Can Online Dating Replace Real Life Dating? (Not Yet)

Happy couple

Online dating is nothing new. You used to have to pay to join a site and upload your details. An algorithm would try to match you with your perfect partner.

Now free dating websites are the norm catering to people with all kinds of preferences.

Swiping to like a picture means rejection or acceptance can occur in a millisecond. Without the person even knowing about it.

Online dating works well for some and relationships have formed and lasted. But how do they compare and will they ever compete with dating in real life?

Online dating compared to real life

Online dating has many benefits. These apps have been well designed to connect you with someone special. But only a physical connection can help you decide if you’ve found the one. That’s what you get from real life dating.

The benefits of online dating

With online dating you can “meet” so many more prospective partners than in real life. We first go on how someone looks and we can consider hundreds of people within minutes.

These partners, you could match yourself with, can be studied and scrutinized 24 hours a day. You could have a stream of potential connections waiting for you.

You’re able to pick out the people you like the look of. You have the ability to match your personality with these online profiles. You can find out what they like to do and their hobbies.

Once you’ve found an appealing profile you can email, message and text them to your hearts content. These apps are a fantastic way to get to know someone in a fast and easy way before you meet in real life.

That’s why they’re so convenient, all this can be done with many people at once in a very short amount of time. It’s like a boyfriend factory and you’re just narrowing down your selection.

Real life dating just can’t compete with this, it’s almost a waste of time. Speed dating was real life’s attempt at online dating and even that wasn’t quick enough.

People date online then meet in real life

After you like their profile, you like their hobbies and what they do. You message back and forth, you may have spoken on the phone. Then you arrange to meet.

It’s a natural progression. You’ll always want to see if the connection is there when you meet. It’s what used to happen first in real life dating.

Only then can you see how a person carries them self, if they have confidence and charisma. It’s easy to lie online and real life is when the truth comes out.

It’s a lot safer to date online. Offline you would meet in a crowded place and go for a coffee or the like. Then plan an easy walk away if you end up not being a match.

Real life is where you’ll discover how they look when they’re not being photographed in the best light. Everyone and everything is laid bare for all to see.

It’s a necessary step as we can’t date someone online forever, at least not in theory. Real life may be the most nervous part but also the most exciting. It can go really well or really badly.

Differences between online dating and real life dating

One of the main differences is that you’ll come into contact with people you might never have met in real life. You’re not limited by the physical places you can go.

Online you can’t tell if someone is lying. In real life there are tell-tale signs we can all pick up. People are far less likely to be untruthful to your face, its human nature.

There may be quirks or other mannerisms you like or dislike. Little things could make or break a date in real life you have no idea about online.

But online there is no backup or second opinion. In real life, a friend can introduce you or meet a potential partner. You get an early thought from someone you care about and who has your back.

Online dating is a lot better if you’re introverted. If you’re not good at meeting new people or you only get comfortable when you get to know someone. Then online dating is for you.

Happy couple

You never know who’s behind the online dating profile

Sometimes it could be a totally different person than who you see in their pictures. They try to get you to meet with them and hope you’ll stay despite not looking like their profile.

The person may already be attached and looking for a fling. They may have a strange real life history you may not know about. Seeing them in real life you’ll be able to tell if someone doesn’t seem right.

Some profiles are made to prey on the vulnerable and lonely. They claim to be looking for companionship and love. Sometimes these people don’t want to meet in real life and make demands for money.

Look for links to other social networks so you can build up a history of the person you’re considering. Look for genuine photos that show a variety of images not just one.

I have heard 10% of online profiles are thought to be fake. I think it’s probably higher. It’s a great way to show just how apprehensive you should be if you’re asked to meet up quickly or money is wanted.

Online dating can be addictive

Like anything in life we do, if we continue to do it to the point it affects our lives, it can become an addiction. Online dating can give you a certain validation and acceptance that can make us feel good.

When we keep going after a positive feeling to the detriment of other aspects of our lives then it can be a problem. One sign is you’re spending far too much time on these apps.

If you’re aware they take up all your time and you even feel guilty, that’s not good. As is if your mood changes when your access is prevented in some way.

It’s difficult to know when you’re just enjoying something and when it has gone over the line. This is when you should speak to a professional if you feel your use is out of control.

Some of us have a susceptible personality that makes us more likely to overdo things. It can creep up on you slowly so it’s something to think about, especially if someone else notices.

So can online dating ever replace real life?

Movies will have us believe the future is digital and our every impulse will be satisfied online. A lot of dating already happens online and this may increase in the future.

When you think of the very purpose we date in the first place though. We can see that online dating will never replace the human connection we need to find a long term partner.

Even if you’re dating to have a fling or affair. You’ll have to meet sooner or later to check your compatibility. While online dating may be fun, it’s just an introduction to someone really.

Ultimately, the human race and evolution would stop tomorrow if everything went online. To reproduce we can only get so far before we have to meet and choose a partner.

Nothing can replace the fun and excitement of meeting someone in person. Getting to know them deeply and personally is still something that can only be done in real life.

One thing you just don’t get online with whoever you meet, is intimacy. This is one of the most amazing things we can share with someone and it can never be replicated online.

The future for online dating

Currently dating apps and sites serve as a search engine for prospective partners. They’re able to refine your search for characteristics you find attractive.

Other than these apps and looking at profiles. There are algorithms at play on many sites. These make connecting with different people easier and easier.

More advanced computer systems are able to recognize words and pictures. Certain people will find these appealing. Major investment has gone into this technology.

Any dating site that can successfully match people would be sitting on a gold mine. At the moment they struggle, all they can do is guess.

They do a very good job of guessing and successful relationships do happen. That is why these sites exist in the first place. They work for some, but the technology behind it is still in its infancy.

Final thoughts

Online dating can only do so much, for a relationship to progress you will always need to meet in real life. That’s a fact that shows no sign of changing anytime soon.

While there are risks with online dating. With care and rational thinking, any problems can be avoided. Then you can take advantage of what a great service these apps can provide.

With so many different people looking for relationships at your fingertips. It would be a shame not to take advantage of something that could make a real difference in your life.

Real life dating is here to stay and we should be happy about that. Nothing beats the human touch and connection. The way a partner looks at you when they see you, the physical flirting.

Real life is becoming more and more underrated as we stare at our phones for hours a day. But true interaction is a wonderful thing and will always be around. Whatever technological advances may occur.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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