In times where networking and communication has become so easily accessible, it seems that making real connections is becoming more difficult. With many individuals turning to dating sites, expectations are high and sometimes our reality becomes distorted.

Meeting a person after getting to know them virtually can sometimes fall short of the image we create in our minds. For example, chatty, enthusiastic texters  can sometimes be really introverted in person. Sport enthusiasts, exaggerated hobbies as well as selfless personalities  are  some general traits  portrayed by profiles on social networking or dating sites. This would seem the norm as everyone would like to convey the best possible version of themselves.

However, there  are also some very authentic profiles with honest users looking for real and meaningful connections. This article aims to highlight some guidelines for the ‘would-be’ individual when considering delving into the social networking method  of dating.

Online dating has both pros and cons and allows users the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals that they would not ordinarily meet in their daily lives. At the same time, one must be cognisant of the challenges presented, in terms of profile misrepresentation and misinterpretation.

  • Social dating sites help filter potential matches, preferences and criteria making it a more efficient process.

The process is also less intimidating for initial interactions and allows for more relaxed conversations. On the flip side users do sometimes misrepresent themselves in terms of characteristics and looks, leading to disappointment of expectations.

  • Meeting people via online platforms can be a security risk, so one is advised to be cautious of where and how the initial contact or meeting is made.

One should ensure that they first meet strangers in public spaces, as well as let someone know of their whereabouts.

  • An abundance of choice can sometimes overwhelm users and make the process challenging which may lead individuals to experience decision paralysis.
  • Often users tend to form strong emotional connections during the initial texting phase and this can lead to emotional distress and even heartache, should the relationship not progress further.

Users are advised that whilst online dating can be a valuable tool for making connections, it is essential to maintain a balanced and realistic perspective. It is also noteworthy to not take all compliments, complaints or insults on a personal level.

Very often, if a potential match happens to not react or ends up ghosting the user, the user feels emotionally vulnerable.Accepting that this is social media and not all profiles are authentic would be a sensible approach to avoid personal feelings dictating your online social networking journey.

The above being said, and most precautions observed, it must be said that online dating can be fun and a very effective means of meeting partners or friends -there are numerous tributes from happy long-term relationships documented.

Wishing you a fun and safe social networking journey!

Author: Cheryl Deepchund