10 Reasons To Give Online Dating A Shot In The New Year

online dating

It IS possible to find love online.

Dating in 2014 is hard... no, wait, make that almost impossible sometimes. Finding a partner who wants to settle down and who is also a good match for you can seem like a daunting task. It can seem even more difficult when you're a busy woman, like so many of us are. Between working, trying to fit in exercise,  seeing your family, and attempting to have a social life with your friends, you have to wonder: where the heck can you meet someone?! 

Meeting a potential partner at a bar is never really ideal. Being set up by a friend can be embarrassing and oftentimes really awkward. You may have exhausted your options of people you sort of know, and it's totally possible that no one you work with makes a good contender. So, where are you supposed to find someone?

Two little words: online dating. I know, I know— to those who have never tried it, finding a match online can seem scary, weird, and maybe even embarrassing. But you know what? It's none of those things. If you feel like you have nowhere to meet someone, online dating is a really great option. It's all about putting yourself out there and meeting new people who you may have never given a second glance to.

Zoosk, an online dating site, reports a 26 percent increase in signups during the two weeks after Christmas. And, it makes sense, a new year is starting. Why not put yourself out there? Sure, it may not work out—but at least you gave it a chance. And if it does? You'll be incredibly thankful. If you're on the fence, here are 10 reasons why you should try online dating: 

1. It really allows you to put yourself out there. 

Unless you were born with unbreakable confidence, putting yourself out there is hard and scary. Online dating makes it easier, because you're doing it through a computer. Online dating allows you to put yourself out there in the way you want to, because you have control over how you can present yourself. Dating is all about putting yourself out there! You won't meet anyone if you don't. If anything, online dating allows you to become more comfortable doing this. 

2. It introduces you to new people. 

I tried online dating, and my favorite thing about it was how it really introduced me to new people who I never would have met on my own. Online dating opens up your social world. It allows you to get to know people from another town, someone you may have never thought about talking about, or a kind of person who you normally look over. It's a great way to broaden your horizons. 

3. You can search for guys in the comfort of your own bed.

 Online dating is sort of like guy shopping. You can put on your comfiest pajamas, leave your hair up, and lay in bed, scrolling through a "catalogue" of men you can pick and choose from. Sounds superficial? I guess it is, a little bit, but it's definitely easier than going out to a bar and trying to find someone in a crowded room. 

4. It allows you to find out more about what you want.

 Even if it doesn't work for you, online dating can be constructive in that it can show you what you're looking for. Your experiences, good or bad, will teach you what you want and don't want out of a relationship—and you can't really have a successful one if you don't know all of that stuff. 

5. It gives you more dating practice. 

Another lesson you can learn from online dating? How to date! Practice really does make perfect, and online dating definitely allows you to practice. You can hone your skills at flirting, texting, making awkward conversation and getting to know someone. By the end of the experience, you'll probably become a first date expert. 

6. It makes you feel a little hopeful.

 I'll admit that sometimes online dating can be a little bit depressing, especially if you're not meeting anyone great. But it can also make you feel hopeful—it did for me, at least. Even when you can't meet someone in real life, it will make you feel at least a little bit better to know that someone is waitng for the click of a mouse. That's better than feeling completely lost, right? Right. 

7. There are specitality sites if you're looking for someone very specific.

One of the coolest things about online dating is that it can allow you to look for very specific traits in a person. If you're looking to date someone who has the same religion as you, there are plenty of sites for Christians, Catholics, Jewish people, etc. If you want a partner who shares the same dietary restrictions as you, you can find sites for vegans, gluten-free people, and more. There are sites for people speficially looking for a certain ethnicity and background as well. 

8. It gives you a chance to get to someone before seeing them.

 Don't feel like online dating has to lead to a million first dates. Going through the computer allows you time to get to know someone before actually meeting them in person, which can be really helpful. When I tried online dating, I spent at least a week texting each person before meeting up with them. It gave me an idea of our chemistry together, and it helped me pick and choose who I liked best. Plus, when we did meet up, I felt a little more comfortable. 

9. It puts you out of your comfort zone.

Being outside of your comfort zone is definitely a scary feeling, but it's also something we should also do on a semi-regular basis. When you do something that you normally don't do, you open yourself up to so many different experiences and feelings that you've never had before. This is the most exciting part of life, and it can lead to so many great adventures. 

10. You really can meet someone.

Online dating really does work for plenty of people! I know a lot of friends who met their partners on dating sites—and now some of them live together or are married. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that one-third of recently married couples met online.

Yes, there are a lot of scary stories out there, but there are also a lot of sweet, romantic ones. Just like anything else, online dating comes with some risks, but sometimes it's worth it. And even if it doesn't work—you'll be left with a lot of amusing stories to tell.