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Modern Dating: Is online the way to go in Canberra?

Joanne Michelle

Are you newly single or perhaps single for some time and want to get back out there?

Let’s face it, everything seems to be internet based or controlled with an app these days… so why not dating too? The question I’ve been asking myself recently is, “Is online dating the way to find my ONE”?

It’s not easy finding your perfect partner at the best of times, but online dating has made that a lot easier for us. In fact, one in three marriages today start online. And, there are so many online options available for you to meet new people in Canberra that I thought to cover the main web-based ones.

I see a lot of people now jumping online to either find someone for a date, a friend, a hook-up or a long term relationship. Websites and apps are simple to use and you can start meeting the right ONE or the right NOW pretty much today…you could probably be set up in about half an hour.

People who haven’t tried online dating, make up their own assumptions. The top three seem to be that it is:

1. Only for a hook-up

2. Makes you superficial

3. You’re exposing yourself out there for everyone to see

I get that. But, when I look back to when I first started dating (before I was married, before online, geez before the internet!) we would go to a club or bar and see a cute boy across the room, or meet someone at work or just out and about.

Online dating is not that different to back then, only now we can sit in the comfort of our home (or at work) and swipe left or right, or scroll, but here we get to read the profile first. This usually answers so many more questions we actually have to ask first when we meet someone out and about.

It’s the way dating is becoming

Sure I’ve been set up with friends of friends or met people in a bars and the outcome is pretty much the same as if I was to meet someone via the internet, only I am likely to be able to ‘meet’ or ‘see’ a lot more potential candidates than I ever could if I spend every night out and about trying to meet someone (and who has got the time for that these days?!).

Online dating can also be the perfect way to connect for a single parent.

With dating generally, you need to go in with an open mind and not let others dictate how you date or what each method means. Brush off any judgement, whether it’s meeting someone at lunch walking in the city, meeting someone in a bar, being set up by a friend or meeting online. As said, most who have the strongest opinion haven’t done it and that is true for online dating too.

Is it really that hard to meet a new partner these days?

You’ve seen those commercials right? Where men and women are having no luck meeting someone and then with eHarmony or RSVP once matched with a profile they find love. I know people who have met online and are now married, so I know it does work. The question is, will it work for you?

And what are you looking for? Love? A friend? A hook-up? Or something in-between?

If you Google online dating, you will be surprised what is out there but let me give you a rundown of some of the dating sites available (with a Canberra-based populous) and with my perspective on them.

So where do we start…

The popular web based ones are eHarmony, Elite Singles, RSVP, Zoosk, Plenty of Fish, Something Serious Mature, and sorry to say that yes, I was on it for about five minutes…Strictly Cougar. Let’s just say that one is not for the faint-hearted.

eHarmony, RSVP and Elite Singles

The sites are easy to use, and free – to a point. You need to answer quite a few questions, including your likes, dislikes and questions about your personality. They ask about your religion, smoking, drinking etc. You upload your photos wait for approval, and wait for your matches.

This is quite time-consuming to setup, but once you are setup, you’re ready to go. Your inbox will be bombarded with notifications, so it’s best to turn notifications off and log in when you want to see your matches. If you’re looking for a long term relationship, these sites might suit you.

Zoosk, Plenty of Fish and Something Serious Mature

Similar to eHarmony, RSVP and Elite Singles, in that you can answer questions. I say can as you will find many don’t answer the questions, which can be frustrating if you have put in the hard yards and poured your heart out and answered them all.

Photos can also be uploaded and need to be approved. You should always upload photos if you are half serious about connecting. Again, beware of your inbox being bombarded with “John winked at you, Trevor sent you a message” etc. I find these ones frustrating.

You do enter your postcode for your designated area, but you are being liked or winked by others who are hundreds of klms away… Really? With these, you can on most occasions connect with a conversation, however, not with everyone (that is where paid memberships come in). Again, I feel a lot of the people on here are looking for a long term relationship.

Being a Breakup Recovery Coach, and a single mum I want to share with you my best advice when you decide to get out there and start dating:

  • Just be yourself.
  • Trust your intuition.
  • Don’t go out looking for an outcome.
  • Go out looking forward to meeting new people.
  • If you’re hoping for an outcome straight away, you really take away from the possibility of meeting someone who could potentially be a great friend or down the track become a wonderful partner.
  • Respect yourself and be true to your values.
  • Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.

My last blog shared tips outlining some of the Do’s and Don’ts of dating. You can check it out here.

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Joanne Michelle

Joanne is Founder of Joanne Michelle and is a certified Health Coach and Divorcee who has set up Canberra’s first one-on-one break-up coaching program; offering health and wellness advice and practical techniques to help provide much needed support to women after their break-up or divorce. Joanne’s mission is to support and EMPOWER women to rediscover their identity after their break-up or divorce. With lack of support during her own personal experience, Joanne wanted to ensure women have the much needed support on offer. Going through a break-up or divorce can often be a mentally and emotionally devastating time, not to mention stressful. With this in mind, Joanne is now providing a coaching service to support women after their break-up. Joanne is caring and approachable, and knows first-hand, life doesn’t end once you divorce. For more information, please visit www.joannemichelle.com.au or email [email protected]

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  • Mary

    I think it is worth mentioning Tinder. It works exactly the same as checking out guys in a bar except more convenient! i get there has been some sniffiness around the app due to it starting out as a hook-up site. But by not mentioning it, you might be adding to that sniffiness – and it has now become much more commonplace for (gasp, older!) people to use it to look for long term relationships without the tediousness of all those questions which, in the end, are trumped by that elusive thing, personal chemistry.

    • Joanne Fernance

      Hi Mary, app dating is in the next article to come out where I talk about the different options. Tinder is a great option. Thanks for your
      feedback.

      • Mary

        Sorry! Look at me being sniffy with my assumptions… my apologies for being Judgy McJudgy.

  • Surely Eve

    Selecting the site can be daunting. Sites promote exclusive elitism, the illusion of being free, matching properties, specific age groups, sugar daddies or Eves in lingerie.
    Methods of payment vary. All sites are keen to have you return. ($$$$$$$$). See http://adamandeve.date/2016/09/28/selecting-the-site-eve.
    When you’ve decided to take the plunge and set up your site see http://adamandeve.date/2016/10/08/setting-up-your-profile-eve.

  • Simon Carter

    Online dating in syd or melb is a fairly equal footing for boys and girls but i have found and mates have commented in Canberra its very skewed in the girls favour. More choice, more single guys without baggage. There are lots of single mums over 30 in the Capital, nothing is wrong with that, but Canberra doesnt seem to have many single 30 year old career minded ladies like syd and melb have, where they get to a point in their career when they then look to settle. Instead lots of families starting in the early 20s, so by 30 they have 1-3 children already and divorced/ seperated
    I think Canberra is quite small and culturally not as open as these bigger cities to online dating, its not socially accepted yet, so you get a poor turn out. The risks of other people in Canberra who know you seeing you online is very real creating a bad stigma.

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