As the world of online dating experiences a virtual explosion, more and more single people are wondering what they might be missing out on.
Online dating gives us the incredible ability to have our pick of prospective dates, mates, encounters, close friends, or any other type of relationship you can think of – all without ever leaving the house! If you’re brand new to the concept of online dating and all that it entails, here are some important tips to help you along your way to finding that special someone and living happily ever after – or maybe just for having a good time and meeting some great people.
Ask for Recommendations
If you aren’t sure where to begin, word of mouth recommendations from family and friends is the best way to find dating sites online that will meet your needs. Do your homework and ask people for their opinions and read through the many reviews available online that give some insight as to how a site or service operates and whether people have had a good experience or not.
Test the Waters
Most reputable dating websites will offer their potential members a free trial to give them a chance to see if their service is something they’d be interested in. Some sites offer different options and methods of communicating with others, including everything from chat features at their site, to emails and instant messaging. Be sure to pay attention to the terms and conditions listed at each site and completely read through their pages of frequently asked questions or help files.
Free trials are great for giving you the ability to join more than one site until you’re sure which one you like better and they’re perfect for convincing the reluctant online dater to take the plunge and finally begin their search for their one true love. Some sites or services will also allow people to browse through pictures and partial profiles before deciding if they want to become a paying member. Take advantage of these services before you commit to a site that requires membership fees.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
While some people may be reluctant at first to post a picture of themselves on a dating website, profiles with attached photos get far more “hits,” or responses than those without. Include at least one recent picture of yourself that’s clear and easy to see once it’s posted to the site. Be careful though – the picture you choose conveys a lot about who you are, so consider your dress and the situation of your photo carefully.
Be Smart, Be Safe
Never use your real name or regular email address when visiting online dating sites or when making a new profile. Instead, create one explicitly for this purpose and keep your address to yourself and your close friends. Also, if anyone ever gives you a hard time, by acting “stalkerish” or just causing you to feel uneasy in general, have no qualms about blocking them and or reporting them to the service you’re using or your Internet service provider.
Just like in the real world, if it’s obvious that you aren’t attracted to someone for any reason, do your best to find a tactful way of addressing the issue instead of stringing someone along unnecessarily or making the scene unpleasant for the both of you.