Cons: It can be difficult to communicate through text messages as they can be easily misinterpreted between people. Also, there can be an abrupt ending in communication that can feel like a rejection when one is “ghosted” meaning they disappear or stops responding to you. This can feel hurtful and emotional even if you have not met the person. It is important to know how to reframe rejection and ghosting in a way that does not affect one’s sense of worth. Some people may also lie on their profile using different photos, this is known as catfishing which if caught in can be a painful experience.
Pro: Online dating can provide one with differences of experience which can help one develop greater self-awareness so one knows what they want and what they don’t want. Through meeting different people, you can gain access to parts of yourself that might need healing like unhealthy patterns, attachment wounds, limiting beliefs about one's self and the world. It can be a great opportunity to develop greater self-compassion, boundaries and communication.
Con: Although you will gain a lot of experience in online dating this can be a painful and confusing one. Navigating feeling of rejection, loneliness, and playing out possible unhealthy patterns can lead one to feel anxious and depressed.
Seeking Support With Online Dating
Having a therapist support you in navigating the online dating world can be what turns the experience into one of growth, development and love rather than pain, rejection and loneliness. You may already feel frustrated with the process or you may just be considering entering the dating world a therapist can help you discover and heal any unhealthy patterns that might lead you into yet again another unhealthy relationship.