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Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

Offline Dating Versus Online Dating | Video Chats

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Online Dating vs Offline Dating
Hot Video Chats

Is online dating a faster way than offline dating to find a partner?


 In some ways, it sure can be. The tools of online dating like advanced filters to connect only with others who meet your basic personal preferences, compatibility testing, and real-time forms of communication like instant messages, emails and video chats permit you the chance to hone in quicker on people that are right for you and then allow you to get to know them quickly. In fact, online relationships can develop faster than offline relationships.

On the other hand, one could also argue that online dating is somewhat slower. You see, we traditionally meet people offline in one of three ways: at work, introductions by family or friends, and accidental meetings as we go about our daily business. These options are pretty good if you live and work among a large group of people, but for most people they offer a very limited set of romantic prospects. In this sense, there are fewer people to cull through. With online dating, your candidate pool is immense. There are potentially hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of romantic prospects from which to choose.

Because of this, it actually may take some people longer to find a suitable partner browsing through the whopping number of personal profiles – even if they use advanced filtering and have very strict personal preferences in a partner. The real key to success is not to think of dating, online of off, as a time restricted “hunt.” Putting that kind of pressure on yourself will tend to lead to impulsive and unwise decisions. Finding the right partner for a casual date or a lasting relationship will only be as successful as the amount of time and effort you put into the search.

How “hot” should video chats get?

Between consenting adults… they can get as hot and steamy as you both want. Notice I said as you both want. Any issue pertaining to sexuality needs to discussed with the other person and personal boundaries respected. A few other points should be mentioned when contemplating a very private video chat:

» Privacy. Make sure you have absolute privacy – don’t have adult video chats at work (even after hours when you think no one is around!), make sure your speakers don’t resonate into your neighbor’s apartment or home, and single parents, make sure the kids are away or fast asleep and your door to the computer area locked.

» Respect. Never record any form of private communication with another person without their knowledge and consent.

» Understanding. It’s important before any level of intimacy, that two people discuss what a certain action or activity means or doesn’t mean. One person may assume that having private adult instant messages, emails and video-chats mean that a relationship is at a mature level. On the other hand, another person may regard these activities only as casual and non-committal online fun. Have a clear and advance understanding about what something means to the other person before you both do it.

» Truthfulness. People have this annoying habit of saying things during passionate experiences that they really don’t mean. A good example is “I love you.” Always be mindful of what you say and do, because you don’t want to lead the other person on, be on a different page than they are, or make promises you can’t keep. Awful things happen in relationships when our words and deeds are inconsistent.

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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