As an online dating advocate, I’ve said for years that it’s as safe (or safer) than dating “in real life”. Strangers and critics pooh-poohed me.
“How could that be? They’re total strangers! You don’t know who they are! The best bet is to go on a half-hour coffee date in broad daylight, with a friend at the same coffee shop and tell everyone you know where you are. Then, if there’s no chemistry, you can leave without wasting time.”
Just because you went out with some total pervy jackasses on OkCupid does not mean for one second that there is a higher population of men like that online than offline.
Wow, ladies, you really make dating sound like a lot of fun!
Turns out, I was correct – or, at least, not incorrect. Sure enough, online daters tend to have a slightly lower victimization rate than traditional daters. Do you hear the sound of a record scratching? That’s all of your irrational fears rubbing up against reality.
Are many men creepy? Are many men pigs? Are many men stalkers? Are many men abusive? Sure thing. But here’s the problem: there’s not a higher percentage of those men on Match.com. If anything, it’s the same percentage of men – or, maybe even a lower percentage of men. Furthermore, you can’t tell which of these men is going to be the worst of the worst. Stalkers don’t say so in their profile. Rapists don’t advertise. Unless he has an extensive criminal record that’s Googleable, the only way you know if a guy is a bad egg is by going through the dating process.
And here’s where online dating has the edge over “real-life” dating. Says the study, ““People who seek out potential partners on the internet seem to exhibit higher levels of caution and utilize more protective measures,” Smith said. “In addition, many people who use online dating sites tend to [talk to] their potential partner for a longer period of time prior to meeting them in person, thus making them more aware of potential “red flags” that might arise in a face-to-face situation.”
Thus, “men” aren’t the problem, Match isn’t the problem… a swath of bad eggs are the problem – and those bad eggs are everywhere – your workplace, your grocery store, your subway, your bar, your gym, and yes, even among your friends. Online dating doesn’t create or enable the worst behavior – all it does is give you access to greater numbers of men. So when I tell you, in Finding the One Online, that the answer to successful online dating is to SLOW DOWN, not speed up, this is what I’m talking about. Go on a date with a cute stranger that you met at a bar and you know virtually nothing about him. If you follow my 2/2/2 rule, you can spare yourself the trouble of going out with a freak AND set yourself up for a much better first date.
And if you don’t know what the 2/2/2 rule is and how it will give you an infinitely better dating experience, do yourself a favor and click here. Despite the marketing language, it’s a unisex product that helps men and women attract and flirt with the highest quality singles out there.
Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated. But I’d appreciate if you keep them logical. Just because you went out with some total pervy jackasses on OkCupid does not mean for one second that there is a higher population of men like that online than offline. It’s the same pool of men – but at least, in online dating, you have a greater chance to screen them before going on a date.