Relationships Should Not Begin Online

By Carlyn Spangler,

The commercial for online dating sites love to broadcast the phrase “1 in 5 relationships begin online.”

This phrase make you wonder as to why relationships are now beginning in the “viral world” as opposed to face-to-face. I remember the days in school when if you liked someone in your class, you would make it known or maybe even make an awkward run-in to generate conversation.

I believe the reason 1 in 5 relationships begin online is due to the fact that people are too busy, nervous, or self-conscience to approach others in social environments.

Go to a bar and observe the social interactions between men and women. What you see transpire will likely resemble something from a middle school dance scene. A group of girls will walk in, and then a group of guys will slowly make their way toward them. The girls and guys will remain in their respective “groups” and rarely separate from the pack to approach one another.

In the bar scene, alcohol consumption is usually necessary if any advances are made. Even with a large dose of liquid courage, people will make excuses as to why they are not approaching the opposite sex. For example, “oh, she probably has a boyfriend,” or “he looks like a player…he must get around.”

Maybe we just do not trust the intentions of people we meet in bars; after all, isn’t that where people who are looking for a one-night-stand go? We all like to make judgments and rush to conclusions instead of just walking up to someone and saying “hello.”

Is “hello” such a scary word, or are we simply afraid of rejection? The fear of rejection can keep us from meeting someone we are interested in. So instead we turn to the safety of our computers where face-to-face rejection is eliminated. However, when the face-to-face element is eliminated we lose out on some very important immediate feedback…like is there “chemistry” or not.

There are some practical reasons to pursue online dating. Online dating sites can save time, money, energy and bypass the awkwardness of an “unknown” encounter. If someone is seriously looking for their soul-mate, why not forego a bit of the “courtship routine” and sign up with an online dating service to find your perfect match.

Hmmm, I want “tall, dark and handsome”…just punch it into the computer and up pops Ryan Reynolds, right? (I think he’s available now.) If only it was that easy.

I’m not sure “dating” and finding that special someone is supposed to be easy, but I know it should be fun. I understand why some relationships begin online and I’m not criticizing those who utilize online dating sites. My point is that 1 in 5 relationships should NOT begin online SOLELY because people do not have the confidence to approach the person at the other side of the bar or in other social settings.

Dating should take place in the real world, out in everyday life where you can make direct eye-contact…get a sense of a person’s genuineness and sincerity…watch a person’s body language…and make a 1st impression.

Don’t let the night life turn into a middle school dance and don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back from saying “hello.”

About Jimmy Spencer

Jimmy Spencer has extensive experience in journalism and new media. As the founding editor of, Spencer combines his writing, reporting and editing skills to produce a "pretty good site about midtown." During the day, Spencer covers government and also covers the NBA. At night, he watches T.V. and plays on the Internet. Every now and then, he walks around his midtown neighborhood. Spencer began his professional journalism career with The Sacramento Bee, finishing his tenure with the McClatchy-owned newspaper in the new media department. Spencer moved to Connecticut where he continued his growth in new media as a writer/content producer for NBC Sports. Spencer also worked in media relations with the Sacramento River Cats, Minor League Baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Spencer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Sacramento where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The State Hornet campus newspaper. Spencer was raised in Marin County and currently lives in Sacramento, Calif. Spencer works in the community as a high school basketball coach in the Sacramento area.


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Posted by on Apr 6 2011. Filed under Dating, Relationships. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Comments for “Relationships Should Not Begin Online”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Moss, dorian young, Marissa Alexander, Tori Lafferty and others. Tori Lafferty said: DR's Love Update Relationships Should Not Begin Online #dating #romance […]

  2. “The layout is definitely superb… You know how to balance writing and opinion. However, I cant get over how little you actually bring to light here. I think that everyones said the same thing that youve said over and over again. Dont you think its time for something a bit new, especially for a college site…?”

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