In the generation we’re growing, online relationships are pretty standard. Every year the number of online daters globally increases. According to a study conducted, the number of online daters in the United States increased from 26.1 million percent to 34.5 million percent over the years. Currently 19 percent of worldwide internet users are dating online.
The main place teens meet and develop relationships is through dating sites and apps like Tinder, Bumble, Match and more. But the main question is, is it a good idea? Absolutely not. There are many drawbacks and cons of online dating which we should acknowledge and understand.
Digital abuse and online harassment
Digital abuse and harassment on dating sites has increased over the years. In fact, some people are unaware if they’re getting digitally abused or harassed because the concept of it isn’t widely known. Teens can be vulnerable and get reeled into trusting harassers and abusers online since they don’t really have a choice when it comes to online dating. Signs of it include partners who pressure you to send sexts, stalk you constantly, shame you, pressure you into revealing your passwords for social platforms to monitor your activities, force you to share your location all the time, threaten and bully you.
Since we easily trust others online, you never know who might have ill intentions. Disclosing personal information like your address, school, or college you attend, and other private details of your life can cause identity theft and endanger you because there are many hackers and cybercriminals online. You never know who you can trust when it comes to online relationships. There are people with fake identities who can reel you into crucial situations. You could be threatened; you never know if you’re dealing with someone with dangerous intentions or false identities.
Limited social interaction
Get too absorbed in online relationships. You’ll spend most of your time online and end up neglecting your in-person relations which will have a terrible impact on your social life and reduce interaction with others. You will rarely spend time with your family members, friends and loved ones. You’ll also prefer to have conversations and spend time with others online and avoid in person interactions because it might make you uncomfortable and anxious. In a way, your self-confidence might get shattered, and you’ll lose your mental ability to face people physically.
Negative impact on well-being
Spending all your time online trying to maintain your relationship can cause you to neglect yourself and you might end up in a critical state physically and mentally. Too much screen time affects your health by causing depression, anxiety, obesity, loss of cognitive ability, sleep and back problems and increase your chances of developing chronic health conditions. It’s mandatory to give yourself time and coordinate your life in a healthy manner.
Since teens use the same dating apps and sites as adults, they could end up in relationships with people much older than them. It may seem and feel cool to interact with them, but it could cause serious and legal consequences. Most teens are unaware that the legal age of consent to date an adult is 17 years old. Getting into relationships with adults when you’re under 17 can cause legal issues. Teenagers and adults are also very different when it comes to relationships. Their concepts are dissimilar so relationships between them are barely compatible since most grown-ups are looking for serious and romantic relationships while teens don’t have the same conception.
It’s almost impossible to figure out your online partner’s entire personality and traits. It takes longer to understand each other and deciding whether the relationship will work out or not is challenging. Some people also have contrasting personalities in person and online which can seriously impact a relationship. If you discover that you’re not compatible in the middle of a serious relationship, bad breakups can occur, causing great damage and permanently change your conception of dating.
Long distance relationships
People from all around the world use dating apps and websites so there’s a high chance you could get into a relationship with someone who isn’t in the same country as you. People still try their best to keep the relationship on track, but long-distance relationships hardly work out and are quite difficult to manage. The country your partner is in could have a major time difference compared to yours, leading to difficulty creating and keeping up with a compatible routine.
Waste of time
Online dating can be a waste of time for a number of reasons.
- It takes a lot of time and effort to find the dating site or app which is “right” for you and since there are numerous dating apps and websites, it’s difficult to try each and pick one.
- It could take a long time to express yourself and get comfortable with each other.
- Since lack of emotions, understanding and other essential elements are missing in your relationship, it’s most likely to be unsuccessful. In 2022 only over 20 percent of online relationships ended in marriage or became a long-term relationship. You could end up spending months or years together but call it quits at a point if something destroys your relationship.
Lack of physical intimacy and mistrust
Physical intimacy is one of the significant parts of a valuable relationship. You miss out on little things like hugs which would make you feel more connected. It always feels good to go out with your partner on proper dates and spend time doing romantic and special activities together like having dinner, movie marathons, and going hiking. You’ll miss out on the little things which will make your relationship incomplete and uninteresting. Chances of cheating may increase because of this. Mistrust is one of the main issues of online relationships as well. You’ll remain unsure of the other person’s loyalty and constant paranoia can lead to extreme frustration and you might begin to have second thoughts.
Supporting your partner
It’s also difficult to provide proper encouragement and support to your partner since expressing motivational words is challenging. If your partner’s going through a hard time and dealing with tough situations, you can’t physically help them or display your emotions and motivation in person. Doing so is necessary because it has a better effect, but online relationships don’t allow that. Seeing your partner in agony can be hurtful for you too, and you may feel guilty because you can’t help them completely.
- Getting ghosted
Some people tend to vanish without an explanation. They stop answering your texts, calls and completely cut off communication. The main reason people do this is because they simply become uninterested in the other person and instead of directly admitting it simply choose to cut you out of their life. This can leave you heartbroken and since you’re unaware of the reason for being ghosted, you may feel self-critical and end up blaming or even harming yourself.
2. Managing fights and getting blackmailed
If you get into a fight with your partner, it’s twice as difficult to solve the issue. Probably the most you can do is send flowers or something else that would help, which could take days to receive, causing the fight to worsen and potentially cause a breakup. It’s also quite tough to talk it out online. However, in person you have a lot more choices and can comparably more easily figure the situation out. People also tend to get blackmailed with sexts and certain information they share with their partners during fights. This could lead to a lot of anxiety and leave you helpless.
- Awkwardness and bad experiences
It can be challenging to start a smooth conversation in the beginning of an online relationship, and you may feel uncomfortable when uneasy topics are brought up. You tend to overthink and criticize yourself when you’re unsure if the other person even likes you. One terrible experience can severely damage you emotionally and change your idea of dating and you may be hesitant and resist getting into relationships in the future. People tend to judge online relationships as well, which can make you feel troubled, ashamed, and offended.
It has been discovered that the majority of people using online dating platforms aren’t really looking for real relationships. They’re only interested in hookups because they prefer different sexual relations over having actual emotional ties. A one-time experience is enough for them, and they can easily move on, whereas people who are looking for actual partners want proper relationships. Online dating won’t let you figure out if the person wants a hookup, so you can be easily deceived.
Lack of values
Body language, expressions and gestures are an essential part of a relationship because they say a lot about a person. For instance, if you go on a date, you can study the facial expressions, capture the tone of their voice, and view the gestures of your partner. This makes it a whole lot easier to understand the person better and make your decision. Hence, real values like trust, understanding, respect and genuineness are missing. There are increased chances of fights, and the partners develop anxiety, stress, and depression.
It’s okay to befriend others online but try your best to refrain from getting into serious relationships which are quite life-wrecking and impossible to manage. Some of the points mentioned may seem equally dangerous in offline relationships, but offline relationships are still better than online ones which have numerous problems compared to them. Dating is a serious and essential part of a teen’s life, so you must ensure you’re doing it right.