3 Pros and 3 Cons of Online Dating in College

College students need to consider both sides of the equation before finding a date online.

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Online dating can seem like the perfect solution to all your college dating dilemmas. You’ll get to search through all the available singles and go straight for the ones you have the most in common with. Although many college students have found success with online dating, it’s far from a sure thing. Take a moment to think about the pros and cons before you create that online dating profile.

The Pros

1. Convenience: College students typically have a lot on their plate: classes, jobs, internships, volunteering, athletics, you name it. Finding time to just hang out at campus events, parties or bars isn’t always a guaranteed way to meet someone who sparks your interest. Online dating makes it easy to squeeze in time for finding a potential date. Students can scroll through dating site profiles on their lunch break, in between writing papers or on a lazy Sunday morning.

Even if you go to a school with 20,000 people, you might end up seeing the same couple hundred every week. That’s because sticking to your schedule means running into the same students on your way to and from class, in the cafeteria and studying in the library.

2. Meeting New People: Even if you go to a school with 20,000 people, you might end up seeing the same couple hundred every week. That’s because sticking to your schedule means running into the same students on your way to and from class, in the cafeteria and studying in the library. Utilizing an online dating service allows you to check out a whole new crop of people you never would have met otherwise, which means more opportunities for sparks to fly. Plus, with sites like DateMySchool, you can narrow your search to students at your own school.

3. Control: Online dating gives college students something they crave: control. You get to carefully craft a profile that shows off all your interests and goals. Meanwhile, you’re in control of your first impression by choosing a flattering profile picture. You can also narrow your search for singles according to their religious beliefs, political affiliation, college major or even their height.

The Cons

1. Unmet Expectations: Sadly, most online dating adventures don’t work out. Many students create a profile hoping that they’ll have a new boyfriend or girlfriend by the end of the semester. You may meet a lot of duds before you meet a stud.

2. Safety: Even if you’ve chatted with your date online, the first time you meet you’re basically perfect strangers. This makes it a bit more dangerous than going out with that guy from your history class or the girl you met through a mutual friend. Match.com suggests meeting in a public place and telling a friend about where you’ll be.

3. Stigma: Despite the fact that about 17% of newly married couples have met online, there’s still a social stigma attached to online dating. Some people think college students shouldn’t need online dating – after all, they’re surrounded by peers every day, most of whom are single. There’s no guarantee that people won’t judge you for looking online for love.

Quick Facts

  • According to a Washington Post article, online dating is more effective than going out to the bars if you’re looking for a potential life partner.
  • Don’t forget that most online dating sites charge a membership fee to access all their features. However, there are a few 100% free sites like CollegePassions.com.
  • It’s not just eHarmony and Match.com anymore – today, there are literally hundreds of online dating services. If you have a specific passion or interest, find a site that suits you. FitnessSingles pairs up singles who like the same sporting activities, while The Right Stuff is for Ivy League grads who want to find someone with a similar elite educational background.

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