What Is E-Dating? (Explained for Beginners)

Most of us have been e-dating for years—whether we know it or not. In fact, I met my wife through e-dating.

What is e-dating?

E-dating is the process of using the internet to find and interact with potential romantic partners. It can take many forms, from flirting on online chat rooms and forums to dating apps and social media. E-dating is a convenient way to meet new people, and it can also lead to serious relationships.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to answer the question, “What is e-dating?”

What Is E-Dating? (Detailed Answer)

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keyboard with man, woman, and heart keys—What Is E-Dating?
Image by the author via Canva—What Is E-Dating?

E-dating is any contact and communication online with someone in a flirting or romantic context.

Just talking to a friend online is not considered e-dating.

However, chatting up someone you want to date casually or seriously is a form of e-dating. You e-date when you send a message, slide into a DM (direct message), or video chat with your crush.

You can also e-date your significant other.

For example, when my fiance and I cannot see each other for a few days, we often talk to each other over long video chats. We sometimes watch shows “together” on video chat just to spend some quality time with each other.

All of that is e-dating.

What Does the E in E-Dating Mean?
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Now that you know the e-dating definition, you might be wondering about the name.

Why is it called e-dating?

Dating online is called e-dating because the “e” in e-dating means “electronic.” In other words, the “e” in e-dating is the same as the “e” in e-mail, learning, and e-business.

The “e” in e-dating means electronic because dating online involves communicating electronically through a smart device.

The device could be a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer (or any other device, such as VR or Google Glasses).

Types of E-Dating

Answering the question, “What does e-dating mean?” is easier said than done.

That’s because there are many different types of e-dating.

Types of e-dating include:

  • Forum e-dating
  • Social media e-dating
  • Dating app e-dating
  • Long-distance e-dating
  • Full e-dating
  • Hybrid e-dating

What Is Forum E-dating?

Forum e-dating occurs on online forums (or chat rooms) dedicated to specific topics or interests.

For example, there are forums for singles looking to meet other singles, as well as forums for people seeking relationships outside of traditional monogamy. In addition, there are also forums for people who are already in relationships but are looking to explore non-monogamy.

You can also e-date on forums not specifically related to dating.

You might meet someone you like on a forum for Dungeons & Dragons, shadow writing, or running.

What Is Social Media E-dating?

Social Media e-dating is a term that covers a lot of ground when it comes to digital courtship.

At its most basic, it is the process of using social media platforms to connect with potential partners. This can take many different forms, from sending private messages on Facebook to flirting in the comments section of Instagram posts.

Social media e-dating can also happen on YouTube, Twitter, and even TikTok.

Whatever the platform, e-dating is a way to get to know someone through messages, pictures, and videos.

What Is E-dating on Dating Apps?

Nowadays, you can simply open up an app and start swiping through profiles of potential matches.

If you see someone they’re interested in, you can send a message and start chatting. This process is known as e-dating.

There are a few different dating apps that are popular among e-daters:

  • Tinder—Tinder is one of the most well-known dating apps. It’s very simple to use. Users just swipe left or right on profiles of potential matches and if both users swipe right, then they’re matched and can start chatting.
  • Bumble—Bumble is similar to Tinder, but it flips traditional gender roles by requiring women to make the first move when matched with a man.
  • Hinge—Hinge is a dating app that is designed like Tinder but with question prompts to help you share information about yourself.

E-dating has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people download dating apps onto their phones.

Other e-dating apps you might like:

What Is Long-Distance E-dating?

Long-distance e-dating is just dating online from a distance.

Usually, the distance is at least an hour and it can be all the way across the globe. It’s a great way to meet people that you may never have had the chance to meet otherwise.

Plus, you can get to know them without having to worry about the awkwardness of face-to-face first dates.

You can just chat and get to know each other before deciding if you want to meet in person. And, if it doesn’t work out, you can just move on to the next person.

No harm, no foul.

What Is Full E-dating?

The term “full e-dating” refers to a relationship in which all communication and interactions occur online.

This can include anything from messaging and video chatting to exchanging photos and virtual gifts. Couples who are full e-dating have never met in person, and they may never meet in person.

You might even date via avatars in a game or virtual reality like the metaverse.

While some relationships eventually transition to offline dating, others remain online-only indefinitely.

What Is Hybrid E-dating?

Hybrid e-dating is when you date both online and in person.

The great thing about this option is that it allows you to meet people in a variety of ways. For example, you can take the time to get to know someone online before you ever meet them in person.

Or, you can meet someone in person first and then connect with them online.

Either way, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to really get to know someone before you make any commitments.

Of course, hybrid e-dating isn’t for everyone.

If you’re the type of person who prefers to meet someone face-to-face right away, then this probably isn’t the right method for you.

But if you’re open to meeting people in a variety of ways, then hybrid e-dating could be a great option you want to try.

E-Dating vs Long Distance Dating (What’s the Difference?)

What’s the difference between e-dating and long-distance dating?

On the surface, they may seem quite similar. After all, both involve using technology to connect with someone who is far away. However, there are some key differences between these two types of dating.

For starters, e-dating is not necessarily long-distance.

You can meet someone online who lives in your same city or town. In contrast, long-distance relationships by definition involve two people who live far apart from each other.

Another key difference is that many long-distance relationships are hybrid e-dating at best.

That is, the relationship may start out as an online connection but eventually transition to a more traditional, face-to-face relationship. In contrast, e-dating might exist as a purely digital connection between two people.

Is E-Dating Considered Dating?

Yes, e-dating is considered dating.

Any romantic or non-platonic relationship between two people is considered dating. It doesn’t matter how the two people communicate.

Two people could communicate with Morris Code or carrier pigeon but it would still be dating (Carrier Pigeon Dating? That Doesn’t sound right :).

Here is a video that takes the opposite opinion: that e-dating isn’t real dating:

YouTube video by Weest—What Is E-dating?

How Does E-Dating Work?

E-dating is the process of finding and connecting with potential romantic partners online.

Although it may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, there is actually a long history of people using the internet to meet potential partners.

One of the earliest examples of e-dating can be found in the 1998 film, You’ve Got Mail.

In the movie, two characters (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) fall in love after exchanging messages in an online chat room.

In the years since, e-dating has become increasingly popular, particularly among young people who often find it easier and more efficient to meet potential dates online.

There are a variety of different ways to e-date, but most platforms follow a similar format.

Users create profiles that include personal information and photographs. They then use filters to search for matches based on factors like age, location, and interests.

Once they find someone they’re interested in, they can start chatting or even video chatting to get to know each other better.

If things go well, they may eventually arrange to meet in person.

E-dating can be a great way to meet new people, but it’s important to be safe and cautious when interacting with strangers online. Never give out personal information or agree to meet someone privately in person without first getting to know them better.

Pros and Cons of E-Dating

Let’s look at the pros and cons of e-dating.

First, here’s a simple chart that covers both the advantages and disadvantages:

E-Dating ProsE-Dating Cons
Bigger pool of dating prospectsCatfishing and deception
SafetyScams
ConvenienceLess personal
Free or cheapCostly (Sometimes)
Filter for preferencesFewer commitments
Pros and Cons of E-Dating: What Is E-Dating?

Is E-Dating Wierd?

E-dating is not weird or cringy.

Online dating has become a widely accepted way to meet potential partners. In fact, many relationships start online.

However, there are still some people who view online dating with suspicion.

They may see it as a sign that someone is desperate or unable to find a partner in the “real world”. Yet, there are many reasons why someone might choose to date online.

For instance, it can be a great way to meet people who share your interests and values.

It can also be more convenient than traditional dating since you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Huge convenience. And, thanks to advances in technology, online dating is now safer than ever before.

With all of these benefits, it’s really no surprise that more and more people are giving online dating a try.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, both me and my brother met our significant others online (me on Tinder and him on Bumble).

Is E-Dating Bad?

E-dating is not bad at all.

E-dating is only bad if you make it bad or do bad things with it. Badness, of course, is subjective. Something I consider bad might not seem bad to you (and visa versa).

I taught evidence-based relationship skills for 13 years and I don’t think e-dating is bad.

To be clear, I think close and in-person relationships create the healthiest environment for individuals and couples to grow. But that doesn’t mean there is something wrong or bad with e-dating.

Many healthy, long-term relationships begin with e-dating.

E-Dating Discord Meaning

On Discord, e-dating means the same thing as it means anywhere else.

It means dating someone through messages, images, and videos on a Discord server. In this way, it’s very much the same as e-dating on social media, online forums, or even dating apps.

Sometimes e-dating on Discord remains on the platform.

In other cases, dating starts on Discord, moves to text messaging, and then evolves into in-person dates.

Final Thoughts: What Is E-Dating?

The bottom line is that e-dating is online dating.

If you like reading about dating and relationships, we have tons of other articles on this site that we think you will love.

Here are a few related posts:

Sources

Pew Research Center
National Center for Biotechnological Information