We do a lot of things in life that could be considered bad ideas — such as having that last drink when we have to work the next day, skipping the gym for a Netflix binge instead, and spending most of our paycheck on new clothes instead of bills. But, is joining an online dating site considered a bad idea? These days, it seems like everyone is online dating, but are they just wasting their time and money?
We’re here to answer those questions as well as provide some insights into why using a dating site isn’t the worst thing you could do.
Yes, Dating Sites are a Good Idea
The short answer is absolutely — dating sites were a good idea when they were first created, and they’re still a good idea today. The more detailed answer is below, where you’ll find seven ways dating sites have changed our lives for the better.
- You Have Thousands of Platforms to Choose From
Founded in 1995, Match was the first dating site ever, and it was so popular that other platforms started launching not long after. Now the count is up to about 8,000, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a site that you like and that will work for you based on your goals.
Photo of dating sites Today, almost 8,000 dating sites exist in the world so you’re sure to find at least one that can meet your needs.
In addition to general dating sites, like Match, that cater to everyone, you’ll find gay dating sites, senior dating sites, black dating sites, relationship-oriented dating sites, hookup sites like My BDSM Hookups, “Star Trek” dating sites, vegan dating sites, and golf dating sites, among so many others. Seriously, we could go on and on. For more examples, check out our list of the top 100 dating sites.
- You Can Online Date Whenever You Want, Wherever You Want
One of the best parts about online dating is that you’re not limited by time, location, or other circumstances. You can log in and search for dates no matter where you are and no matter what you’re doing.
You don’t have to wait for coffee shops and bars to be open. You don’t have to wait around for your friends to finally set you up with someone. You don’t have to get all dressed up to go out — only to not meet anyone you like. You can just sit at home in your PJs on your couch and see who catches your eye.
- Browsing and Flirting is 100% Free
Joining a dating site isn’t really a gamble because you’re not putting any money on the line. Pretty much every dating site allows you to register, fill out a profile, upload several photos, search for matches, receive matches, and flirt (e.g., virtual winks and Favorites lists) for free.
Similar to other situations in life, such as trying on clothes or looking for a new car, you can test out the dating site before making any kind of commitment. If you end up not liking the site, you can always cancel the free membership, and the team will delete your information. No harm, no foul.
- Dating Sites Have Millions of Members
Dating is a numbers game, and dating sites can help you win that game because of their sizes. For example, Zoosk has more than 40 million members, eHarmony has more than 33 million members, Tinder has more than 50 million monthly users, and OkCupid has more than 3.5 million active members. Not to mention these sites get millions of monthly visitors as well, so the user bases are only growing.
Where else can you be around that many people? If you go to a bar or club, you’ll probably see 50 to 100 people there, depending on the size of the venue, but that also includes people who are already taken. On a dating site, you know people are single and looking, so that eliminates another step.
- You Can Filter By Your Preferences
Another perk about using dating sites is you don’t have to feel bad about specifying your preferences. Dating sites aren’t there to judge — they’re there to help you find that special someone. Search filters can include age range, gender, appearance, location, ethnicity, religion, education level, lifestyle habits, and interests. On most sites you even can find, sexual oriented filters like cougar dating, bdsm dates, NSA dating, etc. The options are nearly endless.
Feel free to be as specific and as vague as you want. A lot of dating sites also let you save searches and start all over whenever you want to, and they’ll make suggestions based on those searches as well as your on-site behavior.
- Online Dating Can Be Safer Than Meeting People in Bars
Think about it: When going out to a bar, you have no idea who the other patrons are or what their intentions are. You’re going in blind, which is why online dating can be safer than traditional dating.
Some dating sites require singles to sign up through Facebook, which helps ensure they are who they say they are. Other dating sites run background checks. Some dating sites use SSL encryption to keep scammers away and protect their members’ information. Some dating sites verify every new member. Other dating sites have 24/7 moderation. You get the idea. Would you ever find that kind of security at a bar?