The Pros and Cons of Online Dating in Malta

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Malta, like most of the western world, has seen a rise in online dating over the past few years. For the millennials who grew up with social media, it's a natural extension of their screen-staring social life, whereas for older singletons it's just done in hope that it will be a quicker, easier and healthier alternative to dragging themselves around Gianpula on weekends, hoping that if they get tipsy enough and wear their tightest outfit, magic will happen.

But there are some differences when using online dating in Malta, compared to busier cities abroad. Some are them are plus points. Some are definitely not:

1. Geography 

Pro

Many aspects of dating in Malta are related to our tiny size (of island). You might remember your secondary school geography teacher telling you that we're all of 27km in length. So if you're using Tinder, you just set your target radius to around 35km (because, you know, Gozitans), and boom, you've covered everyone.

Con

Tinder thankfully takes just moments to set up, but other, more traditional dating sites ask for a lot of details before dropping you in the pool, and claim that the information about you helps them make better matches. But it's not uncommon to spend a good thirty minutes filling out details, and then suddenly you sign in and you see that there are only about seven other Maltese, and most of them look like your ex-geography teacher. So you write off the past hour and get out fast, deleting all traces as you go.

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2. Stalking potential

Pro

Some apps show you if you and your potential match have any Facebook friends in common, which in Malta is the norm, not the exception. So it's easy to Facebook-stalk them, even if you only have a photo and a first name. All you need is a mutual friend with a searchable friends list, and voila, you can see some extra profile pics and maybe more.

Con

Of course, this takes away some of the mystery of the process. Plus you might find out stuff from their Facebook page that will put you off before you've even given them a chance. So what if they're avid flamingo hunters? Maybe they're a lovely person.

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3. Familiarity 

Pro

With such a small pool of young, single people on the island, there's also a decent chance that you'll actually come across your current crush. That hot barista who makes you walk an extra ten minutes for your coffee? That colleague of yours who was recently dumped and who makes your insides flutter? If they're single, they might be on Tinder.

Con

After swiping right on your barista, however, the chances are you might also come across: clients, bosses, employees, patients, and of course, cousins. Which might be awkward if you have a profile pic with an open shirt on Dingli cliffs, or if you set your target age window too wide and they're half your age.

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4. High season 

Pro

Thankfully, the amount of fish in our lovely Maltese pond increases exponentially in the summer months, as sun-seekers flock to our shore, maybe hoping for a little summer lovin' to go with their tan.

Con

Most tourists aren't here for long though, so by the time you've matched with someone, squeezed out a decent opening line, chatted, gave lots of sightseeing advice and insider tips, and tried to find a free evening to meet for a strawberry mojito, they've gone. You have helped the nation, you have helped make a tourist happy, but you might still die alone.

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5. Thank you iGaming

Pro

Thankfully, some foreigners stay for longer. Malta's tax laws mean that gaming companies have set up shop on our shores in droves. So there are many beautiful people who escape the Scandinavian cold to come and work crazy shifts here, but who need entertaining if it's too cold for the beach on their day off.

Con

You may consider yourself an independent, cosmopolitan world citizen, but if the lovely Eva's only previous Maltese date was with Redeemer, who is approaching 40, lives with his mum and was growing a beard for the Good Friday procession, she can be forgiven for having reservations about us Maltesers.

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6. Logistics

Pro

Arranging to meet is usually easy. You're rarely more than a few minutes away, and most people drive, so you have a long list of wine bars, promenades, bars or cafes to choose from, within easy reach of both of you.

Con

Whichever one you pick, even if it's a rainy Tuesday evening, you are going to bump into someone you know. There goes your anonymity. Suddenly half the world knows you were sipping cocktails with a tall dark stranger.

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7. All's fair in love and war

Con

If you happen to be 'benching' someone at the time, or trying to juggle more than one dating option at a time, then there is also a distinct possibility that the person you bump into on that Tuesday night knows someone who knows someone who works with the cousin of that other date you serenaded last week. So things might get messy. 

Pro 

One of the cruelest but truest advantages of online dating is 'ghosting'. When the interaction has been solely online, and when all that links you to a person is a dating app and maybe a WhatsApp conversation, then the cleanest and easiest (but not the nicest) way to end things is by simply disappearing, or 'ghosting'. You unmatch, you block, bingo. No awkward conversations, no "it's not you, it's me", no "I need to focus on the village feast", no drama.

Con

BUT, we're in Malta, so that person you just ghosted is probably going to be standing in front of you at the cinema popcorn queue, or you will bump into them at the beer festival. Or they will date your cousin. And it won't be fun.

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8. Finding love

Pro

The main advantage of online dating, ultimately, is that when your Aunt Carmen corners you on Christmas Day and demands to know whether there's a new bird in your airspace, you'll finally be able to fend her off by telling her that yes, you are currently dating someone, although it's of course way too early to expose her to the talons of the extended family.

Con

But you'd better have a cover story for when she asks how you met. "X'inhu? Fuq l-internet?! Mela mintix kapaci tiltaqa ma' nies normali?!"

Just tell her you met at the village feast.

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What are your Maltese online dating woes? Let us know in the comments on Facebook!

READ NEXT: 9 Things To Tell Your Foreign Lover Before They Meet Your Maltese Family

Written By

Randy Fenech

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