Dear Barb—Dating Due Diligence

Dear Barb:

I am a woman in my thirties and I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever find a partner.  I have never found anyone I would truly consider spending my life with, but I don’t want to give up.  I have been wondering if I want to try online dating.  I haven’tt visited a lot of online dating sites as I am a little leery about them, but I’m starting to think that might be the only way to go.  Most of my friends have met people online and some have found long term partners, but others have had terrible experiences.  Do you have any tips or red flags I should be aware of before going on dating sites?

Looking forward to reading your response. 

Thanks, Julia.

Hey Julia:

Online dating is definitely here to stay, but there are a few obstacles you need to be aware of when meeting people on these sites.  The most obvious is that people tend to lie about themselves.  It is easy enough to photoshop a picture, and many people on dating sites do some touching up.  So you need to keep that in mind when meeting someone as they may not look exactly like their profile picture.  Also, in their description they may add a few inches to their height or take a few pounds off their weight.  They could also lie about where they work and other personal details.

This is part of the risk of online dating.  Of course, if you meet someone in a bar or at a social event, they may still lie about some aspects, but they will not be able to lie about their appearance.  Another popular aspect of online dating to be aware of is the fact that you may receive unsolicited pictures of men’s privates.  Not that it happens all the time, but just something to be aware of.  Also, be prepared to be ghosted.  It’s fairly easy for someone to just vanish when they aren’t face to face with you.  It may take a long time to find someone, or it may happen quickly.  A recent study found that it is not uncommon to spend up to ten hours a week online communicating with potential dates.  However, you may be one of the lucky people who find your match quickly and live happily ever after, but do not count on it.  You are more likely to face a lot more rejection than you would from traditional dating.

A genuine problem with online dating sites are the scammers.  They are the people who want to take advantage of individuals who are lonely and looking for company.  Online dating poses a risk, but there is also the possibility of meeting that special someone, so I would say it is definitely worth the risk, as long as you take the necessary precautions.  Best of luck Julia.

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