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The Internet and relationships: Pros and Cons

Before the mid-1990s, anyone seeking another single for a relationship, casual or long-term, had to go through the whole courtship process, connecting in a social situation (typically bars or nightclubs), getting into intimate conversations, then arranging a series of dates. Everything changed around 1995, with the launch of the first commercial dating site.

Now the Internet has become one of the key hubs where singles can chat, socialize, and often fall in love. But is digital dating always guaranteed to provide the perfect backdrop for romance? We’ve asked dating advisors from the iWantDating platform and they’ve come up with the pros and cons of relationships formed online.

Pros: You can find your most ideal partner

Unlike offline settings, where the type of person you start chatting to can be a lottery, dating sites will provide you with the tools to find the most suitable individuals. You can choose the website to sign up to based on their remit, and once you’ve registered, you can mix with a diverse range of people, but always keep an eye out for those sharing your interests and aspirations.

Cons: You might come across as the least ideal person

In a minority of cases, the person you might have begun developing a strong rapport with on a dating site might be an imposter. For various reasons, some individuals choose to create fake profiles. It could be they have been spurned by a previous contact and are making sure they don’t commit to anything. In other cases, they might have no interest in forging a relationship but are merely out to phish for personal details, such as Internet banking passwords. If you feel the site member you are chatting to seems untrustworthy, you can easily block them.

Pros: Online dating is hugely popular

When you join some of the longer-standing dating outlets, you could be gaining access to a potential pool of talent running into millions of individuals. As you fine-tune your search form, you might find yourself enjoying flirty discussions with singles from your neighborhood, or your interactions could be with individuals from much further afield. Whether you like the notion of chatting with flirty foreigners or not, these dating sites will leave you spoiled for choice.

Cons: This marketplace is becoming competitive

Having too many singles to choose from on a dating platform can also be counter-productive. The people you can chat to might be reluctant to commit to anything until they have spent some time ‘playing the field’ and getting familiar with a shortlist of prospective partners. You’ll need to ensure your profile stands out from the crowd. With so many people who could be alighting on your details, your description must give the impression you would be an interesting and exciting site member to get to know better.

Pros: You can strike up a rapport easily

Dating sites will provide all sorts of tools to enable you to sew the seeds of chemistry with someone. If you find yourself attracted to a particular individual, you might have the option of sending them a virtual ‘wink’ or adding a ‘like’ to their profile, letting them know they have an admirer. If your interest is reciprocated, you are good to go and can start exchanging messages.

Cons: It’s still better to connect face-to-face

Although online dating makes it easy to make contact, for relationships to reach a level of trust and understanding it remains preferable to take a connection into the offline environment sooner rather than later. Texts can be misinterpreted, with dry wit coming across as sarcastic and hurtful rather than humorous. Talking in person will tend to trump the virtual equivalent.