Why do people prefer to find a local date online?

It would be fair to say that in recent years, online dating has become a phenomenon. What began as a relatively obscure platform where singles could connect has transformed into a global industry, with millions of enthusiastic advocates, and generating billions of dollars in annual revenue.

Any single seeking a partner can flip open their laptop, or download an app to their favorite smart device, and within minutes they could be flirting with compatible individuals. The flexibility and popularity of these sites mean that virtual matchmaking now knows no boundaries, with many outlets offering scope for international dating. But the majority of those signing up for these resources are doing so for convenience.

It’s all about looking for dates in the neighborhood. Here’s why local matching tends to be the default.


For newcomers, the prospect of interacting with strangers can be a daunting experience. It’s one thing to flirt with people sharing your background, but something else altogether when it comes to mixing with individuals who might speak a different language.

So, the number one reason for seeking local hookups has got to be practicality. It’s very straightforward to arrange get-togethers via these outlets, and if your primary motivation is arranging a liaison as quickly as possible, you can try out geolocation software.

Many sites now offer this option, providing a snapshot of which other users happen to be close by in real-time. Think of this as a romance ‘satnav’ you can carry around in your pocket, allowing you to home in on likely candidates within the tap of a few buttons.

The singles you’ll meet are liable to be familiar with all the trendy local landmarks, such as cultural places of interest or buzzing coffee shops, so you’ll already have so much to chat about.

The pandemic hangover

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If there’s one aspect of the recent Covid situation that remains lingering, it’s a general air of caution. Why would you want to get involved with someone you don’t know so close to the worldwide health crisis?

People got used to socializing in smaller numbers over the past couple of years and would tend to hang around in social arenas they were used to. A lot of individuals are still, understandably, reluctant about traveling, especially for romantic interludes with other singles whose medical history will be unknown to them.

For all these reasons, sticking to local haunts remains a top priority for a lot of people.

Common ground

Compatibility and shared interests are the essential building blocks for so many relationships. While there’s an adage about opposites attracting, far more singles are naturally drawn to those they can empathize with, particularly if they can find hobbies and passions they share.

Dating sites have long relied on algorithms to bring their members together – computer programs that can sift through extensive databases containing information about site users, and then pinpoint any areas that overlap.

This saves so much unnecessary timewasting when individuals try making contact with other singles who might not necessarily be good matches. The algorithms can provide a shortlist of suitable candidates for romance based on anything from musical preferences to favorite cuisine.

Of course, proximity is another huge factor that might influence who you wish to get to know better. Search forms can accommodate precision searching by allowing queries to focus on a certain catchment area.

If you’re only interested in meeting prospective partners within a five-mile radius, then this can easily be specified.

Developing a rapport

Part of connecting with people you already have a lot in common with is to allow the chemistry to develop quicker. When exchanging discreet messages via the online service’s communication channels, chatting about things you both understand can help build a positive rapport.

Dating sites will even offer suggestions for ice-breakers to introduce to conversations, but you’ll generally find if you’re discussing date ideas with someone local to you, you’ll already have so much to talk about. There won’t be any of those awkward silences you might have encountered before.

Dating can be expensive

On a practical level again, local hookups are always a better option if you’re keen to avoid being too ostentatious. While nobody wants to date a Scrooge, everyone needs to be realistic about the present economic situation for a lot of singles.

When you’re arranging to take a potential partner out for the night, it would be far better if this was going to be a venue within easy distance for you both. 

Tips for finding local dates

useful online dating tips

A million-dollar question: what are the best tips for tracking down an ideal love interest who also lives nearby?

Dating sites rely on establishing a safe environment where members feel encouraged to open up to those other site users they feel an affinity towards. So, make sure you reflect local interests when compiling a killer dating profile: restaurants, cafes, and art galleries that are near you, rather than stopping off for a bite to eat near The Louvre!

Also, the general rules of dating apply. Be courteous during any online exchanges. And ensure your profile photo is engaging, preferably taken with a high-quality camera rather than a blurry screenshot from your social media.

Wrapping Up

There are many practical considerations for any aspiring online dater to take into account. For newbies, it might seem as if what is being presented has its fair share of obstacles! This is definitely not the case. Yes, there are certain unwritten rules you’ll need to become acquainted with if you wish to give yourself the best chance of success.

The good news is that most of these are intuitive, and the more you embark on a course of virtual dating, the greater your handle on these will become. Soon, everything will seem like second nature, and you’ll wonder why you ever had misgivings.

So, without further ado, find some sites to bookmark or apps to download. And dip your toes into the fabulous world of online dating.

josh author and dating coach at virtually single online