Is In­ter­net dat­ing the best so­lu­tion for me?

The Jewish Chronicle - - ASK HILARY | EXPERIENCE -

QMY FRIENDS are all telling me that in­ter­net dat­ing is the way to go, but I’m wor­ried that the peo­ple who use apps like Tin­der, or even JDate are just ex­pect­ing ca­sual sex. I’m se­ri­ously look­ing for a part­ner. Should I give it a go?

ATHE PROB­LEM with in­ter­net dat­ing is that it gives users the im­pres­sion that there is an end­less amount of choice out there, which can make po­ten­tial dates seem rather dis­pos­able. Scrolling through pro­files is also far too much like fun to make it akin to a se­ri­ous pur­suit.

Both fac­tors do make dat­ing sites at­trac­tive to the fickle or to those look­ing for quick thrills, so you’re wise to be cau­tious.

How­ever, re­cent re­search showed that on­line dat­ing now ac­counts for about one in five new re­la­tion­ships and up to one in six mar­riages, so clearly not ev­ery­one us­ing dat­ing sites and apps is only look­ing for ca­sual sex. Of course, by log­i­cal de­duc­tion, this also means that four out of five re­la­tion­ships are still formed the old fash­ioned ways. So per­haps the key to mak­ing in­ter­net dat­ing work for you is to think of it as just one op­tion in your quest to find a part­ner, rather than the be-all and end-all.

Bear in mind that you’re just as likely to meet the wrong per­son, or some­one who just wants you for sex, at work or at a party, as you are on­line. You need to em­ploy the same nous on the in­ter­net as you do in daily life — that means tak­ing things slowly, get­ting to know peo­ple, tak­ing note of the things they say and the way they say them. The dif­fer­ence is that rather than read­ing body lan­guage, you need to learn to read on­line be­hav­iour and recog­nise red flags, such as quickly mak­ing the con­ver­sa­tion sex­ual, or ask­ing for pic­tures.

First off, you should avoid the apps, like Tin­der, which are known for be­ing playgrounds for ca­sual sex. Pay­ing a pre­mium to join a site or app can also help; those se­ri­ously look­ing for a part­ner are more likely to be will­ing to shell out. En­gage po­ten­tial part­ners in long, in-depth con­ver­sa­tions and don’t agree to meet up too soon.

Peo­ple who gen­uinely like you will in­vest the time and ef­fort. Is the other per­son re­ally lis­ten­ing to what you say and re­mem­ber­ing it from con­ver­sa­tion to con­ver­sa­tion, or are they just giv­ing out generic com­pli­ments and plat­i­tudes? Do they only con­tact you late at night, in the hope of a hook-up?

Make sure your own pro­file clearly states that you want a re­la­tion­ship, and avoid us­ing words like “fun” or “ad­ven­tur­ous”, which could be seen as short­hand for “wants sex”. Take care to choose a photo in which you look friendly and smi­ley and ap­proach­able, not sexy or posed. Good luck!

QMY CHILD doesn’t go to a Jewish school be­cause we didn’t get in. But all my friends’ chil­dren did and they are all re­ally high­achiev­ing. They are al­ways boast­ing about their chil­dren be­ing in the best schools but they can af­ford tu­tors on the side, too. My child isn’t par­tic­u­larly aca­demic or good at any­thing spe­cial and I feel sad and jeal­ous when they are boast­ing on Face­book all the time. It makes me not want to talk to my friends.


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