I love telling people how I met my husband.
Because half the time people truly don’t believe me. Truth be told, we met online. And before you go hating on online dating, hear me out.
Our story is our story.
Our story is not your story.
Our story is not everyone’s story.
We aren’t the typical online dating story, and frankly, I’m thankful for that. But this isn’t about me divulging all the gory details of how me and my husband met, this is about uncovering the truth about online dating and slaying the stigmas! But while we’re talking about my guy, here are some pics from our first public appearance as a couple at PA prom back in December 2017. Aren’t we cute!
Let’s start with a Q&A to get those neurons firing…
When was the first online dating platform created? 1994.
What was the first online dating platform? Kiss.com.
What is the oldest currently active online dating platform? Match.com, created in 1995.
What movie released in 1998 helped online dating gain legitimacy? You’ve Got Mail.
What’s the most popular dating site today (based on audience size)? tinder.
What are the top 5 dating sites today? tinder, Bumble, POF, Match.com, & OkCupid.
How many online dating sites are there in the US today? 3,000+
What fraction of Americans have done online dating? 3 in 10 (Pew Research)
What percentage of committed relationships began online? 20% (Brain’s Online Dating Industry Report)
Where do most people find their partner? #1 online, #2 in bar/restaurant, #3 through friends
How Harry Met Sally
As you can see, online dating is quickly becoming the most popular way for people to meet their partner/SO. Even just within the past couple of decades, conventional/traditional ways of meeting people have become less popular. Why? Well I think there are many contributing factors. In Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance, he comically tackles the topic of modern love in our culture and how it’s changed so dramatically over the past century. It does have some language in it (so you’ve been forewarned), but it’s a great read if you’re looking to better understand how our modern concept of dating came into existence.
But I think delayed adulthood and increased accessibility to technology are definitely two factors to note. People are waiting longer to get married, settle down, and start a family, however we innately desire constancy and companionship. So apps have become an easy way for us to connect. However, culture has dictated that hookups and one-night stands are socially acceptable. So modern culture paired with delayed adulthood creates this understanding that it’s okay for people to fool around until the time comes for them to put on their big girl panties and act like an adult. The depravity of man is alive and well, y’all. Sadly culture has unknowingly tainted online dating for those of us who use/used it to find a life partner.
My Dating Mentality is Rooted in Self-Respect
My tips for online dating (seen below) are deeply rooted in personal respect for your body. I went into online dating knowing I didn’t want to fool around, I wanted to find a lifelong friend. So I looked for people with intention who would also respect my body. My faith is my compass needle keeping me on the straight and narrow. And as a faithful Christian, I wanted to save my purity until marriage. So my take on online dating is a far cry from how culture and many people of this world view it, and if it offends you or you feel like I’m condemning your lifestyle choices, I apologize. I just want people to make informed decisions.
Tips for Online Dating
- Be careful how much you share
- Use common sense
- Pay attention to how you feel when communicating
- Communicate inside the app for as long as you feel comfortable
- Never give out your phone number. When you exchange numbers, create a Google phone number for added protection. You can forward the number to your phone and eliminate handing out your phone number to a stranger.
- Always tell someone where/when you’re going on a date
- Have a code word (in case of emergency)
- Wear something comfortable and not too revealing. You don’t wanna give mixed messages.
- Respect yourself and your date should follow suit
- Don’t ever leave your drink unattended
- Go into each date with the intention of friendship. That allows for less heartbreak and takes the pressure off of you to be overtly romantic and flirty.
Slay the Stigmas
- Don’t allow other people’s opinions to keep you from online dating
- Don’t believe the lies of online dating
Let’s Debunk Some of the Lies of Online Dating…
Lie #1: Online dating is only for hookups and casual sex.
Not everyone dating online is using it for hookups and casual sex. Yes, many people are. Yes, many apps market their services for that kind of fling. But not everyone is looking to Netflix and chill. Some people are actually out there trying to find a friend and life partner. So don’t discount the few who’re doing it for wholesome reasons!
Lie #2: Online dating is shameful and embarrassing.
There should NEVER be any shame in online dating! Unless you’re doing it just to get laid, then that’s worthy of a healthy dose of shame. But trying to find someone to date traditionally can be extremely challenging depending on where you work and what you do for a living. These past couple months have required us all to quarantine making it incredibly difficult to meet anyone organically. Don’t be ashamed to tell people you’re online dating. Be proud of your journey and your decision to take your love life into your own hands.
Lie #3: Online dating is for people who don’t know how to date.
Online dating is for people who haven’t met their person by traditional means. That doesn’t mean they don’t know how to date. It just means that for whatever reason they haven’t found someone they love and want to spend the rest of their life with.
Lie #4: You have to be an experienced dater to online date.
False. You don’t have to be “experienced” to date online. You don’t have to have this long, extensive dating history. You just need to be clear with yourself and everyone that you talk to about what your intentions are. Don’t lead someone on if you’re not interested. Use common sense when talking and communicating with people.
Lie #5: Online dating is dangerous.
The world is dangerous. Plain and simple. But online communication does come with risk. So always be mindful of what kind of information you share and what sort of vibes you get from the person you are talking to. There is just some information that you don’t share with a person until you meet them in person or have built enough of a report with them. Use you noggin. Create a game plan for what you can do in case you’re placed in a situation where you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Have a friend you can call or a safe word you can say that allows them to know you need backup. Assault is not a joke. 1 in 6 women in their lifetime are a victim of attempted or completed rape. So never let your guard down and always tell someone when you are going on a date.
Lie #6: Everyone lies on their profile
Statistically, 53% of people admit to telling little white lies when creating their online dating profile (Opinion Matters). So 1/2 of the people you talk to online are probably elaborating their life in some way. So knowing that ahead of time, can make you more cognizant that some people’s careers, pictures, or attributes may be embellished. If a guy says he’s a Calvin Klein model, maybe rethink swiping right. Also, don’t lie on your profile. If you’re truly looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, you will take the time to be honest about yourself.
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