The game of dating and finding that perfect romantic partner has never been easy to play, and to win at it has been rather difficult since man knew the time. And with the advent of and ultimately the dominance of the digital world, dating and finding the right partner to call one’s own has become even more complicated. However, we have to accept, perhaps with a pinch of salt, that the game of dating has completely changed and so have the rules of the game and the popularity of online dating apps is a major reason behind this. 

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In this day and age when we not only shop clothes online but the bare necessities of life, it was just a matter of time before we started looking up to the digital world to resolve our romantic needs and cater to our love life. In a recent survey done in the US, it was revealed that close to 39 % of all the couples surveyed found their partners online, since 2017 (APA Monitor on Psychology, January 2020).

Needless to mention that in 2020, the year which was always helmed as the year when the digital world will supersede the human world, couples are relying on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Bumble, Clover and so many more, to find their partners.

The big question, therefore is, what makes the world of online dating so enchanting? The first and most obvious reason that comes to mind is the wide availability of “options”. We as a digital generation are spoilt for choices and also identify as the “swiping generation”. We love to explore before we commit. And when it comes to finding a partner, the online world offers many avenues to satisfy this habit of humans.

Through online dating platforms, we can connect with hundreds of people without ever meeting them face-to-face. Secondly, as a generation of millennials and post-millennials, we find verbal communication difficult. We prefer texting / using WhatsApp any day over phone calls and face to face conversations is a dying breed of communication.

Thus, online dating platforms allow us the opportunity to converse all that we want without facing the anxiety that sometimes verbal communication brings along with it for a huge majority of youngsters. To put this point into perspective, every 2nd client I work with at my clinic has symptoms of social anxiety. And texting simply eliminates this anxiety of social communication.

Another point in favour of the digital dating game is, that we can project whatever image of ourselves that we like. Lastly, our busy schedules and multiple jobs don’t allow us the time to plan night outs in the hope of meeting that perfect someone. Rather, the online world allows us to send multiple requests across to people we feel attracted to and allows us to explore more in less time. Research says that 1 in 5 relationships begin online. 

And while there may be no escaping the digital world and you may be enticed as well to look for partners online, here are some simple points to keep in mind when looking for that special someone online.

  1. Uplink a real picture of you. On the other hand, be ready to cross-check the pictures of those you are chatting with, on other social media profiles. It’s common knowledge that people use fake pictures or highly photo-shopped ones of their own when they are not looking for serious relationships and are on the dating apps just for fun. 
  2. On a lighter note, learn the world of online lingo. A person describing themselves as cuddly for instance may imply that they are chubby. 
  3. Avoid disclosing personal identifying information, such as your house address, place of work, etc. the first couple of times when you chat with someone and let the trust develop gradually. After all, the digital world is not the safest place to reveal it all. 
  4. Take things slowly. As much as the dopamine is going to rush through your veins, making you feel all head over heels in love with the person you have ‘just’ met online, go easy and avoid being a hopeless romantic. You need to chat some more and spend more time getting to know each other. 
  5. Finally, if you do feel attracted toward someone and find yourself getting emotionally involved, then try to take things offline. The earlier this is done the better it would be, as it will save you some pain, just in case things don’t turn out in your favour.

So keep dating… and may you find your perfect match?

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