Features | Online Dating – Great or not?

It’s Valentine’s Day, that time of year when being single is no longer the paragon of excitement and opportunities it’s usually made out to be. In an age of technology, we’re plunged into the virtual world in a quest of love, but is it a good or a bad thing?



I dipped my toe into the world of online dating after being cajoled into it by my brother’s well-meaning boyfriend.

Dating is a minefield no matter which way you approach it. First of all, it’s a lot easier to start a conversation with somebody you find attractive online. With online dating, you can spend hours composing the most perfect introduction, or a witty reply to their perfect introduction. You can sound charming and intelligent and hopefully that will draw them to you enough not to reject you outright the second they meet you in person and realise that you are neither thing.

Second, you already have some sort of idea of whether or not you’ll have enough in common to get on. I’ve heard people say that there’s no replacement for that spark you feel when you first meet somebody in a ‘conventional’ manner, but at least this way you can gather a list of their interests to throw into the conversation at random when it appears to be drying up. Dating profiles offer a fair amount of information that can help you here, unless you’re on Tinder, in which case you’re probably not really looking for things in common anyway; they find you attractive and are equally attractive to you, unless somebody has stolen your phone recently.

Something has to be said as well for the fact that, no matter how badly your online dates go, at least they provide amazing stories to regale your friends with later. Just like if you met somebody in real life and they weren’t what you expected, online dating throws up the same problem, creating disaster dates that you can discuss with everybody you know at your own leisure. The button of my fly flew off during one, someone kissed me goodbye in the eye on another, and on a third occasion a 74 year old man told me a very inappropriate story whilst my date stood awkwardly by and waited until he had finished.

In conclusion, online dating is a yes, as long as you filter out the downright insane, as in life. A word of advice though: think carefully about how to tell your parents, because my mum and her friends regularly refer to my new boyfriend as “the axe murderer”. I don’t actually think she knows his real name.

Liv McNulty



Online dating, the bane of the technological age. We sit behind our computer screens and talk through typing so that each and every word is calculated and artificial so that we sound more attractive, more entertaining and more confident. Over the internet you can become anyone you want, which in some incidences has turned from an epic romance into horror story.

With online dating this kind of misrepresentation is not what you sign up for but what you inevitably get. Everyone choses an image which is dolled up, attractive and showing off your best features. It doesn’t make sense, if you are trying to find your other half why not show yourself as you are, why change or omit your profile image or information to appeal to someone? Because the end result might be with someone who is completely different and unattractive to you and the whole reason you signed up was to find someone you liked and could get on with.

Sign up is free and on eHarmony you can view your matches for free but if you want to talk with them you need to step up a membership plan. I never heard of Cupid charging for the arrows. They talk about scientific matches yet are forgetting the most important thing, chemistry, which can only be realised in the flesh, face to face, yet these dating websites have its members conditioned to believe true love is found through pictures, profiles and portable machinery.

Since when did love, this pure, affectionate, indescribable feeling become so measured and artificial? Online dating is ruining the idea of love and romance. No longer will anecdotes be told by best men at weddings of how the happy couple met at a dance hall or college but over the internet: it just isn’t romantic. Love should be spontaneous, growing and completely by chance not artificial, set up by strangers or technology. Why can’t we go back to traditional romance?

Vickie Hesketh

Image property of match.com

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