Can’t Buy Me Love: The Truth About The Promise Of Online Dating


A common criticism of online dating, especially on pay-sites, is that in order to make a profit, the site owners need to be able to sell love, or at least the promise of love. The premise is that by using their huge pool of subscribers along with their (supposedly) complicated algorithms, the dating site will be able to match you with your perfect partner.

Cue the violin music as the happy couple walks hand in hand into the sunset. Luckily, most of us are savvy enough to realise that nothing, especially relationships, can be that simple.

True Love?

No matter how good the algorithm and the questionnaires are, no online service will spit-out your perfect match! This is not to say that you will never find your perfect match in an online site. Too many people have found the love of their lives through online dating sites to dismiss the concept out of hand.

In every case, the service brought the couple together, but the success of the relationship is thanks more to the two people involved in the relationship than the site they met on.

A successful dating site relationship depends upon a number of factors. These include (but are not limited to) honesty between the participants, the ease with which they are able to communicate, the effort they make to get beyond those difficulties, the support that each receives from others in their lives, and the honesty between the participants (yes, I did mention that one twice).

The True Value Of Truth

Another common criticism of online dating is that “everyone lies on the Internet”. There is no sense in denying that there are a lot of people who stretch the truth in their dating site profiles. The point is, to achieve the best success on a dating site, your profile should be as honest as possible. This is not to say that you should post profile pictures wearing your ratty tee-shirt or without make-up, and you don’t need to lead with the most embarrassing incident in your life. There is nothing wrong with making yourself as attractive as possible, just not at the cost of going beyond the truth.

This is the same standard you would use in a “real life” dating situation. To be successful, that is how you need to approach your entire online dating experience- just as though it were taking place in the real world. When we come down to it, that is where everything that happens online eventually ends up.

So if they cannot promise true love, what can the dating sites give you? Their greatest value is the introductions. You can learn more about a potential date through a good dating site than any other forum. Learning about some one’s interests is not what it takes to fall in love. That takes actually, getting to know them. Which means going on that first real date.