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According to Nikkei Asia, there has been an incredible 260% increase in online dating interest in South East Asia in the last three years. In 2017, Malaysians spent about $1.8million on dating apps and in 2019, this has increased to a whopping $5.8million. This growth demonstrates that there is a high demand for such services in this nation as well as other countries in this region.
What is online dating?
Online dating is designed to help people meet potential partners over the internet. It usually works with the goal of developing a romantic or sexual relationship. There are plenty of matchmaking websites and apps where one can upload their profile in hopes to find a compatible partner.
Matches are made according to the information that the user provides, such as location, age, gender, sexual preferences and appearance. Users of the dating website or app can view the profiles and decide whether or not to initiate contact.
Most matchmaking platforms offer digital messaging, online chats, and telephone chats. Those who engage these services can decide to meet face to face if they want to continue to pursue the relationship.
Benefits of online dating
According to a recent study, 3 in 10 U.S adults have used an online dating site or app while 6 in 10 online daters say that they had a positive experience with these platforms. Getting to know someone through the internet definitely has its advantages. If you’re unsure whether or not to give it a try, here are 10 reasons why you should!
It’s easy to get going
It’s actually really easy to get started, especially for those who are always worrying about taking the plunge into the dating world.
All you have to do to get started is to write an online dating profile. Take your time to do this – think about how you want to come across as well as what you are looking for in a partner.
Date at your own pace
Online dating allows you to pick the pace that you are comfortable with. If you haven’t been out for dates in a while, you can ease into it slowly.
Virtual dating will also allow you to get to know others without having to go out. This means you can take your time to learn about the other person before meeting face to face.
Choose who you want to connect with
You can also be as picky as you wish. The large dating pool means there are plenty of choices. All you need to do is just browse through the dating sites and you will see hundreds of profiles of people who are looking for a partner.
You get to decide who you want to get to know and once you connect with them, it is also up to you to decide if you want to meet face to face to establish the relationship.
It helps you find potential matches
Online dating websites usually work to match you with partners who are compatible. Since matches are made according to what you are looking for, there is a greater chance that you will find someone that you can connect with easily. This will result in better dates.
For example, Dateworks has a team of certified matchmakers who are united to find you a serious relationship that will last. With offices in Malaysia and Japan as well as partners in major cities in Asia, Datework’s matchmakers can help you to form meaningful and long term relationships locally or globally through their personal coaching and personal image and styling.
It’s a good option if you are shy
For those who are introverted, online dating removes some of the pressure and stress that is involved in meeting a new person. Striking up a conversation online is easy and once you have a connection, it’s much less awkward when you meet in real life.
Meet people outside your social circle
Meeting and getting to know someone outside of your social circle is quite difficult. The internet helps to remove this challenge.
You will very likely be able to meet someone who is outside of your community when you use a matchmaking site or app. This means you will be able to find someone compatible who is not a friend of a friend. It also means you do not have to settle for someone your aunt introduces you to!
Start conversations easily
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to approach the other person. One of the best things about using an online platform is that you don’t have to crack your head about this.
You can simply read about the other person and have a rough idea about what to talk about, such as their hobbies, likes and dislikes. The days of having to come up with pick up lines are long gone.
One of the fears that people have when looking for a partner online is that they might run into someone who has ill intentions. This myth is often perpetrated in tv shows.
However, online daters are usually more straightforward as compared to other people you may meet, say in a bar. Additionally, since dating websites will require each person to fill in information about themselves, it makes it easier for you to discern if one is actually looking for a serious relationship.
You can take precautions
If you are worried about your safety, matchmaking sites actually make it possible for you to take precautions. You can make sure that the person is for real before meeting face to face. You can also arrange to meet at a place where you are comfortable.
If you feel that the person is not who you are looking for, all you have to do is politely decline and back out of the date.
It costs less
Since you are able to choose who you want to date, you will not have to go on as many dates to meet ‘the one’.
You will also be able to plan better dates with the extra money that you save from going on fewer dates.
Disadvantages of online dating
There are also several disadvantages to take note of:
The endless number of profiles available can cause individuals to become overly picky. A review of online dating sites found that the continuous scrolling and swiping can cause individuals to view potential dates as ‘commodities’.
The vast number of choices available also means that users might find it hard to make a decision as to who they want to get to know.
Online communication can cause unrealistic expectations
While you do get to know people easily without any awkwardness, online communication may also cause harm. According to a 2014 study, online daters who chat longer than 17 days before meeting may just end up with huge disappointments. This is due to the fact that we tend to fill in informational gaps about people with qualities that we would like them to have. This idealization peaks at 17 to 23 days from the initial point of contact.
Online profile may not be a true representation of the person
While profiles are usually great for finding out a person’s interest and hobbies, you may have a hard time trying to figure out their qualities and beliefs.
For example, it’s easy to suss out who loves sports and the great outdoors, as well as who is allergic to dogs. When it comes to whether or not a person is kind or generous, you may have to meet the person in real life to find out.
Success is not guaranteed
While you will be able to meet many other singles, this does not mean that you will end up going for a face to face date with your matches.
This does not mean that in real life dating is better than its digital counterpart. It just means that you need to continue looking for ‘the one’.
Taking your time to find the perfect match and meeting new people at your own pace will help you to navigate through any confusion that might arise.
How to start a conversation during online dating?
Whether you are on a virtual date, or dating in person, starting a conversation can be pretty intimidating. Some with the gift of the gab can speak to anyone but for others, racking our brains to keep finding an opening and to keep the conversation going can be stressful! Here are five tried and tested ways to start a conversation on your first date:
- Pay a compliment – Look for something you like and tell the person why you like it
- Ask for information – Start a conversation by asking for information from the person you want to talk to. It doesn’t matter if you already know the answer. Take the conversation further by mentioning something with regards to the same topic
- Introduce yourself – This is a straightforward way to start a conversation. Conversations flow easier when you show that you are interested in the other person.
- Ask for help – Asking for help works because it makes the other person feel useful. However, make sure that your request does not inconvenience the other person especially if it’s the first time you are meeting each other!
- Mention something in common – If you are from the same social circle, chances are you already know something about the other person. Shared experiences can help get conversations going and build relationships.
How efficient is online dating
A 2020 survey shows that 62% of people who are online daters believe that couples who meet via a dating website or app have relationships that are just as successful as couples who meet in person right from the start.
Starting a relationship through a digital platform is effective when you know what you are looking for. Shifting through the infinite number of choices can seem overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, you will know what to look for in a profile. How fast or how slow or how far you want to go in the relationship depends solely on you.
Risks and dangers of online dating
The internet is a space that is used by people from all over the globe. Needless to say, meeting someone through the world wide web comes with its own risks and dangers. While this does not mean that you need to give it a wide berth, keeping yourself informed and staying alert will keep you safe. Here are some risks that you may want to take note of:
- Fake accounts – Anyone can hide behind a screen and wear a mask. You can do a little bit of research by doing a Google image search. If someone does not want to meet in person after a long time, it may be because they are not who they say they are.
- Scams – Be alert for scammers. Do not reveal financial information to anyone online.
- Human trafficking – This is not meant to scare you, but you do need to understand the risks. By doing so, you will learn to be safe when meeting in real life.
- Sexual Assault – As with human trafficking, this risk is not meant to scare you off from using a matchmaking platform and meeting potential partners in real life. However, precautions such as meeting in a public place and telling someone about who you are meeting and where you are going will help keep you safe. Choose a dating agency that you know is legit and avoid those that are not certified.
Similar to meeting a potential partner in real life, online dating has its own pros and cons. If you are looking to get started, it’s best to choose a dating service that suits your needs. The right dating agency will match you with the right partner and do wonders for your love life. Check out Dateworks, one of Malaysia’s trusted matchmaking agencies that will go all out to find you a relationship that will last.