Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend, and at one point the conversation turned to online dating.

“The thing that’s annoying,” she said, “is that people treat online dating as if it’s its own thing. If someone goes on a bad date with someone they met online, they might give up on online dating altogether. But if someone goes on a bad date with someone they met at a bar, or a party, they’re not going to give up on dating.

As a dating writer for an online dating site, I’ve discovered this attitude can be pretty prevalent: people decide to try online dating, go on one date, and if there isn’t a spark they’ll deem the whole venture unsuccessful.

This is a shame! Online dating sites don’t have magic formulas that will set you up with your soulmate the first time: they’re simply a tool to facilitate your dating life, by having a wide range of people and a system with which to find the ones you might be interested in.

Beyond finding people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet, the differences between online dating and regular dating end there: you still might have to go through a few “eh” dates before finding someone you’re really crazy about.

Don’t get discouraged, though: we promise it’s worth it in the end.

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