Web Dating: For real or for fun?

When web dating first started online, my friends and I thought it was great fun to sit around and laugh at the personals on singles websites. We would look at pictures and profiles and have great stories to tell. They were better than the Sunday personals in the newspaper, because you got to know someone's history so much more.

Those days of goofing off about web dating are gone. The Internet is now the hub of the dating world. As fast as our society is moving, finding a date on the web seems to be easier and more convenient for most people, and it is no longer as easy to sit around making fun of people who put their personals on the web, because most of us have become those people.

There are websites everywhere promising you a perfect match. They all tell you how well they can find you a mate that will make you perfectly happy. I don't know about that, but I have met some interesting people through these sites. Friends more than dates, but still, it doesn't keep me from coming back for more.

As a more mature adult now, I see the importance of these sites. This world does keep us on the move. Dating has taken a backseat to work and play. Courting has just about disappeared completely. It used to be that people would go to the store to possibly pick someone up, but now we go to our desk.

Is that okay? The jury's still out on that one. Sometimes I find that it is easier for us to let go of our inhibitions by typing words on a keyboard than talking in person. It was why I never liked the telephone. I have a preference for seeing someone's face when I tell them things. Yet, the web dating world has allowed us to open up to people like we haven't been opening up for years. It has enabled us to be bold and tread in territories that were once thought taboo when out on a real world date.

Populations are increasing, but ask people whether they know their neighbours. Probably not. People are communicating with one another in person less and less. We are able to open up lines of communications via the web that we don't seem to be doing in our own backyards. And even though our web dating world is more sterile than the real world dating, it is offering people a chance to talk to one another. A global dating world.

How practical is this web dating? Not very. There aren't very good statistics about people who meet and marry online, though I know a couple people who have met online and got married (and are still going strong). However, most of the couples I know met the old fashioned way, in person. I think, though, that web dating is also a great outlet to give more introverted people confidence that makes them more open to dating in the real world.

There are always the naysayers and those with caution. And they are that way for good reason. There are dangers in meeting people online, as you cannot truly get a feel for what I call the "creep" factor. And agreeing to meet people that you have only had contact with online is always risky, both physically and emotionally. Remember to always meet in public and always have a way out of your date.

The key to web dating is to be realistic. You probably are not going to meet the person of your dreams via web dating. No matter how many quizzes, personality tests, or quirky questions you fill out in your profile, it still may not lead you to your perfect match. Yet you can meet some great people, and web dating can be a great deal of fun. And if you are one of the lucky ones who does meet the person of your dreams, then I congratulate you.

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