There are strong opinions on both sides of the argument: what are the relative merits of real-life relationships v. their online equivalent? For the former, people might argue this is surely the tried and tested way of getting acquainted with someone, just as it has been for millennia. For the latter, the advantages of joining a  dating site are obvious. There are so many to choose from, each one catering to subtly different aspects of dating, each providing the contact details of as many prospective partners as you want. There are even specialized services that review them and provide you with useful information pros and cons of each platform. But the best way to compare the respective dating methods is to consider the pros and cons.

Real-life relationships

Pro: Nothing beats personal interaction

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According to dating experts from clickandflirt, when you’re trying to connect with someone you don’t know on a website, you have no way of really knowing how they are reacting to your messages. In the real world, true emotions are much easier to decipher. When someone is lying to you online, they can get away with it. In-person, there will be subtle aspects of their body language that give them away.

Pro: people are naturally sociable

In the real world, getting into a relationship can mean being introduced to your other half’s social circle. You can meet interesting new people and take on board fresh and exciting new experiences. When you’re connecting on a dating site it’s more of a one-on-one situation. There are always chat rooms and forums where you can get into group discussions and communal exchanges, but you are still only passing text messages to the usernames or avatars.

Con: You sometimes get forced into politeness

What happens when you reach the stage in a relationship when you want to move on, but the person you are with doesn’t feel the same way? You might be tempted to string them along for a bit until you find the right moment to have a ‘heart to heart.’ Nothing could be simpler when you’re faced with the same dilemma on a matching website. Send a brief, to-the-point text. If you want to be particularly calculating, you can block someone and swiftly move on to the next single you’d like to get to know better.

Online relationships

Pros: you are the one in the driving seat

When you’re interacting with the other site users on your favorite dating resource, the rate of your messaging to potential partners is entirely up to you. You are at liberty to dip in and out of the secure communication channel as often as you wish, or treat the activity with a little more caution. Who you decide to reach out to is your choice, and if you find one of the other members annoying, you’re under no obligation to continue the conversation.

Cons: you have no way of knowing someone’s true character

People are inherently complicated. Even someone who might seem the most placid person you could imagine might have hidden depths or dark secrets. These scenarios tend to be revealed less quickly when you’re connecting on a dating site. The onus will be on making a positive impression within a few lines of text, so there is little room for presenting a more complete version of yourself, ‘warts and all.’

Cons: unscrupulous individuals

Not everyone who signs up to a matching website does so with honorable intentions. A whole new term has entered the Lexicon – catfishing – where individuals operate under assumed identities. This might be to cause mischief, but some of these catfish are looking to earn people’s trust – and discover their bank account passwords.