Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A Reader Asks…

A blog reader (and journalism student) contacted me about my thoughts regarding online dating. I thought that her questions were great and might be of interest to other readers.

Q. Why are more and more people joining online dating sites like match.com or e-harmony?

A. More people are using online dating sites to connect with others because it fits the modern lifestyle. People are very busy and have limited time to socialize. Online dating sites help streamline the process.

Q. What would you say are the risks involved with finding love online?

A. Finding love online is much like finding love IRL. However, it is easier to misrepresent yourself in an online dating profile than in person. An online dating profile is essentially an advertisement and crafted to portray the dater in the best possible light. By its very nature it cannot be a complete and total representation of a person. Also, online communication (email, iChat, etc.) eliminates essential communication such as body language, tone of voice, and eye contact. These metacommunications are important signals.

Q. In your opinion is this phenomenon healthy? Why or why not?

A. I feel that dating is healthy and anything that connects like-minded people can't be bad. I think that people should use caution when dating--whether online or IRL. It takes time to truly know another person. You certainly need to experience someone IRL and over a period of time to get a sense of their true intentions.

Q. Why do you think that people still feel like it is taboo to meet someone off the Internet?

A. I think that Internet dating is becoming less and less taboo as it becomes more main stream. In the past, dating services and "looking for love" advertisements had a rather negative connotation. Some people may feel these methods smacked of desperation. As online dating becomes more commonplace and familiar, those old stereotypes are changing.

Q. What would you tell one of your readers if they were thinking of joining an online dating service?

A. I would tell them to try it! Online dating can be a fun and positive experience. Of course it is important to use commonsense when meeting strangers online or IRL. It is wise to proceed with caution in any endeavor as important as looking for love.

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