A Match Made in the Computer

by Analisa Novak

I always have this fantasy that I will find my future husband at a Barnes and Noble. It will be a natural meeting where we bump into each other and talk about our favorite books over coffee and we will get married months later. But honestly, I’m starting to realize that this may just always remain a fantasy because there is a new reality to meeting partners. Tinder, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Match and eHarmony have replaced that fantasy and have become one of the most popular ways in which people find love.

There was a time not long ago that online dating was a scary thought. It was also embarrassing to admit that you had an online dating profile, but with the advancements in technology, it’s one of the safer and most normal ways to meet people.

I have tried almost all the online dating websites and have found that one of the better things you receive out of it is conversation. I’ve met and became close friends with guys who I met online, people who I would never have met in a normal environment were people who I bonded with the most. I’m not embarrassed that I online-date and have even put my friends onto the online dating sphere.

Match.com has conducted a survey in which it found that 40 million Americans online-date. As far as safety goes, I was always very cautious and met in a public place for the date. I never once went to anyone’s house or went to an area I didn’t know. Some of the dates were amazing, while some had me wanting to go home and delete my account.

But that’s the truth of being single and dating. Not all of our dates are going to be perfect ones and it can happen outside of online dating. I actually even found someone online who gave me some of the best memories I could possibly imagine, but just like many relationships, this one didn’t last. It didn’t stop me from searching but it did make me realize that maybe the same technology that helped me meet many people is also actually stopping me from meeting more.

Technology is the double-edged sword when it comes to dating. On one hand, it’s allowing us to bond with people who we would have never crossed paths with and thus allowing us to make connections with people past our friend circle. But on the other hand, it’s eliminating the chance of a natural encounter. Because we always find ourselves on our phones or on social media, we hinder that chance to spark a conversation with a potential partner. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a bar and found so many guys glued to their phones, or the countless times I’ve seen people on Tinder while in line at Starbucks, swiping left and right without any single emotion to it.

If you find yourself ready to date or ready for a relationship, be ready to embrace and denounce technology. Use it to your advantage by signing up for free online dating sites and use it to meet new people, but don’t be too attached to it.