Let’s just get one thing out of the way: Everything has its pros and cons, online dating included. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s all rainbows and unicorns with dating apps because everything has its challenges.
Now that we’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to business…What will work best for you? An alternative for those who can afford it is going down the matchmaking route which might work for you.
But it’s not for everyone. Instead, if you are interested in meeting eligible singles to date, you might consider online dating or getting into a hobby (e.g. running or volunteering a bit difficult during the lockdown I know!).
Nothing (and no one!) is perfect so when you make a decision on how to move forward with your love life you’re going to need to consider both sides – the pros & the cons. Today I’m going to walk you through them so you can make a well-informed decision.
Online Dating – Pros
Almost all singles use online dating and so I think the biggest pro is the safety in numbers. Online dating used to have a stigma until it reached a critical mass (around the time Tinder blew up the scene). Now there’s no perceived shame using dating websites or apps because everyone is doing it.
Most dating apps use a freemium business model so you can get access to a database of singles for no cost. You can pay for an additional array of tools if you so please but that’s not necessary.
You can swipe anywhere – be it on a toilet break at work, watching TV in bed or waiting for dinner to be served when you’re visiting your folks. As long as you have a signal, you’re good to go.
Online Dating – Cons
Technically it’s free but the hours you put into the scrolling, swiping, chatting, and planning sucks hours out of your day. Think about how much your time is worth and how many hours you’ve invested in random women/men you’ve never actually met and there you have the true cost.
Swiping and chatting can be emotionally draining when it’s a constant barrage of “Hey,” “WYD”, and ghosts.
Dating requires being vulnerable and open but at the same time dating scammers, catfishing, and predators require caution because not all dating apps and sites verify photos and identity. This is a tough balance to strike.
You are more than just a profile photo. The people you are swiping on are more than just a profile photo. With the gamification of dating apps people have become commodities.
Hobbies– Pros The first one is quite obvious: It’s going to be fun!
Killing two birds with one stone – you’re going to do something you enjoy and possibly make a romantic connection with someone. That’s efficiency!
You get to meet the person in real life (IRL). Unlike dating apps that reduce each living & breathing human to a two-dimensional photo (and let’s be honest, most photos suck), IRL you get a very good taste of what the person is like. You can figure out if there’s chemistry almost immediately (though sometimes chemistry takes some time to build).
You know you’ll at least have one thing in common and that will help you bond.
You need to choose the hobby based on the chances of meeting your type of Significant Other (SO) so the actual enjoyment this hobby brings is less important than the people it introduces you to. If you’re a woman who wants to meet a man you can’t go to cross-stitching or flamenco classes because the likelihood of meeting a guy there is slim. You must join a hobby that attracts the type (and gender) of person you want. If you choose the wrong hobby, you’ll be wasting your time.
Some people like to say showing up is 80% of success but that’s not the case when it comes to dating. Just showing up to a class does not mean you’ve achieved your goal. You need talk to the eligible singles and make a connection (by flirting and meaningful conversation). That can be hard for a lot of us but it’s a vital part of the process.
Matchmaking – Pros
You’re outsourcing the search so you have time and energy to dedicate to other things.
You get your own private Agony Aunt with whom you can vent and discuss challenges and issues (and also celebrate all successes of course). Mai Tai’s Dating service is more of a hybrid between online dating and Matchmaking which makes us more popular with single professionals.
The coaching and introspective exercises ensure you are set up for success. For example, if you don’t have the confidence to flirt, your matchmaker will help you bring your A-game.
Dating can be emotionally draining and can disappoint and disillusion people to the extent they stop pursuing their goal. A matchmaker helps reduce the disappointment by introducing you to the right people and will keep you on track and work hard to keep you energetic and enthusiastic about the process.
Matchmaking – Cons It’s a luxury service and as such can be expensive. Because matchmaking is a bespoke service, it can be slowwwww when it comes to introducing you to potential matches.
Matchmakers have been around for thousands of years but it’s a luxury service that can’t be accessed by the masses. Matchmaking hasn’t been accepted the way dating apps and websites have and some would-be-users of matchmaking decide not to go that route because they feel ashamed or embarrassed about the idea.
What Should You Do?
If falling in love is important to you and you have the bandwidth for the pursuit, then it doesn’t matter what you do – just do something.
The one thing I don’t want you to do is nothing. OK? Don’t sit back, relax, and let destiny take the wheel. Sure, maybe you’ll meet your future SO at the supermarket, bar or office. If it’s happened for others it could very well happen to you…
But if being in a relationship is a priority, I suggest you not leave it to chance. Take a more proactive approach to your love life and consider the above methods (or other alternatives) to increase your pool of eligible singles and your chances of interacting meaningfully with them.