Which is Worse: Digital ‘Dating’ or Real-Life Dating?

Carlene M. Dean
8 min readDec 17, 2020

Online dating is becoming more popular, but may come with more risks

Photo by ErnAn Solozábal on Unsplash

Last week a friend and I were watching a program called “Date with the Devil.” It was a true-crime show which, in this case, profiled a couple who had met on some dating app and she was later murdered by him. My friend said, “I wonder if that’s (online dating) better or worse than ‘bar dating’?”

Let it be noted that this friend is one of the very few people I know who isn’t “online.” He has a flip phone, can’t use a computer — it’s never been relevant to his work or his life in general — and has no desire to change that. He is technologically still in the 70s, but that’s not totally a bad thing, in my view.

I, on the other hand, have been using computers for more than 30 years. It started with learning Basic computer programming in 11th grade (early 80s) on an Apple IIe (remember those cute little boxes???); and also used them in my former life as a newspaper reporter. It was how we wrote and created our news products. Now I’m writing online, so the tradition continues.

So that combined with the fact that I’ve been a Singleton (having been divorced after two brief marriages) most of my adult life, I got lured into the idea of online dating shortly after my last divorce (early 2000s). So I said to my friend when he asked that question, “I would say they both have their ups and downs, though I think computer dating is probably worse.”

Following are some stories that illustrate why I believe this.

A few days days ago I read on Medium a story by a woman writing about “horror stories” that women have shared about their online dating experiences. These stories were aired on a podcast the author (her name was Shari but I don’t recall her last name) listens to, a comedy show as it were. I’m sure some of the said “horror stories” were amusing, though Shari said bad dating experiences should not be a joke.

Then again, I feel that it helps to have a healthy sense of humor when one is swimming in the sometimes-turbulent waters of dating and mating, looking for all those “fish in the sea” hoping to catch one. My experiences with dating websites were pretty much normal, at least for back then (I hear it’s much, much awful now…

Carlene M. Dean

Experienced professional writer/freelancer and former newspaper reporter-turned-online writer/blogger. Thinker. “Old soul”, young hippie, empath.