Online dating – Is it for me or is it a waste of time?

Not into relationships? That’s fine! Just keep these tips in mind when you do decide to date someone. Dating: The Secret Society of the Happily Single Dating isn’t something you need to feel self conscious about. It’s a healthy activity that is beneficial to your psyche as well as your physical health. But it’s also something that takes time and effort, both of which we’re running out of. As I’ve written before, we may not be having sex with the same people, but we are having sex in the same age group, and that’s a problem. We are consuming similar diets (both literally and figuratively), and we are by and large dropping out of the educational track. So let’s face it: Dating can be a little intimidating, and it has nothing to do with confidence. Even if you are completely comfortable with yourself and are a good conversationalist, the idea of putting your best self forward and being vulnerable with a stranger who may become the love of your life is, well, daunting. If you’re in the market for a relationship—whether it’s a casual fling or something long-term—consider this your guide to modern dating. The Lure of Text: Texting vs. In-Person Dates Texting has become the default thing for dating, and most people will admit that they use it. Even I use it. When you consider that there are around five billion people on the planet (and I assume around that number on Facebook), it’s hard to say that we really know who we are talking to at all. It’s easy to say that it’s a bad idea to look your best, but when we start talking about not fitting our physical form to our personality, it’s hard to argue with it. It’s also easier to give up on someone you’ve ignored or someone who has done you wrong. On the other hand, if you are texting with someone you find attractive, it can be fun, if you can keep the insecurities from interfering with your ego. Plus, if you know someone a bit and you’re impressed by the person’s ability to attract other people, it’s a good thing to see. 1) The in-person date is a great way to get to know someone before you lock yourself in a room with them. The meeting place (or whatever establishment they are looking for a date) is a great neutral space, and if they don’t work out, the
| — | — ## Why You Should Date We all know those folks who are the first to meet someone they want to date—perhaps you are one of them. Maybe it’s not at all what you expected, but you’re still happy, and so is the person. You may think you want a casual hookup, or you may be looking for someone to settle down with. You may be in the market for a one-time fling or a serious relationship. Whatever the case, here are four reasons to think about dating. **Love is a part of life.** Dating is a pretty good way to get to know someone. Sure, it’s how we get to know so many other parts of our lives, but it can also be a force for good. If you like someone and you’re interested in having a relationship with them, you want to be sure it’s a real one, and you want to take the time to get to know them well enough to be sure. Of course, the relationship you ultimately choose may be something quite different than the one you had in mind, but meeting someone and then learning about their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams, may help you realize what you really want in life. The more you learn about yourself through new relationships, the more you will find out what you really want from them. **You can find someone who will suit your needs.** You can think of dating as an exercise in dating. What do you want to find in a person? Is it the right time in your life to get married or be in a relationship? Is this person the right age for you? Are you looking for a serious relationship? Do you want just a few dates? Do you want something long term or are you more interested in a fling? Would you like to have children or do you plan on remaining child-free? As for other things, you may be a vegetarian or a vegan, a pescatarian or a raw-foodist, a strict or a moderate Muslim or an observant Jew. These are all things you can discuss with a dating partner before going out. Then you can decide which aspects of your life you would like your partner to be supportive of, and which you would like some space in. * * * **GUIDE** **Dating by the Numbers** How many dates should you be having, anyway? If

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