Online Dating vs Traditional Dating | All You Need To Know

Advancement in technology has made it so that the ease with which one can now select people to go on dates with and eventually (or rather hopefully) fall in love with, is almost unreal. Still, the choices it brings can often prove to be quite difficult to choose from. Scary, isn’t it?

While ultimately physical meet-ups are common in both, traditional-dating focuses more on actual, physical meet-ups right from the get-go whereas online-dating allows one to build a connection with the other person over texts/calls first, before actually meeting the person in the real world.

To know which one has the upper hand when it comes to finding the love of your life (or just a fling – we won’t judge you), keep reading.

Traditional Dating – The Orthodox Approach

Traditional dating involves all the usual things you have heard from people – approach the person you like, strike up a conversation, see if you get along with them, and ask them out on a date.

One can find a person they are interested in anywhere – from schools to colleges, to bars, to clubs, to meet-ups, through mutual friends, or even through random conversations with absolute strangers at the bus stop.

Now, depending upon the type of relationship you want with the said person, your next moves will differ, so we will stop here with the details.

Anyway, you are not reading this because you want a step-by-step guide to traditional dating, are you?

So, let’s move on and see what good lies there in the world of traditional dating, something which still attracts a lot of practitioners.

1. Overcoming The Fear Of Rejection

Fear of rejection runs deep in all of us, but challenging and overcoming our fears can lead to wonders in our lives.

The benefit of overcoming this fear is that it gives one the confidence to approach the person they are interested in anywhere and anytime.

Overcoming The Fear Of Rejection

2. Traditional Dating Is More Personal

 With traditional dating, one can know how a person really is pretty soon because you are meeting the person right off the bat.

And although the person can put on a facade, it still gives you the option to back out from the interaction the moment you feel there’s something “off”.

The interactions are more dynamic, and it is easier to tell if something is wrong.

3. It Improves Spontaneity

Approaching a stranger randomly often seems like a humongous task. Humans tend to overthink a lot, especially regarding dating and relationships.

“Will she like me?” “Will he think I am ugly?” “Am I being too awkward?” – are some of the many questions that come to our minds when thinking of talking to a random stranger we found attractive/interesting.

In traditional dating, we mustn’t overthink, or the opportunity may slip through our hands.

We must be quick about the approach, or the person may leave our vicinity, leaving us with nothing but regrets about what could’ve been.

The spontaneity and unpreparedness of the approach free you from overthinking and build your self-confidence in the long term.

But there are caveats to traditional dating, too, as we will see in the upcoming section.

Traditional Dating – What Doesn’t Work?

Traditional dating is quickly losing its popularity in the masses for various reasons and may soon find itself obsolete with the rise of online dating. Let’s look at the reasons for its demise.

1. Talking To A Stranger

The entire concept of talking to a stranger often feels overwhelming to a lot of people.

Even when it comes to knowing the person as a friend, people get stuck overthinking the situation and refrain from approaching the person at all.

It’s only worse when people have to talk to someone they are interested in romantically. The fear of rejection runs deep within humans, after all, and it’s especially rough for people with social anxiety.

2. Time-Consuming

Talking to someone and getting to know them over a period of time/dates, only to find out you two are not compatible with each other, means a lot of wasted effort and time.

And repeating the procedure with each person you like and meet increases the time consumed, making traditional dating quite inefficient.

For example, when it comes to blind dates, one of the popular forms of traditional dating, the average duration of an introductory date is upwards of two hours. That’s a lot of time just to get to the basics!

3. Monotonous And Tedious

Talking to and meeting so many people over a period of time and not finding someone compatible with you puts a great strain on one’s mind.

And repeating the process all over, each time with a new person – the monotony of it all can make one give up on dating altogether. The human mind can only bear so much before shutting down.

Giving up is too easy, though, especially when you have another option at your disposal that claims to solve the problems related to traditional dating. The option? Online dating.

Online Dating – The Modern Approach

With the advent of computers, then the Internet, and finally, the social media boom has caused massive changes to how people communicate, interact and make connections.

Be it professional interactions or personal ones, there’s an app or website for everything, and this is how we get online dating. Dating a person you got to know over the Internet is a fascinating experience.

People already have their entire lives uploaded to their social media profiles, from where one can have a broad overview of how that person is and what kind of life they live.

And after that, it’s all about a DM (direct message), then some short/long conversations over texts, even calls, video chats, and if all is good and you get along well, a meet-up follows.

Only this time, you two already have an understanding of one another and are not strangers but rather online buddies.

Online dating seems really alluring to you now, doesn’t it? Well, let’s look at its features that are attracting you in detail.

Online Dating - The Modern Approach

1. Bigger Dating Pool

The most obvious benefit of online dating is the sheer number of people you have access to know, talk to, understand, and judge for a potential date.

In a broad sense, you have the entire world at your disposal.

And although practically most people would be beyond one’s reach due to geographical limitations, your choices increase manifolds, especially when compared to traditional dating where you are limited to your school, college, your local bar/club or at most your city.

More people to choose from means you have more options; conventionally, more options often lead to better choices. After all, it’s all relative.

2. Understanding A Person Beforehand

Online dating also enables you to understand how a person’s life is, with their social media profiles representing their character.

Based on that, one can decide whether they want to approach the person through a DM or not. The great thing about this is that one can initiate a conversation online.

Several people often report how they have found like-minded people more easily than through traditional methods.

In addition, social media provides a lot of tools, like fan pages, groups for niche and specific topics, etc., where one can interact with several others similar to themselves.

And maybe, it’s there that you will find someone not just similar to yourself but someone you want to share your life with.

Social media apps are increasingly being used to find friends and boyfriend(s)/girlfriend(s), and the trend to date a person you met online is increasingly becoming common.

3. Efficacy of Online Dating Apps

We also have apps specializing in the dating space to smooth out the process of meeting like-minded people online.

These apps are called online dating services and are an extension of social media apps, with the primary focus being dating.

Dating Profiles

Dating profiles are often very detail-oriented and give room to express individuality and charisma or simply act as a list of qualifications!

Common things listed in the profile are hobbies, likes/interests/disinterests, political ideology, alignment, etc. – all data that can be used to broadly assess a person.

Matching Mechanism

The mechanism is often very simple, with a popular one being swipe gestures. One can right-swipe on their screen to approve a profile or left-swipe to disapprove a profile.

And if two people approve or right-swipe each other, they are “matched,” and they can DM each other and proceed from there.

We can say that the efficiency of dating apps is, well, unmatched (pun definitely intended).

Variety of User Interfaces and Features

Companies are developing even more creative ways to gamify the dating world so that dating can be more “fun” and not monotonous like traditional dating.

Some apps like Bumble have the functionality of solely giving women the ability to text or DM first, streamlining the filtering process as women are often bombarded with likes, superlikes and swipes.

Apps like Hinge allow one to have a set of questions that their “match” can answer to start a conversation.

4. Safety Measures

The great thing about dating apps is the ability to unmatch a person the moment you feel something’s not right.

So, in any case, where you feel uncomfortable talking to the other party, or even if you just feel that you two are not getting along, you can unmatch the person, and you’re done.

If the interaction happens in a social media app like Instagram, you can block the person, saving you from difficult and unsavory situations.

And since it all happened online, your actual, physical life remains safe and sound. An additional feature of online dating is the partial anonymity it provides to its users.

One can decide the amount of information about themselves they want to reveal in their dating profiles, which effectively gives one nigh-complete control over their privacy.

This gives a person the power to reveal information about themselves to those they think are trustworthy. But is it all butterflies-and-fairy tales in the online world? The answer is an unfortunate NO.

Safety Measures

Online Dating – The Dark Side

Online dating poses all the problems that social media, in general, poses. But with the added aspect of dating, the problems magnify and may become more troublesome.

1. Catfishing

Fake profiles are a common phenomenon in the world of online dating, with phenomena like catfishing– luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona- becoming increasingly common.

Fake profiles have been known to lure unsuspecting men and women into dangerous situations, and crimes like fraud, robbery, and even murders have been reported.

A famous case is that of Simon Leviev, an Israeli con man who used the dating app Tinder to connect and interact with women across Europe and used his “charm” as a lure to trap his victims.

He would manipulate these women into giving him large sums of money, using which he would support his luxurious lifestyle.

This lifestyle, in turn, would help him charm more women, and the cycle continued until he was finally caught.

2. Too Many Options

The ample supply of profiles often leads to decision fatigue for the person, and the person may even become desensitized to talking with new people as online conversations are easy to maintain.

Not every conversation leads to a connection.

The person may also enter a never-ending loop of swiping and comparing different profiles, and dating would become a game of judgment for them instead of something they need to be level-headed with to reach an end goal, which is to get a date with the person they are most compatible with instead of looking for a perfect individual.

3. Unhealthy Self-Obsession And Inferiority Complex

In online dating, it’s not just you judging people with a swipe. Countless others are judging you, too, with just a swipe.

Due to this, one may become obsessed with “improving” their profile if they are not getting enough “matches”.

In fact, people become so obsessed with maintaining a pitch-perfect online profile that they fake their lifestyle just to impress some strangers online, which often causes the person to feel inferior inside and leads to the development of a severe inferiority complex, as they know deep-inside that their actual life is not at all as exciting as or similar to their online, fake persona.

The ironic thing about online dating is that its advantages over traditional dating are also its negatives, or rather contributors to its negatives.

Online vs Traditional : What To Choose?

Between online and traditional dating, the best choice is employing a combination of both.

Start with online dating apps, get a few matches you find yourself interested in knowing, then transfer the conversations from texts to meet-ups as soon as possible.

Though it seems tricky to maneuver both, it’s not all doom-and-gloom on either side of the argument.

After all, it entirely depends on the specific person whether they want to go the traditional route or engage in the digital world first.

However, the best option is to start with online dating apps, have 4-5 conversations over text, calls or video chat, and then quickly transfer the conversations to meet-ups, that is, go the traditional way.

The thing about online dating is that its advantages are non-negotiable.

We want more people to choose from, we want to go on more first dates before choosing someone to date, and we want to know the person and the person’s life before meeting them.

And online dating seems like a sure-shot way to target all this simultaneously. Still, nothing can replace the up-close and personal aspect of traditional dating.

One should focus on meeting up with their match as soon as possible, preferably after some meaningful or playful, pleasant conversation.

As with everything in life, nothing is black-and-white. So why not play in the gray and enjoy the benefits of both?


With the world becoming increasingly online, there’s no doubt that online dating will be the preferred mode for the masses.

But a healthy balance between traditional meet-ups and spontaneous approaches to strangers can prove to be the most beneficial for your dating life.

And we sure hope your dating life becomes as smooth as possible!

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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