I just read a scathing post from Charles Orlando about online dating and its "web of lies" on YourTango. There's no question that the author's points had truth to them, and were backed up with facts and statistics. However, as a dating coach for women over 40 with 11 years experience, I can tell you there is more than one side to this story. As the old adage goes, I refuse to throw the baby out with the bath water.
The idea of a web of lies is a convenient excuse for why you are still single. Excuse me for saying so — it's just that I have found many women don't understand how to make the most of online dating, and their misconceptions create unfortunate experiences.
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Online dating is, essentially, just another way to meet potential partners. A good dating action plan includes several methods and tactics, like singles dances and events, blind dates, being flirty and friendly whereever you go and, of course, online dating. Additional options include dating services and matchmakers, but a lot depends on your age, where you live and the size of your wallet.
When I was single at 40 and looking for love, I met men through newspaper personal ads, singles dances and blind dates. I dated 30 men in 15 months to find the man I've been married to for 13 years, and it was worth every crummy date I endured! I share this to let you know that I've been in your midlife single shoes. And the personal ads I was browsing only had 22 words and a voice mail — no photo, and very little detail. But I met an interesting bunch of men, nonetheless.
Below I will refute some of the points from Orlando's article to provide another point of view. I don't believe everyone needs to try online dating, but it certainly is a viable option for many midlife singles.
1. Statistics Cited Don't Account for Age
The statistics quoted upfront mentioned that most people still find spouses by using traditional methods like school or work (38 percent) and introductions by friends and family (27 percent). However, the average woman in the US marries at age 25. That is why this data doesn't apply to midlife singles who are no longer attending school. In addition, with the issue of sexual harassment sensitivity in the work place, many companies discourage romance at work. So, if you are single over 40, online dating absolutely opens up a way to meet singles you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to get to know.
2. People Love to Complain
The author stated how women complain bitterly on his Facebook page as evidence that online dating is bad. The web is full of people who complain! It's been the biggest boon to complaining. Happy people in love don't troll the web looking for places to vent. I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, because I know online dating is not easy or always successful, but it still provides one more vehicle to finding love — and there's no denying this, as we all know people who have been successful.
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3. Cheating on Algorithms
The article claims sites are cheating clients by not using the promised algorithms. Okay, that might be true, but I haven't believed in computer matching since it started in the 1970s. I recommend my dating coaching clients look around online for themselves. It's a little lazy to rely on provided matches. You won't make the most of what is available if you sit back and react to what shows up in your inbox. Plus, I tend to doubt an algorithm can do as good a job as you can to find the right match. Keep reading...
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