Online Dating – Is it Worth It?

I haven’t tried online dating and I refuse to, not that there’s anything wrong with it at all. It’s also ironic, because I was thinking of building a online dating site too.  I know many people who have tried online dating, either the free dating services or paid ones and some of them explained to me their experiences.

A few of the most popular ones I hear about are and (which cost money) and Plenty Of Fish and OKCupid, (which are free).  Those who can’t afford much or don’t want to pay tend to do the free services.  I’ve heard mixed results and often times the free ones tend to lead others to try the paid ones.  Sometimes they don’t have much luck on the free sites or they just want to expand their options.

I do notice a trend of sketchy stories more frequent it sounds on the free online dating sites. I don’t know if it’s because there isn’t a strict approval process that people have to go through for paid dating services; if so, that would be an easy opportunity for scammers (and predators) to register without costing them anything.  Predators are supposedly less likely to have the patience to go through any tedious approval process.. they want immediate satisfaction.  Not that all people on the free sites are sketchy at all; my friends are not sketchy.  Also, paid services doesn’t guarantee the creeper wouldn’t have the money or patience to go through the approval process to catch their target.  Basically– it doesn’t matter if it’s paid for free dating service, you have to be safe and use online “street” smarts to weed out the sketchy ones.  Trust your gut and your instincts.

Though there are risks to online dating, but I don’t really see it necessarily as much more of a risk than meeting someone in person.  I know I don’t have much I can say from “lack of experience” since I’ve never tried online dating, and this also makes me almost a hypocrite.  People ask me why I won’t I join a dating site– a small part of the reason I won’t join is fear that I would somehow involuntarily attract the wrong crowd like someone who ends up on America’s Most Wanted or 48 Hours investigates.  But the major reason is that I never tried or feel the need to put any effort into looking. I just have other things going on instead.

The reason why I believe online dating is not more or less riskier is because I know how risky it is to be approached or to approach someone in person who turns out unexpected.  There was this guy who initiated a friendship– I thought he just wanted to be friends with me; eventually it turned into stalking and then when I didn’t reciprocate any feelings, I was sort of physically attacked.   You really don’t know what you’re getting until you get into it whether it’s online or offline.  People can exaggerate either way.  Have you heard about that show Who the bleep Did I Marry?

I’ve heard a few online “horror” stories where people put up profiles and even pictures that aren’t even them.  The picture thing just baffles my mind and I wonder what goes through their mind.  What do they think will happen when they actually meet and someone finds out the profile picture is NOT you?  Yes, I agree that looks don’t matter, but I would think that the other person would be slightly bothered by the deception, wondering Why is did this person hide their true identity?  What else are they hiding?

Sorry, not to scare you at all and not to put any negativity.  Online dating does work. At least two of my friends have successfully found their now marriage partners through online.  One used a paid service, and the others actually used a chat room to communicate (back in the day when chat rooms were booming).  From the sounds of it, as long as both partners are honest and complete with their online profile, there may be more options to choose from, it seems more accessible, can be successful and less awkward.  Less awkward because the both sides are looking in the same “awkward” manner–it’s a mutual understanding.  Plus it sounds like it would more likely work out because everything including the deal breakers are typically up front (occupation, kind of relationship desired, desire to have children or not, etc).

I’ve heard mixed results.  So, have you, yourslf tried online dating?  Which sites do you like or don’t recommend and why?

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