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In today’s world, many of us are trying to seek out ways to meet new people and find love. One way to do this is through online dating. There are many different online dating platforms such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Match, E-Harmony, Bumble among many others. However, there is a sort of stigma attached to online dating. Some people think only “creeps” are using these apps. Others think it is highly embarrassing if someone catches them on an online dating app. Another stigma attached to online dating is people are only using it as part of “hook up” culture. While in some instances those scenarios might ring true, there should be no shame in using an online dating app. Believe it or not, that is how my wife and I found each other.
My Experience With Online Dating
My experience with online dating is somewhat limited compared to other people. It had been some time since a relationship didn’t work out with an ex. Back in the early part of 2015, I was just living life and coping with that loss while trying to figure out my next move. I debated on moving to St. Paul, MN or attend graduate school in the Erie area. During that time, a couple of friends of mine had suggested that I try out Tinder. At first, I was skeptical about it but ultimately I decided to try it. I matched with a few different girls on Tinder and had some conversations.
Around that time, I had matched with my wife. I believe in her profile she stated she likes cats and beards which I had both. From there we talked for a few days and then I may have used some variation of a line, “I am about to get off of here but if you’d like to continue this conversation then you can give me your number.” It must have worked because she texted me and from there we have never stopped talking.
When it came to meet up, I met her and her friend at a local hookah lounge. I do think it was smart of her to not go alone in public. I have respect for her wanting to protect herself. We had a great time and there was no goodnight kiss on the first date. I wasn’t sure where things would go at the time but I went with it and I enjoyed the ride.
At the same time, I wasn’t quite comfortable with people knowing I used an online dating platform for the previous mentioned reasons. I didn’t want people to think I was some “lame” who couldn’t meet girls. Now, I am completely comfortable with people knowing my experience. It has led me to creating a bond and family unit. Online dating has allowed me to meet my in-laws who have accepted me as part of their family. Lastly, it has given me the opportunity to meet my beautiful wife and have our beautiful daughter.
Why Is There A Stigma?
To be honest, I cannot list every stigma that is out there that has an attachment to online dating. The ones that I mentioned are the most common ones that I hear. I believe that any stigma comes down to three theories that I have.
First, I believe that our culture does not promote vulnerability especially when we are in a group setting. Being vulnerable is a scary thing for most people. When we put ourselves out there, we have an opportunity to be rejected by another person. It hurts our ego when someone does not accept us. That can make it very hard for us especially when it can be our inner circle rejecting the notion that we are seeking love on the Internet.
My second theory is the unfamiliarity that comes with online dating. It is still a new concept compared to 1000’s of years of meeting a potential mate in person. With anything that is not the norm, you will find people who are slow to wrap their heads around a new concept. I believe that same thing is happening with the concept of finding a potential spouse online.
Lastly, I believe that people are afraid they will find someone who will “catfish” them online. The potential danger of someone pretending to be someone else can be devastating. Financial, emotional, and physical danger can pose a problem for people with online dating as well as your reputation. Look at the situation with Manti Te’o back in 2013. He was a high profile prospect coming out of Notre Dame and became a punchline. There are other stories of people being kidnapped or having money stolen from them after meeting someone online. That is why I respected my wife’s decision to have her friend come along on our first date.
My Message for You
I want to keep my message short and simple for you all.
First, please be cautious who you meet someone online. You do not know that person and they can potentially hurt you. When you go to meet someone, please let someone know where you will be at on your date. Also, please meet in public for the first few dates.
At the same time, do not be afraid to put yourself out there. I know plenty of people who have used online dating apps with success. There is nothing wrong with wanting to use alternative ways in finding a partner. Your friends and family want you to be happy and asking them to support you throughout the process is part of that. You might hit the jackpot and find the partner of your dreams on one of these apps. Don’t limit yourself because you are afraid of what others will think. It is your life and you can do whatever you decide to do.
Lastly, have fun. Please be the best version of yourself. The person on the other end deserves that as they will have similar insecurities. Men, please check out these tips that are written to help you with the dating process. Online dating has its challenges but it also comes with many positives as well.
For anyone who has had success with online dating, could you please detail your experience? Please share as this could possibly help someone find a potential mate for themselves.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.