Online dating can be a tricky bit of business, particularly without maintaining the right mind set and a discerning approach. A lot of people are turned off by online dating because there is an anonymity to it that might lead to a questionable, awkward or untrustworthy situation.
There's also a lack of accountability found in some individuals in actually meeting or corresponding with others, whether it be caused by a busy schedule, vanity or plain disinterest. The most important thing to remember, is to adjust your online dating expectations accordingly. You'll need to be armed with caution and perception, just as much as you'll need to maintain enthusiasm and persistence in order to have a chance of succeeding in it.
Naturally, "success" is a subjective term and what people want to get out of online dating varies. However, from long-term relationships to casual partners, I believe caution, perception, enthusiasm and persistence apply to the particular goals of each mind set. Let's say you com across the profile of a person you find attractive and interesting, you send them a message and await a reply. When you don't get a reply, how do you take it?
Is the person bombarded with other messages? Are they too busy with work and other things to respond? Are they already seeing others? Are they just uninterested in you? The truth is in these cases, more often than not, you won't be getting any answers. It's important not to be discouraged, however, because they are just one of millions of people who have taken to online dating to seek potential partners.
That's probably the best thing about online dating and the infinite reach of the internet. You can cast a much wider net into that proverbial "sea" of potential partners and find someone that suits your desires, ambitions and tastes much more effectively than when online dating didn't exist. It's not a crazy notion to assume that more and more relationships will work out in the future because of online dating's breadth and versatility to suit each individuals needs. That's even more reason to hold your head up high and barrel through the rejection, the negligence and the inconsequential - your odds of finding someone meaningful to you have increased exponentially with online dating. Online dating expectations may have to be altered in order to maintain a safe, healthy and active dating life via the web, but it's an adjustment that should happily be made.
There is nothing wrong with more traditional forms of meeting people to date - going to bars, singles mixers, clubs, work, school - but online dating offers you a pre-emptive specificity that none of those other activities could even come close to. It's time that the cloak of negativity and mistrust surrounding online dating be lifted, and the form of communication be fully embraced. Give it a whirl and see what happens. Be smart, be healthy, be careful, be articulate and remain vigilant in finding that special someone to suit your dating tastes.