The invention and growing popularity of apps like Tinder and Bumble have made online and casual dating far less stigmatized. In fact, dating app and website usage nearly tripled between and for users aged , according to the Pew Research Center. Dating culture is ever-evolving. As dating customs change, so, too, does our behavior toward would-be lovers. Thankfully, marriage eventually evolved to include affection; similarly, premarital relations became less scandalous as dating for the sake of dating became more popular.
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Last fall, I took the plunge into online dating at a rather crazy time in my life. Not only did I have the normal responsibilities of being a full-time entrepreneur, but also I was in the midst of final editing and proofing of my first book. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and finding a new relationship was a priority to me. This meant to authentically live out my time investment philosophies and be true to myself, I needed to make time for it. I also needed to be as effective as possible, meaning I was investing my limited time and energy in the key actions that could lead to quality, in-person dates.
The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating
Dating a coffee date or a quick drink, but a date. Most for a little while over that gimlet, or make reservations for dinner. Online your date misrepresents themselves that starts everything off as a giant red flag.
I once passed the better part of a summer waiting for a spark to ignite with a guy whose feelings for me were mostly inscrutable, while mine never warmed above tepid. We got along well enough, were amply able to sustain a conversation, but ultimately, both of us understood that we were taxiing down an endless runway without any possibility of takeoff. So when the subtle shifts in conversational dynamics occurred—increasingly extended pauses between texts, outlines of weekend plans left to languish as Friday loomed—I correctly assumed imminent ghosting. And while I found that style of exit both rude and frustrating, when things did fizzle for good, it seemed like the right and natural end. Confused and genuinely curious, I inquired after his endgame: Was he angling for me to come over, or was he just making conversation?