We don't need to remind you what today is. If you're in a relationship, you're probably looking forward to the plans you and your sweetheart have made. Lovely. Good for you. However, us singletons are either trying to forget this love-ridden day or desperately searching for a last-minute date. And what easier way to find said date than online dating?
Although actual true love, eternal joy, and maybe a happily-ever-after ending could await you at the end of the online dating road, we are here to warn you of the dangers that await along your way. So seasoned veterans who have become all too familiar with the ins and outs of every site and app you can think of, enjoy knowing you are not alone. And green, dewy-eyed privates ready to jump in, sit back, relax, and prepare yourself for the inevitabilities of trying to find love online.
See also: 10 Tinder Tips for Guys
5. You will see someone you know and know that they've seen you, too.
It's going to happen, so just accept it and brace yourself. You're going to be flipping through potential love matches when you're going to stop on someone not because they are Adonis attractive or their description just speaks to you, but because you know them. In real life, outside the digital dating world. You are going to feel panic. It's okay. Cool your jets there. Yes, said person now knows that you are using all the tools at your disposal to find love, but you now know that they are doing the same thing. You've been found out, but so have they. Take solace in the fact that you are not alone and give said comrade a high five for putting themselves and their heart out there next time you see them. Who knows? Maybe it could turn into something more.
4. You will run into someone you've talked to online out in the real world.
For this, we cannot offer advice with such a potentially uplifting end. If you are browsing over the kumquats and other seasonal citrus in Trader Joe's, glance up, see someone familiar over by the artichokes but just can't seem to place them, be careful. As soon as you sign up for Tinder, OkCupid, eHarmony, or any other digital dating platform, you run the risk of seeing someone out and about whom you have only met online before. Maybe you actually like this person and this is just the serendipitous opportunity you needed to make a real connection. But more likely, you've exchanged a few days' worth of awkward small talk and ultimately let the conversation fizzle out. But now they're here. Escape. Duck, cover, and get out of there. If you're brave, quickly finish your shopping and get out. If you're more like us, drop your basket or ditch your cart right there and run as fast as you can.
3. You will get crazy messages.
Most messages you'll get online will start with some kind of pleasant greeting possibly followed by a pet name used entirely too soon in the "relationship". But, sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll start chatting with someone especially creative. If you draw the winning hand in this love game, you may find several hundred poetic words about having a life-altering conversation with a bird or a proposition to lock you up and cover your body with honey for a few weeks filling your inbox. These are normal . . . relatively. You have a few options when dealing with these unusual messages. You can either ignore them or (our preferred option) respond. Ask the bird-talker if he is a member of the Audubon Society or tell the honey-lover that you're down but, sadly, you have a fatal allergy to all honey except that of the apis dorsata binghami found in Indonesia. Worst case scenario, they think you're serious, and you revert to ignoring them. Best case scenario, you get a great story to tell your grandchildren.
2. You will have to explain how you met said person.
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Okay, let's get a little positive for a second. Let's say that you starting chatting someone up and you two actually hit it off. You decide to meet, and, by some amount of grace bestowed upon the two of you by Cupid himself, you continue to hit it off. You two hit things off so well that you enter into a full blown relationship. Congratulations! But now, you face a crucial choice. Do you tell people (your friends, parents, future children, strangers on the street, etc.) that you met on whatever online service you used or do you lie and come up with a more adorable story? Honestly, we can't really tell you what to do in this case. On the one hand, we are always for honesty . . . to the point of brutality. Own it, be loud, be proud! But on the other hand, we can always appreciate creativity and the two of you have basically been given a beautifully blank canvas to work with. We'll just leave you with this, if you are going to make something up, make it worth the karma points you're going to lose for lying.
1. You will start talking to someone who you believe to be your soul mate, only to meet them in person and have them actually be . . . something terrible.
Anonymity is both the best thing about and the greatest downfall of online dating. Keep that in mind as you embark on this venture. The possibility of falling for someone's online personality and then being repulsed by their in-person qualities is entirely too real. Oh, yeah, and there's also that whole catfishing danger. Nope, it's not just a sensationalized MTV show, it really happens. Just be careful and be smart. Don't accept candy from strangers and don't give your metaphorical candy away to strangers. The internet is a dangerous place, kids, but good luck finding love there! (That was supposed to sound much more genuine than it actually did.)