Finding Real Love When Life is Mostly Virtual

Finding Real Love When Life is Mostly Virtual

Trying to find real love when life is mostly virtual presents unprecedented challenges and stresses. It used to be common for single people looking for love to wonder where to meet other interesting people who were also looking. Finding appropriate people to date had a natural pace because it required time and effort. 

Now it can seem like everyone is looking for someone—online, all the time. Like other endeavors, such as learning math or achieving health goals, dating in the virtual world has been gamified. So you can wind up, without meaning to, approaching looking for love like you’re playing a fast-paced numbers game. You might think if you just keep swiping, eventually someone will be good. Meeting new people can become almost routine, even monotonous, while underneath you’re trying to ignore that the emotional stakes feel incredibly high.  

You want a satisfying life of the mind, and trying to find love has become mind numbing. What’s an (imperfect) intellectual looking for love these days to do? Here are a few tips:

If you are using dating apps to meet people, do some research (online, asking friends) about different platforms. They have different audiences, and it’s a good idea to to be on more than one, but not on too many. Getting into the dating apps goldilocks zone means limiting the number of platforms you’re on, targeting those where you’re most likely to meet people you find interesting, and using them wisely. 

Using them wisely is a big topic. But it starts by realizing you’re putting on a bit of a show. You’re creating a profile to draw people to you, and you want it to be the right people. So, take it seriously by investing the time needed for a photo and bio that present you well and are also authentic. Don’t hyper refine that photo so much that meeting the real you shocks people.

Write your profile from the perspective of what someone who knows you and enjoys your company would say. Have a good friend read your profile and give you feedback on it. You might even include a quote about you from that good friend. (Everyone loves a testimonial!) Remember that a short profile tells a lot about what matters to you just by what you choose to share. A very specific interest shared on a profile, such as a love of Thai food or 80’s techno pop, has led to many interesting meetings and even lasting relationships. 

If you’re a woman looking to meet men, you’re likely to get a lot of matches. Don’t select poorly for that reason—filter through a lot. Be picky, but in the right way by knowing what is truly important to you in a potential partner. On the other hand, if you’re a man looking to meet women, you may get fewer matches. Don’t select poorly for that reason because you don’t have a lot to filter through. Be picky, but in the right way—know what is truly important to you in a potential partner.

When you find someone you really connect with, after getting to know them a bit virtually, think about what kind of first date story you’d like to have. It’s often best to choose something that’s safe but interesting. For example, going to a coffee shop to grab a quick coffee is safe, but it might be underwhelming. A movie and dinner might be interesting, but if it goes badly, you could feel awkward and stuck for the duration. 

Doing something together in a public space that’s based on a shared interest can be ideal. If you’re both art lovers, you might meet at a museum. If you’re nature lovers, you might walk in a tree-lined park where there are plenty of other people strolling. This allows you to make your date as long or as short as you’d like.  

Remember that even in a mostly virtual world, not all dating comes from apps. There are growing internet communities where you can socialize with people who share your hobbies, interests, and sensibilities. Sustained meaningful social interaction is possible online even on social media platforms that aren’t known for it. It’s all about how you choose to use them and show up. There are even plentiful online volunteering opportunities where you can do something meaningful and helpful while meeting others with similar values (Volunteer Match, or more suggestions from Do Something). Attending groups (virtually or in person) where people share your interests is a great idea. 

And, we can’t help but mention that a surprising and growing number of people seem to find love through Interintellect. It’s not our mission, but we’ll take it! 😀