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Instant Romance is Just a Click Away

Looking for true love or a just good time? There's an app for that!

Matchmaking services have been popular for centuries. Seeking true love is a difficult path, so any assistance available is appreciated by most. Whether you are good looking or not, wealthy or not, young or old, finding a date or finding long-term love is a shared goal that requires you to put yourself out there at risk of personal rejection and humiliation—nothing many of us enjoy. Thus, assistance from hired matchmakers to newspaper classifieds to high tech internet sites and smartphone apps, we continue to chase the dream of a perfect match.

Posting an Almost True or Greatly Embellished Autobio-Fantasy

Looking for the perfect mate via outside assistance is nothing new to current generations, but the means to accomplish this certainly have. Today, online dating sites are available 24/7 and our ability to create a profile that puts our best foot, face, and form forward is easy to master. So easy that hyperbole and exaggeration from mild to wild is all too common. As the lyrics of one country song by Brad Paisley goes, “'Cause online I'm out in Hollywood, I'm six foot five and I look damn good, I drive a Maserati, I'm a black belt in karate and I love a good glass of wine.” We can portray ourselves any way we want online—but if we are hoping that a face-to-face meeting will follow an online flirtation, we need to be sure that we are not too far off from the mark.

Seeking Love (or at least something like it) at Any Age and Any Status

Not only are people able to look for true love or a quick hook-up online, but they are also able to signify their relationship status as accurately as possible—from “single” to “separated” to “married” to “it’s complicated.” Buyer beware if you’re looking for a long-term monogamous relationship from the latter two categories! What is also interesting is that older adults well up into their 80s or older are also looking for love online. It is also not surprising that the men aren’t seeking fertile females, but older men still seek younger mates. Older women seek same age mates up until around 75, according to one study, at which point they begin seeking younger men. Love at any age is believed to be as available online as any other product is at!

Unfortunately, even the most amazing computer algorithm is unable to generate the most amazing match for everyone. And when no one responds to your profile, it can be even more painful than real life for some. One study showed that the more sensitive we are to rejection, the harder we will try to please the next potential match. Makes sense—when the pool of love mates is shrinking, desperation can sink in as we fear being the only unmatched swimmer out there. This is the singles bar “beer goggles” effect at work. Everyone looks hot at closing time.

Online, when you craft your “best self” identity, we assume that others are going to recognize the loveliness of our unique personalities and appearances. When even our thoughtfully edited and created “best self” is found lacking, it can cause humiliation and self-doubt. Every time you log onto the site or check your email, you are opening up yourself to repeated rejections. And for the vast majority of us, rejection never feels good—especially when we have put ourselves out there in the hopes of being “chosen” as a potential mate. Basic primordial biologic drives spur us on to find a mate, so when that hunger for romance is teased and taunted by these online sites, we can get pretty emotionally wrapped up in the outcome.

“Here I am, here I am!”

Another method of getting our basic sexual drives satisfied include dating apps that use our location to provide potential meet-ups. Whether you are looking to hook-up that moment or build a long-term connection, your smartphone’s GPS is able to put you on the map for immediate gratification of your hunger for romance. This is especially helpful for individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender—populations that may still keep their sexual orientation in the closet. By creating a map of like individuals on your smartphone, you are much more easily able to find a potential partner. Whether or not it’s a fleeting match or marriage march, being able to program in your needs and have immediate response to your call-out can bring satisfaction to those who are often unable to locate matches otherwise.

True Love is Still Hard to Find

Unfortunately, while computer programs, GPS-location meet-up apps, or online matchmaking services can provide some momentary hope that true love is just a click away, it is still not guaranteed. Just as in real life, romantic chemistry is something that only can be assessed face-to-face, not on a screen or on paper. However, at least these internet sites and phone apps provide expanded opportunities for conducting “chemistry lab experiments" that would not otherwise occur.

So if you consider yourself relatively resilient to rejection, willing to meet up with relative strangers, and okay with multiple “first dates,” then perhaps the online sites and the GPS-meet-up apps may be an excellent means for finding true love or instant romance—it definitely can happen! And if no love match is struck, you will certainly amass interesting new stories to tell and valuable experiences from which to learn. However, do not neglect the importance of avoiding real risks of harm. Play safe, don't take unnecessary risks, and always trust your gut about a situation.

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