Relationshopping: Why Online Dating Is A Cop Out

Relationshopping: Why Online Dating Is A Cop Out

For all the users of Tinder, eHarmony, OK Cupid, and countless others

The world of online dating is like entering a universe of superficial people to click and drag to your shopping cart of romantic endeavors. The idea that someone can simply swipe left or right, deciding the fate of my potential future of romantic evenings based on nothing but my appearance seems like such an artificial hobby.

Meeting someone online seems like cheating the dating world. It presents itself in an artificial way that creates a distance in bonding with people. It's a cop-out for those who are too lazy to get out of their house, into the world, and meet interesting people with interesting lives. It's so much easier to be "matched" with someone the Internet finds for you, rather than play that daunting, waiting game of meeting "the one."

But how can someone judge a person based on how they appear through a piece of technology? It’s a bit like the social media effect: no one’s life is ever as glamorous and perfect as it may appear online. It just doesn’t seem real. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer meeting people in person or through mutual friends. Being someone’s friend first has proven to produce long-lasting and more sincere relationships than dating someone soon after initial introductions. But by having a platonic friendship with someone first, at least you know what you're getting. Sexual rapidity won't always translate to the long-term success of a relationship.

Anyone can lie on their profile and say they are the most avid reader, a scholarly intellect who loves walks on the beach, cooking for the family, walking the dog, playing with kids, going out for late night adventures, cuddling, the whole nine yards.

How can you expect to click with someone in person simply because you clicked on their profile online? Although someone may seem perfect on paper, meeting him or her in person can be a completely opposite reality.

If you met someone in person first, on the other hand, you might have a better idea of what it might be like to go on a date with this special someone. Seeing their dimensional figure, having the opportunity to look them stark in the eye, measuring their entire body (to test your physical attraction to this person), hearing their voice, etc. are much better indicators of whether or not you want to give this person a shot at dinner and a movie.

Emotional reactions and connections can be elicited through sensory smell. This is something you can’t achieve through a screen. Not only this, but there are too many options online and that’s when people start comparing you to other potential dating victims. It makes it seem as though people are disposable if you can just find someone else, rather than put in effort to find someone through personal interactions. Online services and dating apps screen out the relationally challenged, lead to too many false expectations in person, and fail to illuminate how this person navigates interpersonal conflict.

However, brief interactions online can boost the attraction and anticipation of meeting this person face-to-face, and can also be good for those with demanding schedules and no time for socializing. It's also a good tool for those who are just looking for a quick hook up (hit it and quit it, f**k it and chuck it, hump it and dump it, smash and dash, rip and dip... you get it). It links people together based on geographical convenience and uses an advanced algorithm to an unprecedented degree.

Also, most of the online dating services (like Hinge) are more focused on capitalizing the bonds and romances of dating, rather than the hook-up culture (Tinder) are not as mainstreamed as the apps and services that do focus on the superficial aspects of a relationship.

This is not to say online dating never works, because testimonials argue that for some, it does. But meeting someone in person creates a much stronger bond on first impressions. It allows you to get to know the person first and then decide if you actually want to give this person a shot at dating you. Forming that initial friendship creates a foundational root that is crucial in the beginning stages of a relationship.

One of the main issues relies on the fact that our society places such a heavy emphasis on finding a partner in life. People feel rushed on the time clock to get settled down with someone before they reach their mid-30s, so they resort to online dating.

If you really wanted to meet someone who genuinely has the same interests as you, there are so many ways to do so in person. There are TONS of classes available on Groupon. Find something you like and your potential future spouse could be taking the same class. And what’s even better? You already have a common ground to start a conversation. You already know you have some sort of similar interests. And BOOM, you’re on your way to relationship-ville.

So for those who feel such a level of desperation and longing for companionship, first and foremost, learn to love yourself. You won’t feel so lonely if you are constantly doing the things you love. Eventually, love will find its way to you rather than you feeling the need to dig your way through the online dating scene. Second, if you find enough passions and hobbies and events to attend, you WILL meet someone who shares similar interests as you. Third, the world has more than seven billion people in it. There is no way you cannot find the opportunity to meet someone in person.

So stop relationshopping! Learn to love yourself and meet the right person the right way.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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However I choose to spend my time, I will know that I made this summer season mine.



Oh how I have missed this time of year.

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Feel the sun shine down on me,

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