Dating online? Exercise caution!

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
― Robert A Heinlein
Who in this world doesn’t want to love ? Doesn’t want to find a life partner who will stay by his side through thick and thin, who doesn’t want a fairytale romance ? Many of you while reading these lines might be lost in the thoughts of your special someone. Lucky guys ! But many wouldn’t have ever experienced the flying butteflies a lover experiences.Yes life today is very busy, fast paced and many don’t even have time for their own selves. In such scenariois finding a person to date has become exceedingly cumbersome for many. In such cases online dating sites come to the rescue of many.

Online dating services generally require a prospective member to provide personal information, before they can search the service provider’s database for other individuals using criteria they set, such as age range, gender and location. Online dating sites use market metaphor to properly match people up.[1] Most sites allow members to upload photos of themselves and browse the photos of others. Sites may offer additional services, such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards. Some sites provide free registration, but may offer services which require a monthly fee.
But is India ready for such a major change ? In a country in which prospective partners are usually found by parents , are these online dating sites a welcome change ? People resort to such sites either for casual fun ,testing the waters or perhaps looking for the love of their life. Many people claim to have met their soulmates on such sites but on the flipside many others also usually find creeps ! When this method of dating was originally started, there was an air of desperation around it. People used to associate it with those who could not find a relationship in “real life “. Though much of this perception still remains , the number of people to use these sites has without a doubt increased. But all this not without the numerous questions and doubts it poses.
Some points put forward by those who advocate this method of finding love as something that might become atleast not frowned upon of not conventional

 

  • You can find the person that you have dreamed about, since you can find out everything about them before you even decide to approach them.
  • Location is not an issue anymore.
  • You can get to know someone without the commitment of actually getting together.
  • You can get to chose people with whom you would like to meet by checking their interests and profiles
  • The awkwardness of the first date is eliminated because you have already interacted

But as the other side of the coin always exists , we also have certain issues raised by people who believe that online dating is just a short term solution which can never help you find true love .

  1. Premature frankness- when you meet a person online who seems who have a similar viewpoint on things as you do and the moment the interaction starts,you believe that you both clicked ! this leads you to be very open and frank very early in a relationship . You might have experienced that it is very easy to text a person stuff which would have required a lot of nerves on your part to say face to face. Such premature acquaintance increases your vulnerability especially considering that the person you are chatting with might turn out to be a fraud !
  2. Lies-white or malicious,lies are definitely not a base you would want your relationship to be based on.You never know whom you are talking to, what age they are , or what gender they are . What they portray in their profile might not be the actual them. Just because what you wrote in your profile was all truth, it doesn’t(and why should it ) guarantee that the person you are talking to is also speaking the truth and not inventing stuff from the figment of his/her imagination! And by the time you realize the actuality, it might be too late ! so be careful and think before you start imagining someone as your prince charming or princess of dreams .
  3.  Are they bragging? – well even if a person is trying to be honest on a site , it isn’t necessary that what they are telling you isn’t just their own perception of themselves rather then what he/she actually appears to people. And there is nothing you can do to guard against that . The profile might describe a girl as “vivacious, independent, open-minded” but might end up as an air-headed brat when you first meet her. People create multiple online personas as a means to satisfy their urge to be someone they always wanted to be.
  4. Dishonesty ! – It is very easy to conceal one’s marital status online and when you find out the truth ,you have been cheated through and through .Many married men thinking that they are having just harmless fun resort to such sites and results have proved to be disastrous for many a damsel .
  5. Undermining relationships with friends and family- In any offline relationship, friends and family play a very important role as a support and guidance source. And help one know about the direction a relationship is heading and if its working out or not. On any online relationship ,you are the person sole responsible for your actions.

Whether all these problems quoted above strike a chord with your or not, there is no denying the fact that online relationships are to be undertaken with all care and realizing that all that one might see , might not be the truth. But isn’t the current generation so addicted to experimenting ? :p So go ahead , meet people but with all due care and precaution!