Online Dating in College: Is it a Do or a Don’t?

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We do everything online — our banking, our shopping, our networking, etc. So it’s no surprise that online dating is more popular now than ever. The market for online dating sites has moved past pay only sites like Match and E-Harmony, to include free sites such as OkCupid! and Plenty of Fish.

Since other segments of the US population start their relationships online and the cost barrier has been removed, it’s now a question whether online dating is a do or don’t in college. Ultimately, it’s an individual choice but it’s a topic I’ve seen many people get riled up about on both the yays and nays sides. Here are the most compelling arguments I’ve heard from both sides:

YES

1. Find out who is serious: A big complaint of dating in college is that people play too many games. On dating sites, users are encouraged to write specifically what they are looking for. If “casual” or “one night stand” isn’t for you, it’s easy to skip over those profiles online.

2.The hook-up culture in college is too competitive: Depending on what you will or won’t do, it can be hard to find someone who accepts you wholly. Dating online allows you to take the physical out of the equation while you get to know the person.

3. It’s easier than meeting people in real life: Ideally, it would be great to meet someone out at a bar or party but that doesn’t always happen. Too many factors go into meeting someone in real life but internet dating allows users to control the variables a little more.

4. It’s easier to filter out the scrubs: Again, users can find out details about others quickly. If you don’t want to talk to someone who doesn’t have a job or who loves to watch sports, reading someone’s profiles gives you the chance to avoid that person. You can avoid any deal breakers up front.

5. It’s a place to turn after exhausting your dating pool

NO

1. College is the last time you’ll be surrounded by people your age: After college, you’re no longer around only your peers. Depending on where you work and your industry, it may be hard to find members of the opposite sex around your age range. And even if you do, the numbers aren’t as plentiful as they were in college.

2. College guys on dating sites are players too: Just because he’s on a dating site claiming that he’s looking for love, there is no way to know if he’s authentic or not. It’s just as easy to get wrapped up in the wrong guy online as it is in real life.

3. It’s easier to assess creeps in real life: Talking face to face with a person allows you to get a “vibe” from the other person and read into the quirks of their personality. Anyone can sound good behind a keyboard.

4. There’s no “story” to meeting people online: Years down the road, you want to tell a cute and fun story of how you met your spouse. “I saw him across the bar,” “He chased me,” etc. Meeting online doesn’t have quite the romantic story behind it.

5. College is about meeting different kinds of people, not filtering them out: Narrowing down options online can be great but it doesn’t take real life chemistry into account. You’re not always attracted to your ideal “list” and what you read on paper (or on the screen) doesn’t account for those opposite attractions you can experience in real life.

Both sides have valid points but where do you weigh in? Let us know in the comments below!

[Lead image via arek_malang /Shutterstock]

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