What was the worst blind date you’ve ever been on? Was it bad enough for you to swear off blind dating forever? If you’ve been on more bad blind dates than good ones, then maybe it’s time to navigate a new dating arena–the online world. If you’re willing to take a chance and explore something you never had before, you just might might discover the perks of online dating.

Online dating can be as daunting as the traditional way of dating. But at least it’s a lot easier to cut short an online date compared to a physical one. You won’t have to suffer through one more agonizing blind date and wrack your brains for excuses on why you need to leave early. Aside from possibly finding the love of your life, online dating comes with a slew of benefits that can actually help mold your character. Here are some of them.

Develops Your Interpersonal Skills

Introverts tend to be very shy when it comes to meeting new people. Online dating spares them from scenarios like that awkward first meeting at a blind date and makes breaking the ice a little easier. The anonymity that comes with it–meaning you don’t have to show your face online in the beginning–also allows room for spontaneity and builds a comfortable rapport between two people until they are ready to show their true selves on video. If everything works well enough, you may want to take your online relationship to the next level and meet in person.

Brushes Up Your Conversational–and Flirting–Skills

The constant chatting involved in online dating helps you to work on your conversational skills especially when it comes to talking with the opposite sex. It might even give you a chance to work on your flirting skills and the more people you talk with, the more easier it would be to flow from one conversation to another. Once you get used to meeting and talking with random people online, you’ll be a little more confident when it comes to meeting new friends and potential dates in person.

Creates Chances for New Connections

There are many online dating sites but okcupid.com is probably the most scientific one around. This match site has an algorithm that will calculate your compatibility with other people based on background, interests and answers to a whole lot of questions. Apparently, the more questions you answer, the more precise your matching algorithm will be. The interesting twist to this site is that it will try to compute your most compatible match in both romance and friendship. It will determine the people who will most likely be your enemies or your best friends for life. Okcupid offers you chances to create new connections with other people, not necessarily in the romantic sense. If online dating doesn’t work out with a certain person, you still gain new friends in the end.

Renews Old Connections

Sometimes, the thought of online dating can be more daunting to some people who prefer to start a little closer to home–people they used to know. Have you ever thought about an old flame or an old crush, wondering how they are doing now? Do you wonder if they are still single or off the market? This curiosity can lead you to renew old connections and explore the possibility of a relationship with one of them. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can start by searching through facebook.com or through MyLife.com, an online social database that allows you to search either by zip code or area code. This specialized search function helps you narrow the field when looking for old acquaintances that you want to get in touch with again.

Allows You to Call the Shots

Unlike when your friends indiscriminately fix you up on one disastrous blind date after another, online dating allows you to call the shots. You get to decide who you want to meet up for coffee or whom you want to give your number to. You can also chat up with whoever catches your fancy. Just keep in mind though that not everyone will respond to your offline messages. But if you find an interesting way to introduce yourself or break the ice, you just might intrigue another person into getting to know you better.

About the Author: Based in San Diego California, Tiffany Matthews is a professional writer with over 5 years of writing experience. She also blogs about travel, fashion, and anything under the sun at wordbaristas.com, a group blog that she shares with her good friends. In her free time, she likes to travel, read books, and watch movies. You can find her on Twitter as @TiffyCat87.