Sex Q&A: Which is Better: Online Dating vs. Face-to-Face Dating

Is Online Dating Worth a Shot?

Sybil from Bossier City, Louisiana asks:

What do you think of online dating as far as getting to know a person vs. dating in real time getting to know them? Is their an advantage to either?

Liam’s Response:

Greetings, Sybil, and thanks so much for writing. Your question is a good one. Personally, I see pros and cons to both sides of the issue. There are more than a few happy, long-term relationships thriving away out there that began online, just as there are more than a few horror stories. As with anything else involving people, there are no general rules, and every situation will be unique. It is always wise to approach things from the standpoint of what is right for “you” rather than making any kind of blanket assumption. Our world is altering around us at lightning speed thanks to the hyper-evolution of our technologies. And although we apes remain fairly rudimentary creatures en masse, our social game is terribly complicated.

It seems to me that the people who have a better chance for success in the online dating arena are folks with more of a creative mentality and less moral restriction. In fact, those involved in alternative sex communities often flourish in the digital situation because they find it easier to accept and understand that online, what you are dealing with is a “projection” of the person typing the words. In fact, in some cases the person on the other end of the IM chat or email is an entirely constructed persona. People can express aspects of their personality over the Internet that they could not or would not express in person. Now, before you label this as “deceptive,” let me say that this projection can in many cases actually be more honest than the person would be in a supposedly “real life,” face-to-face meeting. The woman who works at the bank, goes to church on Sunday and leads a girl scout troop might also be conducting a ribald master/slave relationship with a brazen lesbian lover. So, which version of this woman is real? Which role is fake? My point is, it’s not up to us to say. It’s up to the woman to let us see which side of her she chooses at any given moment, and an online relationship can provide her with a venue for her pent-up expressions.

However, for people who are more restrictive, less creative and more practical, online dating can be a disappointing venture, especially if they are limiting themselves to meeting other “conventional” people with the intention of finding old-fashioned, boy-meets-girl love. That sort of thing doesn’t usually flow well in an online environment, and these people are often disappointed at the “reality” of the situation once the face-to-face dating starts. Conventional sorts tend to put their best foot forward online, creating idealized versions of themselves that are presented as absolutely true and real while omitting a helluva a lot of other stuff, like hidden marriages, massive debts and substance addictions. And, of course, a lot of so-called “conventional” guys out to meet “nice” girls are actually creeps on the make, pretending to be men of old fashioned values or religious beliefs in order to con some lonely woman out of her life savings or long-held virginity. No matter what path you pick, always remember, if he sounds too good to be true… he is.

In the end, it all depends on your mindset. What can you accept and tolerate? If you’re someone who’s adept at altering your perceptions, if you can see personality as a verb and not a noun, then online dating can be a grand way to experience romance and prospect for material encounters. However, if you tend to be a materialist or an adherent to notions of objective reality, then I say be wary of online stuff. Old fashioned sorts are better off at ice cream socials. Those things do still go on nowadays, you know. Thanks again and be well.


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3 thoughts on “Sex Q&A: Which is Better: Online Dating vs. Face-to-Face Dating

  1. Aida Bon

    Hi Liam,
    It’s me again. A few days ago I was putting all of your columns in aphabetic order and I was very surprised to find a beautiful column on POLYAMORY you wrote in december. After reading 4 books on the subject I simply forgot that you were the one who put me on that track. Amazing! What a pity that I will not experience it in this life. Thank you for your amazing insight every week.
    Aida Bon ( Same old question. When can your fans expect your book???????)

  2. Aida Bon

    Dear Liam, the first thing I do every sunday morning is read your column. I am not a psychic but reading your advice for ages I almost always know what your answer will be. You are absolutely not a regular big ape as we are, but certainly a Bonobo. The most amazing of all ape sorts! One thing I do not agree with is the sentence: If he sounds too good to be true…..he is. I think it should be: If he sounds too good to be true, he is……most probably NOT! I am an expert as I have been “on the market” for 25 years. Even now at 74 I still have fun. ( By candle light and a good glass of wine, most men estimate my age 55) My advice to everyone is do not look for a lifetime partner on the electronic highway, as most men do not have a licence for the ratrace called life. Besides via the screen it is very hard to know the Morphic Field of a person and that is the most essential attitude to know and feel. It is a pity that there is no cash to transelate my book: “MY MEN, MY LOVERS, MY GIGOLO’S AND….I” It is a hilarious but also spiritual account of my high speed life on high heels. I absolutely believe in Spirit Guides and there are many stories how I receive messages via music. Ofcourse the girlfriends I take along in the book do not believe in anything. That makes the stories told very funny. I hope to be reading a column on POLYAMORY very soon.
    Thank you for your weekly inspiration. Aida Bon (The Netherlands, impatiently waiting for YOUR book!!!!)


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