The Ups and Downs of Online Dating
There are many of us singles out here in the world and the age old challenge has been figuring out the best methods for bringing them together. Sure, the traditional method of meeting people whom we cross paths with in our day to day lives has worked well, but in the midst of the information age there must be a better way.
So now we have the world of online dating, with all the promises of success in meeting that special person. Its a really simple process in theory, choose from one of the thousands of websites and create a profile. Before you know it, you will have an inbox full of potential dates.
If only it were that simple in reality. Although the concept of online dating can really work, it is important to be aware of all the facts before you decide to take that plunge.
Finding the right website
The first step to online dating is finding the right website to use. This is not always as easy as it may seem, there are dating websites for just about everyone who wants to join, but none of them are the right fit for everybody.
The first thing you will want to ask yourself is whether or not you want to join a paid dating site. If you are not serious about really meeting someone then you would be better to join one that is free to use. However it is important to remember that others using the free dating site are often just curious and not actively looking to meet new people.
It should also be noted that many "free" dating sites are not really free. They claim to be free, but the only thing that is free is the registration and profile. Once you find someone that you are interested in talking to you are informed that you need to "upgrade" to a premium account before you can correspond with other members. So read the fine print and chose wisely.
Creating a Profile
So, after doing some research and finding the dating website that best suits your needs, it is time to create a profile. Depending on the website you chose, there will be variations of what sort of things will be included upon your profile. Regardless, the idea is the same, make yourself appealing to prospective matches.
Many of the dating websites will suggest that you make the perfect profile in order to get the most matches. However, this approach is not entirely correct. You may get many inquiries if you say that you are a self-made millionaire who drives a Mercedes and enjoys luxury cruises and European getaways. This would be a nice profile if it were true.
If you show up for the first meeting and the Mercedes turns out to be a '92 Buick and the cruises you were talking about are up and down Main Street, your new love interest is likely to be disappointed. Once she finds out the closest you have ever been to Europe is the French restaurant downtown you can be certain that the romance is over.
You want to create a profile that shows off the reasons why you feel that someone would want to get to know you. Be honest in your profile, share your interests and abilities, but never make claims that are simply not true.
Beware of the perfect match
Once you have finished making your profile it is time to begin searching through the profiles of your potential matches. Look for people who share your interests and values. Don't contact every person you can find, instead concentrate your efforts on those people you are most compatible with.
Beware of the perfect match! Earlier I advised you to be honest in your profile, now I am advising you to remember that not everyone is as honest in their profiles as you were. Most people will exaggerate a little, some will exaggerate a lot and a few will outright lie. If they sound too good to be true then they probably are.
There are various reasons why people will lie about themselves online and I won't go into all of them. Sometimes it is simply to make themselves more appealing to the opposite sex and intend no harm. It is the ones who intend to mislead in order to cause harm that you really need to watch out for.
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Online Dating Safety
It would be nice to live in a world where these things did not need to be said. However, the truth is there are crazy and even dangerous people who troll the internet looking for vulnerable people to take advantage of. This is especially true on some dating sites and especially so on the free websites.
The following are a few things you can do to protect yourself while visiting online dating sites. Don't let yourself become a victim.
1. Do not give out your full name or social security number. This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people share this information with strangers online.
2. Do not give out your home address or your place of employment. The person you are talking to could be a stalker.
3. When you meet somebody in person, choose a public place. Never meet a person for the first time at a private residence or secluded area.
4. Avoid situations where the other person is surrounded by friends, especially if you do not know anybody.
If you are single then the world of internet dating offers a great tool to assist you in the search for the love of your life. It just takes a little effort and research along the way.
In many aspects it is no different from meeting people the old fashioned way. Find someone who catches your eye, take some time getting to know them and learn to recognize the phonies.
Be patient and let things happen naturally. Play it safe, but allow yourself to remain open minded to what the internet can offer you.
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