13 Major Disadvantages Of Online Dating

Online Dating | | , Expert Blogger
Updated On: November 9, 2022
disadvantages of online dating

Ever fell for a guy online whose gorgeous beard made up like 70% of his personality? And then you decide to meet him at a Starbucks and guess what? It turns out that not only is he clean-shaven, but he also has piercings all over his face. This is just one of the many disadvantages of online dating. 

Your “Hey! I didn’t see your piercings in your display pictures on Tinder” is met with a “Yeah, those photos are from three years ago”. A classic online dating story – you probably have ten such anecdotes already. 

While the ease of meeting people online has truly revolutionized the dating world, not everything about this new dating world is great. Finding people is now no more about meet-cutes in libraries. All you have to do is lounge in your PJs and swipe with your fingers. But is that all there is to it? Let’s talk about some disadvantages of online dating and everything that goes with it.

Is Online Dating A Bad Idea? 

Nope, absolutely not. There are pros too. For starters, not only is it quick and efficient, but it’s also just like an infinity pool. Boundless, massive, and spectacular. But the downside to infinity pools is that they can be scary. You can’t gauge how far you might want to go and which end is the deep end.

To be honest, whether dating apps work for you or not is a very subjective question. Each individual might have a different answer, but nobody can deny that there are multiple negatives of online dating as well as positives.

Truth be told, there are, in fact, many great tips to date successfully online and an abundance of real-life success stories that further corroborate the same. However, this article is all about the disadvantages of online dating, and while we don’t mean to dissuade you from meeting people online, today, we’re going to focus on the other side of the coin.

Knowing the disadvantages of online dating is a smart and sensible thing to do in order to play things right. So, if you are making a foray into this new digital dating world, take it from us – you’ll do much better knowing what to look out for.

13 Major Disadvantages Of Online Dating

Online dating is here to stay, there’s really no way to avoid this reality. Young adults have enough reasons for online dating and have turned it into a way of life. But all that glitters is not gold and we are here to show you why. 

In fact, there are many online dating statistics that tell us that about four in ten Americans described it as a negative experience. According to other studies, young women are more likely to report experiencing harassment while using dating apps, and around 57% of female participants in the survey were contacted even after telling their online matches that they weren’t interested in continuing things.

Though the dangers of online relationships and dating are obvious, not all online dating encounters are bad and not every date will make you want to pull your hair out. Nonetheless, today we talk about some disadvantages of online dating you should take note of before you try it. See for yourself: 

Related Reading: 5 Reasons To Research Your Online Date Before You Meet

1. Online dating disadvantages: It feels like a loop 

A right swipe, some scintillating small talk, and it’s a date! That too, if you get lucky and actually hit it off on text. But your chemistry on text won’t necessarily guarantee a spark in real life. This is why you have to try and try and try. That is why, one of the reasons online dating seems to be annoying is that it gets repetitive. 

Carl Peterson, a lawyer, has been using Tinder for two years now. This is his take. “I used to love it at first even though I was dating as an introvert. Meeting a new woman every Friday used to be exhilarating. But slowly, the process became too exhausting. I was tired of asking each woman about her hobbies and her goals each time. It just loses charm after a point.”

Perhaps the biggest drawback of online dating is that you never really know what you’re going to get until you invest in a first date. You’re not sure if the person is catfishing you, if they’re a scammer, if they’re going to stand you up, or if they’re just not as fun as they are on texts.

2. The paradox of choice is the biggest online dating con

Four amazing women waiting for you to text them back as they patiently wait in your DMs and you still end up taking your high-school best friend to a music festival. Yeah, you know what I mean. Having so much attention and so many options leads to the famous “paradox of choice”, leaving you feeling flustered and overcome by dating anxiety. 

And we even have online dating statistics to back that up. A poll suggested that 32% of online daters felt much less willing to settle down and commit exclusively to a single partner, with so many options on their radar. 

To those who haven’t tried it yet, this might not even seem like one of the disadvantages of online dating, for how can options ever be bad? However, once you start doing it, a couple of weeks can be enough to tire you out of the whole “Hi, what music do you listen to?” conversations. It may seem like you have a bunch of options, but once the conversations get so boring that you can’t even bother replying, that’s when the paradox sets in.

3. One of the dangers of online dating is that it is full of lies 

Maybe their heart is in the right place when it comes to you, but that is no excuse for them to hide the fact that they used to be married, until the sixth date. The thing with online dating is the lack of accountability and the ability to just “ghost” someone one fine day, which empowers people to sell a blown-up version of themselves. 

It’s not uncommon to meet someone who, you might learn later on, actually has a completely different job or, for all you know, lives in their car. Okay, we know that’s stretching it a bit but it DOES HAPPEN. In fact, according to these dangers of online dating statistics, 54% of people feel that the details mentioned in a person’s online dating profile are false, and 83 million Facebook accounts are presumed fake.

It’s also not unheard of to hear about this as one of the disadvantages of online relationships. Long-distance couples may date each other for months, only to be surprised by what they actually look like in real life.

4. The texting stage might just be all sizzle and no steak 

Whether you meet someone four hours or four months after matching with them, the prelude to that is the famous texting stage. Now googling the best pick-up lines for girls is something that anyone can do to sweep her off her feet. However, before you put on your best underwear and head over to their house because they called you “babe”, hold your horses, girl. 

The ease of online dating might make you want to jump in too quickly and absolutely forget all the risks of online dating. Apart from the obvious, he could actually be a serial killer. A few good rounds of flirty texting should never be enough to get your hopes up and put your expectations into overdrive.

You can never know what a person is really like just by texting them, who knows how many people they’re taking advice from before texting you back? One of the biggest disadvantages of online relationships is the fact that having authentic conversations over the phone can sometimes get difficult, since you might not be able to grasp a person’s tone and mood correctly.

Infographic on dangers of online dating
The disadvantages of online dating

5. The dangers of online dating bring with them romance scammers

One might say the anonymity and the guardedness one feels behind a screen might help them shed their insecurities and reveal the best versions of themselves. And while that is partly true, you wish the world was that kind. In reality, the same thing is used as an advantage by romance scammers who use online dating apps as a mechanism for catfishing. 

Sutton Nesbitt, a theatre teacher, was once lured by a scammer into sending her money. “He said he was from Mexico and had been visiting New Jersey when we had matched. We spoke online for about six months after which he tried to ask me for money using his son’s illness as an excuse. That’s when I realized something was going terribly wrong. I ran a background check and learned that Andy Wescott wasn’t even his real name.” 

According to the FTC, romance scams hit a high in 2021, with over $547 million lost. Such dangers of online dating statistics can be enough to dissuade people from setting up their profiles, or at least makes them a lot more careful about who they’re talking to.

6. It feels like an artificial experience 

“What are your hobbies?”, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”, “Do you have a good relationship with your parents?”, and another common one, “YOU DON’T LIKE GAME OF THRONES?!” 

This is normally how a first date goes with someone you have been speaking to online. And unlike the thrills and the chemistry of spending an evening with a stranger you saw reading your favorite book in the park, the whole experience here feels much more mechanical. This is where the disadvantages of online dating really start creeping up on you.

There’s hardly ever a good burst of natural feelings, which can eventually make one feel hopeless too. The banality of the same questions and repeat conversations with each new date might make you feel like you’re going on endless rounds of interviews for the same job. The fact that it can get so insincere is one of the biggest online dating disadvantages we can think of.

Related Reading: The 8 Rules Of Dating Multiple People At One Time

7. There’s a LOT of scope for disappointment 

A picture speaks a thousand words, but those thousand words might end up being far different from the ones you wanted to hear. A guy’s “post-workout photo” might be something he had clicked last year, just before his pandemic weight gain. Or maybe she’s wearing a gorgeous sundress in her photo but shows up in sweatpants on the date.

Let’s be honest, we all want to look our absolute best on our dating app profiles. Whether that entails lying about your height or posing with your friend’s dog just to get a few “Your dog is so cute!” messages, the fact remains that a lot of people can lie on these apps. “I realized that one of the biggest online dating cons was the dishonesty, when his 6’2″ just happened to be 5’7″ and bald,” a reader jokingly told us.

As superficial as this might sound, a person’s photo on a dating app is the very first thing that determines whether one wants to take it further or not. So the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” advice goes out the window – at least before the first date. Be prepared for some shockers, because they might just end up surprising you, and not in a good way. 

8. Online dating is famous for its many harassment stories 

Want to talk about some disadvantages of online dating? Then it’s time to get really serious here. Online harassment is a grave thing and if someone knows a few good ways to divert their I.P address (and is absolutely rotten in the head), they might just be inclined to do it. 

There are online dating statistics based on studies that one in four women have been stalked online or have suffered some kind of harassment on dating apps. And that may not be hard to believe considering that if you are a woman, you have probably received a good deal of unwarranted explicit pics. And if you’re not a woman, you probably have a friend who narrated the revolting incident to you. 

In other cases, the dangers of online relationships can be a lot more severe. Take, for example, the Netflix show The Tinder Swindler about a man who conned young women out of thousands of dollars by posing as a billionaire in trouble. He left them stranded in a foreign country, broke and scared.

9. The algorithm itself is one of the disadvantages of online dating 

Who knew the very thing that is meant to find you the person of your dreams will indeed be the reason you eat that frozen pizza all by yourself on Friday night while sitting on the kitchen counter? Don’t take it as a personal attack, we’ve all been there. 

There’s a LOT more that goes into gauging and matching people than what the algorithms ‘think’ they know about us. Sexual compatibility, problem-solving skills, and style of conflict resolution are just some of the more crucial factors when trying to find the right person to date.

The algorithm knows none of this. It is doing what it does best. Maybe you both have mentioned your love for the Red Sox in your bios which makes Tinder think you’re a match. But is that enough? Riley from Wisconsin told us, “One of the biggest negatives of online dating is that the apps only show me profiles of people from my own race. I never filled out an ethnicity preference, then why would these platforms assume that’s what I’m looking for? The entire scenario put me off, I’m never opening those apps again.”

10. The money factor is one of the biggest online dating problems

Date after date, night after night, dinner after dinner. That’s what online dating is and it is sure to put a dent in your pocket. One of the most talked about online dating problems, even if you do split the bill and find a good way to decide who pays on a date – those are evenings and dollar bills that you just won’t get back. 

Reagan Wolff, a med student, took Rodrigo Gianni out on a date to one of the nicer restaurants in the city. She had insisted she would pay since the restaurant was her choice. A teetotaler herself, she did not expect Rodrigo to order himself a giant bottle of wine. What’s more surprising than the fact that he finished it all, was that it cost Reagan about $300. What makes it one of the biggest drawbacks of online dating is the fact that most of those dates you spend a lot of money on are definitely not going to be worth it.

online dating

11. One of the negative effects of online dating is that it propels the idea of the perfect person 

Raising the bar is not such a bad thing, but stop shooting for the Sun. Men who cook well and are great in bed just don’t exist in this world. Jokes apart, each one of us is already riddled enough with the drama and exhaustion of finding ‘the one’. The disadvantage of online relationships is that it only exacerbates the desperation of that search. 

“I like Joe but he’s not a vegetarian. Paul is a vegetarian but wants to move to Alabama. Danny loves me madly but isn’t looking for marriage. Why are none of these guys right for me?” shares Liam.

Dumping Joe to find yourself a new guy may dissuade you from making any compromises yourself, but will also deter you from learning more about him. Neither is that fair to Joe, nor to you. You might just lose the right guy because he doesn’t brush his teeth before bed. 

Related Reading: Leaving The One I Love For His Own Good

12. It might make you fickle and inconsiderate

Speaking of some disadvantages of online dating, this is one to take careful note of – one of the negative effects of online dating is that it can quickly go from dating a player and getting your heart broken to suddenly becoming the player in somebody else’s story. With so many options and the chance to always find ‘someone better’, you may end up breaking many hearts too. 

This is what the whole process does. Maybe Arya is waiting for you to text her back when you’re on a date with Debbie. Even though that’s fair within the rules of dating, it can still induce a weird habit of disposing and discarding people. 

13. Self-esteem issues are one of the dangers of online dating 

In the end, we are bringing out the big guns. The risks of online dating are many but the biggest of them all is losing yourself in it. Online dating can quickly become addictive, almost like a game even. And with things not working out, the algorithm being a disappointment, facing back-to-back rejections, or the plain old “Why doesn’t he like me back!” can leave you feeling very glum. 

This crazed cycle can overcome you and your mental health in a matter of months. That’s the deep end of online dating we talked about earlier. Keeping your sanity, self-esteem, and happiness intact is a real challenge and is also one of the disadvantages of online dating that you should be careful of. 

We hope this long list of disadvantages of online relationships was helpful. As interesting as it may be to find a new partner for yourself in this new and supposedly improved way, don’t lose sight of all that could go wrong. You may not agree with everything, but after reading all these disadvantages of online dating, we hope you will at least stay safe!

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