In the past, online dating was a brand new idea. Unlike today, most people did not own PC’s or even have access to the internet. Times have changed. Online dating is not only IN the mainstream, it IS the mainstream.
There are many reasons for the phenomenal growth of online dating sites and the number of people, men and women of all ages, races and religions who use them as their primary source for meeting people and looking for “the one”.
If you don’t believe me, just ask your friends in the “real” world. If they are honest, most of them will tell you they have or are using an online dating service.
Here are three good reasons why thousands of people sign up for dating services everyday:
- You can be anonymous. You will never be required to give your real name, address, email address, phone number or place of employment to another online user. You, of course, may do so but only at your own discretion and only when you feel completely safe. You are not required to post a picture of yourself. Posting a picture, however, will get more responses to your profile. So you can surf through the other members on the dating site you have joined with complete anonymity.
- You have so many more choices online that you do in your brick and mortar world. Before the world of online dating came of age, the choice of friends and even of lifetime partners was limited to those we came in contact with through college or work. No more…the world is your oyster. You can go through hundreds…even thousands of profiles to find the right man for you.
- The “safety factor” is the biggest reason of all. An online dating service will never reveal your personal information. You get to choose who has that information and when they have it.
Online Dating Safety
Online dating can be a fun and certainly a rewarding experience for women of all ages. Maintaining your safety while doing it is simply a combination of using common sense and exercising good judgment. Online safety rules are the same as real world safety rules.
You wouldn’t give your name, address and phone number to a strange man that you met in a bar or on the street so you should never do that online either. Play it safe. Get to know this man who could turn out to be Prince Charming before you give out any information that could make it possible for him or others to trace you. Don’t tell a stranger exactly where you work. Say that you are a legal secretary (if that’s what you are) for a mid-sized law firm….not that you work for Brown, Smith and Jones Attorneys-at-law. It is safe to tell him what city you live in but you should wait to be any more specific than that until you have been chatting and exchanging emails for awhile.
Use only the tools provided by the dating service you belong to. Most offer chat and private email on their site. Do not give out your isp email address. If you must give out an email address make it a free one such as Hotmail or Yahoo. Your ISP address is traceable for anyone who wants to go to the trouble.
When the time comes for you to have your first face-to-face, make that first meeting in a public place and during daylight hours. Take a friend with you or arrange for one to call you on your cell soon after the arranged meeting.
Remember…you ARE in control so do not let anyone pressure you into revealing more personal information than you are comfortable with revealing.
Choosing the Right Online Dating Site
With the explosion of online dating sites has come a virtual smorgasbord of choices. There are free sites… I don’t recommend those but if money is a real concern, they are better than nothing. There are the large paid sites with many and varied features like chat, IM and even matching using profiles. There are the less expensive paid sites with few features. There are special interest sites for almost anything you can think of…outdoor enthusiasts, couch potatoes, religious, non-religious, gays, lesbians…like I said…almost anything you can think of. So what’s a girl to do? A girl should choose the site or sites that best fit her needs.
Here are some things to consider:
Cost: How much do you want or how much can you spend each month for your membership (s)?
Features: Which features are the most important to you?
- Profile matching systems – Is this a feature you really want or would you rather decide who is right for you all by yourself?
- Chat and IM’s? – There are websites who offer chat rooms and IM’s on their sites. Does that matter or would you be happy just sticking to private email.
- Outside Events – Such as speed dating? Are you interested in that?
- Privacy – Some websites allow you to limit who can view your picture or your profile. Does this matter to you or do you want as wide exposure as you can have?
- Safety – There are websites who do background checks of all subscribers and certify their age, marital status and background. Would you feel safer using this feature?
These are a few things but not all things you should consider when choosing an online dating service or services. Do your homework and choose wisely for the best results for you.
Online Dating Mistakes to Avoid
There are some things that women should never do while engaged in an online relationship with a man. These things are certain to put a quick and final end to any further communications with him.
While chatting online or by email do not write your life story. His eyes will glaze over and he will fall out of his chair. Keep it short and sweet until he asks for details…then provide them slowly and only answer the questions he asks. For instance: If he asks how many siblings you have, he is NOT asking for the details of your interaction with them. He really just wants to know how many you have. Say you have 2 (or whatever is true) and then ask how many he has. For every question he asks you, you should ask one of him. Nothing turns a man off like a long- winded woman who just doesn’t know when to shut up or how to listen.
Never, ever, EVER lie. I really believe that lies will catch up with you sooner or later. Many women (and men) lie about their age, marital status, employment, height, weight and a host of other things in their online profiles. That is a huge mistake. If you find a man who you are really interested in, he will find out you lied and there goes any possibility of the relationship progressing. So, just be honest. There is someone out there who will like you…even come to love you…for exactly the person you are.
Don’t be too eager. It makes you look desperate and it really puts a man off. They are first and foremost conquerors and if getting the person of their desires to like them too is just too easy, they will quickly lose interest. I don’t mean play “hard-to-get”. I mean, don’t push for a face-to-face meeting. Don’t email them or IM them too frequently. Play it safe and play it cool.
Writing a Great Dating Profile
OK…the time has come. You have joined an online dating service or two. Now you must write that all-important profile… the one that will attract attention and reel in the man of your dreams… but where to start? Maybe writing isn’t even something you think you do all that well. Even so, you can do this.
The first thing is to be absolutely honest about yourself. You are looking for that man who will like…maybe someday love…YOU….THE REAL YOU! Examine past relationships and list the things that you liked and the things you did not like. If he smoked in the house and you hated it, you won’t like it any better the next time. If you love cats and will always want to own one or more, say that you are an animal lover and want indoor pets. Someone who hates cats or is allergic to them is not the guy for you.
Accent the things that make you unique. If you play the piano well, you really want Mr. Right to appreciate it. If you run in marathons, a couch potato is not a good match. If you love art, you really don’t want a man who thinks Picasso is an ice cream flavor.
Describe the things that are vital in your life. If volunteering is the one thing that makes you feel useful and worthwhile, you want someone who would, at the very least, support you if not join you in your volunteer projects. When you get beyond superficial things, you will attract men who share your values.
Invest in your online profile by hiring a professional photographer for your first online picture. This is so important. The picture is the FIRST thing men see. The second thing is that they read what you have written about yourself. Some online dating sites even provide you with a list of photographers in your area that specialize in online dating site photos.