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[This post is the second in a two-part series. Check out Part One: Online Dating Is So Dumb!]

Yesterday I rattled off a heap of reasons why online dating really stinks. The list included things like online daters being too judgmental of physical appearance (window shopping), mistaking cool profiles for real chemistry (jumping the gun), and flat-out lying about who they are, what they do, and what they believe in (just being morons). With a track record like that, who would even give eHarmony or Match.com a shot? Why not just take your chances in the real world and forget the robotic, impersonal realm of online dating?

Great questions, children. Now sit up straight, sharpen your #2 pencils, and get ready for the answers that will blow your mind! (Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It is still dating through a computer screen, after all. But nonetheless, get ready for some good stuff.)

The Health.com article that inspired yesterday’s post detailed the pitfalls of online dating. The article also didn’t deny the growth and significance of the online dating marketplace in today’s world:

“Thanks to the proliferation of online dating, would-be couples are now almost as likely to meet via email or a virtual “wink” as they are through friends and family.”

“In 1992, when the Internet was still in its infancy, less than 1 percent of Americans met their partners through personal ads or matchmaking services. By 2009, 22 percent of heterosexual couples . . . reported meeting online, one survey found.”

If you’ve seen any of the hopeful, cheery Match.com commercials lately, you’ve heard their claim that “one out of every five couples meets online.” 20 percent? That’s a statistic that deserves some eye-batting. The dating world has changed, and as I detailed in a previous blog, it’s turned into a virtual reality. No matter how you feel about the virtual part, reality is reality. You can’t escape it.

Drum roll please…


(1) Online dating gets you out into the dating scene. In everyday life, it’s not easy to get out and start dating. Where do you even start? Just walk into a bar and smile? Wear something extra cute to church and scan the room for potential dates while everyone else is praying? Putting yourself out there is really tough, and can bring out lots of insecurities (at least for me). Setting up a profile and posting some photos online is an easy, non-intrusive way to start the process. You can pace yourself, take your time, and enjoy the process as it happens—instead of being thrown into potentially embarrassing, uncomfortable dating situations.

(2) Online dating introduces you to lots of new people. For most adults, day-to-day routines limit the opportunities to meet new people. You go to the same job, the same gym, the same church, and the same social hangouts, each and every week. Unless someone new comes into your circle, the odds are you will be chit-chatting with the same folks, again and again. There’s comfort in this, and community is a great thing. But there’s also little room for meeting that special someone. By signing up on a site like eHarmony, you are automatically introduced to lots of new people! Every day in your inbox you are greeted  by smiling faces—one of which might just be your potential mate.

(3) Online dating fits into anyone’s schedule. We’ve all heard the age old excuses: “I’m too busy to date,” or “My life is just too hectic to be in a relationship right now.” I say, if you desire a relationship, you will make time for it. But still, some schedules can make it more difficult. The great thing about online dating is it adapts to your timetable. If you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a volunteer for a local political campaign, a single dad, or a college student—you can make online dating work. Log in when you have time, or download an app to peruse profiles during your morning train commute. You don’t have to change your entire calendar just to be a member of Match.com.

I’ve had both good and bad experiences with online dating. But I’m still rocking my dating profile, and can highly recommend online dating to anyone who is interested in meeting that special someone. I have friends—you know who you are—that still refuse to set up an online profile. I’ve heard them say it time and time again—“That’s just not for me.” Really? You’re too cool for online dating? You’re too embarrassed to put yourself out there? I’m afraid those reasons don’t get you one step closer to starting a relationship.

Looking for Prince Charming? He’s not just going to accidentally take the caramel latte you ordered at Starbucks, apologize, flash a dazzling smile, and make it up to you by buying you dinner. This isn’t an ABC Family movie.

Looking for Mrs. Right? She isn’t just going to appear on the elliptical training machine next to you, and struggle to get it started only to have you rescue her as sparks of romance fly across the gym. This isn’t a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Life is what you make of it. I say give online dating a shot. What you have to lose (approximately $50 and a chip off your shoulder) is nothing compared to what you stand to gain (potential friendships and… wait for it… true love).