Let's be honest, going out to meet someone when you either want to start a #relationship or maybe just have a fling is not always that appealing or easy. Which is why it is no surprise to me that someone would want to capitalise on a person's dilemma, between wanting to meet someone and not wanting to get off the sofa by coming up with the concept of ##Online dating. Which has certainly come a long way since it was a new trend.

The idea of meeting someone through simply talking to them online was initially met with scepticism, which is reasonable because taking a step back to look at it from the perspective of someone who has never heard of it before, it does seem a little desperate to plaster yourself online in the hopes of getting a potential boyfriend/girlfriend.

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Bearing in mind that you can't always trust you know who is looking at your profile. These same people who are simply looking to form some sort of #relationship can leave themselves vulnerable because it is very easy to lie on these sites about who you are and what your intentions are. As any mentally unstable and dangerous person with access to a computer could lure someone into a situation where they endanger themselves. There is also the other kind of vulnerability where someone can be deceptive about their intentions in a #relationship.

I have had more than one person swear to me they have met the love of their lives on a #Dating Site only for it to end in tears slightly more than a week later. Because you put your interests and what you are specifically looking for, a person who is just looking for something casual and are nothing like you, are able to convince you they are the complete opposite, which gives you a false sense of security.

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Let's not forget that there are some people who will simply use it for their own amusement to harass other members, I've had heard stories about men sending women pictures of their genitalia, as well as people having their accounts hacked and being falsely accused of harassment.

Not forgetting to a lesser extent using an online platform to try and form a #relationship can feel like it is taking away some of its intimacy. I spoke to someone last year outside a club who expressed frustration about never meeting anyone they would want to date. When I suggested that they try an online site like OkCupid, their response was that they "hey would prefer to meet someone in person". Which was interesting to me because it showed me that not everyone is still completely sold on these online dating services, which like all new technological developments promises a faster, easier and more efficient way of doing something that humans have been doing for years. There are still certain individuals who feel that getting to know someone #Face To Face is the best way to begin a #relationship and do not think it is possible to really know if you're attraction to someone is genuine, by looking at a picture and reading a text.

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Then why are so many people using dating sites?

Yet despite some risks, today you can hardly ask someone where they met their new partner or someone they have been seeing without them saying online. At times your question will also be met with a look of derision as if the very notion of meeting someone in person is the equivalent of suggesting they send a letter via owl or send the equivalent of just sending a letter. It is certainly understandable why it has become much more popular, that even people as young as eighteen are interested in what they have to offer.

For a start, it removes the anxiety someone might feel in approaching another in public. Either on the pull or if you just happen to see a man or woman you are attracted to, there is always time spent where you debate whether or not to approach them, then comes the awkward first introduction. Remembering the whole time that this will either lead to you getting a date or rejected, and it may not even be a polite rejection because chances are you may end up approaching the same kind of person you would end up blocking on a site. Half the time a person will simply stay where they are and just imagine the conversation that might have been.

This also raises an interesting point about just how different it is meeting someone online and in person. Because in my mind they go through very similar stages.

They both start with initial attraction - whether you notice someone in person or decide to view another member's profile is based on even the smallest interest you have comes from what you think of their appearance.

Your interest can deepen depending on what you find out about each other- either face to face or through messaging you are still finding out things about each other that may interest you or make you rethink going out with this person at all.

The next step is deciding whether you want to go out or not - if you meet someone in person and you have this gut instinct you want to ask them out then you will most likely act on it, similarly if your conversations online are going well you will decide at some point to make the move and ask to meet in person. Either way, it is still a fifty-fifty chance that once you go out with them things will still go well, but that mostly has to do with what kind of people you are, not how you met.

There are actually some advantages to online dating such as being able to increase the chances of finding someone better suited for you, for example, OkCupid asks questions about your interests and what you want in a #relationship. They then take this information and match you with people they see you have the most in common with and give your match a rating. Meaning that you can immediately start your search by weeding out the qualities you truly wouldn't want in a partner.

As I said before some people are pathetic enough to lie about their intentions just for a one-night stand. However, there are some sites that are specifically seen as sites where you are looking for something more casual, such as Tinder, which will have even less of a personal touch than say match.com, which at least gives you some idea of which site is best for the different #relationships you may want to consider.

I recently spoke to someone who has been with their partner for nearly three years and they met through a site. I asked as someone who this method as clearly been beneficial towards, why they thought it was a beneficial way to start a relationship.

Their response was

''It can work, but you've got to be into the other person, make time, effort and make sacrifices for them. If you meet someone with the same values as you, there's no reason why it can't work. This has been my happiest relationship and one I've grown the most in.''

So perhaps it is a bit old-fashioned to associate online dating with these negative stigmas like it is desperate and lazy, only crazy people meet online. There is evidence that it can work out and sometimes there are benefits to meeting online. I believe that we would all like to think we could meet someone in person but the reality is that it is not always going to be likely, especially in a world where we are made to be wary of strangers. Maybe we have an unrealistic idea of #romance based on what the classic romantic stories throughout history, followed by the endless cliches in pop-culture films and television.

Therefore relying on a dating site may not be something to laugh at and could actually be the way forward. Because the greatest love story may, in fact, be meeting someone online who is perfect for you that you would never have to chance to anywhere else. It may be simple and completely uneventful but it still has a happy ending.