Old Fashioned Dating is Not Safer Than Online Dating

woman using laptop for online dating

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.

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  1. 41

    Are many men creepy? Are many men pigs? Are many men stalkers? Are many men abusive? Sure thing.  
    Another sure thing:   Most of those guys are SINGLE and trying their darndest NOT to be single any longer.   The easiest way for ANY  socially  awkward person to cure that is to  get on a computer and not see  the  sun for days at a time.   
    I agree  that  those people on  that  strange Internet are actually people  that  have to live  real lives.   I’ve seen quite a few former classmates now divorced and with kids in tow posting online.   It happens.   
    OTOH, I  know  quite a few socially adjusted  single  women as  acquaintances  who will never have to  resort to online dating.   Why?   Because every person they don’t know that walks passed them on  the  street isn’t deemed  the  next Craigslist Killer.  

  2. 42
    Gary Snyder

    Online dating is more dangerous because you are not able to use your intuition/gut feelings fully. Until you meet face-to-face, you cannot make a good judgement call of their character. Talk to security experts ….and the wide range of women who have been stalked and attracted as a result of online dating, it happens to tens of thousands every day. You are strangers until you meet.

    1. 42.1

      Well then you can chat on the dating site until you meet the person and not give out your full name or exactly where you live until you know them better and just use your gut on the first date and if things doesn’t go well break contact just like if there would turn out   to be no chemistry. Done that several times never had any negative outcomes.

  3. 43
    Robin Redwine

    I just finished a very lovely author’s experience with online dating. She went through several losers, and unfortunately, got raped!!   I believe much change needs to happed in the dating behaviour’s of women, to keep themselves safe!!



  4. 44

    I have been on many dates with men from online dating websites and i’ve never been harrassed or stalked or abused, in fact the worst guy i’ve ever dated who was emotionally abusive and a chronic liar I met at school when I was studying and not online… However the next boyfriend I had I met online and he respected all my boundries and never pressured me into anything even the first night we shared together when nothing happened we just slept.

    I don’t see how the risk would be bigger online anyway??! You can meet someone in person and date them and they can pretend to be the perfect guy and super charming etc. until he eventually reveals his true nature once he’s got you really hooked. For a sociopath it’s not easier to do online, it’s if anything just another way besides real life approaching to find new victims.

    And also I have very bad social anxiety myself so I could never approach anyone in real life anyway who is a total stranger to me. I meet both potential partners and all my friends online, we text and then video chat and eventually meet up which makes things easier for me as they aren’t total strangers by then and I can relax at least a little bit. I of course always make sure someone knows who i’m with as well and I stay in public places with that person.

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