In 2014 online dating made many great strides. Memberships continued to grow at a staggering pace, vast amounts of new sites emerged, existing ones made significant improvements for their user-base, and relationships were formed in record numbers.
It's a safe bet to say that online dating will not be going anywhere anytime soon. But not everything was sunshine and rainbows in 2014. This past year also marked the emergence of some dangerous online dating trends that may prevent you from finding love in 2015 if you are not careful. So before you set about making this the year you find love online, let's discuss a few trends that you may want to steer clear of on your journey.
The Tinder Explosion Effect
If there is one trend that much of the online dating scene has felt the impact of, it is the explosion of Tinder. For those of you who are not familiar, Tinder is online dating stripped down to its most superficial qualities, in addition to requiring the least amount of effort if one wishes to pursue a date.
The rules are simple; swipe left if you like someone's picture, and swipe right if you don't. If you and another person both swipe right, congratulations, you are "a match," and permitted to have a conversation akin to text-messaging with that person.
Unfortunately, this is no longer just a Tinder trend. Online dating powerhouses such as Match.com and OkCupid (among many others) have followed suit on their mobile APS, encouraging users to swipe left or right if they like someone.
The problem with this trend is that it is encouraging singles on their mobile devices to pay less attention to the written portion of another members profile, and make a choice that is rooted in superficial qualities. This is completely counterintuitive to success. Attraction is important, but it does not lay enough of a foundation for a long-term relationship.
If you want to find love, avoid the short cut of swiping based on external appearances, take the time to read the other person's profile, and only then should you decide if you want to engage in conversation. This may be more time-consuming initially, but will pay off in dividends down the road.
The Mobile Effect
For many years, sitting in front of a computer and writing out emails was the foundation of getting to know someone online. Times have changed a bit this past year. These days millions of online daters are using smart phones to communicate, which has resulted in less in-depth emailing, and more exchanges that are the equivalent of texting through an AP.
It's not that texting is a bad thing. Texting prior to a first date is a great tool for strengthening a connection. But it works much better after two people have already formed a slight connection online. Starting a courtship with one sentence exchanges may be easier, but it leads to more superficial conversations, leaves less of a lasting impact, and often makes it more difficult for two people to generate any true momentum.
Instead of taking the easy route, sit down the old fashion way, write a few emails, and put a little time into getting to know someone before meeting. This will increase your chances of a successful first date and lead to more meaningful conversation prior to a date.
The Next Best Thing Mentality
As single men and women signed up for online dating sites in record numbers this past year, the "next best thing" mentality only grew stronger. In a world of unlimited options, having access to an endless stream of singles often hindered finding love more than helping singles to find love. Having too many options has resulted in an increasing amount of serial daters that are on a quest for perfection that doesn't exist. With membership rates continuing to grow, this is a trend that in all likelihood will only grow stronger in 2015.
For this reason, when you begin looking for love this year, you need to have your priorities in order. Date smart, be realistic, and try to truly get to know people. If you get caught up in searching for perfection, you may just miss out on what could have been the best year of your love life.