I have a number of friends who have been successful using internet dating to meet their partner - in fact there are claims that one in five new relationships start on line. We spend more time on line these days than ever before and do more and more things on line, so why not dating too? After all, it's got to be easier than going into a pub or club on your own, hasn't it? You have the safety of distance - cyber distance.
There's a lovely infographic here about how people spend their time on line, and top of the list is email. It doesn't, however mention internet dating or the percentage of people on line who look at or search for 'stuff' that they certainly wouldn't mention in a survey. In fact the internet has produced such a wealth of free material, that it's challenged the industry to reinvent itself. If you don't know what I'm on about - look at this article here. Safe, I promise! It's a link to Reuters.
So what has prompted me to write a blog about this much publicised medium for finding a partner? Well, there's nothing like experience, is there. And experience shared may do absolutely nothing for you, but it helps me.
Now, let's look at the logic of this - what is a dating site? It's a shop window. And like anything else, if you want to sell, you have to market it. I write a nice profile (engaging copy as we'd say in the trade), and I put up some photographs of myself (won't buy without seeing the product), and I looked up some other profiles of 'your recommended matches'.
The result is that I find I am a) too old b) too fat or c) too far away. And, I guess, d) unappealing. I have to add d), because of the lack of response and rather depressing outlook that internet dating has given me. Let's face it - people do react to first impressions, and though you could probably write up a storm on a personal profile, your mugshot is going to be what 99% of people make a decision on. (OK, my statistic isn't verified, but the overall precept is - check out Psychology Today).
So, for me to make a good first impression, relying on a dating website is not the right place. I have no chance to further influence anyone who chances across my profile. They will make a snap decision based on the top two sentences, and no matter how good they are, if the face doesn't fit, then they will go no further.
The one thing I believe you should be on any kind of website where you are representing yourself is honest. So though I have some nice photos (even photoshopped!) I don't put them up as my main profile picture. That isn't me. And the thing is that me being honest isn't much use anyway, because not everyone else is. I have had conversations (brief) with individuals who are married (no thank you!) or who live miles away (internet sex? no thank you either). And the photographs - the age and the photo don't match, but sometimes they are honest enough to say 'Here's a photo taken ten years ago'... hah hah!
All right, so I'm sounding sad and cynical, but in truth it's just about the medium. It's not right for me - but it may be right for you.