1.) There's no guessing game.
If you go to a site like match.com you know others on that site are looking for a relationship, just like you. There's no wondering about a cutie's relationship status (single, not looking, committed, married with no ring?) when they have a profile set-up explicitly to meet other people. That is, unlike when you're at a bar, club, or other social gathering, and you see a cutie who sparks your attention but they're with someone else...
You: "Is he with her?"
Your friend: "No, no, no, I don't think so."
(5 minutes later)
Your friend: "Well... maybe? I can't tell."
This way, you end up spending the whole night investigating when on-line dating clears this up for you in less than 5 seconds.
2.) Less grooming.
Let's face it, to go out in the "real world" (i.e., clubs with various clusters of friends standing, and occasionally dancing, next to each other) you have to look "good." Who wants to meet the love of their life wearing a sweat-stained t-shirt and pajama bottoms? However, in the virtual world of on-line dating, no one cares what you look like at home on a Friday night (so long as you're not video chatting & the pictures on your profile are cute). So, put on your sweatpants, pull back your hair, grab a bag of Cheetos and your laptop... it's time to flirt!
3.) Less time.
In terms of grooming, it takes time to get ready. Three hours spent doing hair, make-up, and picking out the perfect outfit for two hours of socializing, what gives? In terms of meeting someone, it takes time to really get to know them. At least with an on-line dating service, or chatting with someone on Facebook, gives you a clue as to whether or not you feel you could be compatible with them...
John's Profile: "I'm definitely a morning person with a serious love for the outdoors and mountain climbing."
Your Profile: "I hate the Sun and I'm afraid of heights."
In terms of relationship status, at least when you approach someone in the on-line dating world there is an implied expectation that you actually want to date this person. In the "real world," if you approach someone at the bar, club, or just about anywhere else, there's a chance they could think you just want to talk. Maybe they'll think you're just being friendly. Maybe they won't find you attractive at all or won't even be looking for a relationship. That, my friend, is time wasted and on-line dating avoids this.
4.) Less money.
This one is kind of simple: It costs money to buy new outfits. It costs money to pay the cover at the club. It costs money to pay for drinks. It costs money to put gas in your car to get to the club. You get it. Most on-line dating websites are free, at least for a basic member profile, not to mention Facebook, craigslist, and other similar sites are also free. Now, of course you could argue the Internet costs so much money a month, but... really?
5.) Lowered inhibitions.
Yes, of course you could go to the bar and consume a lot of alcohol, because that will lower your inhibitions as well. However, getting drunk will also leave you broke and sick the next morning. Not to mention being drunk may not be the best first impression, and could impair your ability to remember to ask for a phone number... or some way of contacting each other when you're sober. With that said, on-line you may feel a little more *devilish.* What do you have to lose by expressing interest on-line to someone you would never, in a million years, approach in a physical setting? You'll be the only one who knows if they show the same interest back. Not to mention when you actually start talking to someone, and e-mailing or chatting with them, you can filter your thoughts easily on-line. There are your friends: the backspace and delete buttons, and a reason why e-mails don't send automatically when you're in the middle of writing them. Your inhibitions will be lowered when you know you can control how much you tell and how you tell the other person about yourself (including remaining anonymous for a while).
6.) Multi-tasking is okay.
When you meet and talk to someone at the bar, do you want them to have their attention on you or have their eyes feverishly scanning the entire room? Most likely you want to have their full attention (or at least as full as it can get in a noisy, crowded place). On-line, you can talk to Bob. You can even talk to Bob and Dylan at the same time. You can even talk to Bob, Dylan, Mark, Raymond, and Chris, and have another window up where you are perusing through other potential suitors' profiles. No shame!
7.) Meeting someone on-line keeps you on your toes.
Okay, so now I'm not going to poke fun at the prospect of meeting someone for the first time, someone you met on-line, and not taking it seriously. You should, because, really, you need to make sure you're safe. However, I will say that everyone I know who has ever met anyone on-line and met up with them in person has thought the person they were meeting was going to be a serial killer. There's something about meeting someone in the physical world when you've only interacted in a virtual one that's risky. This person could be anybody. Even if they've sent you pictures, or you talked on the phone with them, you still wonder: "Who are they? What are they going to be like in person?" It's exciting, thrilling even, as the anticipation has been building for weeks (maybe only a few days) about this person. You hope they're good. Gosh, you hope they're really good! But, please, like I said, make sure you're safe. If something doesn't feel right, don't go; if everything feels right, go, but let somebody know where you're going, who you're meeting, and don't forget your cell phone! And remember: This person could be anybody, so they could be the love of your life.
8.) I have found love.
Yes, this is true. I met Tom on-line, and nearly three years into our relationship, in more love now than ever, I would say... "it worked." ;)
So, to wrap this all up I just want to say I am pro on-line dating, but I am not anti "real world" dating (i.e., asking someone you meet to go on a date, blind dates, set-ups...). I think anyone who truly wants to find someone should open themselves up to a number of avenues where their other half could be. However, I wanted to write this post because I feel there is a lot of negativity surrounding on-line dating. Mostly, I hear a lot of people thinking it's their last resort. I am here to tell those people it is not your last resort, but it is merely another avenue for you to take in finding love. I see too many people I know who want a committed relationship, they want their fairytale, yet they go to the same places with the same people every weekend. I'm not saying one weekend their other half could end up at that same place. However, I am saying increasing the number of avenues they take in finding their other half will increase their odds.
So, in conclusion, just one more thing: Open yourself up, and you will find love.
~Hugs & Besos~