This is one of the lamest and most overused reasons as to why dating is kinda shit these days. Can we come up with a new take, please!?
“It’s online dating! That’s the problem.”
No. Just No.
These arguments are so weak they’re as sturdy as a chocolate teapot in the Nevadan desert.
A new money-making scam called “Pear Rings” has entered the chat. They’ve created a ring that identifies singles at single events.
Pear ring. This $25 turquoise ring is pitched as “the world’s biggest social experiment,” This little beauty’s purpose is to advertise to the world that you’re single, ready to mingle, and open for some real-life chit-chat. Slap it on your finger and head to your favorite hangouts — coffee shops, bars, maybe even a yoga retreat — and watch the magic happen.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You’re already seeing holes, right?
This ring is supposed to say, “Hey there, I’m single, and I’m willing to put down my phone and have an actual conversation.” The first batch of these conversation starters flew off the shelves, and round two is also going fast, according to their website. They boast of millions of users around the globe, but the exact figures are shrouded in as much mystery as your next blind date. Ha ha, of course, they don’t have exact figures.
Did I mention that Pear isn’t just a ring but an exclusive club as well? Pay the one-time fee of $25, and not only do you get the ring in three different sizes (to fit every mood and outfit), but you also score an invitation to the world’s largest singles fest — PearFest. Sounds intriguing, right? They’re pretty tight-lipped about what this festival entails (cause it probably won’t entail much), but I’m picturing a giant party with millions of turquoise rings glinting under disco balls. With 80% men and 20% women, I.E it’s a sausage fest like most other singles events. Who knows how many of the people who attend the event are actually single?
The marketing push is that same old argument of online dating being horrible. Meeting IRL allegedly allows you to dodge ghosts, scammers, and a sea of people who just don’t spark your interest. Pear is supposedly to be the perfect antidote to the infamous modern dating app.
But there are holes, much like every other new business model that boasts, “we’re so much better than online dating” Look at some opinions of women;
- Safety risks: involved in advertising their single status to the world. After all, there might be some chaps out there who don’t understand the concept of boundaries and assume she’s up for a singles chat whenever just cause she has the ring on. But like any other dating venture, safety should always be top of mind.
- Misinterpretation of Intent: While the idea of a ring as an invitation to conversation might seem innovative, it’s possible that its purpose could be misunderstood. Some people may see the ring and not recognize its intended message, making it less effective.
- Invasion of Privacy: Wearing a ring that openly advertises one’s relationship status can feel too exposing for some individuals. They might feel uncomfortable with the idea of publicly broadcasting their single status, potentially inviting unwanted attention or encounters.
- Risk of Unwanted Attention: Linked to the above point, wearing such a conspicuous signal could potentially attract people with ill intentions. It could serve as an invitation for unwanted advances, making the wearer feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
- Lack of Widespread Adoption: The success of the Pear ring heavily relies on its mass adoption. If only a small fraction of single people decide to wear the ring, the odds of two ring wearers randomly encountering each other in a public place are quite low. Thus, its effectiveness is directly dependent on the ring’s popularity.
Because online dating isn’t the issue, people have always lied, cheated, scammed, and misled. These are not new phenomena. A douchebag online is a douchebag IRL.
People Are People.
Online dating is an industry worth billions of dollars; whether you’re swiping right on a dating app or meeting someone in person, the premise is the same: to find a romantic connection, hook up, or just make new friends (yeah, people are still using that line). The question that sparks debate is, do the end results of online dating and traditional face-to-face dating differ? Based on empirical evidence and various studies, it appears that the results are the exact same. I’ve been saying this forever.
Cause people are people. No matter where you meet them, a person’s soul will always remain the same.
Both forms of dating strive to accomplish a common objective — building a relationship, meeting someone, and getting a connection going. But the fundamental principles that guide successful relationships — trust, communication, compatibility — apply universally, regardless of how the initial interaction took place; not everyone can communicate well, can trust or be trusted, and not everyone is compatible. The digital format may appear dissimilar from traditional dating at a superficial level, but beneath that, the ultimate goal remains consistent: to find a partner with whom one can share a meaningful relationship.
Various Ships, Same Port, my brothers. Picture the quest for a meaningful relationship as a voyage across the sea. One person might opt for a modern, speedier cruise ship (online dating), while another might choose a classic sailboat (traditional dating). Each vessel has its advantages, but ultimately, they’re both aiming for the same port — a meaningful, enduring relationship. The successful journey depends less on the type of ship and more on the navigation skills, representing the fundamental principles of trust, communication, and compatibility.
It’s that simple, people say there are too many options, but keeping it real, most of your grandparents and parents settled cause there were not that many options to begin with. They settled with what they thought was the best, and they made it work.
People hate new ways of thinking, and they hate change.
In the early ’90s, the rise of online dating was initially met with skepticism, people would make fun of those who used it, and they would often be labeled as social pariahs and creepy lonely singles who were more comfortable being Dungeons and Dragons players.
Men and women who stayed inside all day that were shunned by the conventional singleton masses. Critics often posited that it was an impersonal way of connecting and that it could not possibly lead to substantial relationships.
But as time passed and more people engaged with the process, a transformation in perception occurred, then online dating changed to online dating apps, and things really started to heat up. Today, one in three marriages in the U.S. begins online, showing that this method can indeed lead to long-term commitment. You read that right 1 in 3. That’s so cool.
So what’s the biggest difference?
The main difference between the two dating styles is the path to reach the end goal. With face-to-face dating, people usually meet through social circles, events, or mutual connections. This method, often dubbed the “organic” approach, has its merits. It allows for immediate chemistry assessment and in-person evaluation of characteristics like body language and physical attraction.
But this isn’t as easy and whimsical as people make it out to be. Sure the direct, face-to-face gives immediate chemistry assessment, it does come with a fair share of challenges that might make digital dating an attractive alternative for some. It’s kinda like choosing a line at the supermarket. You might think you’re in the fastest lane, only to watch in frustrating dread as the ‘express’ line next to you blazes ahead while you’re stuck behind the grandma who’s haggling coupons and now she can’t find her wallet. While in-person dating allows for immediate chemistry assessment, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be ‘stuck in line’ dealing with awkward conversations, misunderstandings, or outright mismatches.
The first challenge is the limited scope and network; you only meet so many other people who are single and available face-to-face consistently. When we rely on social circles, events, or mutual connections to meet potential partners, our options are inherently limited to the individuals our friends already know. The statistical likely hood of this even happening diminishes year after year. Robert D. Putnam’s seminal work, “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community,” sheds light on the dwindling of social connections and communal activities, arguing that American citizens participate less in societal forms of group activities, including the domain of dating.
This limits the variety and diversity of potential partners, which might not be ideal for those seeking a particular type of person. It seems people’s laundry lists of wants are only getting higher, which means this way of meeting people becomes increasingly limiting.
Secondly, face-to-face dating often places a high emphasis on immediate physical attraction. Physical attraction is undoubtedly important, it can often overlook other crucial aspects of compatibility, such as shared interests, values, or long-term goals.
Thirdly, the immediate chemistry evaluation that is often lauded in face-to-face dating can also be a double-edged sword. Yes, it allows for immediate assessment of compatibility, but it can also enable a quick judgment of someone you barely know, potentially leading to hasty decisions based on very surface-level interactions.
Face-to-face dating might not be the best option for introverted or shy individuals. The pressure and anxiety of approaching someone in person can be pretty daunting, as most men know. We can’t all be Don Juan charming women left right and center.
But Online Dating is Trash, Right?
Indeed, if you’re a man, the numbers are never in your favor.
First, let’s get all these horror stories out there so you know what I’ve heard, and you most likely have or unfortunately been a part of, and we’ll go from there.
First, let’s get all these horror stories out there so you know what I’ve heard and you most likely have or unfortunately been a part of, and we’ll go from there.
- 42% of Tinder users aren’t single
- People use dating apps to Monkey Branch
- 30% of Tinder members are married
- There are controlling people on dating apps.
- There are so many narcissists online
- 19% lie about their age on dating apps
- It’s risky to date someone you don’t know
- There will always be significant gender disparity when it comes to the importance of physical attractiveness on dating apps
- Most people on there are dating multiple people at once
- People jump on and off dating apps and are serial daters
- Only leftover and broken people are left online
- 60% misrepresent their weight on dating apps
- 10% of online dating profiles are fake
- Most people use dating apps just to hook up
- 81% of people lie about themselves on their online dating profiles
Despite this, online dating still offers a vast pool of potential partners right at your fingertips. It provides access to an array of individuals, thereby increasing the chance of meeting someone compatible the more people, the more opportunities, simple math. With online dating, a preliminary screening process via profiles, conversations, and chit-chat helps identify fundamental compatibility before any face-to-face meeting even occurs.
Multiple studies support this argument. A study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication found that relationships started online were just as successful as those started offline. Another study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that marriages initiated online were slightly happier and less likely to end in divorce than those started offline. Holy shit! Crazy right!?
I keep telling everyone to stop romanticizing offline relationships in comparison to online ones cause they’re not substantially different in terms of quality. The key determinant of a successful relationship is not the medium through which it was initiated but the individuals involved and how they cultivate their relationship over time. Once you realize this you’ll start focusing on the right things and not “what medium you meet someone”.
The success of a relationship will never be guaranteed by meeting someone at a party or swiping right on an app. The critical factor is the mutual connection between two individuals and their willingness to work on their relationship. While it’s true that the initial connection might feel different depending on whether it’s made online or offline, the steps that follow are not drastically different. I get it; a lot of you want that romantic chance encounter, just like in the movies. But it does nothing to affect the eventual outcome.
Online or offline, you still need to get to know the person, discover common interests, assess compatibility, and invest time in nurturing the relationship. Even with the technological veneer of online dating, the fundamental principles of relationship building remain unchanged and will always be so. The basics of building and forming a connection will always matter. Building attraction, trust, humor, and seduction will be the ways your dating success is manifest, not how you meet them.
Online dating, despite its contemporary guise, is not a new form of dating but merely an extension of the traditional dating landscape that really hasn’t changed that much in the past 40 years. It’s another channel to meet potential partners, and it doesn’t change the basic requirements for a successful relationship.
While the debate between online dating and face-to-face encounters continues (oddly enough), the end result is the same. Both paths can lead to fulfilling relationships when navigated with sincerity and commitment. The crux lies in the connection two individuals share and their collective effort to nurture that bond, irrespective of how the connection was first established. That’s why I encourage men to dabble in both. Just like you should diversify your investments, you should diversify how you meet great women! In the world of investing: you don’t put all your money into one stock and hope it skyrockets, Jesus, that sounds like a recipe to go broke. No, you diversify your portfolio.
You branch out into different sectors, spreading your investment across bonds, equities, real estate, and even some commodities. And why do you do that? Because it mitigates risks and provides multiple avenues for growth. Just as in the financial market, love also works best with a diverse portfolio. This diversification involves employing both online and face-to-face approaches, going out to events, bars, social circle meetups, and everywhere there are people. By casting a wider net, you give yourself a broader spectrum of opportunities to meet amazing women and add a different sense of duality to how you interact with women. It’s not just about multiplying the number of people you could potentially connect with; it’s also about enhancing the quality of those connections.
The process of building a successful relationship can be a challenging journey, no matter how it begins. Issues like miscommunication, unrealistic expectations, or compatibility problems are not exclusive to either online or offline dating. Just cause you met someone at a mutual friend’s house party it doesn’t mean your relationship is better off than your friend who met someone off of Bumble. They are universal issues that can occur in any relationship. These challenges must be navigated and overcome regardless of how you met your partner.
The focus should be on the relationship’s quality, not the means through which it was initiated.
Each method will always have its set of challenges and benefits. Online dating can be daunting, with the paradox of choice and potential for misrepresentation always looming. Traditional dating, on the other hand, might take longer and may be limited by geographical boundaries and social circles. But ultimately, these are part and parcel of the dating process, irrespective of the platform.
So long as you remember that online dating and face-to-face dating are two sides of the same coin, you’ll learn how to allow both of them to work to your advantage. They may present different interfaces and experiences, but both have the same ultimate goal:
To establish meaningful, lasting relationships!
The journey might vary, but the destination remains the same.
The tools we use to find love have evolved, but the core principles guiding successful relationships remain unchanged, undefeated, and beneficial for all. It’s not about where or how you meet but who you meet and what you build together. Regardless of the method, the outcome of dating — a meaningful connection, companionship, and love — can indeed be the same.
Both online and offline dating are valid in their own right, neither being superior nor inferior to the other. They are simply different avenues leading to the same destination. So, whether you choose to swipe right or meet someone at a coffee shop, remember that the ultimate goal is to find a meaningful connection that lasts.
Remain open, authentic, and committed to the journey of finding love. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how you meet but about the effort you put into understanding, cherishing, and growing with your partner that determines the success of a relationship. In the grand scheme of things, online dating or face-to-face, the results are indeed the exact same.
Like most things, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what works best for each individual in their quest for love.
If you want to learn more about this, feel free to grab a copy of my book, all about dating. If not, find a book that works for you and helps you grow in the way you were always meant to.
Thanks for reading.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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