Just a few years ago many people wouldn’t even think of dating online, believing that only weird, unattractive, desperate, or extremely shy people used the Net to find dates. Since then, online dating has evolved and is now a mainstream trend among singles. This change in public opinion has sparked remarkable growth in the online dating market. In 2003, an estimated 3 million people paid for an online dating service listing (Jupiter Research). Internet dating sites are booming and are likely here to stay. It is estimated that there are 90 million singles in the US alone (Marketdate Enterprises: The Dating Service, 2004). It’s no wonder that many are turning to the Net to meet potential mates. If you too are considering online dating, you should establish some ground rules before jumping in headfirst. So let’s get started.
Is Internet Dating Right for You?
Can you really find your true love online? The answer is yes. Some do! Online dating is fast becoming part of mainstream culture and many see it as a great way to meet new people and possibly even find their soulmate.
So, why would someone want to use an online dating service?
· Some people are extremely busy and lack the time to meet people on their own.
· Some singles are tired of the club/bar scene.
· Some are new in town and don’t know anyone.
· Some find it hard to find dates in more traditional ways.
· And some live in small towns or rural areas with few opportunities to meet new people.
If you are looking for someone special and have not had much success with conventional dating, you may want to consider online dating. All kinds of people–from business professionals to doctors, lawyers, and even “the boy or girl next door”–are searching for love on the Net. Kostenlose Videos in Metten
But you must go into it with your eyes open and with a positive, healthy attitude. Susan, an attractive, 30-something single who has not had a lot of luck finding dates offline, has just such an attitude. Susan is not desperate for a man–she simply wants to find the right man. She says,
I am perfectly happy on my own. I really don’t need a man to make me happy. I am happy. What I am looking for is my soulmate, the person who is the right match for me. But if that isn’t in the cards for me, that’s okay–I am perfectly fine on my own.
If you are desperate to find someone, then the Internet dating market is not for you. Desperate people are likely to make mistakes in judgment. They see only what they want to see, and this can be extremely dangerous in online dating.
Online dating has several advantages, such as the following:
· Anyone (over the age of 18) can participate in online dating–young, old, straight, gay, and even those looking for casual encounters.
· It’s quick and easy to get started and you don’t need to be a computer whiz. All you need is Internet access.
· You can meet people in a matter of minutes in the comfort of your own home.
· You can search for people of a specific sexual orientation, culture, religion, or location, and find people who share your interests, values, and attitudes.
· When you meet someone, you can get to know each other at your own pace before you meet in person. You are always in control.
How Does It Work?
Most dating sites function the same way. You create a profile, browse, and search for free. But to receive and send email or instant messages you have to buy a membership. If another member likes your profile, he or she can contact you (or, if you like what you see, you can contact him or her) and you’ll start an online friendship.
Online dating can be a bit hectic. Some sites have thousands of members, so it helps if you keep your contacts at a reasonable number. If you find sorting through candidates overwhelming, take a break. Go for a walk and get some fresh air to help clear your head. Consider taking a week or two off from your search. When you get back to it you will have a renewed sense of excitement.
Know Yourself before You Go Online
Before you subscribe to an online dating service, ask yourself, “What am I hoping to find?” Although getting started with Internet dating is quick and easy, there is no reason to rush into anything. Take things slowly and allow them to progress in a natural way. Stop, think, and plan before putting yourself out there.
Whether you’re looking for casual dates or you’re interested in a long-term romance or a marriage partner, it is important that you are clear on your goals and that you never compromise. Stay focused and remember that desperate behavior never brings positive results. Be selective, choosing only those people who share your values and attitudes.
How to Get Started
Okay, now that you are clear about how you are going to approach this new way of finding dates, it’s time to get started. The first step is to sign up with an online dating service.
Most quality dating sites charge a fee, ranging from $20 to $50 a month. Some offer a discount on extended memberships. Choose one that fits your budget and that offers services that appeal to you. Read all rules and regulations carefully.
If you can’t afford the extra expense right now, you may want to try a free dating site. However, free sites are not highly recommended. Most lack the features of higher-quality sites and have fewer services, lower activity, and lots of advertisements. And, as Greg Holden, author of Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Online Dating (Que Publishing, 2005) says, “If anyone can join without committing any money, you are more likely to get people who aren’t serious about dating. You might get married people looking for an affair, or people with bad manners, criminal records, and the like.”