“Question for you….. Sarah* and I have been thinking about the whole “online dating” thing. I read on your blog that you’ve tried this out before… what is your opinion of it? Good experience or bad experience? Or.. is it worth it?”

This is part of a private message I received over Facebook. On top of responding this friend, I’ve also decided to address the questions here (on my blog) for two reasons:
1. It’s been a while since I’ve written about online dating
2. It’s always good to share your life experiences; you never know who will learn from them.

“What is your opinion of it (online dating)?”

I, actually, think it can be a good thing. I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have any prospects within your social circle. Today’s society sees nothing wrong with it (although, there is a lot of embarrassment to be had if you are caught on a date with an online guy or gal; more on that later).
You know, within our culture, we are encouraged to be “friends” with the opposite sex. And even though I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that, from a girls point of view, it can cause at least one serious problem for women if there are no clear boundaries set within your friendship.

Problem #1: Girls over-think and over-analyze everything. Guys, if you smile at a girl and she is slightly interested, most likely she’s going to spend all night wondering thinking about that “special” smile. She will begin to wonder when you will ask her out. It gets even more complicated after that.

I’m sure there are other problems, but that’s the only one I can think of.

That being said, another reason I recommend online dating is that you are both very clearly looking for a date. There is nothing to misunderstand!

“Good experience or bad experience?”

Of course, there are always good and bad experiences with everything in life. But from my experience, online dating has been mostly good. You will “meet” good and weird/bad guys (or girls), and your choice of dating sites will also determine what kind of “matches” you receive.

One good personal story: I started communicating with a guy from FL. He loves the Lord, loves his family (the two biggest factors when I consider a guy) and he is good looking. We emailed over the dating site for a couple weeks and after that time, I realized that we made great friends, but I didn’t see it going any further. I responded to his message first and then told exactly what I said above. He replied and agreed with me. We are now friends on fb. I think we’ll continue to be friends for a good while.

One bad personal story (besides Mr. Fail. lol): Had a guy contact me and we started emailing back and forth. This was within the first two weeks of being on an online dating site so I wasn’t really sure what to do when he said he loved me and wanted to know what he had to do to make me love him in return. Yeah, that *really* freaked me out.

“Or.. is it worth it?”

Well, considering that you have to put money out to join most sites, I don’t know. Has it been worth my time and money, at this point, only time will tell (since at this moment I’m “becoming friends” with a guy; whatever that means).
The other side of the “is it worth it” question is that there is an ocean of men/women very clearly looking for potential life partners. So if you don’t have any prospects within your social circle, then yes, I think it’s worth it.

Coming up next, tips on which dating sites are the best, dos and don’ts, what to do if you are on a date with an online man/woman and you run into a friend, etc.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t think joining an online dating site means you are desperate. Tons of people see it that way and that is the wrong way to view it. It’s just another way the internet is bringing people together.

Think of it as an online version of the Bachelor. 🙂

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.