Should I Try Online Dating? A Guide for the Curious

Quick Meme
Just get the eye wash ready, ladies.
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Online dating has come a long way.

With so many virtual matchmaking venues out there now, including Tinder, OkCupid, Match, and Plenty of Fish, singles who subscribe to Internet courtship are no longer confined to the stereotypes of being socially inept or a serial killer.

With a busy schedule of adulthood responsibilities and the fear of giving a complete stranger the cold approach, online dating offers some serious appeal. But is it for everyone? Let's discuss.

See also: 10 Best Places to Meet Singles in Metro Phoenix

Are you married?

If the answer is "yes," then please refrain from using any of the mainstream dating sites. Stick to Ashley Madison if infidelity is your thing. Everyone else will just think you're a creep, including your soon-to-be-divorcing-you spouse.

Do you have kids?

For full-time single parents who would rather not resort to picking up strangers at mommy-and-me class, online dating can be an ideal method of courtship. Just make sure to be upfront about your familial ties, because whether you're passing off your son to look like a nephew or just a significantly younger sibling, the truth will have to come out eventually.

Are you just looking to make friends?

There are no friendships made through online dating. If someone says they are just looking for friendship on their dating profile, you can just assume that means one of three things: they're married, they're looking for a faux companion (think sugar mama/daddy or a beard), or they're looking to hook up but they're too much of a weasel to say it (you know what kind of buddy we're referring to).

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