Tinder. Plenty of Fish. Match.com. OKCupid. The apps available for finding love are abundant but do they actually produce results? Is spending three hours a night swiping right or left actually going to bring the love of your life into your world or is it all just a massive waste of time? As you begin to go cross-eyed and every potential suitor begins blending together and looking the same, I’m sure many of us who have dipped our toe into the hypothetical online dating ocean begin wondering if there really are any decent fish to catch or if they’re all just minnows we end up throwing back in the deep end.
The answer lies within yourself. Do you consider yourself a bright, beautiful fish or do you think you’re just another anchovy destined to drown in the massive pool that is online dating. You see, the thing you need to realize is while you are closely scrutinizing every match that comes across your screen, others are scrutinizing you. So, instead of turning up your nose at it, embarrassingly making fun of it, or not taking it seriously why not try thinking of this method of dating as one that could find you a really great person? Instead of being so negative look at it the same way you would if you were meeting these people in a bar or through a mutual friend–Sometimes we have good dates and sometimes we don’t. It shouldn’t matter the avenue used to set up the meeting, what should matter is if there is a connection and if there isn’t then move on to the next one. Be confident. Be awesome. Present your best self and make sure you have a killer profile. These things will all help you find someone who’s on the same playing field as you are.
Instead of using dating apps as a tool to hook up or find your next “Netflix and Chill” buddy, look at online dating as your hub of potential mates. Never before has it been so easy to navigate a library of single people who are openly admitting they have the same goal as you: to go on a date. Never before have you had so much access to someone’s photos, likes, dislikes, personal features, and meaningless details BEFORE you decide whether or not you will spark up a conversation (or swipe right). So, look at the bright side and have fun with it. Go on dates, if you like the person go on second and third dates, if you don’t then move on. Have an open mind and enjoy a drink or two, get to know as many people as you can because even if you don’t end up dating that person you could end up finding a really great friendship.
I’ll admit online dating in a smaller city can have its disadvantages. Since I’ve moved home, I’ve actually found a great guy (not through online dating) but before that I jumped in the deep end of the online dating lake while I lived in Toronto and boy did I find a ton of anchovies, minnows, a few old boots, and a bunch of seaweed. I did find a few great fish that ended up turning into even better friends but in the end, even though I was presented with a sea of opportunity, I seemed to come up short. So, smaller towns with less options could present some challenges. You probably know (or have dated) most of the people coming up in your searches and even if you don’t then you may know someone they had a relationship with or know their in-depth-hook-up history. So, yes, using dating apps in any place outside a booming metropolis can seem discouraging but it doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means you need to have luck on your side. And fortunately for you, luck and love often go hand in hand.
At the end of the day, dating is a tedious task no matter if you’re doing it online, in person, or you’re parents are trying to set you up with their accountant’s kid who just moved home from a year overseas. Online dating has worked for many couples and the fact that it has become such a popular tool (and is quickly growing) only proves that it’s worth a try. If you’re single and ready to mingle, why not give it a go and see if you find your soulmate? If you don’t, well I guarantee you’ll at least acquire an arsenal of hilarious stories you can share with your friends while you laugh at how weird some people can be. Online dating is a great thing to try out these days and if you’re truly in the market for a mate, then I’d suggest giving it a go. It really can work, if only to introduce you to a boat full of life experience.