Tired of trawling through dating websites and apps only to come up empty-handed? Looking for love online simply not cutting it anymore? You’re not alone. Plenty of people are becoming more and more despondent when it comes to online dating.
However, in a technology-centred world, is there any alternative?
According to online community data research group, YouGov, half of Aussie millennials (people born from the early 1980s to the mid-90s) have used an internet dating service or app at some point to find love and 53 percent of Australians know at least one couple who met online. Relationships Australia echoes this sentiment, with a 2017 survey showing that online dating comes in second only to being introduced through family or friends.
So why are more and more Australians becoming pessimistic when it comes to finding a relationship online?
Online dating is exhausting. Not only are there dozens of apps and websites out there to figure out, it also involves trawling through profile after profile and then weeding through those who aren’t serious, who aren’t really ready to date or worse, those who are already in a relationship.
You constantly have to be ‘on’, whether it’s chatting casually through an app or sending an introductory message; it’s always about putting your best face forward. And then there are the dates themselves, spending hours with complete strangers, with whom you’ve only communicated over text or messaging. You never really know what a person is like until you have a frank face-to-face conversation.
Like most social media and online content, online dating can become addictive. People become obsessive about having the perfect profile and capturing the most gorgeous picture. Apparently, there’s even an industry out there of freelancers who will write your profile and retouch your picture. And like Instagram and Facebook, it becomes the norm to swipe, sift and indulge in a little bit of online stalking. Apps alert users when someone has viewed their profile, favourited them, or even visited their page. Online dating can also intrude on users even when they don’t want to be actively using the app.
What’s the alternative?
It’s true that exploring online seems to be the most popular method to find love, especially with the younger generation constantly connected to their smartphones. However, if you’re becoming sick of online dating, there are plenty of other ways to meet new people. These include:
Traditional methods – “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match”. Ask your family and friends to set you up. After all, they’re the ones who know you best and they understand and appreciate your values. So, when they come across someone who they think shares your interests and values, ask for an introduction.
Get out and about – walk the dog, head to a local café, go to a gym class. You never know where or when you’re going to meet someone new. Show up to events that you may have said ‘no’ to in the past; support your friends or family at functions; and attend birthday parties. By being more real-word social, you just may find someone who makes you laugh.
Make your own move – be proactive and host your own events or dinner parties. Once you start inviting people into your home, you’ll be invited back. And a friend of a friend at the next afternoon tea may be just the person for you.
No swiping involved
Online dating can be a bit like going down the rabbit hole. It’s addictive, exhausting and it can be downright difficult to find someone you click with. While it obviously has traction (Australians spend an estimated $80 million each year on online dating) it doesn’t always work for everyone. It may be time to get back into the real world.