Dating IRL isn’t the best option for every single. It can be complicated, challenging, and expensive. However, meeting people online could help bridge the communication gap. Date outside your comfort zone or tailor your search for love after considering these pros and cons.
Dating IRL can be complicated. First, you must discover potential mates in your area despite your daily habits or budget. Then you have to lure those people into your life one date at a time. If you’re lucky, they’ll stay for a while. If not, go back to the beginning. Finding love can feel like a vicious cycle.
The real world is brutal for singles, especially when you’re not particularly social. Fortunately, people finally see online dating as valid. Millions seek attention and find it on virtual platforms for romance, so why does anyone still try dating IRL? Which is better, and what do the experts say? Here are your answers.
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Dating takes many forms depending on several factors. For example, some people might date each other through postal letters from distant locations. Others could fall in love with someone over the phone. However, dating IRL is more intimate. It involves continual face-to-face meetings with the person who makes your heart skip a beat.
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The acronym “IRL” stands for “in real life.” It means the dating takes place in person instead of online or otherwise. Good luck if you’re an introvert. You can’t hide behind a filter or delete silly comments because everything is live, vivid, and 3D. Potential mates can size you up based on real-time interactions, facial expressions, and body language.
Dating IRL hasn’t changed much in the last few decades. Traditional dating practices are still par for the course in Western society. However, younger generations typically seek more exciting activities, while older groups enjoy laid-back experiences. Understanding what to expect can help you sort through all the fish in the sea and determine whether dating IRL is the best path forward.
The average IRL date requires planning and confidence. You have to pick a meeting spot, mark it in your calendar, provide entertainment, and look your best. Meanwhile, you can only get to know one person at a time. Most people don’t have dinner with multiple partners on the same day. Unlike online dating, meeting mates in real life demands your undivided attention.
Many people choose dinner and a movie when dating IRL, but the outdated activity leaves most pining for more. It’s also challenging to interact with your eyes on the screen. Hour-long dinners before or after a show can be uncomfortable or expensive. The entire shebang is usually a flop.
You could always bring your date to meet friends and family at a group event. However, cross your fingers that everything runs smoothly. Group dates can be fun, but getting to know someone in a busy environment is challenging. You also put unfair pressure on your date to perform and interact despite their personality type.
Dating IRL isn’t all terrible, even with multiple obstacles. There are several benefits to meeting someone face-to-face, and we’ve been doing it since the dawn of time. However, modern society invented online dating for a reason. Which one should you be using? Let’s find out.
Success in love requires objectivity sometimes. For example, you should weigh the pros and cons of dating IRL vs meeting people online. Be honest about your expectations. Then consider how each one could impact your love life.
Dating in real life is an old classic with several advantages, like these:
- Well-Paced Dating – Move at comfortable speeds.
- Live Interactive – See the other person in the flesh.
- Intuitive – Get a better sense of your partner’s vibe.
- Natural – Find dates in everyday life.
- Spontaneous – Discover love in the most unexpected places.
There’s a dark side to dating IRL. Consider these cons:
- Expensive – Waste money in pursuit of happiness.
- Time-Consuming – Spend hours on dates that go nowhere.
- Limited Exposure – Give attention to only 1-2 people.
- Socially Demanding – Always be in the spotlight.
FACT: A Stanford study revealed that about 39% of singles find love online.
Dating online gives people new options for meeting partners. You can get to know people regardless of the hour, and distance is no longer an obstacle. Discover your soulmate across the world or in your backyard. However, consider the pros and cons first.
Meeting people on dating sites can be exciting. Here’s why:
- Dating On-Demand – Reach out to potential mates when the schedule allows.
- Live or Pre-Recorded Interactive – Choose how you want to network.
- Unlimited Exposure – Talk to as many people as you wish.
- Convenient – Don’t worry about dressing fancy to chat online.
- Socially Conservative – Be a hermit and still find someone to love.
- Affordable – Save your money for the fruits of your labor.
Unfortunately, online dating isn’t all fun and games. These are the cons to consider:
- Exclusive Access – Some dating apps and sites require membership fees.
- Restrictive – There’s only so much you can do until the in-person meeting.
- Unnatural – Conversations can be awkward or misleading.
- Socially Isolating – Forget what it’s like to enjoy dating IRL.
Online dating can be confusing without excellent communication skills. Much gets lost in translation when talking through chat apps and text messages. Also, you can become overwhelmed if your dating pool is too deep. Keep your options open but limit yourself to 4-5 people at a time.
FACT: An estimated 90% of conflicts start as unintended miscommunication.
The modern dating scene provides multiple options for meeting new people. Unlike our grandparents, we don’t have to find spouses at the local meet-and-greet. With our horizons expanded, our options are wide open. However, therein lies the problem. Too many choices can feel overwhelming.
Do you try dating IRL or utilize communications technology to locate love? It may seem impersonal or counterintuitive to create romance online. However, dating in real life can be intimidating and costly. Choose the best path by following these ten steps:
How does dating fit into your lifestyle? Are you a parent with trouble finding a babysitter? Perhaps your job duties require on-call services or long hours at the office. Your daily habits and responsibilities are also crucial.
VS: Dating IRL means sharing your personal space with others. Online dating gives you more freedom to learn about people without involving loved ones.
Who do you see yourself with forever? Determine what they do for a living and where they like to socialize. Find out if they’re as busy as you, and discover exciting places you could meet. Then make yourself accessible and available to attract the perfect mate.
VS: In-person dating limits your options by geography. Dating online lets you interact with people from all over the world.
Are you even ready to date IRL? The most attractive trait in a person is confidence, so don’t mark your calendar if you have low self-esteem. Introverted or antisocial people should also consider how their preferences could impact interactions.
VS: Dating in real life requires eye contact and well-timed reactions. Online love can start without either.
Maybe you need to improve something about yourself before dating IRL or otherwise. Perhaps your finances are out of whack. Or you require time to process or unload mental and emotional baggage. Are you prepared for the charge of love?
VS: Dating in real life forces you to adapt quickly to unpredictable situations. Meeting people online gives you time for personal growth and social adjustments.
Consider your preferred communication method. How do you want your dates to contact you? Also, think about the ideal correspondence frequency. Determine whether you have the skills and equipment to maintain a person’s interest past the initial greeting.
VS: Do you know how to spark romance through text with online dating? Or do you have the desire to nurture an in-person relationship?
Put a dent in your wallet whether you prefer dating IRL or online. Both will cost you money, but only one is expensive. Dating apps and websites generally require membership dues for unrestricted access. However, in-person dates can require traveling, dinners, and activities.
VS: Online dates cost a monthly fee. Dating IRL cost every time you leave the house.
What makes you feel more comfortable while flirting: being up close and personal or maintaining a safe distance? Sexting can help you explore various scenarios without committing. Meanwhile, dating in real life allows fulfilling fantasies with consent.
VS: In-person dating can get hot and heavy too quickly. Online dating helps you pace yourself.
Dating IRL means always knowing about the best activities and events in town. Online relationships offer virtual experiences to enrich the connection from home. Both options are fun, but your approach determines the level of intimacy you can enjoy.
VS: Dating in real life creates more pressure to find thrilling activities. Online dating creates fewer opportunities to make memories together.
Face-to-face interactions can be intimidating. However, meeting people online can be equally terrifying. There are too many fish in the sea, so some singles worry about how they’ll compare to others. Step out of your comfort zone to try new things. Your soulmate could be waiting for it.
VS: Traditional dating means you can’t be shy. Dating online provides a buffer until you’re ready to escape your shell.
Compare the quality of your dates in real life with the ones you have online. How connected do you feel in either scenario? Virtual dating could help you be more authentic without as many judgemental eyes. Contrarily, face-to-face dates help you size up a person’s vibe.
VS: Online dates remove some social expectations to reveal candid traits. Dating IRL promotes superficial judgments.
Get your crush to like you regardless of where you meet or how you interact. However, take advantage of the latest communication tools to locate and lure your perfect mate. Who says the lover of your dreams has to live in the same zip code? Virtual dates are far less expensive than regular plane tickets, and you get to hone your tech skills in the meantime.
Dating in real life has several benefits, including more authentic interactions. Yet, online dating continually permeates the mainstream. It’s less expensive, more convenient, and better for people with social anxieties. Choose your dating methods wisely, and don’t forget to expect the unexpected. Also, understand that the success of either option depends on your readiness for love.
DID YOU KNOW: Studies show that online partners are six times more likely to break up than couples who meet through mutual friends.
Dating IRL comes with multiple challenges that online dating eliminates. However, virtual date apps remove many intuitive interactions that make finding love fun. You must consider the pros and cons and compare your expectations with reality. Discovering your soulmate is never easy, so keep an open mind.
Realize that modern singles have specific standards for either scenario. You can’t rewrite the rules but must respect the game instead. Dating IRL isn’t the best option for every person. It can be complicated, challenging, and expensive. Nearly half of all couples meet online. Is the love of your life waiting behind that screen name?
About the Author
Claire Bahn has over 15 years of working as a personal branding expert, helping clients build authority and influence through their online profiles and social media accounts.
Her background includes branding, public relations, Social Media, marketing, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for helping executives, entrepreneurs, and influencers strategize and create their best personal brand.
She is currently the CEO and Co-founder of Online Profile Pros and Claire Bahn Group. Ms. Bahn recognizes that first impressions are made online, and the fastest way to achieve your goals is by taking command of your personal brand through your online profiles and social media. She started Online Profile Pros and Claire Bahn Group to help individuals create, maintain and protect their personal brands to achieve the authority, influence, and trust they need to succeed at online dating or their job search.
She’s been featured in numerous publications and news outlets, including Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines and many other publications and podcasts.
Ms. Bahn is a former model and actress appearing in national ad campaigns for major retailers. An avid fashion/lifestyle blogger, she’s a recognized influencer. Ms. Bahn holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, CA, with her 2 red miniature pinschers, Beau and Trixie.