The terms “online dating” and “dating online” are thrown around all the time, and used by practically any website that is primarily created to connect singles over the internet. But, in reality, what do these terms really mean? Can you really date someone online? Can you have a healthy dating life if it only exists online? How can you truly get to know someone if you've only been on online dates? Do those really count as 'real' dates?
Generally, dating online usually refers to the process of meeting people for potential dates online, or through an internet dating service. These services usually provide some help and guidance with which other members are most suitable matches, but for the most part, its up to each individual to find and introduce themselves to other members and potential people to date online. In this sense, online dating services act as an arena for singles to come and find other people interested in pursuing the same types of relationships as them.
The “dating” that takes place online is in the form of messages and emails that pass between people. Does this count as “real dating” even though there are no face to face conversations? Is 'dating' the time where people get to know more about each other? Do you have to be in the same room as someone to be on a 'date' with them? Although online dating is usually described as meeting, messaging, emailing, and eventually meeting other singles in person, the terms seem to be fairly accurate. Dating online can, and does take place, when two people find each other online and pursue a courting period, whether that is on or offline, where they get to know each other better and test the waters to see if there is a mutual attraction. Although an in person meeting may not take place until later, many of the same components (aside from the physical) take place through a date online. Although dating online isn't defined in the same was a traditional dating, the changes many peoples' romantic and sexual lives are experiencing due to technological evolutions, may warrant reconceptions of the definitions of certain terms, just as these advances have reconceived our notions of how to find love.