Is Online Dating Worth It? 18 Advantages And Disadvantages

Disclosure: this page may contain affiliate links to select partners. We receive a commission should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on them. Read our affiliate disclosure.

In the digital age, it’s only natural to consider online dating when you’re looking for a new partner.

But, is it worth it?

Perhaps you’ve heard some negative experiences, such as going on bad dates or not getting good matches. However, you’ve probably also heard of many happy couples who have met online.

So, what’s the deal? Can you find love on a dating app or website?

Like everything else, dating online has its upsides and downsides. While some people struggle to find a good match, others end up marrying the person they met on a dating site.

What makes the difference?

Above all, it is how you approach online dating and finding your match. It’s always a good idea to learn more about creating the perfect profile, sending a good first message, and the etiquette that you should follow when dating online.

This will increase your chances of finding a good match and having a positive experience with online dating.

Does that mean that dating online is worth it? Maybe…but let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages. They’ll help you know what you can expect and decide whether it’s worth the trouble.

18 Advantages Of Online Dating

1. It is convenient.

Dating apps and websites make it possible to meet a lot of different potential partners without having to go anywhere and/or meet them in person.

You can find new matches while you’re taking the bus to work, relaxing on your couch, or having dinner at a restaurant. The online dating world doesn’t tie you to a physical location.

All of these potentially great matches are on your phone or laptop, and you can start and stop dating online whenever you want. This is because dating online doesn’t come with a time commitment either.

Using these apps and websites is pretty simple too, so online dating is more convenient than traditional dating.

2. It got popular.

People were cautious and suspicious about dating online before. Now, it’s pretty common to use an app or a website to search for a partner. You are not going to get ridiculed for using something that millions of other people use.

In the digital era, there’s no more stigma around online dating, and it’s getting more and more popular. In fact, people are now more likely to meet their partner online than through friends or other personal connections – a startling change from just a couple of decades ago.

3. There are a lot of potential partners.

Since online dating is popular, there are many potential partners no matter which app or website you choose. If you don’t have a big social circle or there aren’t many singles in your environment, dating online is very helpful.

In the online dating world, your location isn’t an obstacle in finding people to date. You can look for other singles in your area, but you also have the possibility of dating anyone in the world. So, if there’s a chance that your soulmate is on this planet, you can find them online, even if they are far away from you.

4. You can meet people who are similar to you.

Like most people, you would probably like to find someone similar to you. Someone who is looking for the same thing that you are. Someone who has the same beliefs, interests, goals, values, and maybe even hobbies as you do.

Randomly running into this person in a crowded bar is highly unlikely to happen. In real life, you rarely know those things about a person before actually meeting them anyway. Dating online lets you connect with people similar to you. It’s fast and simple.

5. You already know some things about them.

When you approach a stranger in a bar, you don’t know anything about them, other than what they look like that day. When you see a stranger online, you see their photo and learn about them from their profile bio.

This makes it faster and simpler to choose who you’re going to “approach” by messaging them. Most importantly, people usually indicate what they’re looking for in their profile. They also say what’s important to them.

In addition, communication is a lot more open online, which means that you could get the answers to your important questions much faster. Do they want kids? Have they been married? Are your religions compatible? You will know right away or, at the very least, quite quickly.

6. You know what they’re looking for.

Most of the time, you will know whether someone is looking for love or a hookup. Of course, people can lie about this, but, well… they can lie about it in real life too, and it’s easier to see through them online. But a lot of times, people will write something like “No hookups” or “Looking for love” in their profiles.

Some apps will even require users to select what they are looking for. Chances are, the person is not going to lie about this. Some might, but you will usually be able to recognize when a person is lying in their profile pretty quickly, if not right away.

7. You don’t need to dress up.

Going out to find a new boyfriend or girlfriend requires a lot of time taking care of your appearance. You would probably dress up and make sure to look your best. When you’re not going anywhere to date, there’s no need for that.

You can stay in your PJs while you connect with the person you’re interested in. Not having to show up in person when you talk to them for the first time makes everything easier and more convenient.

8. You can present yourself in the best light.

Presenting yourself in the best possible light without having to dress up sounds great, and it is. While you should definitely be honest in your profile, there’s nothing wrong with highlighting your good qualities and making sure to post only the good pictures.

As long as you are who you say you are and look the way you do in pictures, write what’s best about you and choose the best pictures.

You can also present the best version of yourself during conversations. Since they can’t see you and you’re just texting, you have time to think of the best response. You don’t have to come up with something good on the spot, and you won’t be as nervous as you would if you were dating in person.

9. It’s great for shy people.

People are more confident when dating online than in person. Texting someone from the comfort of your chair is significantly easier than talking to them in person. Even rejection hurts less when you’re dating online, but more on that later.

The point is that the online dating world is perfect for those who are too shy to date in person. Your insecurities won’t get the best of you when the person is not physically present while you’re talking to them. Approaching someone—that is, messaging them first—is a lot less scary online.

10. You meet people that you normally wouldn’t.

Traditional dating ties you a lot to your location. Your potential partners are basically only those who happen to be near you at the time. This means that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, while you’re swimming in a pond.

The online dating world allows you to meet anyone in the world, wherever they are at that moment. You can search for singles in your area, but you can also look outside of your area for your soulmate. How far away you’ll look depends on you, but it’s nice to have the possibility to look as far as possible.

11. A lot of relationships start online.

Online dating is now socially acceptable, if not even desirable. This might be due to social media networks, which made meeting people online more common. There are also plenty of success stories about couples that met online and are now in committed relationships or married. This has also helped make dating online popular.

It’s true, a lot of relationships nowadays start online. These days, connecting online may be more common than approaching someone in a crowded bar.

12. Rejection doesn’t hurt that bad online.

Getting rejected when you approach someone in a bar hurts, and you feel like everyone has witnessed your embarrassment. When you’re dating online, rejection is just one less fish in the sea. Since there are so many people, it makes sense that you’re not going to be a good match for all of them.

When you get rejected, you don’t have to dwell on it or work on gathering the courage to walk up to someone again. You can simply pick a new person right away. You might be a good match, you might not be. When dating online, it’s not such a big deal. And no one is there to witness it. Rejection is seen as a common occurrence, and no one sweats about it.

13. It’s flexible and saves time.

How long would it take you to find that many potential partners, and how many places would you have to visit? Dating online is flexible and saves time. You can open and close the app whenever you want, and you don’t have to wait for an opportunity to meet someone new.

In addition, everything happens faster online. If you go on a date with someone you met in person, you know very little, if anything, about them. When you meet them online, you can quickly tell if there are any dealbreakers or reasons why it wouldn’t work out between you.

So, dating online brings you to the right match much faster than randomly picking partners in real life.

14. You can date multiple people at the same time.

People usually date one person at a time when they’re dating in person. When you’re just messaging people you’re interested in, you can message as many as you like. This helps you identify who’s the right person for you, and it’s very time efficient.

While you don’t want to date too many people at once, having the possibility to choose from several of them will make you more confident and less afraid of rejection. When dating online, there’s always a new person that you could date.

15. It’s great for people who find traditional dating difficult.

Haven’t had much luck with traditional dating? You get too nervous or there aren’t many singles in your area? Then online dating is perfect for you.

This way, you’ll also end up on a date with someone, but you will already build rapport with them before you do.

If you haven’t been successful with traditional dating in the past, choose online dating as an alternative that can give better results.

16. It’s great for people who have special preferences.

Traditional dating can be difficult when you have special preferences. Maybe you’re looking for someone who is polyamorous, someone who attends church every Sunday, someone who is a passionate democrat, or someone who doesn’t drink alcohol.

Finding out these things about someone can take time when you’re dating in person. When you’re dating online, however, you can find these things out by a person’s profile description, by chatting with them, using filters, or simply by using an app specifically made for the kind of people you’re looking for.

17. It makes you more open-minded.

Since there’s a huge variety of people you could date, you’ll be more likely to give someone a chance even though you normally wouldn’t. When dating in person, you would probably stick to your type and your idea of your perfect partner.

When dating online, you get to learn things about people before meeting them. This makes it very likely that you’ll consider someone who doesn’t fit into your idea of a perfect partner. And they might turn out to be even better for you.

18. It’s interesting.

Overall, dating online can be very interesting. Even if you don’t find your perfect match, you will get to talk to a lot of interesting people. Trying to find out whether some of them could be right for you can be a fun and pleasant experience.

Of course, there could be negative experiences while dating online too, and that’s what we’ll discuss now.

18 Disadvantages Of Online Dating

1. There are a lot of potential partners.

The fact that there are a lot of users on dating apps and websites can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.

When there are so many people to choose from, how are you supposed to pick the one person that’s perfect for you? It can be difficult.

With so many people, there will be those who are right for you and there’ll be even more who are not. So, weeding out the potential matches isn’t always easy.

2. You may be too focused on your preferences.

As you already learned, dating online gives you the possibility of matching with exactly the people you’re looking for. However, this can be a bad thing too. If you’re too focused on your preferences, you might be missing out on potentially great matches.

For instance, while you’re persistent in finding someone who has a specific job, you might be missing out on finding someone who shares your values. While you can learn a lot from a person’s profile, you can’t really tell whether you share the same values right away. Look beyond your type when you’re dating online and keep an open mind.

3. You can’t see the other person’s reactions.

While not seeing your dates in person comes with benefits, it has downsides too. Communication is not the same when you can’t see the other person’s reactions. You also don’t react in the same way as you would if you were talking in person.

All this makes it harder to figure out whether you have real chemistry and if they are being honest with you.

4. You don’t learn everything from a profile.

Dating profiles can give you information about the person that you normally wouldn’t get. However, it’s wrong to assume that you know them based on their profile.

People aren’t their profiles, and no matter how honest their description is, they’re not letting the public know everything. So, you will have to talk to them to learn more about them.

You still won’t get to know them well enough until you see them in person several times. Non-verbal behavior can help you learn a lot about a person, and you can’t see that while dating online.

5. People don’t always look like they do in their photos.

Just like you’re trying to present yourself in the best possible light on a dating site, so is everyone else.

Some take it too far and edit their photos to the point where they don’t even resemble the person in the photo. So, you will be disappointed when you meet them in person and see someone different than who you expected.

Be cautious about incredibly attractive people on a dating site. You can safely assume that everyone is at least a little less attractive than they look in their photos, if not a lot.

6. Not everyone is who they say they are.

When you see a photo of an especially attractive person, this might not be an edited photo—it might be a fake profile instead. Unfortunately, some people do create fake profiles on dating sites, but luckily, it’s usually pretty easy to recognize them.

What’s a bit harder to recognize is when it’s a real person that’s lying or exaggerating their positive qualities, which is also something people sometimes do on dating sites.

7. Not everyone has serious intentions.

Not everyone goes dating online to find the love of their life. A lot of people use dating apps for fun and hookups. There are even some apps unofficially known as hookup apps.

So, realize that not everyone has serious intentions. Luckily, they usually state this, or you figure it out while texting with them. Just make sure to remember that people can lie about their intentions online just like in real life.

8. Looks are very important in the online dating world.

People who look attractive in their photos get more messages. Also, people will often decide whether they’re interested in you or not purely—or mostly—based on your photo.

Your photo and your profile description are all they have to go on really, so make sure to write a great description instead of encouraging them to rely on the photo.

9. There’s pressure to move things forward.

Time passes differently on a dating site. While you could know someone for months in the real world before even asking them out on a date, with online dating, knowing each other for two weeks seems like forever.

You might assume that you’re already in a relationship, or your match might expect you to hook up sooner than you want.

There’s a flirting period in traditional dating that’s often missing in online dating. This is because your match and/or you assume that you should move on to the next stage since you already know that you’re both single and interested.

There’s not much guessing about whether someone likes you or not when you’re dating online. Liking each other is also not a guarantee that you’ll feel the same way when you meet in person.

10. Online dating can cost you.

Although there are a lot of free dating apps and sites, you are often encouraged to pay for additional options. Also, there are sites and apps that require paying for a membership, and these are often considered more reliable.

Dating apps and sites which cater to specific preferences frequently require you to pay to register. You will also be going on more dates than you normally would, which costs money as well.

11. It can be frustrating.

Since time passes faster when you’re dating online, and it takes time to find the perfect match, it might get frustrating searching for them. You could go on bad dates or simply not even like anyone enough to go on a date with them. Seeing so many people who are not the right match for you could make you lose hope.

12. It’s hard to figure out whether you’re a match online.

You shouldn’t confuse online chemistry with real-life chemistry. It’s hard to figure out whether you’re a match online. Until you see each other in person, you shouldn’t assume that the person’s right for you.

Unfortunately, this also means that there are people you didn’t match with online that might be a good match for you in real life. While dating site matching algorithms can help you find the person you’re looking for, or someone similar to you, they aren’t always that reliable. They help, but you can’t really know for sure without any physical interaction.

13. You need to take measures to stay safe while dating online.

Dating online is relatively safe. Yes, you are likely to encounter a few fake profiles, and people do lie online, but you are not likely to end up in a dangerous situation if you take measures to stay safe.

What does this mean? Stay safe online by keeping your personal information private. Also, never send money to anyone, no matter how believable their story sounds. Of course, you should also meet with matches in a public place and tell someone about where you’re going.

14. Communication is not the same.

Communication is not the same without body language and actually being in the same room. It’s easy to misinterpret messages or form an opinion about a person based on their messages. The way you perceive them could actually be different from who they are in real life.

So, make sure to meet your matches in person a week after the first message. Remember, until you communicate in real life you can’t know whether there’s real chemistry.

15. You may have unpleasant experiences.

While experiencing dangerous situations in the online dating world is pretty rare, unpleasant experiences are more common. You might go on a bad date, or someone might be rude to you. People could be vulgar or send unwelcomed nude pictures. They could insult you or try to hook up with you with no serious intentions.

The point is, dating online is not always sunshine and roses. You should be prepared for unpleasant experiences which would likely happen if you were dating in person too.

16. You may not find your perfect match.

Finding your perfect match on a dating site is a possibility, not a promise. You may not find your ideal partner while dating online. If you persist long enough, you are likely to find someone right for you.

However, if you don’t take dating online seriously, if you don’t put effort into it, and if you’re simply not lucky enough, you aren’t going to find the right match.

17. People often give up on dating online after a short while.

If you go on five bad dates, would you go on the sixth date? Most likely, you would need some time before being able to trust that the next date is going to be a good one.

When dating online, there are a lot of people that you will get the opportunity to go on a date with. You’re not the right match for all of them.

So, you might give up on dating online after going on several dates with people who aren’t right for you. People often stop online dating after a short while, but they frequently come back to it after some time has passed.

18. Not everyone will be honest with you.

Keep in mind that not everyone will be honest with you, and this applies to more than lying on their profile. They might not be honest when you meet them in person too.

So, don’t assume that you already know someone just because you interacted online or went on one date. Wait to get to know them in real life to conclude whether they are right for you.

So, Is Online Dating Worth It?

Overall, online dating is worth a shot. It doesn’t come with a promise that you’ll find the love of your life, but it gives you that possibility. It lets you meet more people than you would if you were dating in person, plus, no one forbids you from dating in person at the same time.

While online dating has its downsides, the benefits definitely outweigh them. Basically, you have nothing to lose while there’s a chance that you’ll gain a lot.

If you approach it seriously, it’s like playing the lottery on your luckiest day. It’s not certain that you’ll win, but the possibility is as high as it can get, so you should give it a shot. It might just be worth the trouble in the end.

You may also like:

About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.