Lately people have been running around frantically, searching through their little black books and contact lists to find that one thing: love. I don’t know if it’s age, the fear of getting old, or the fact that Christmas just passed and Valentines’ Day it is just around the corner. Whatever the reason, people have been desperately searching for the person right for them. There are many different ways to meet that one special person: church, school, your neighborhood, even your parents. The most unconventional, skeptical and unusual way to meet people, is online.

People have very different views and opinions about online dating. Some people feel it’s too risky to meet someone online versus face to face; for the fear of being catfished, or meeting a crazy psycho who will kill them. Others feel it’s ok to take the risk if you find your true love in the process. I understand and empathize with both sides, however, I agree with the group that feels it’s okay to take the risk if you find your true love in the process. I didn’t always have that standpoint. In the beginning, I was as skeptical as the naysayers.

We all remember in school when we had to go to the auditorium and listen to a lecture on the dangers of talking to people in chatrooms. Well, every time I heard about online dating that moment would flash back to me. It wasn’t until these last few years that I changed my tune. I decided to broaden my outlook and my surroundings and give online dating a try, when I noticed all the guys around me were pathetic and only interested in sex. I did all the cliché sites, eHarmony, Match, Tinder, etc… I was fortunate not have met any serial killers, but I had a backup in case I did (pepper spray and a small pocket taser will do the trick). I met some pretty cool people, none of whom were long term material, but if I wanted a club or drinking buddy knew who to call.

300 dpi Laurie Harker color illustration of love blooming in a coffee cup. Minneapolis Star-Tribune 2007 coffee date illustration internet tea lunch couples love meeting online match, krtholiday holiday, krtvalentine valentine's day valentine, krtwinter winter, risk diversity woman women krtfeatures features, krtnational national, krtworld world, krtfamily family, krtfood food, krt, mctillustration, amor cafe te cita enlinea familia ilustracion grabado aspecto aspectos, 2007, krt2007, ms contributed coddington harker mct mct2007
Laurie Harker color illustration of love blooming in a coffee cup. Minneapolis Star-Tribune 2007

I got a lot of push back from my family about me doing online dating. I understood their point of it being risky and that people today are crazy, but not everyone on the online dating sites are serial killers. People who you can meet in person and have known for years could turn out to be Hannibal Lecter. As for those lectures in school, the one difference is those girls got hurt because they gave out their personal address to someone they had only been talking too for a day or they met someone secretly in a secluded area no one knew about. Don’t get me wrong, those stories taught me a lot. I know to never give out my address to someone I don’t know (if I want to meet or go out with someone from online instead of giving them my address and having them pick me up, I drive myself). I also always meet in public places, so in case something did happen there would be witnesses.

My message to people for or against online dating is to live life to the fullest. Life is too short to live it in fear. No one is a saint, but not everyone is a demon. You owe it to yourself to take the risky, but do so cautiously and intelligently.