To me, online dating has always seemed like an odd concept. I’m a bit of a dreamer, so I always imagined meeting ‘Mr Right’ organically …

I’ve been single a couple of years and recently decided to take the plunge and sign up for online dating. I’ve had an account for a few months now and I’ve got to say, the shallow part of me is loving it! The idea that men are clicking on my profile because of my picture is brilliant. Vanity aside, it’s been really interesting talking to like-minded people with similar interests. However, I still can’t shake the idea of having a ‘meet cute’. I can’t get over the idea of being in the supermarket, grabbing the last punnet of strawberries and as I do, a gorgeous man accidentally touches my hand. We look at each other, he apologises sweetly and we instantly fall in love … Obviously I’m not that naïve, but what’s wrong with meeting naturally?

Is online dating really the way forward?

In England, 1 in 5 relationships begin on dating sites. And the online dating giant, eHarmony reckons that: ‘by 2031 50 per cent of all couples would have met online’. That’s absolutely staggering. This is still a relatively young industry, and it’s already racking up millions of pounds from lonely hearts. The twenty-first century is a busy time to live, so it’s not surprising that people are turning to the internet for a date. In 2019, working days can sometimes be longer than 9-5, which doesn’t leave much time for traditional courting. Dating sites and apps allow singles to chat wherever they are; even from the office, 24/7.

Next year I’m going to a wedding, the couple have been together six years and they are so in love. When I’m around them I can see how happy they are and love just radiates off of them. Where did they meet? That’s right, online. My friend; the soon-to-be bride once told me she felt more comfortable dating online because she wasn’t scared to be herself. There were no awkward silences, she was just more relaxed. She felt she could talk when and how she wanted. I do understand this, there’s no pretence. Everyone using dating sites knows what they want. People confidently write about themselves; their likes, dislikes and if this sparks conversation, great!

Online or in person?

Online dating has certainly opened my eyes. I used to think that it was for lonely, desperate spinsters. But I’ve since come to realise that it’s actually quite a good idea. And I can see how it could be especially beneficial for individuals with mental health issues or disabilities. However, just as with nearly everything in life, there is an element of risk and  even danger. I would encourage everyone using dating sites to stay safe. Never put yourself in a vulnerable situation or give out any personal data.

Since signing up for online dating I’ve become far less cynical about the entire experience and can now see the positives. I’m going to keep my account open but I haven’t given up on my organic dream just yet!

I wish everyone on this journey, good luck.

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