Back in the 90’s, when people said they “met someone” online, all sorts of red flags would go up! Friends and family would automatically think those people were losers or wonder why they couldn’t meet someone in person, rather than spending hours searching online. Not so much anymore. Since there are now many happy couples who met online, even some who have married and stayed together, people, in general, are more accepting of people close to them meeting their dates online.
That said, there are still many myths about why and how people meet online and exactly what people are looking for in a mate. And, it is still important that certain precautions are taken to maintain your safety.
● Myth #1 – Online dating is only used as a vehicle for affairs and to participate in casual sex with someone who is looking for the same type of interaction. Not so much. For centuries, people have been hooking up, whether they do so with someone they work with, someone they hang out with, or just someone they barely know. Online dating doesn’t make this the first place for searching for companionship or simply just a physical relationship.
● Myth #2 – Much older men look to connect with much younger women who are most likely only in their 20’s. Sure, there are some much older men who search for the best looking babes who are in their 20’s; however, overall, men tend to look for someone within 10 years of their own age.
● Myth #3 – Nobody tells the truth on their online profiles. Some people don’t tell the truth on job applications. Some people don’t tell the truth to their bosses. And some people don’t tell the truth to their family and friends. There are untruthful people everywhere. Online dating profiles are not the only place. Just as you would consider whether or not to date someone who’s standing right in front of you, you have to consider the information provided online and first see if you make a connection and feel comfortable enough to even want to take it any further than messaging.
● Myth #4 – Most of the users on dating sites use phony photos. A lot of people probably think of the show “Catfish” on MTV where the hosts help people find the people they have been communicating with but have never met, other than online. That’s entertainment television. Not everybody posts phony profile pictures. In fact, when truly looking for communication, companionship, and connection, why would you want to pretend to be someone you aren’t?
So yes, when searching online it is extremely important to weed out the phony profiles, and it’s extremely important to realize your safety is at risk if you post or message someone and include intricate details about yourself, where you live or work, or about your family. However, in a world that is fast moving with electronics, the Internet, and dating apps and sites, it’s not uncommon for people to see who may be interested and available. Use your head, keep your personal safety in mind, and don’t be anything but authentic yourself.
If you find you have met someone online who has not been authentic, or you find you have met someone online but nobody close to you is supportive, you may need some help in dealing with your emotions. This is when you may want to reach out and let the professionals at the Relationship Center of Orange County help you.