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Free vs. paid: An in-depth look at online dating sites

Walk through this enlightened mini-series into online dating covering free vs. paid sites, helpful hints with site owner tips and user reviews. (Pictured: Romantic tree-lit Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland Resort Anaheim.)
by P.K. Costa

Introduction: A guide to online dating

Online dating has been a known source for daters for years although it seems that only in recent years has it become more of a norm, enlightening many to try what has since become a much more reputable way to meet a potential partner or mate. Free vs. paid doesn't always compute to bad vs. good, and skepticism isn't always based off of incomplete information.

With the non-believers and old-fashioned daters at heart, online dating shouldn't have to be a ritualization where thousands submit a name, email and photo in hopes of receiving some sort of kindred message from their princess or prince charming. Online dating is, after all, no different than regular dating in the respect that you get out what you put into it.

With a lot of research – and with a little help from my friends – I’ve come up with a fairly decent list of reputable online dating sites. Dating has always been controversial – from the bad reputations conceived from those few sites that make it almost impossible to weed out the better ones, to the umpteen serial coffee daters and countless first dates that never get to a second, to those never ending this or that’s – it’s just plain crazy out there dating online or otherwise.

Many are frustrated with dating altogether with some blaming the dating sites for the personal actions of some of the virtual liars and cheaters they've met, when such actions aren't necessarily a control issue of the site. The articles and topics covered in this mini-series are enlightening in the fact that a look at free vs. paid sites are reviewed along with tips and reviews from site owners and users, trade secrets, highlights of the best and the not-so-good points of the sites – as well as a list of sites with less-than-reputable reviews for those who are serious about dating. After all, dating does not translate to "one-night stand," nor has it ever been about the comprising of values, beliefs or character.

No matter your dating preference, style, status or dating desire for you or a friend, maybe you're not ready to date and could just use a few tips and tricks of the trade – or heck, maybe you just have a curiosity for what all the world wide web hoopla is about – this is a uniquely serious take with a slightly humorous spin about online dating. I hope you enjoy this mini-series in-depth guide into online dating sites, while enjoying a few humorously-tangled web stories weaved from users that might help erase – or add – to your fears and excitement about online dating.

Don't miss the next San Jose Dating Advice Examiner post for more on P.K.'s in-depth look into online dating sites. As always, good luck in your dating ventures, don't take life too seriously, be safe and have some fun.

"Dating should be less about meeting your outward cicumstances than meeting your inner necessity." –Unknown

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