Beginners Guide To Online Dating


Why Use An Online Dating Site?

When it comes to finding someone for relationship purposes there is an old expression: “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” When it comes to catching fish, there’s another expression that says: “You have to fish where the fish are.” In other words, there are plenty of people out there looking for a relationship; if that’s what you want too, you have to go where they are. Today, thanks to the internet, a lot of these people can be found at online dating sites.

Let’s face it, it’s getting tougher and tougher to find people to date; especially, in today’s hectic, modern, life. Our work days are getting longer and personal time is dwindling. It is true, you can meet interesting people at bars/clubs but these types of places can also get tiresome and frustrating, if you had any interest in these places to begin with. This is where an online dating site can come to the rescue.

Online dating sites allow you to find potential dating partners based on the criteria you select, from the comfort of your own home. Most important, you can use an online dating site when it is convenient for you . Best of all, dating sites are steadily growing in popularity. That means the number of people to choose from, with the same interests as you, will keep growing.

 

Choosing An Online Dating Site

Family and friends can be an excellent resource to find a good online dating site. Chances are very good, statistically speaking, that at least one of your family members or friends have used an online dating site. If you don’t have any family or friends who have, then you’ll have to do some research on your own.

When researching online dating sites, it’s important to not get too impatient and sign up with the first site you happen to stumble across. You should treat an online dating site as you would any other product or service. The more you shop around and research, the more educated of a decision you can make.

If you sign up at the wrong site, you’ll probably wind up not very happy. You won’t find the type of people you are looking for. However, if you do your research, and take the extra time to make sure you’re signing up at the best site, you’ll be a lot happier. You’ll probably find that you’ll find fun, interesting, engaging, and compatible people. Which this is the whole point, isn’t it?

While researching the best online dating site, one factor you really want to give a lot of weight to is their “matching services.” The matching services is what is going to help you find the right kind of people for potential dating relationships. The matching is done based on personalized submitted profiles.

The matching between people entails going by each person’s likes, compatibility, and numerous other personal traits. When you put in what you are looking for, the site searches its database and returns people who match the criteria you selected.

Some online dating sites, upon registering, will have you fill out a personality test. These personality tests are designed to get a deeper understanding of who you are and your interests. These personality tests can measure someone’s willingness to fully commit to a relationship, how they react to confrontations, what maturity level they are at emotionally, etc…The more in depth the test, the better the compatibility will be between the people who do match based on this test.

When a match is made between two people, most online dating sites will then send the contact information to each of the two people. To aid their users, most online dating sites have some sort of internal communication system. By utilizing the internal communication system, one user can send any other user a message of interest. Some online dating sites also have real time chat available to their users. If you and someone you are interested in are logged into the relationship site at the same time you can chat with them online.

The level of support and help the online dating site offers should be another critical factor you look for. Numerous online dating sites will give you help with setting up and editing your profile page. The page which tells your potential dating partners more about you. Because many dating sites have a large amount of members, it’s going to be a little difficult to set yourself apart from the competition. You’re going to need all the help, tips, tricks, and advice you can get. It’s best if the online dating site can give you tips, tricks, and help to make your profile page as attractive as possible for free as a member. If you’re not too technologically proficient, you’re going to want to look for an online dating site that has an easy to set up profile page (most do have easy to set up profile pages) or even one that will set up your profile page for you.

Another consideration for finding the right online dating site, are the registration fees. There is a lot of competition between the numerous online dating sites. Because of the competition, the registration fees have been steadily declining over the past few years, while the level of features and services has been going up. The registration fees help to increase the features of the online dating site, cover maintenance, administrative, and advertising costs.

However, there actually is a benefit to these sites charging a registration fee. The registration fee helps to cut down on the amount of people who use the site who have bad intentions and ulterior motives. It helps to keep people who aren’t really serious about finding a relationship out of the site. This is beneficial to you because when you get a message from someone, it is much more likely they are legitimately looking for a relationship and not there just wasting your time.

It’s important to remember there are also many niche dating sites available out there to you. For example, you can find dating sites that cater to specific religious denominations, ethnicity, or specific sexual preferences. Or you can look within the general dating sites for these preferences and get matches based on those preferences.

 

Tips For Successful Online Dating

It’s important to take a look at statistics of people who use online dating, to better get a feel for what you should expect. When it comes to men who use online dating sites they rank physical appearance at the top of their list. Women, on the other hand, claim they are more attracted to a man with an excellent personality above the man’s appearance. Most online dating sites have more single women as members, than men. However, women get more messages per day than men.

Women are looking for men with a great sense of humor. Men, on the other hand, are looking for women younger than themselves. However, most women are looking for older men than themselves. Except for middle-aged women; they usually are interested in younger men. Most people who use online dating sites claim to be just looking for no-strings relationships. However, there are a lot who are looking for serious relationships.

Now that you know a little more about the statistics involved with members at the online dating sites, it’s time to talk about how you can set yourself apart and land the ideal person for your ideal relationship.

Smitten Kitten Online

Profile Name

Your profile name is one of the first things you’re going to have to consider when you sign up at an online dating site. When it comes to a profile name you should choose something that is concise, descriptive, and attention grabbing. It can be something about your personality or your occupation. However, some occupations will work better than others. For example, FireFighterGuyinReno is a good screen name. A lot of women are drawn to guys who are firefighters. You are telling them what you do and what city you are in.

However, AccountantManinReno just doesn’t quite have the same affect, does it? There’s nothing wrong with being an accountant, but it’s just really not considered interesting and exciting. In this situation, you’d be better off using a great personality or physical trait. Something like, IrishBlueEyedGuyinReno. With this screen name, you’re building interest from girls who may be Irish or like Irish guys. You’re also attracting girls who like guys with blue eyes and they know you’re in Reno. Don’t be afraid to look at some other member’s names to find something you like and make it your own.

Try to avoid screen name clichés. “Sexygirl” “LonelyGirl” “BuffDude” you get the picture. You’ll see what I mean when you start looking through profiles. A lot of people don’t think the screen name is important. It really is. Your screen name, your tagline, and a thumbnail picture are all going to combine to give other members their first impression of you. Once the first impression is made, you can’t go back in time and change it. You want to do your very best to make as much of an impact on your first impression as you can.

 

Taglines

Taglines are phrases that you can write and add to your screen name. A tagline can be used to grab the attention of someone browsing through the profiles. When it comes to using a tagline, it’s important to think of them as a “teaser.” The expression “Leave them wanting more.” could be used to best describe what to put in the tagline. If you put too much information in the tagline, chances are good that it will just be blocked out and ignored.

Use the tagline to get the attention of the type of people you want to be contacted by. Your tagline should be a one-liner description about something you would like to draw attention to. The best way to come up with a good tagline is to look at other people’s taglines. Write down the ones that grabbed your attention the most. Then create one that is true for you, based on the ones you liked.

 

Pictures

Most people can’t stand looking at pictures of themselves. It’s human nature. We’re conditioned to find faults within ourselves physically and don’t want to be reminded about these faults by having to look at a picture of ourselves. However, if you want to be successful on an online dating site, you have to post some pictures of yourself. Note the plural; pictures, that means you must post more than one picture, if you want to have a successful online dating profile. Statistically speaking, profiles with pictures get way more responses than profiles without pictures.

• Good lighting is essential. Make sure you are in good lighting and that your face can be clearly seen. Make sure you don’t look like something demonic because of “red eye.”

• Make sure you and only you are in the photos you upload. Don’t put a picture of you among a group of your friends and make the person browsing your profile have to guess which one is you.

• Don’t upload pictures of you with your ex cropped out. You can always tell because there’s a hand, an ear, or a cheek in the photo. Just don’t do it.

• Make sure to smile and look friendly and happy. No one wants to see someone who looks miserable or sad in their profile picture.

• No props in the pictures. Guys put down the football or the weights. Girls, please refrain from holding Mr. Whiskers, the cat, to your bosom in the picture.

• Make sure it’s a recent photo. Don’t use false advertising by putting a picture of you from college, when you were in the best shape of your life. It will come back to bite you in the behind.

• Men, keep the shirt on. Just because you can go topless, doesn’t mean you should for your online dating site profile picture. If you do have a good body, wear a shirt that accentuates your muscles. However, for heaven’s sake, no tank tops or muscle shirts. Yes, one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor is funny, but not on the tee shirt you wear for your online dating profile picture. No novelty shirts. Preferably wear an unwrinkled, collared, button-down, shirt. If you must wear a tee shirt, then a plain tee shirt is best. It doesn’t matter what color, as long as it’s plain and the color compliments you well. Remember you’re trying to put your best foot forward here.

• Women, unless you want the wrong kind of attention keep your clothes on. Seriously, even if you look killer in a bikini, don’t put that picture in your profile. You’re going to get a lot of attention, but it will be for all the wrong reasons. The key is to look sexy but tasteful. Wear the clothes that accentuate your best physical attributes, without blatantly flaunting them. Remember, it’s best if you make men use their imagination instead of blatantly showing what you have to them.

• Consider professional pictures. If you’re really serious about finding a long-term relationship through an online dating site, then you should consider getting some professional pictures taken. The lighting, the poses, and the clothing worn will all be chosen and done under the watchful eye of a professional. Prices for these types of pictures really aren’t too expensive, considering what you’ll be getting in return.

 

Your Profile

The biggest challenge you will face, when it comes to an online dating site, will be to type your profile. It’s not an easy task to try and come up with words on a screen that define who we are and what we are looking for in another person. Here are some tips to help you tackle this task.

Think about meeting someone for the first time who you have an interest in at a coffee shop or at a party. Imagine what you would say to help describe yourself to the other person. This is exactly the sort of approach you want to take when you write your profile.

Your going to find one of the challenges about writing your online profile is to not have it come off sounding like a resume. You want to take a kind of matter-of-fact approach, but you don’t want it to be stuffy or boring. Otherwise, you’ll lose most people when they get to your profile. It’s a fine balance. It will take a little bit of work and some editing to get it right. Be sure to throw in some humor. Remember, this is your chance to flirt, to have fun, and tell the world about you.

Use AIDA in your profile. No, not your Aunt Aida: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action. This is a four step process that will help you to stand out among your competition on the internet dating site of your choice. If you apply these principles to your profile you should get some quality results.

We’ve already established that you want to use your tagline to grab attention. Don’t use the boring ones like: “Looking for a nice guy” or “Are you the one?” or “Want to Have Fun?” etc…Use the tips mentioned earlier to get an attention grabbing tagline.

You will garner interest by utilizing the body of the profile to its fullest potential. Most profiles are very poorly written. You can use this to your advantage. If you write a stellar profile, you will stand head and shoulders above the rest of your competition.

 

You want to keep your profile brief, but interesting. The ideal length of an online dating site profile is 200-350 words. You want to use anywhere from 150-250 of those words for yourself. You will then use 50-100 words as filters for the type of person you are seeking.

Create desire within someone by trying to make a connection with them. For example, if you have a parent of a particular ethnic heritage, mention it. Someone reading your profile who shares that same ethnicity will have a desire to share the heritage they have in common with you. Another example, is if you are originally from another part of the country, mention it. If someone reading your profile is originally from there, or has relatives there, they will feel a connection to you.

You must create a strong call to action at the closing of your profile. For example, “If you like what you’ve read, don’t just sit there like a bump on a log, you big dummy, send me a message and tell me what’s going on with you!”

Even better, is the filter strong call to action close: “So, if you’re an athletic, 22-31 year old, non-smoking, woman who is as big of a health nut as me, send me a message so we can set up a race to see who pays for dinner that night. ;)” As you can see, this closing helps to ensure you get a message from someone in the age range 22-31, a non-smoker, someone who is athletic, health conscious, and someone who doesn’t mind being a little competitive. It’s fun, a little humorous, and a little flirty. Again, read through some profiles and look for strong closings and jot them down. Then make them unique to you.

Other topics you should cover in your profile to spark interest: What you do for a living and what goals you are trying to or hope to achieve career wise. At the start, I mentioned you should think about what you would say to a stranger you had some interest in at a party or coffee shop. What you do for a living, and what you aspire to do for a living, almost always comes up within the first 5 minutes of conversation when you meet someone new. Again, be careful with this topic. You’re not looking for a job, you’re looking for someone to hang out with and maybe start a relationship with.

 

If you have children, you should definitely talk about them in your profile. You can mention their age and where they live. You can mention something specific about them like: “I have a 12 year old son who lives with his mother in New York City, and loves to play soccer.” However, don’t overdo it when talking about you kids. Remember, this profile is about you.

You should talk about any pets you have. Most likely, they are an important part of your life, and you want someone who’s reading your profile to know you have pets. Again, this isn’t something you want to overdo. Something like: “I have a very friendly 3 year old male Collie named Danny who enjoys going to the beach and park with me.”

Obviously, mention any hobbies or activities you like to engage in. Mention any civic or professional groups you may belong to.

Always be sure to mention exactly what you are looking for in a relationship within the ad. If you’re looking for a serious or long-term relationship don’t be afraid to say so. If you’re just looking to date around and have some no strings attached fun, don’t be afraid to say so. Remember, the goal of the ad is to attract the type of people who are looking for the same things as you. You don’t want someone who is looking for a serious relationship contacting you if that’s not what you want, and vice versa.

Avoid negativity in your ad at all costs! There’s enough negativity in the world. If people want negativity all they have to do is turn on their television and watch the news for an hour. When it comes to online dating sites, people are looking for upbeat, positive, fun, people to be around. A perfect example of negativity in an ad would be: “Are there any good guys left? I think all men are nothing but a bunch of liars and cheaters.” Or, “I really can’t stand the stuck up women at the bars and clubs so I figured I’d give the online dating thing a chance.” Even if you really feel that way, or think that way, delete them out of your profile instantly. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor.

 

Another big thing to avoid in your profile are generalities. I’m sure you’ve heard these before: “I’m a really fun, outgoing, person who likes to eat out and go to the movies and take walks on the beach.” This is just a profile makeover waiting to happen, or more to the point, a profile that gets passed over very quickly.
Be unique. Instead of saying “I like to go to the movies”, say: “My favorite movie is The Godfather. It’s my favorite movie because you can’t go wrong with Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino acting in the same movie. I think the acting, the cinematography, the musical score, and the writing are superior, even to most movies released today.” Which sounds better to you?

One more example, instead of “I like going out to eat”, use, “When it comes to eating, I really like to go to Fred’s Place. My favorite sandwich there is the Philly Steak Sub. The steak is mouth watering; it’s always cooked to perfection. They always put a heaping pile of mozzarella cheese on it. The freshly chopped green peppers and onions are the perfect toppers to this delicious sandwich. Do you get the picture?
Use your profile to its fullest potential. Don’t be afraid to throw some humor in. However, only use humor if it’s natural to you. Some people just don’t have a flair for humor, and that’s okay if that’s how you are. The biggest piece of advice about writing your profile I can give, is just be yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not. You won’t attract the right type of people by doing it. You’ll only be cheating yourself.

Smitten Kitten Online

Dangers And Pitfalls Of Online Dating

Watch out for lies and embellishments

There are certain things which people commonly lie about within their profile. The most common include: Height, weight, age, and occupation. Also be aware that people may embellish a little bit about themselves to make themselves sound better. For example, they may over exaggerate their travel experience, college education, etc…

As mentioned before, even some pictures can’t be trusted. Some people use old photos of themselves because they looked better back then. Most important, be aware that some people lie about their relationship status. Married people have been known to state they are single on online dating sites.

Be careful about sharing your email

As mentioned, most online dating sites allow you to use an anonymous internal communication system. Make sure you take full advantage of that. If you do start to feel comfortable with someone and would like to share an email address with them, don’t use your regular email address. Set up a free email address that you use strictly for your online dating activities. You can easily obtain one through yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc…

Don’t ever give out your work email to someone from an online dating site. Make sure you remove your last name from outgoing messages under the options section. Most of these mail services automatically put it in from the sign up form.

Be careful about sharing your personal information

It’s easy to get swept up and excited about the possibility of a new romance. However, the anonymous nature of online dating sites makes it just as (if not) more important than ever to protect your personal information. Don’t share your full name. Never give out the details of exactly where you work, or go to school. You can say something like “I work at a major downtown law firm.” If they ask, “Which one?” Just politely tell them you’d rather not say until you get to know them a little better. Most people will understand and respect your decision to not share. Don’t ever give out your address. Be very careful about giving out your telephone number. This is especially true of your cell phone number.

Don’t get too serious too fast

It’s best to just keep things on the lighter side for a little while when you first meet someone from an online dating site. Keeping things friendly and light will help you to get to know the other person a lot better than just diving into a relationship.

Using an online dating service will help you to find your ideal person for a relationship. By using it to its full potential you won’t have to just “settle” for someone.

Unfortunately, there are some people of questionable character in this world. You’re just as likely to meet someone who is up to no good at the gym, bar/club, or even at work as you are at an online dating site. The only difference with online dating sites is the level of anonymity that is provided for users. It’s a dual edge sword. It helps protect the innocent and allows those of dubious character to get away with a little more. These pitfalls and dangers weren’t mentioned to scare you.

Online dating sites provide safe, fun, and exciting ways to meet people. Just keep these tips in mind and use common sense. The majority of people on online dating sites are legitimately searching for someone they can connect with, have fun with, and maybe even fall in love with. Maybe that special person they’re waiting for is you!

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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