Romantic relationships may be hard to find, but they can also add three years to your life and provide a lifetime of memories. You'll be happier, less lonely and can enjoy lower levels of stress by finding someone special.
If you’re struggling to find romance, online dating removes many of the obstacles people face when meeting in person.
You'll be able to find a physical and personality match that is perfect for you.
But before trying to find your perfect match, it’s important to understand why relationships are important in our lives.
Understanding the Importance of Relationships in Our Life
Relationships, whether romantic, friendships, business or with family, are vital to the overall well-being of a person. When you have healthy romantic relationships, they can have a profound impact on your life and health.
The University of Minnesota outlines how healthy relationships can change a person’s life.
1. You’ll Live Longer
A peer review of 148 studies on impact of relationships and life span found that:
- Relationships reduce the risk of dying prematurely by 50%
- Finding a life partner can add three years to your life expectancy
But it is important to note that men benefit more from marriage than women in this respect.
An additional study on 127,545 Americans found that married men are healthier than men who are divorced or never married. Marrying after 25 also provides more health benefits than marrying at a young age.
Romantic relationships may provide better health and a longer lifespan for several reasons, but the key reason suggested in the study is lower loneliness levels. Married men living with their wives are among the healthiest, while those that live with their partners but are not married are healthier than single individuals.
Living longer is one of the many health benefits of a relationship, but there are many more.
2. Lower Stress Levels
Stress is inevitable, and relationships offer an escape from stress. When you’re in a relationship, you’re able to recover from stress faster than when you’re single. A study including 100 people found that the impact of stress is reduced when a person is reminded of having a strong relationship.
But if the relationship is unhealthy, you may suffer from higher:
- Blood pressure levels
Oftentimes, having someone to share these stressful moments with can have a great impact on the overall impact of stress.
What Happens When You Have Low Social Support?
If you’re not in a relationship and have low social support, the negative impact on your life can be severe. In fact, a healthy relationship improves a person’s well-being as much as a 50% increase in income.
Low social support can lead to:
- Blood pressure hikes. Loneliness leads to higher blood pressure, according to a study from the University of Chicago. Even if the loneliness is only temporary, a person’s blood pressure levels can stay elevated for years.
- Immune function. Loneliness was also associated with a decrease in immune function. What researchers found was that a lack of healthy relationships or social connections in your life will increase your chances of becoming sick.
- Depression. Studies on depression, pain and fatigue found that lack of social connections and relationships increased the risk of depression.
Relationships of all kinds, but especially romantic relationships, can be the most beneficial for a person’s health.
In life, the relationships that you forge and maintain may be the difference between a happier, healthier and longer life or a life of sickness, depression and higher risk of premature death.
Relationships and General Life Benefits
Men and women both benefit from relationships, but there’s a difference in the benefits each receive. Relationships can be a mirror into a person’s own life, allowing us to:
- Improve in our careers
- Change as a person
- Experience new life adventures
Humans are known for falling into a routine and staying within a “safe place” that is our comfort zone. There are thrill seekers that may always push their limits, but for most people, relationships allow us to experience new life adventures together.
Relationships push us out of our comfort zones and experience things we may never had experienced in the past.
There’s also the part of relationships that many people don’t want to talk about: feeling needed.
Life can be lonely and confusing, but romantic relationships can change all of that. When you’re in a relationship, you benefit from:
- Feeling needed
- Being important
- Having someone to rely on
- Having someone to share experiences with
Dating and relationships can be a lot of fun, and they impact our lives in so many ways. You'll learn more about yourself in a relationship, how you deal with challenges and even your own weak points. You’ll learn acceptance through relationships.
The relationships that you’re in and experience teach you just as much about yourself as it does about others. Relationships teach us about love and how to be loved.
Relationships are formed in numerous ways, and each way provides an authentic look at life.
How Relationships are Formed
Relationships today are a lot different than they were 20 – 40 years ago. Texting and online dating have changed the way people meet, and these changes in communication are just the start of the changes in romantic relationships.
Location is a Major Issue
Location was once a major concern. You had to go out to the bar, a fundraiser or even church to spark new relationships. You had to put yourself “out there” and take a risk that the person you’re attracted to will be single and looking to date.
Times have changed – it's less scary to date.
Online dating is the new “bar,” and if someone is on Zoosk or a similar site, you can be sure that they’re:
- Interested in a relationship
- Interested in you
Of course, the first date will play a major factor in how the relationship advances. You may find that there’s no chemistry between the two of you, and if there’s no chemistry, it was a nice night out socializing.
In 50% of relationships, the partners live close to one another. “Close” can be relative, as people can now FaceTime or go on Zoom to chat. Still, people prefer someone that is a driving distance away to allow for frequent meetings.
Dating apps and online dating allow you to find a partner that is within a satisfactory distance from where you live. If you don’t mind or even prefer long distance relationships, online dating can help you meet the perfect match whether they’re 10, 20, 50 or 100 miles away.
Attraction is a Must
Relationship experts agree: attraction is a must. But attraction can be many things:
- Physical attraction
- Personality attraction
Dating apps show that people that are physically attractive receive more messages and go on more dates together.
But you can contact multiple people and find someone you’re attracted to online who wants to go on a date. The date will be telling because once on a date, you’ll start to see if you’re attracted to the person’s:
- Other traits
Online dating helps you break the ice and get on the first date to learn more about the other person to see if you’re attracted to them beyond looks.
Relationships Built Online
Location and attraction are two very important factors in a relationship, but romantic relationships truly start as you get to know a person. Studies from Stanford found that 39% of heterosexual couples met their partners online.
And this figure continues to rise.
The benefit of meeting someone online is that you can:
- Video chat with a person to break free from misleading photos and ensure that there’s a physical attraction
- Chat with the person to make sure that your personalities match
- See if going on a date is in both of your best interests
A lot of the learning about a person to see if they’re a good relationship match is changing. You can chat and video call a person, see if your personalities match and ensure that there’s a spark prior to going on a date.
Online dating reduces the risk of being denied and increases your chance of finding a good personality match for you.
The stigma of meeting online is fading, and it has replaced meeting through mutual friends.
Opposites Don’t Attract
Even if the way relationships form has changed, there is one thing that has remained the same since the beginning of mankind: opposites don’t attract. You may be attracted to, date and even marry someone who is an opposite, but chances are, your relationship will fail.
Research shows that attraction has a higher chance of success if two people are:
- Very similar to each other
- Of similar ages, which allow for higher attraction for a longer period of time
- Of similar social classes, which tend to match together better
Partners with similar viewpoints tend to have relationships that are stronger. Online dating apps allow for preference matching. Zoosk, for example, will compare your preferences to others in your database to find a match that will attract on both the physical and emotional level needed for a long, healthy relationship.
Relationships with a similar person are great, but if they’re too similar, you may miss out on the learning experience that relationships offer.
You can and should learn a lot from your partner, so while opposites may not attract, you don’t want the person you’re dating to be 100% like you.
Online dating allows you to form relationships in new, exciting ways. Once you form the base relationship, you can go on a date or choose to find someone else that is a better romantic match for you.
Should You Try Online Dating?
It seems like everyone has tried online dating, and that’s because most people have. According to a report from Pew Research Center, 30% of U.S. adults have tried online dating. That same report found that most people have a positive experience with dating apps and websites.
Still, there is a bit of a stigma attached to online dating – even today. That makes some people apprehensive about giving it a try.
3 Things to Consider Before Trying Online Dating
Before you dive into the vast world of online dating, there are some things you should consider.
Your Communication Style
When you meet someone you’re interested in, how do you prefer to communicate? Over the phone? Face to face? Through text messages?
If you’re comfortable or prefer talking over text, on the phone or on video chat, online dating may be a good option for you.
How much free time do you have? If you’re juggling a full-time job and kids, you may not have a lot of time to go out and meet people.
Most people lead busy, exhausting lives. At the end of the day, you may only have enough time to eat dinner and relax for an hour before bed. You’re so exhausted on the weekend that you can’t even think about going out to try and meet someone.
With online dating, you can view dating profiles and talk to people you might be interested in right from your living room sofa. You don’t have to spend a fortune at the bar and waste your time talking to the all the wrong people.
If you have a busy life, online dating may be good fit for you.
Your Comfort Level
Many people are still concerned about the safety of online dating, and rightfully so. Online dating can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. But truthfully, meeting someone in person can be just as dangerous.
No matter how you met your date (online or in person), it’s probably not a good idea to go back to the person’s house or to meet in a sketchy place.
Still, it's important to consider how comfortable you are meeting someone you met online in person. If you’re comfortable meeting in a public place and have friends who will stay in regular contact with you during the date, online dating may be a great option for you.
3 Reasons to Try Online Dating
An Easy Way to Meet New People
Online dating is an easy and efficient way to meet new people. Why spend hours at the bar waiting for someone who catches your eye when you can review dating profiles of people in your area without having to leave the house?
Swipe right if you find someone attractive and learn more about them. It’s that easy.
If you like what you see, you can get to know each other better and eventually meet in person. With online dating, you can see if a person is worth your time before you go out of your way to meet up.
Saves You Time
How may weekends have you spent out at the bar looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right? How many friends have tried to set you up with their “nice single friend?”
Set-ups are great – until they show up and you realize that you have nothing in common. You don’t even find them attractive.
If you’re like many people, the bar scene and friendly matchmaking services just aren’t working for you.
Online dating can save you time by connecting you with single people you’re interested in. You don’t have to waste time trying to figure out if someone is single or available. If they’re using an online dating app, you can be pretty certain that they’re not in a relationship.
Great for Shy People
If you’re shy or socially anxious, online dating may make it a little easier to “approach” someone and strike up a conversation. Many people find that it’s much easier to open up and get to know someone through online conversations. This can make the face-to-face meeting a little easier because you already know the person and feel comfortable around them.
Best Online Dating Brand
With more than 35 million members, Zoosk is one of the most popular online dating services and the top grossing dating app on the Apple App Store. It’s available in more than 80 countries and 25 languages, so single people from all over the world can connect with other local singles.
If you’re interested in online dating but aren’t sure if you want to pay for it, you can sign up for free and preview the site. You can view profiles of other members and see how the site works before signing up for a subscription. Once you become a paid member, you can start communicating with other members on the site.
Zoosk has some features that makes their service stand out from the crowd:
- Send virtual gifts to people you’re interested in.
- Photo Verification shows other members that your photo really looks like you. Verified photos have a green badge.
- SmartPick learns your preferences and helps you find better match recommendations.
- Carousel allows you to see photos and ages of other members and decide whether you want to meet them. Select “yes” or “maybe” if you’re interested, and they’re interested, too, they will be added to your Connections.
- Super Send allows you to introduce yourself to a lot of other singles at once. People who are interested can message you back and start a conversation.
Zoosk’s user-friendly interface and easy cancellation process make it a favorite online dating service among singles across the globe.
How to Get Started with Online Dating
If you’re new to the world of online dating, you may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious and unsure of how to get started.
A few things to think about before you sign up for a dating service:
- What do you want to include in your profile?
- How much are you willing to spend on the service each month?
- What rules and protective measures are important to you?
- Do you want to be part of a large network, or a smaller, niche dating community?
- What type of relationship are you looking for?
By taking the time to answer these questions, you can enter the world of online dating with goals and preferences in mind.
Find the Right Service
Take your time when choosing an online dating platform. Sign up for a free account (if it’s available) and take a look around the site before you commit to a subscription. Do you see any members you’d be interested in? Are there users that share your interests, values and goals?
What about the service itself?
- Does it fit your budget?
- What’s the cancellation policy?
- Are there any hidden fees?
Choose your platform carefully to ensure your experience is as positive as possible. And don’t be afraid to switch platforms if you find that your current one isn’t working for you.
10 Tips for Online Dating
1. Be Genuine When Creating Your Profile
When you choose a dating service and sign up for an account, the first step is to create a profile. When creating your profile, make sure that you are genuine and post an actual, unedited photo of yourself.
If you’re serious about meeting someone you want to build a relationship with, they must see and get to know the real you.
- If you have kids, be honest.
- If you have pets, be honest.
- If you smoke, be honest.
These may seem like minor details, but they are a part of who you are and your lifestyle. Let’s say that you found what feels like the perfect match, but you lied about having a cat. As it turns out, your match is highly allergic to cats. If things get serious, you’ll have to come clean about the lie. Your match won’t appreciate being lied to, and while it may not seem like a big deal, something as simple as a pet allergy can break up a new relationship.
Just be honest. You want to attract and connect with someone who knows and appreciates the real you. You can’t do that if you aren’t honest in your profile, or in conversations with potential matches.
2. Don’t Be Too Revealing
You’re just getting started with online dating and meeting people online. There’s no need to reveal too much personal information just yet.
Only share information that you feel comfortable sharing or that you’d share with someone you just met at a bar.
Most people on dating apps are there to meet other singles, but there are people who have bad intentions. Be careful about how much information you reveal. Don’t put all of your personal information out there right away.
If you want to meet someone in person, do it in a public place. They don’t need to know your address just yet. Protect yourself by keeping your personal information private for now.
3. Always Meet in Public Places
It should go without saying that you should always meet your matches in a public place where you feel safe. Have a designated friend that you can check in with throughout the night, and don’t be afraid to leave if you aren’t having a good time. Dating should be fun. It's okay to make an excuse and end the night early if you feel like the date is going nowhere.
4. Don’t Get Discouraged
It’s easy to get discouraged with online dating. You may have days or weeks when you scroll thought potential matches and find nothing that catches your eye. That’s okay. Online dating makes it easier to find and connect with people, but sometimes, there just aren’t any members that share your goals or interests available.
Give it time. Take a break if you have to, and don’t change your standards just because you can’t seem to find any matches right now.
5. Ask a Friend to Review and Edit Your Profile
Whether your goal is a long-term relationship or just to date around, your profile should reflect your true personality and your intentions. Sometimes, our judgment can get clouded when trying to build an online dating profile.
Have a trusted, honest friend review and edit your profile before it goes live. An honest friend will give you feedback and help you tweak your profile so that you present yourself in a genuine way.
While your friend is reviewing your profile, have him/her look for grammar and spelling errors. It may seem trivial, but you want your profile to be a positive reflection of yourself. Spelling and grammar errors may turn some people off.
6. You Don’t Have to Respond to Every Contact
When you receive a contact, you may feel obligated to respond. You don’t owe anyone anything. Politely declining and explaining why you don’t think you’d be a good fit will only waste your valuable time. Some online dating users don’t know how to take “no” for an answer, so responses may only give the wrong impression.
If a contact doesn’t interest you, it’s okay to ignore it.
7. Keep First Dates Brief
When making plans for a first date, aim for something quick and casual, like a coffee or drink. The idea of a grand first date may sound romantic, but it also puts a lot of pressure on both of you.
What if the other person looks nothing like his/her photos? What if the chemistry just isn’t there? You don’t want to feel forced to spend a big extravagant evening with someone you never met.
Take the pressure off. Meet for a cup of coffee or dessert. If there’s an event you’re both interested in, meet up, see how you feel about each other and go from there. If things don’t go as well as planned, it’s easy to cut things short without any hard feelings or making it awkward.
Also, give yourself a responsible “out” that you can use if necessary. Make plans with a friend for after the date. This gives you a valid excuse to duck out and leave if things aren’t going well.
8. Don’t Be Overly Eager
It’s natural to get excited about meeting someone you’re interested in. You may think about them throughout the day, and you may feel tempted to share what you’re up to. But it’s important not to be overly eager.
If you’re just getting to know someone, don’t message them more than once in a day. Although your intentions are good, you may come off as too eager and may give the other person cold feet.
When first reaching out to new matches, give them some time to respond. Don’t send multiple messages or worse, angry messages, asking them to respond. They may never respond. That’s okay. Don't take it too personally.
9. Keep it Positive and Avoid Clichés in Your Profile
When creating your profile, keep it positive and leave the clichés at the door. Think of your profile as your dating resume. Don’t lie, but don’t dwell on the negative. Keep it light, positive and interesting.
Sure, you may love walks on the beach or drinking wine by the fire, but so does everyone else. Add interesting conversation starters to your profile to stand out in the crowd.
10. Don't Just Post Selfies
Your online dating profile should have more than one photo and ideally, you should post more than just selfies. Share photos of you doing fun and interesting things with your friends. Post pictures that show off your personality and lifestyle. This will give potential matches a better look at who you are and whether you’d be a good fit together.
Don’t forget to include photos of you smiling. People want to see your big, beautiful smile. After all, happiness and positivity are major turn-ons.
Update your pictures and your profile regularly. Your life is constantly changing, and your dating profile should be a reflection of that.
The world of online dating is vast, and with millions of people all over the world using online dating apps, it’s a great time to give this dating style a try. Relationships enrich your life and improve your well-being. Online dating can help you find someone you connect with – all without having to spend your nights and weekends out trying to meet people.
The post Romantic Relationships: Why You Should Give Online Dating a Try appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.