You entered your usual cafe. You got your regular order. And as you were about to leave hurriedly to an appointment, you bumped into someone and accidentally spilt your beverage on their shirt. You abashedly apologise and as you offered to clean the shirt, your hands touched, you met their gaze and your eyes locked for a moment that seems eternal. There was a spark. You exchanged phone numbers and soon enough you got a date! Fast forward to the future, both of you live happily ever after together — except this scenario isn’t likely to happen to everyone and life isn’t a Disney princess movie.
As such, the dawn of the magic of online dating apps and websites, to ease the process of meeting your potential significant other. With the coronavirus in our way, and social distancing being the new norm, it seems almost palpable that online dating would make a lot of sense to get to know someone first.
BUT before you hit the download button of the fiery app, be sure to take these pointers into consideration:
You see it, you like it, you swipe right. Easy, fast and efficient isn’t it?
You’re constantly busy with assignments, homework, quizzes, and keeping up with a schedule. You probably won’t even notice the cutie you walked by on the way to class. But when you do have time, you rather skip the hangouts and stay home in your PJs and talk to people ‘closer’ to home via online.
It’s a perfect avenue for those who hate going out to socialise and with a contact list of 10 people. Through online dating platforms you’ll conveniently get to know people within your area and are (most likely) single and available — potentially saving yourself the embarrassment of going up to someone who’s taken (although we do advise you clarify this somewhere in the chat just in case).
If you’re a shy and timid person, online dating definitely poses a good advantage for you. You won’t have to deal with a nervous breakdown before going up to your crush to say, ‘Hi, I like your jacket,” only to walk away to the hall of shame…
Breaking the ice online is definitely much easier and less embarrassing if things don’t work out. Meeting and having a conversation online would also help you to figure out what topic to strike up if you meet them in person by asking them beforehand about themselves (hobbies, careers, likes and dislikes, etc). But don’t probe too much into it — save it for the real meet!
Now that the coronavirus isn’t showing any signs of stopping in the near future, it’s not advisable to go about physically and strike up a conversation with a random person in the cafe. That said, the search for love doesn’t have to be put on halt.
Since online dating transcends space, you won’t have to meet them (and risk being infected by the deadly virus). Imagine all the money you get to save from coffee dates?! On top of that, you can skew your ‘target’ to be from any location of your dream not just from around you. So if you’re into cultural exchange, why not? This’ll give you plenty to talk about!
Plus, you can always set up a video call session to get an idea of them and figure out if this person appears to be the same as who they claim to be!
Of course, this is the last thing you'd hope to happen when you match with someone. But let’s keep it real. More often than not, the conversation with the first few people you match would lead to a dead end and probably end with a ‘double-tick’ and ‘seen’ — in other words, either of you will likely ghost each other as the conversation becomes banal.
But, if you keep things light and reserve your feelings, you won’t feel the hurt as much as say, being rejected in real life by someone you personally know (perhaps for quite some time) and probably have to meet in real life.
In online dating, you’ve gotta thicken your skin and not take things too seriously unless both of you are aligned on it.
Ever set foot in a restaurant with a menu of over 100 items? Bet it took you a long time to pick a meal as everything probably looks appealing which makes it hard to settle — because you fear you might be choosing the ‘lesser’ option. While having plenty of choices may sound like a good thing initially, it could eventually overwhelm and paralyse you with all the options available.
It’s also a risky tunnel to go through as you may be too caught up with the endless cycle of merely looking and ‘swiping’ for more and more partners instead of actually being focused on someone and getting deep into a relationship.
Would pay for coffee? Check. Reads a lot? Check. Loves pets? Check. Cooks for you. Check. Does this sound like your ideal person?
Although you could read someone’s profile and description to gauge their personality or for their sense of humour, nothing beats meeting someone firsthand to get to know their ‘vibe’. If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll like to know how this person ‘feels’ when you’re around them. Meeting someone on the Internet strips away the real interface of what the other person is like.
And yes, you could schedule a meet up eventually, but you could also be disappointed if they turned out to not be how they portrayed themselves online. Ugh. All the hours you’ve spent chatting gone to waste? Not fun!
And of course falling in love at first glance, wouldn’t apply here.
Here’s the creepy part that everyone fears. Is this person real? Or are they a 50-year-old loner with paedophilic tendencies? Truth is, you’ll never know until you’ve met. And perhaps they could be who they say they are minus the fact that they’re also married or come with a whole lot of baggage or history that they’ll try to hide from you for as long as possible. And before you know it, you’ve been catfished into a relationship with someone dangerous or toxic!
Our advice? Be sure to do your checks and search, and always be wary when things don’t tally. Practice safety precautions when meeting in public places and take note of the important tips below!
Never ever reveal your personal information (IC no, credit/debit card no, passwords). Not even if you think you know this person very well online.
Never share compromising pictures of yourself — in the wrong hands, things can get very ugly quickly.
Don’t believe everything that’s said. It’s good to keep a suspicious mind and be wary.
Don’t invest your feelings too quickly. Always keep an open mind that they could still be talking to someone else at the same time.
Keep your expectations to the medium low — especially when you’re just getting started.
If you’re meeting physically, agree to meet up somewhere well-lit or somewhere you’re familiar and comfortable with. If anything goes wrong, you’re able to recognise exits and where to get help, faster.
If you’re meeting physically, don’t share your home address. Better yet, go to the meeting point with your own vehicle and inform your family or close friends. You never know if they’d turn out to be creeps. And always bring CASH even if they said they’re paying!
We hope these pointers give you a heads up on what to expect (or not) when you begin your online dating adventure! Remember to always think twice and be smart. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is…
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