Online Dating: Perks and Precautions

We’ve all heard of those websites that promise you’ll find the love of your life. Nowadays, they make finding a partner seem like going shopping at the grocery store. You have a list of the things you want, and you pick and choose the people who meet those criteria. There are all kinds of websites that cater to the type of relationship you’re looking for, whether you’re younger, older, or anywhere in between. I’ve even heard of a site for old farmers to find the right person to water their garden.


If you’ve considered the idea of online dating, I say why not give it a shot? I’ve tried it personally, and it worked well enough for me. You really can’t knock anything until you try it. However, just like anything else, there are upsides as well as downsides and precautions you need to take when setting up a profile on an online dating site.

Let’s start with the good, shall we? Perks of online dating: You can find a site that’s right for you that suits your desires. There are sites that are both free and sites that charge on a monthly basis. I’ve only ever experienced a free site. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. If you are in hopes of finding something potentially serious, I would suggests avoiding the free sites. Often times, there are only people there looking for something not so serious or don’t tend to take it as seriously.

Another upside to online dating is that it’s pretty convenient. I know that many people are constantly running around, whether it’s for work or school or anything else life throws your way. With online dating, you can look at profiles of people who live in your area that you might not have met or noticed otherwise. You can browse and send messages at your convenience, and can pick and choose the qualities you’re looking for in a potential partner. The site will then match you with people with those qualities listed, as well as similar interests. It makes dating easier, quicker, and fits in with today’s technological culture.


As with anything else, there are always precautions you should take if you decide to give online dating a try. First and foremost, do not post anything super personal on your page. Your address, phone number and social security number are all things that have absolutely no place on the internet. If a site asks for any of these things in your biography or warns that they will appear anywhere on your profile, it is probably bogus. Your safety and personal information is always what should be kept at the forefront of concerns when it comes to having any type of profile online, especially when online dating.

We’ve all heard of the hit television show ‘Catfish’ on MTV. Catfishing is when someone uses the pictures, Online-Dating-Statsinformation and identity of someone else to hide who they really are. Unfortunately, today this is a prominent and relevant issue on any type of social media site. There are plenty of hints and clues that may point towards someone not being who they say they are. Before meeting anyone you meet on the internet out in public, I would suggest that you ask them to Skype, FaceTime or Oovoo with you. In that situation, if they agree, you can be reassured that the person you are talking to online is the person who is really in the pictures. If the person constantly refuses or makes excuses as to why they can’t or don’t want to, it’s safe to assume that something is up. Also, if they refuse to meet up with you face to face, there is definitely something wrong. This could include outright saying no, or having them cancel consistently after plans are continually made. Try not to make the mistake of giving someone too much of yourself or your information before seeing them on Skype, etc. or in person. Once information about yourself is on the internet or in someones hands, they can do with it as they please. Like I said before, no matter what you are looking for, your safety and well being should always be a priority.


As scary as the precautions may sound, it’s not that hard to be safe and smart on the internet. If you’re curious about online dating, I say why not? It could be a new experience. If it works, great! If not, at least now you know. Just take the time to do your research on what kind of site may or may not work best for you, be patient, be careful, and see where things go. You never know!


All my single ladies!….and gentlemen

This is an article I wrote for my university’s newspaper, The Pauw Wow, for the Valentine’s Day edition. It’s just simple advice as to how to deal with being single on Valentine’s Day. I figured it would make for a good post on here:

All My Single Ladies!…And Gentlemen

            Are you one of those people who dread the sight of all the pink hearts, giant teddy bears, and copious amounts of chocolate around this time of year? Does being single on Valentine’s Day put a damper on your day? If that’s the case, leave the chick flicks and boxes of Kleenex behind, because there are plenty of things to remind yourself of and to do on February 14th.

            First of all, Valentine’s Day is just that. It’s a day; one out of 365 this year, just like every other year (aside from leap years, of course). There’s no reason to focus on the fact that everyone says it’s a day for couples to flaunt how in love they are with flowers and giant teddy bears. If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, the last thing you should be doing is feeling sorry for yourself! It’s just like any other day, so get up, get out there and do you, girl(or guy)!Single

            Next, you may find yourself in a situation where most of your friends are in relationships, and you’re single. This one can be tough, because you want to be happy for your friends, but at the same time, don’t lie…you want that box of Godiva chocolate covered strawberries. And that’s okay! It’s natural to feel a little jealous. In this case, my suggestion would be to let your friends have their day. That makes it easier to focus on you. Show yourself a little love by going out to the mall and treating yourself a bit. Maybe go to the salon, get your nails done, spend that extra bit of money on that dress you’ve been eyeing lately. Guys, I’m not too sure what you do to treat yourselves, but I’m assuming it has something to do with sports or your other guy friends…so go do that.

            This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday. Who wants to stay in on a Friday night?! Get yourself all dolled up, call up your other single friends, and have a night out with your friends. Hoboken and New York City are all minutes away and always have things going on Friday nights. There’s no reason why you should be sitting in bed watching romantic comedies on Netflix alone(unless that’s your thing!)! Grab your girls, grab your guys, and have fun. Chances are there will be plenty of other single people out and about, so who knows. You could end up meeting someone. If going out isn’t exactly your thing, have your friends all come over and hang out in your dorm room or apartment, pop in a movie, grab some popcorn and a box of wine (only if you’re of age, of course) and relax with your friends.

            No one says that Valentine’s Day should make those of us who are single feel bad about ourselves. Yes, it can be difficult when you’re seeing so many couples getting mush on each other with gifts and public displays of affection all day, but who’s to say that that won’t be you in the near future?! Don’t ever allow yourself to think that just because you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you’ll be forever alone. I can guarantee you that is not the case. Just go about it as if it were any other day, hang out with your other single friends, and love the person that deserves it most: yourself!