Seeking love

So many methods have been employed in the search for that one person who we’re meant to spend our lives with. From ancient times, the occult have employed traditions, divinations, spells and potions for the hunt to find a soulmate and partner in life.

A plethora of researches were done on what are factors into compatibility, online resources like Thought Catalog enumerated what people must consider on their quest to find a partner. It entails knowing yourself, your needs, wants, and goals in life.

Matchmakers were commissioned to find someone who will fit specific qualifications based on what the culture dictates at a certain moment. It may be based on wealth, personalities and in some occasions, actual feelings and love between two individuals.

All of these however, just deal with concepts. It is still in your head, in an imagined world, and not reality. So how can you translate these concepts, your hopes and wishes, into reality? You date. But how did dating start, and how does it work?

History of Courtship and Dating

For some, the word courtship conveys and olden tradition of men pursuing women. But for Skip Burzumato, a rector at an Episcopalian Church, he defines it as any activity done in preparation for marriage. Pretty hardcore, if you think about it. An attempt to date or hook-up, in essence, is part of courtship, and is thus done for the purpose of marriage. Quite heavy given the hook-up, no-strings-attached culture being observed of late.

Historically, finding a match is determined not by the to-be-couple, but by matchmakers, parents and relatives, with longevity of family legacy and economic stability in its core. Weddings were business deals, a merger or acquisition towards a more stable wealth source, an enterprise, a conglomerate.

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A couple of decades to a few centuries ago, courtship meant wooing a woman. Through his wealth, vigor and good looks – men show off traits that imply he’ll produce healthy offspring who’ll live a good life. Men would visit women they fancied, visit them at home and spend some time together supervised by parents or chaperones. Sex Info Online raised that for those a little less affluent and whose houses are not as equipped to entertain suitors and guests, leaving the house and going “out on dates” became the alternative. Time passed that the elites of society found the rebelliousness of going out on dates interesting, coupled with the rise of production of automobiles, having fun became central in dates, instead of serious talks with parents.

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It was the social revolution and the hippie culture that sprouted in the 60s that slowly evolved into the dating and hook-up culture we currently have. Feminist movements had young women practicing more civil liberties and taking control of their bodies. Both young men and women reaped the benefits of a society more open when it comes to birth control and reproductive health. Sexuality was more widely accepted as a pleasurable activity than being merely a pursuit to creating a new life.

Along with technological advances, dating also progresses to keep up with the times. In the 40s during the war, letter writing and the post were the main mode of communication for lovers, from sweet nothings to more explicit ones, they spent time writing (which probably explains their good handwriting), sealing envelopes and licking stamps just to get messages across.

The telephone then became the go-to form of communication as it became a household staple, as more and more dates were being asked through the telephone, and more and more long-distance-relationship endured absence; the telephone also evolved its primary function of straightforward communication into a more sensual, erotic role that allowed taunting and teasing, firing up the imagination.

A few more years and computers where developed. Communicating through these behemoth machines became possible. From electronic mails, to messaging, chatting, and online dating, in the process the computers get smaller but more and more powerful

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Online Dating

One peek at an Online Dating site’s members’ database is solid proof of how vast the sea of potential matches is, and how equally diverse the fishes are. Traditionally meeting people is limited through the work place, the interlocking social circles of friends, interest groups, parents friends’ children, among others.

The individuals constantly surrounding you, or are within your direct connections, might not necessarily be the best candidates to be partners. People tend to have deal-breakers that might not be easily fulfilled when dealing with a controlled sample of friends and acquaintances. Online dating is helpful such that it broadens the horizons in their search for a partner.

With technology connecting the world and people, we often find ourselves drowning in things to do and an overwhelming amount of information, some of which is trivial and unnecessary. Our busy lives lead us into thinking that finding time to meet people, go out on dates and seek for love is a luxury. That is just the convenience that Online Dating is willing to provide to anyone, anywhere with a computer or smartphone and internet connectivity. Websites and applications abound, giving anyone with a few minutes to spare access to a catalogue of members seeking exactly the same thing that you might also be looking for.

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Dating is expensive, Daily Mail backs this up with an article saying that a sizable amount of money is spent on dates for an unknown probability if the other person is compatible to you. Online dating and matchmaking provides free services to meet potential partners. There are also premium packages, for exclusive privileges and perks, one can also choose to spend from a few dollars per month to up to hundreds of thousands of dollars dependent on your income, and your eagerness to find the perfect match.

Online Dating also provides an easy way to meet people for those that are not so comfortable in striking up conversations, meeting people and dating. Online dating gives way to a less stressful environment to get to know someone. Participants will feel a lot less nervous or anxious, and in effect might be a lot more successful than they would had they done so in the real life.

Transitioning from Online to Offline Dating

Now that you’ve got the search and filter phase done, what needs to be done next is to shift the playing field from the computer or your phone into the real life. Seems pretty easy, right? Not. For some, the allure of online dating is the fact that one can hide behind the safety of a computer screen and maybe assume a personality that they might not necessarily be the real them.

For people who went to the online dating scene with hopes of getting something more serious out of it though, continuing the relationship completely online might not seem to be a viable option. Online dating maybe seen as an easy, convenient and economical first step towards a relationship, but it certainly cannot be the entirety of the relationship. Relationship resource Sweet Datings agrees that an online relationship is senseless if it does not transform and manifest in real life.

An article by eHarmony confirms the premise and it mentioned that the most logical next step to transition from mere online dating of messaging / emailing, is to put a little bit more of a human touch into the conversation, and that is through voice calls or maybe even live chat – a service that is also available in some dating sites. Doing so is one step ahead of just written texts being exchanged, and provides a better insight on how your online date is in real life. Hearing someone’s voice adds a depth through intonation vs. text. If it’s a video call, another level of depth is given when you can see their faces, their reactions and subtle body language.

Meeting up

From phone calls and video calls, it’s time to deepen the interaction further. Agreeing on an actual meet-up, is next in the agenda. Telegraph says that mere messaging should not last more than 2 weeks, and suggests that the perfect time range to suggest a meet up is between 17 to 23 days since first message, a survey-backed research supports the claim that this period is the point when impressions are at peak.

Whether the other party will be keen in a meet-up or not is also an indication of the other party’s intentions too. People who want to meet immediately without having established rapport or significant connection through mere messaging, could be sketchy characters. Meanwhile, those who keep on dodging a meet-up could possibly have other issues and may not be the match you’re interested in.

When both parties are positive on their desires to meet up, YourTango advised that the D-word be evaded. Saying that it is a date will put unnecessary pressure on the event. A suggested way to position is to just “meet up”, or “grab coffee”. Black People Meet, MeetMindful and eHarmony agrees with this approach. Going to a fancy restaurant for dinner may seem like such a big deal, too formal. Going to the movies on the other hand does not give you enough time to interact when what you should be doing is communicating, getting to know each other and gauging compatibility.

Nowadays, safety is always an issue, and it is no different when arranging a meet-up with your online beau. Choose a public place, somewhere there are other people around, deciding on going to your home or his/hers for a first date is not exactly a good idea. Also, inform a close friend about this meet-up, should the other party turn out to be not as ideal as they were online, or things go horribly wrong, it is always good to know that there is someone you can ask to fake-emergency-call you out of a bad date, or rescue you out of a bad decision.

Take the opportunity of your meet-up to familiarize with each other, understand their personality and humor, basically what you have been doing behind the keyboard but now on personal level, face-to-face. Doing so will get you to connect on a deeper level and evaluate your compatibility.

If it turns out to be everything you expected and more, then it was a successful online to offline transition. Go on a few more dates and see if you really hit it off. After some time, if it is still going well, then you probably are now part of the statistic of successful relationships that got its start from a dating site.

Resources

Below is a list of the most successful dating websites in terms of member base and matches. Happy matching!

http://www.eharmony.com/ eHarmony has got to be the most comprehensive dating site that boasts of a sophisticated compatibility matching system that considers birthdays, personality traits, physical traits, economic status, interests, preferences and stand on specific issues.

http://www.match.com/ Another top matchmaking sites, it claims of significant success rate in terms of the successful number of real-life dates, relationships and marriages. A huge members database ensures you’ll find someone for you.

https://www.okcupid.com/ Easy sign up, social networking, compatibility testing, customizable questions and an advanced matching algorithm is the secret to OKCupid’s popularity and success in the online dating niche.

https://www.gotinder.com/ Millennials who don’t have time to spare but are inseparable to their phones enjoys Tinder’s no-nonsense approach to matching. An easy swipe left or right allows you to filter the selection in between Uber rides, macchiato breaks and CrossFit training.

https://www.lavalife.com/ Lavalife claims that they make dating fun and exciting again, other than finding matches, they also provide dating tips, and allows a variety of dating personas based on your mood at the moment.

http://www.pof.com/ Plenty of Fish has got a chemistry test that allows for matching with compatible personalities for more stable relationships. They also provide a resource to figure out your relationship needs and your mistakes when you screwed up before.