This is a guest post by dating blogger & owner of The Dating Directory, Renee Slansky.
The evolution of finding love over the last 10 years has seen us go from sending love letters via email and text messages to now scrolling through the latest profiles on your phone and deciding instantly whether or not you are both “matched” or compatible for each other. In fact, dare I say, it is more socially acceptable to chat to a complete stranger through a Facebook message rather than actually ask them out for an innocent coffee while waiting in the queue?
In short, while we may have more ways to communicate and reach all these glittering new options before us, there are also certain restrictions that can come with the change. However overall dating sites and apps have broken down many barriers that may have hindered us from finding true love, such as distance, career demands, time restraints or lack of confidence. Love, it would seem, has now become easier to access and is obtainable even for the ones who had thought about giving up and living with 27 cats.
As a dating and relationship expert I get to see the pros and the cons of the cyber world of dating and in the past I have even been a member searching for my Prince Charming among the sea of profiles on several different sites (because let’s face it we rarely ever just stick to one!) So here’s my take on how the online dating culture has changed the way we do romance.
1. Our attitude to relationships have changed
Technology has not only given access to more people, but it has also shown us the possibility of what could happen and how we can achieve it so easily. What might have restricted our chances of finding a suitable partner has now been removed, simply because discovering an ideal date has become portable, manageable, less time consuming and so convenient in our daily lives. We live in a world where we are constantly updating our statuses, phones, cars and everything in between, so it’s no wonder that this disposable attitude can start to leak into our relationships as well.
Global dating sites like Zoosk may have given us a glimpse of what is possible in love, but we also have to remember that the success of the actual relationship is not based on how popular or functional a site is, but rather our own attitude and mentality.
2. We have unlimited access to so many fish in the sea
Before, our chances of finding a suitable date was pretty much limited to our social life, work acquaintances and maybe a friend of a friend who wanted to set us up on a blind date – which usually ends awkwardly for all involved! Now, thanks to online dating sites and apps, we have instant contact with thousands (even millions) of possibilities with just the click of a button or a swipe of the finger. Sites like Plenty Of Fish, which is currently the largest dating website in the world with over 90m subscribers, have given singletons hope that finding “the one” is not just some Disney fantasy but an actual reality.
In a way, dating sites and apps have given us this “golden key” to finding love, however this can sometimes have two negative effects: a) we date every single person we fancy until we burn out and swear to a life of solitude; or b) jump from relationship to relationship without having the proper amount of time in between to heal.
3. We are able to narrow the playing field
We all love a time saving solution but when it is coupled with the possibility to skip the frogs and just end up with the Prince, it becomes a new found beacon of hope! Online dating has not only given us more candidates for future dates, but it has also made it possible for us to actually narrow down the choices and find someone more compatible. Through profile and compatibly searches, we are now able to get beyond just the smiling pictures and find out what really matters about a person and if they are someone who you could connect with.
This has to be my most favourite feature of any dating site – the fact that one can actually research and get to know someone before you invest time and emotion into them really does save…well time and emotions! Sites like HerSmile and ARILove have even taken it one step further and thrown in scientific and psychological aspects and features so your chances of finding someone suitable is actually a lot more refined. It would appear that Fairy Godmothers do exist …
4. We are learning to be educated in love
Dating sites are no longer taboo, they are now thriving online communities where new friendships as well as relationships are being made. Jump on any well-known dating site like eHarmony and you can not only see all your new prospects but you are also able to join forums, likeminded group chats and even tap into a wealth of knowledge with their advice on relationships and dating blogs. This is fantastic, because we are now recognising the importance of educating ourselves and understanding the core fundamental values of what it takes to maintain a healthy and happy relationship.
It’s not hard to see why the online dating industry is thriving and growing daily, as there is now an even more acknowledged need for people to find a real and lasting love. Whether you are 20 years or 80 years old, dating sites don’t discriminate and can really offer a new chance at finding that love you have been searching for.
By Renee Slansky
Renee Slansky is an Australian TV presenter, writer and professional blogger who specialises in dating and relationship advice. Her love for romance and heart for women compelled Renee to start her online global platform www.thedatingdirectory.co. From a young age she started leading and counselling women and was often called on by strangers and friends for relationship advice. With no professional training but rather what she picked up in experience, teachings and observation, her writings offer a witty and relative outlook with practical tips on life and romance in the 21st century.