People always ask if they should be doing online dating or stick to the old traditional dating. This all depends on the person seeking someone to date. Many people have no problem with online dating and weeding through the online world. Then there are people who prefer meeting someone special the old way by going up to talk with someone at church or a community festival.
The best thing to do if you are seeking a companion is to do both. Let’s break down each one to see what might work for someone trying to find the right person to date.
Using an online dating website or a dating app is not hard but the choices are many. There are so many dating sites and apps, which one do you chose? Here are some of the most popular sites just so you have an idea of where to start. We also have a list of sites on our dating site page that looks at each one in more depth.
The first step is to sign up for the dating website or app. Then you usually have to fill out some questionnaires so they can get a sense of who would be good matches. Once you are done signing up, then you are free to start looking for someone whose interests and looks are attractive to you.
Instead of getting online to fill out questionnaires plus a profile to start you’re online dating adventure, you need to get out of your home and engage in the community. With traditional dating, you don’t need to fill out anything but you do need to get out of the home to meet people. We gave you some of the online dating sites and apps to connect online, so here are some ways to connect offline in your area.
- Meet people at church
- Grocery stores
- Adult spot leagues
- Festivals and fairs
- Local groups you can join
- Socially going out to clubs or dance bars
- Business clubs
- Where you work
You can meet other people just about anywhere if you look and put forth the effort. To learn more on the best ways to meet people when doing offline and online dating, check out our post Finding a date the top 16 ways.
Meeting people online vs meeting people offline
Meeting people online means you have to be really good with online communication. When you reach out to someone you find interesting after reading their profile, you need to make a good first impression and that has to be done using words in an email. If you are like me and not the best writer, there is hope. You don’t have to be a great writer to get someone’s attention, but you do have to know how to write to connect.
Online dating people are looking for someone to connect to. They want to find someone with similar likes, values, and beliefs. The attraction piece is also a big thing but it is not the total key. I have dated women that were attractive but I just did not connect with them personally.
You need to write an email that really talks to the person about what interests they have according to their profile. For example, they may be into horses, so you can say something like, “I see you are into horses! When I was a kid, we had a horse and a pony on our farm.” You have found common ground with which to start communicating to see if it can build more interest.
When meeting people offline, you are in person, actually face-to-face with the date usually out in public. There are way more things that go on when you meet in person instead of emailing somebody with online dating. With offline dating, you have body language, looks, the tone of the person’s voice, personality, live conversation and hormones to contend with when meeting each other.
This will require much more effort and control when you first meet. Offline dating gives you the opportunity to sit and take 5 minutes or even 2 hours to craft the perfect email.
There will be a time when the people using dating websites will have to meet face to face. They will have some of the same challenges you have with offline dating at this point. The online dating advantage is a couple can communicate online for several weeks before meeting in person. This way they at least know a little bit about each other.
With offline dating, you may go out with a stranger through a blind date or you hit it off with someone at an event and ask them out. Many times offline dating happens because people know each other through friends or at church. You have talked and are familiar with each other before going out together.
Three circumstances of offline dating
- The date could be a stranger like a blind date or meet someone out and ask them out
- The person of interest may be a friend or someone you see at places you go like church or social events. You know them but not well
- You know someone well and have been friends for a while and now it has blossomed
One circumstance for online dating
- Everyone is a stranger and you are using their profile plus the picture to see if you should connect on email. Then if the email goes well, you get together to meet face to face on a date
This one is pretty straightforward when you first meet online you can only email through the dating site or app. As a rule of thumb do not give anyone your personal email or cell phone number until you have really talked with someone online for 1 month to 3 months. You need to make sure the person you are talking to is a good fit and not some troubled person looking to make your life a nightmare. If they do not have your information and you want to quit talking to them online, then you can just block them. This is an easy way to move on without getting into a bad predicament.
With online dating, it is much easier to cut off communication if the conversation with people you meet is weird or not appropriate. Online dating opportunities give you ample room to stop communication with someone before you give out your personal email and cell phone, so it’s much easier than offline is going to be.
This is a bit harder to just stop communication with someone if things go badly. They have your personal email and cell phone so cutting ties may be tricky.
One way to really make sure you do not put yourself at risk when dating is don’t give the date your address. No matter if you are dating online or offline as soon as you meet for dates do not give your address until months into the relationship. You will want to meet them out for dates to keep where you live a secret and consequently keep you safe. This also allows you to end the dating process with that person when you want if something goes bad.
If you have already given the person your information when the date does go bad and you need to stop the other person from calling, texting or emailing you, then be firm. You want to be direct about the fact that you are not interested in dating anymore and that they are not permitted to call, text, or email you.
You may want to get a different email just for dating. You can use this email to contact dates. If one of them will not stop emailing you after you said to quit than just shut down the email and open another account. This will save you from getting emails from people you have dated on dating sites or offline dates. Your main email account should be for family and friends.
Now let’s review some of the great things and the not so great things about online dating compared to offline:
The Numbers Are Greater
- Online dating has thousands of local people that you can choose from to contact and date. You can find men or women all over town not just limited to where you spend your time like offline
- Offline dating often limits how many people you can meet or be set up within the area you live
- Online dating is easier because you are hidden behind a screen and you are communicating through email. If someone does not reply back to your email it is not as big of a rejection as someone telling no to your face
- Offline dating is not as easy because it requires effort to engage with others and meet new people. You also have to ask them out so the rejection aspect is a big deal especially face to face
You Can Set Your Own Pace
- With online dating, it may be weeks to a month before you meet someone that you have been talking online with. Once you do meet, expectations may be too high and reality is not what was expected
- Offline dating you know what you are getting and there are no surprises because you have met in person. You can see if the chemistry is there and if there is an instant connection
Lying or stretching the truth
- Online dating research financed by the National Science Foundation found 81% of people using online dating sites or apps lied on their profile. They mainly twist their height, weight or age when doing their profile. Women tended to alter their true weight by saying they were lighter than they are normally. Men tended to say they were taller than they truly are on their profile. Photos are usually not recent but will show when they were a bit younger and maybe looked better
- Offline dating it is really hard to lie about your weight and height since you meet face to face. If someone lies about the age that is harder to discover
- With online dating, the pressure is probably not as bad as offline dating. You may go on several dates before you really find someone to stick with for a longer term. The pressure is not on you to have to connect with any one person. Plus you have been communicating with them through email so when you meet on a date it’s a little easier since you both know each other from talking online.
- Offline dating presents more pressure because you may have gotten set up by a friend and you want to make sure you put your best foot forward. It’s harder to meet people or get set up so the few dates you do get to go on you want to make a good impression.
- With online dating, you have no boundary for the distance you will travel to date. You can date someone that lives 5 minutes away or 45 minutes away depending on your preference.
- With offline dating, you are very limited to the local area around you, unless you do mission trips or work that requires a lot of travel. You really are stuck within these limited parameters. This lowers the number of potential candidates, especially if you live in a small city with not many single people.
We wanted you to give you an idea of the good and bad of online dating vs offline dating. We suggest you should do both at the same time. You can also mix it up so while finding people to date online keep looking locally for that someone special. You never know where you might meet someone special. I would not limit any of my options when looking for love or whatever you are seeking.