Online dating isn’t for everyone. There are numerous different ways we can qualify that statement, ranging from people being introverted or viewing oneself as a traditionalist, or to simply holding a belief that the virtual connections are not as ‘real’ or ‘wholesome’ as those occurring in the real world.
Our aim here is not to argue the pros and cons of online dating, as such. Rather, we want to deal with the facts: A report published last week held the startling statistic that 2037 would be the year when more babies are born to parents who meet online than those who meet offline. Indeed, the same report stated that within the next decade 40% of children would be born to parents who met online.
Making the First Connection Online is the New Normal
Leaving aside for the moment that this phenomenon has given rise to the frankly awful term “e-babies”, referring to kids born to parents who met online, the study underlines that we should perhaps shift our perceptions of online dating. After all, children being born is starkly quantifiable as a statistic, and allows us to see the success of online dating in real terms rather than unquantifiable statements like “millions of people find love online”.
For many of us, this world of romance and relationships online will still seem like something that happens to other people. But there has to be some sort of acceptance that connections are now just as viable through a virtual medium as they are in the physical world. Moreover, it’s worth remembering that online dating is just a launchpad for a relationship, and it has nothing really to do with the endpoint.
Online Dating is a Very Broad Concept
In addition, there is arguably a misunderstanding of what online dating really means and what a broad spectrum it covers. On one hand, you have the massive business of online dating sites. It is a mistake to assume they are all the same, and you can have a peek here to see how they can be tailored towards different types of people, budgets, ethnicities, cultural tastes, relationship goals and so on. For instance, a site like EliteSingles is tailored towards business professionals, whereas a site like OurTime will be aimed at providing a platform for seniors to meet online.
Yet, while dating sites are the obvious go-to outlet for people actively searching for a new relationship, people do meet online in other forums, notably social media. If the goal a generation ago was to chat with someone in a bar and perhaps receive a phone number if all went well, then today’s equivalent might just be chatting publicly online and then establishing a personal connection through DMs (direct or private messaging on social media).
In terms of our perceptions – and it should be stressed that any stigma attached to online dating has widely disappeared during the 2010s – there might simply have to be some acceptance that establishing that connection online is the new normal. Those who are reluctant to try online dating, of any kind, need to be aware that many people are now more comfortable setting the base work of a relationship up online before the traditional dating rituals occur. Once you understand this, taking the first step gets a whole lot easier.
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