Internet Dating Sites - You Gotta Start Somewhere
Using internet dating sites for finding love requires focus, time, a sense of humour and patience! But it can be very rewarding if approached the right way. If you’re a newbie it’s not my place to tell you which sites are best for you (though of course, I have my favourites). Suffice to say there is an (almost) overwhelming variety of sites to choose from – and they are always changing.
Finding love means different things to different people. However we can all probably agree that we prefer to have someone special in our lives. Searching internet dating websites can speed up the process. It also brings:
Friendship - You are able to build a friendship with someone first, a great foundation to happy relationship is friendship.
Confidence - Many people feel that using dating sites give them confidence. The computer screen is often seen as a ‘barrier breaker’. Lots of people are able to overcome their shyness by talking online.
When you receive lovely complimentary messages you will feel very flattered and this will help to build your confidence. A little boost does wonders, but a large ego is annoying.
Types of internet dating sites
There are various tiers of sites that will allow you to communicate with people
1.General dating sites – These are internet dating sites that offer broad levels of communication with all types of people. A general dating site is a good place to start if you are unsure about what you are looking for. You will be able to chat with lots of different people in a short period of time.
2. Specific dating sites – Many internet dating sites are built for specific groups. For example some sites are for certain age groups, some are for specific sexualities and others are for those with common interests and hobbies. If you have an idea about the type of people you want to chat with then a specialist dating site might be for you.
3. Social networking site – Sites such as MySpace and face book are very different from dating sites but they still allow you to meet lots of people.
4. Relationship and internet dating services – Services that offer to find you matches on your behalf can save you allot of time but I’m not convinced they work. The jury is still out for me on these as I have had a few friends that are disappointed with the service.
The most important thing to remember is to find a site that you are comfy with. Every dating site will get you lots of lovely people to chat with, but when it comes to finding someone you want to have a long lasting relationship with, you will have to do lots of research into what you want and whether the site can offer you that! Hence the best internet dating websites will vary depending on who you are and what you’re looking for.
The Best Internet Dating Websites
With thousands of internet dating sites to choose from, it’s a very competitive market out there. You can afford to be picky. Here are some basic markers on what to look for. But please. This is not an exact science. Bet on a little experimentation / research before you find your feet.
Trial Subscriptions – Realistically, you’re going have to mooch around a few sites to get the feel of them. Some sites are more accessible that others. Some sites don’t allow you to view profiles without taking out a paid membership. I remember completing an eHarmoney profile when it first launched in the UK only to find they had no one, and I do mean no one they deemed compatible!
In the medium term you’re going to have to take out trial memberships (where offered) and then subscribe. There’s nothing wrong with taking a months subscription to start and then see where thing’s go.
Using Filters - Using online sites will allow you to talk to lots of people in a short period of time and search for people using specific criteria. This will help you to figure out what it is you are looking for. Once you have discovered the type of person you want, you can use or modify your profile and dating site header to reflect this.
You can think of filters as a “key”. The filters unlock the hundreds (thousands) of profiles to narrow them down for you according to your criteria. Using filters is in itself a trial and error process. You need to whittle the numbers down, but be careful you don’t overdo it and end up with a shortlist of four!
Free Internet Dating Sites – Many sites earn their revenue not from membership fees but advertising revenue. Many sites have migrated to the free model in the face of increasing competition. One problem with sites generally, and free sites especially is the number of “dead” or inactive profiles. Good internet dating sites will let you know the last time the person logged in.
If someone has paid for a membership it implies they are motivated. When they don’t pay – who knows. It’s also feasible that the number of people ‘playing away from home’ is much greater on free sites because membership can’t be traced through credit cards.
Established sites - It’s worth including at least one general, well established site on your initial list. Sites like FriendFinder.com and Match.com have been around for ten years plus. You can bet they know a thing or two about bringing people together!
Privacy Use internet dating sites that protect your online privacy by masking your email address. You can give out your email address (one you’ve specifically set up for the purpose) when you’re good and ready.
Quality of Profiles Not everyone using the essay section of a profile will write a magnum opus. Short doesn’t mean worse, but the profiles you sift through should read authentically. Once you deviate from the tried and tested sites (and I’d encourage you to look) the quality of profile can be dubious. Consider that it’s easy to set up a so-called “pre-populated dating site” for just a few hundred dollars. Always ask yourself, do these sound like real people?
Obviously I have my own favourite internet dating websites. More about those soon!
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