Am I Weird If I Date Online?
By Devlyn Steele
True Story: A few years back I was working with a client who had recently moved to Los Angeles. She was single, did not know many people in the big city, and felt a little lonely. I innocently suggested she give online dating a shot. It seemed like an easy and pressure-free way to meet people, and I had other clients who enjoyed their experience and were in good relationships as a result.
"What kind of desperate person do you think I am?!?" she snapped.
She apologized, but explained that she felt "weird" about online dating. This perked my curiosity, so later I asked some of my other clients if they ever tried it. Some only confessed after their faces turned three shades of crimson. Since I am a strong proponent of online dating, I dispel any stigma or embarrassment when I recommend it to my clients. This is what I tell them:
For many singles, life moves like Richard Petty around the Talladega Speedway. We change jobs every few years. We relocate more frequently. We cannot remember the last time we answered a phone with a cord. Even if time is not the issue, some single people cannot shake the feeling that everyone else is happy while they are always alone. We may look at online dating as an act of desperation, because "normal people don't need something like that."
The simple fact is that you are not weird if you use an online dating service. We only feel weird when we think we are doing something outside the norm. Consider this: over 40 million people in the US access online dating websites every month. It is the fastest growing sector of online content. There is no reason to feel embarrassed, because if you date online you are actually part of a huge group.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to find someone special, or at the very least make some new friends, so why not use every resource available to you? You do not get extra points for meeting someone in a bar or while waiting for dry socks at the Laundromat. Does it matter to you how you met the important people already in your life? You probably barely even think about it.
By setting up a personal profile and a list of likes and dislikes, you invest time in yourself. More importantly, you are taking action by trying to improve yourself and your situation. You are putting yourself out there and taking control by refusing to be lonely and isolated.
I have found many advantages to the Internet. The anonymity of online dating allows you to roll out of bed, hair standing in ten different directions, breath smelling like Boston Harbor at low tide - then click! You stumble on a person you will be dating in a few weeks. The cost compared to going out and searching is next to nothing. You can learn more about a person's interests to see if they mesh with yours. You do not have to deal with the harshness of rejection in person. You have a huge pool of people to explore (remember, 40 million!) from all walks-of-life, people you would never have the chance to meet within your neighborhood or small circle of friends.
There is also fraud and deception. You will probably come across a photo that looks eerily like Pamela Anderson - right down to the copyright in the lower corner. Clients tell me about married people posing as single. Nevertheless, these issues of honesty exist both on and off-line, so do not let that stop you from finding the partner you want.
Learn the best and safest way to use the Internet to take control of your life and find the person you deserve!
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