For some students, walking up to a cute girl or guy and asking for a phone number is a scary thought. Clammy hands and the sudden inability to form complete sentences occur. Sadly, a person may walk away empty-handed after the encounter, or worse, with a fake phone number. These are the sort of events that lead students to alternative means of acquiring phone numbers and meeting people. Online dating is an alternative that has come up in conversation with a number of friends of mine: To do it or not to do it? I don't think traditional college students should be creating online profiles because there are so many more opportunities to defeat the stress of dating.
Successful cyber-daters swear by online dating, claiming that it is a great way for them to expand their circle of interaction easily. Busy and hectic lifestyles leave little time for the traditional dinner-and-a-movie type of date. After all, college students are busy with work and school commitments, and in a competitive economy, career and school start to become priorities instead of relationships.
Sure, online dating can eventually lead to romantic dinner dates face-to-face, but while students are in their young twenties, they should be discovering for themselves what it is that they like and dislike in a person -- instead of leaving it up to an algorithm to make matches.
For the students who make claims that they don't have the time to put themselves out there day after day, will they even still have time for a relationship? No doubt relationships are a heck of a lot of work, with compromises constantly being made. If you don't have time to go on a measly first, second or third date to get to know somebody, why even bother dating? For some busy students, it is more than that. These students don't want to waste their time dating somebody that they don't have anything in common with. I can't say that I blame them; why play on broken strings?
Perhaps online dating does actually work for some people -- the more introverted might find it helpful to breaking out of their shell. Others might prefer it to the bar scene because the chances of it leading to a first date are higher. I think the problem there for some is banking on a whisky make-out session and an exchange of phone numbers at the bar leading to a date or relationship.
My suggestion for students who want to find themselves dating with success, sans the Internet: Go out into the world, and explore your interests; the rest will follow. Joining different clubs and doing various activities opens up opportunities to meet people and expand your circle of friends. Even if meeting potential sweethearts doesn't happen, meeting new people and making new friends still happens -- and who knows who they may know. All kinds of new and interesting people who could have some dating potential will be met through these new friends.
If you're similar to people I know, getting out of a comfort zone is a hard thing to do. But, in order to have a successful dating life, doing so is vital. Branching out and joining sports leagues and meeting people with similar interests -- the interests that one would have been typing out on an OkCupid or an eHarmony profile -- will help you achieve this.
Dating in college and putting oneself out there can be scary and tricky. Knowing the right moment to approach a potential special someone is hard to do -- especially if there is a lot of built up anxiety over it. But, online dating should not be the fallback for students, even busy ones. Meeting new people and deciding for oneself what it is that they like in a person should be left to the person in question, not to an algorithm.
By Courtney Johnson
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