The Truth Behind Online Dating: How It Compares to “Offline” Dating

If you’ve never tried it before but find yourself tempted to join a popular dating site, you need to ask yourself why you would choose to go down this route? If you’ve only ever been used to the ‘traditional’ methods of dating, such as meeting partners in singles bars or clubs, or after being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend, you’ll most likely want to know how online dating compares to the offline version?

The Truth Behind Online Dating

Universal dating

Daters have the same aspirations, whether they are chatting up a stranger in a pub, or exchanging flirtatious messages via their favorite app. It’s all about forging a connection with someone. There’s a persistent preconception about the online version being some sort of last resort for singles who’ve been unable to meet someone in the real world. This, of course, is nonsense. So many people are drawn to dating websites or apps because they represent such a convenient way of getting to know a potential partner.


Prior to the advent of dating sites, there were certainly several avenues open to singletons wishing to meet kindred spirits. Social clubs, bars, sporting activities, nightclubs, and office functions were all places where participants could keep one eye out for prospective partners they were attracted to. There were downsides to these offline dating situations. Some of these singles arenas were disparagingly referred to as ‘cattle-markets.’ The fact that many of the punters had one thing on their mind – often just a singular encounter that could scarcely be classified as a relationship at all – meant shallow get-togethers were often the order of the day.

There are websites which still cater to these ‘no strings attached’ liaisons, allowing members to get in touch with other site users who are looking for sex rather than love. But for the most part, online dating caters for more in-depth connections. Because people can spend some time browsing through profiles, carefully selecting who to get in touch with based on interests and personality traits, there is a greater chance of establishing compatibility. If you find there is a distinct lack of chemistry with someone you are chatting to in an online environment, you can simply move on to the next profile.

Widening the catchment area

Dating sites introduce a whole new universe of possibilities in that they cover every conceivable taste. In a singles bar in your hometown, you will be coming across people of a similar social or cultural background, perhaps bumping into the same faces week upon week. The online version presents singles who could hail from any location, sometimes from different countries. This offers the potential to strike up conversations with foreigners, introducing an exotic element to the dating game. Who knows, you might even find yourself falling for someone from far afield, at which point you could progress from exchanging messages via the website’s communication platform to video chats.


Studies of the differences between online and offline dating have produced interesting results. In the former, partners are more likely to enter into stable, long-lasting relationships. There could be many explanations for this. People who connect online are already matched to a degree. Dating sites employ algorithms which are specifically designed to ensure singles are paired according to suitability.

Site users are more likely to open up in an online environment, revealing more of themselves, thus creating the honesty which can lead to real chemistry being established. In the offline version, the so-called ‘love at first sight’ phenomenon tends to be a bit optimistic. Chemistry can take much longer to develop.



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