A recent question to me from a radio host:
“The main focus of the chat which we’d like to have is how has dating changed now in the year 2017? Would like to chat a bit about the normalization of online dating… so much that we’re now wondering, is face to face overrated?” From my chats with another therapist, online vs face to face dating will depend on personality type. Will greatly appreciate two or so more points on where else this conversation might go.”
- Online dating depends on what you want. There are different sites for different things. Want more info than a pic and someone you know is real and nearby? Hinge. Another app, Hitch, connects to your Facebook account, searching for mutual friends and friends-of-friends, reducing the creep/random factor. Gay? Grindr. Straight and just want to hook up – Tinder and Down do this.
- We know in research that if you want a long-term relationship, apps/sites that make you invest, either in time and effort, answering questions/quizzes (such as OKCupid), or money-wise, are more likely to pay-off. Ideally you want both, as subscription fees mean people that are active users are present, versus people who have forgot they put a profile up on a dare 5 years ago. Match.com requires both time and money, and has one of the largest user bases. In addition, they have much more detailed quizzes and tests you must answer, often created by psychologists.
- While there are a plethora of dating apps, there is also a rebellion against the “fast-food” nature of dating – Hinge, Hitch, Loveflutter, etc. have been called the “anti-tinder,” combining social media facebook options with a touch of genuiness and originality. For a great review of the most popular dating sites, go here. Apps such as HowAboutWe require users to submit their ideal date ideas and matches them with others who want to make this come true. Coffee Meets Bagel, makes first meetings low key and quicker to occur than never-ending chat sessions.
- Meetups in urban centres, as well as JustLunch and other in-person services are still very popular and we don’t believe are going to the wayside anytime soon–people will always crave authentic in person experiences. The essential things that make us attracted–smile, scent, body language–what makes us trust, what makes a healthy relationship, are not about to disappear, regardless of what app comes out.
- If you are getting frustrated and obsessive with online dating, make a list of what exactly you need to do when you are online before setting up at the computer/phone, set a time for checking, ideally the same time every day, and set a timer to limit your time, perhaps 30min at most. At this point, do not rate how many messages you have received as success. Right now you need to focus on building a habit, sending a simple message (NOT perfect) to 2-3 potential quality matches every day that shows interest in something about their profile besides their physical appearance. Rinse and repeat. For guidelines on creating simple and good opening messages, read this.
- Conclusion: Invest in both online and in-person dating. Online dating is becoming the new norm, and we would recommend that people spend the time to put profiles on the dating app/site that is most likely to match their personality/lifestyle and desired relationship type – e.g. whether they want to hook-up or a long term relationship. Recent stats by relationship researchers have stated 1 out of 3 marriages in North America have met through online dating, so it’s worth investing some of your time on creating a decent profile, and messaging and responding to potential matches.
- Face to face dating is not going away anytime soon, there are a lot of things you can learn face to face that you cannot learn online. Almost everyone we have talked to has had the experience of having the perfect person “on paper” they are attractive, have a good job etc., but when it comes to meeting them in person, their just is no chemistry. Scent (and we don’t mean whether the person has bad hygiene) for example is extremely important and tells us whether our immune systems are a good fit, producing healthier offspring or not (NY Times). For in person dating, focus on finding an activity you like, for example foodies, hiking, or dancing could be found on meetup – and then you know you have at least one thing in common with potential partners there, something to talk about and have fun with…this takes a little bit of the pressure off. For example, my first date with my now fiancée was swing dancing – check out vanblues.com or salsavancouver.net.
If you would like to work with me to get your online and in-person dating life handled, I am offering a 2-Hr FREE Breakthru session to first-time clients (a limited number of spaces are available).
This extended length of time allows the both of us to make sure we are the best fit for our work together. It is not a sales session, bring your difficult questions, and I will bring all the resources and experience I have to offer to get you started on your path to online and in-person dating mastery.
Fill out the form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before all slots for this month are taken. Make sure to include your name and phone number!
- An amazing point-by-point comparison of the most popular dating sites out there: http://www.reviews.com/online-dating-sites/
- There is an excellent article outlining this whole phenomenon:
- NY Times article on scent and attraction: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/06/09/science/studies-explore-love-and-the-sweaty-t-shirt.html?pagewanted=all
I also recommend the book, Modern Dating, by comedian Aziz Ansari and sociologist Eric Klinenberg of New York University, which ties together beautifully statistical data and comedy to outline how dating and relationships have changed from 50-100 years ago to now.