The internet has become a resource for many folks to use in search of dates and long-term companionship. Not everyone is willing to try it, though. Here are 10 reasons people fear online dating.
1. Rejection. As with any sort of dating, fear of rejection is the most commonly held reason that people are afraid of online dating. Putting one’s self out there as available for dating, always raises a risk of being rejected, and few of us find that to be a pleasant experience.
2. Awkward Dates. This goes hand-in-hand with the fear of rejection. It’s the same online as it is in any other dating realm. Yes, there may be some awkward dates, just as there may be some rejection, but it’s a risk one must take if eating popcorn alone in front of the television isn’t your plan for the future.
3. Misrepresentation. Are the people that I meet online who they say they are? With any interaction over the internet, there is always a chance that the person you are communicating with is not the person presented in their online image. Fear of falling for a persona rather than a person is high on the list of online dating fears.
4. Social Ostracism. This is another way of saying; “What if my friends find out I’m so desperate that I’m using an online service to find a dating partner?” The fear of being made fun of, or considered a loser, is a strong reason that some folks fear online dating.
5. Wasted Time. The fear of having wasted a lot of time creating profiles and browsing online date sites is what stops some folks from pursuing the possibilities of finding a partner over the internet.
6. Wasted Money. This is a fear held by many, but it is not necessarily a real issue. There are some expensive online matchmaking sites, but they aren’t always, or even usually, the best of what is available. Some of the free and low-cost sites are equally credible, and offer similar resources to the more expensive sites.
7. Identity Theft. Not unique to dating sites, the fear of online identity theft is what keeps a number of people from using online resources in many parts of their lives. It is a real risk, but, as with any other risk, it can be managed and minimized by taking care not to share information that can lead people to your bank or other financial instruments.
8. Physical Safety. Another of the fears that is not really unique to online dating, risks concerning physical safety, can be managed. Yes, there are unstable people and potential criminals that might use internet dating resources to find victims, but the same can be said for bars, coffee shops, churches, and introductions from acquaintances. The key is to keep early meetings in public locations, keeping access to your own transportation, and making sure that a trusted friend or relative knows where you are meeting, until you know someone well enough to feel secure. (See “Larry’s Note” below)
9. Distance Issues. “What if I meet someone online, make a connection and decide to pursue a relationship, only to find that we live too far apart for a practical relationship?” Yes, it happens, but it can happen with that person that you meet at your favorite beachfront bistro, as well.
10. No Good Ones Online. I’ve saved this one for last, as it truly is a myth. Some people are afraid that only losers and criminals and other really desperate types of folks are looking for companionship online. The truth is that you will find the same sort of people looking for dates on the internet as you will find anywhere else. Some good, some not so good, some that are awful, and some that are just like you.
There 10 reasons that people fear online dating. Some of them are legitimate, as we’ve seen, and some are less so. In the end, it’s a matter of deciding whether the fear or the desire to meet someone is stronger.
Larry’s Note: While some might scoff at the very thought of “advertising” for a love partner, the many successful relationships that have occurred as a result of personal ads tells me that it is a viable way to attract a playmate, with a few caveats.
By applying the appropriate safety precautions, i.e., never give anyone your home or work address and avoid home phone numbers until you know them better, meet in busy public places (preferably in the afternoon), and in the beginning avoid “romantic dinners”. . . meeting people by personal ads and online has come of age. When you discover someone you want to meet, ask them if they mind if you bring a friend. If this freaks them out, run the other way.
BONUS Article: 25 Words or Less: Connecting With Personal Ads
Copyright © 2011 – www.BestDatingSites.org. Reprinted with permission.
Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.
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