United States residents spent $469.5 million on on-line dating and personals in 2004, and over $500 million in 2005 and the U.S. on-line dating market is expected to increase spending to $932 million in 2011. With all of those people looking for love on-line, you think it would be relatively easy to find your soul mate somewhere out there.When you watch the commercials on TV for various dating sites like Match.com or E-Harmony, it seems like a pretty good bet, huh? They show you “success” stories” that are heartfelt and seem real enough, but what they don’t tell you is that those people (if they are not just actors in some cases) are probably the exception to the rule. Now, this is only my personal opinion, but the reality is that most people who do join these sites are still looking, and looking, and looking. From the outside, the whole Internet dating process looks pretty straightforward and seems like it should be successful. So what went wrong?
If you are a newbie to on-line dating, here are a few things for you to consider.
1. Which site to choose? The Internet now has so many dating sites it could make your head spin, so you have to be precise in what you are looking for and what you want your end result to be. There are straightforward sites like match.com and E-Harmony and there are sites for people who are looking to just date inside their own race, religion, and gender. There are sites for millionaires, sugar daddies, swingers, and even for cheaters. So choose wisely. Most sites have a monthly fee; however, there are some free sites out there as well such as plenty of fish.com or even Craig’s List. So check out the sites, read carefully, and choose even more carefully.
2. Put up a profile. Some people write an autobiography about themselves, some people just tell you to ask them if you want to know, but it’s probably best to write a thoughtful, truthful, short, but sweet profile about yourself and what you are looking for and what you want to find, i.e., a long-term relationship, just dating, something more casual, or even just friends. Some sites want you to come up with a user name like “LVyogagirl” or a name that says something about you. Try not to use names like Freakguy or LonelyinLV (yes, some of these are versions of real names I have seen and anything with the words freak or lonely is going to scare me away right off the bat).
3. Post a few pictures. You have to post at least one picture. Some people are reluctant to do so and they usually use some lame excuse that it’s because of their job or their so-called high profile. Well, if the president of the United States doesn’t mind his pictures posted all over the Internet, there is no excuse for anyone not to post a picture unless you’re married or have some other creepy excuse, so don’t even go there! Use good quality pictures that are fairly current (not 10 or 20 years ago). We also don’t like seeing pictures of someone with their sunglasses on in every picture or pictures where they are so far away we can’t tell what they look like. And guys, don’t post a picture of you and another woman (same goes for a woman with another man), unless it’s your mother or other family member. It’s probably also not a great idea to post pictures of your children, no matter how much you love them, as you never know what kind of predators are out there. Also, what’s with the pictures of sunsets or beaches without you in them? Pictures of you with a pet are fine, but pictures of just your pets makes you look a little crazy. Pictures of you with your friends are good, but just try to keep the “partying” pictures to a minimum, unless you want to portray yourself as a lush. I know, I know, there are a lot of rules here. I’m only telling you these things because it’s what I hear and read about over and over again.
OK, so you have the right profile, pictures, and user name and you are getting some great responses. What next? Obviously you start out with an e-mail or a few to learn a little more about each other, and if you do e-mail someone, don’t just write “hi” and that’s it. If I see that, I’m just going to say “hi” back and that’s it, and don’t write a “canned” letter to a million other women/men because those are so obvious and neither one of those approaches is going to pique anyone’s interest. Others are adamant that you meet right away because they hate e-mail and endless conversations on the phone. They want to see if there is “chemistry” right off the bat. There are pro’s and con’s for both sides of that argument. If a person only wants to e-mail you for what seems like an eternity, that could be a red flag. If he wants to meet right away before getting to know anything more about you, that could be another red flag (from what I’ve found, there are a lot of red flags when it comes to this whole Internet dating thing, but we’ll get to that subject later). Talking on the phone a couple of times is recommended so you can get a better feel of the other person.
5. Meeting the person. So, you’ve exchanged the e-mails, talked on the phone, and seem to get along great. You like their picture and profile so, of course, meeting in person is the next step. This can be nerve-wracking to some people so it’s best to meet somewhere in public for something simple, like coffee, or a drink. You can always go from there if you hit it off, and if you don’t, you can have that coffee or a drink, talk for a bit, and say your goodbyes. Never, never meet someone for the first time at their residence or let them come to your place. Have you not heard of the Craig’s List killer or a host of other on-line stalkers or crazy people? They are out there, believe me, I know from personal experience and I’ll talk more about that in another article.
Now comes what for most people is the most disappointing part. You think you’ve found this great person with whom you seem to get along with great, you liked what you saw on-line, talked on the phone for hours and feel like you have a lot in common, but when you finally meet in person, there is absolutely no chemistry, nada, zip, zero
Why? It’s usually because people either have extremely high expectations of what they perceived in their head about the other person or the other person was totally dishonest about how they portrayed themselves on their profile, because they didn’t follow the essential rules explained above.
Well, this is just the beginning of the realities of on-line dating that I hope to help my readers through. I hope you have enjoyed the advice I have given you so far. I will be writing another article again soon, as I have a lot more to say on this subject, so stay tuned and in the meantime, happy hunting, and please feel free to write me with any questions you may have or advice you need about the wacky world of on-line dating.
Until next time here is a helpful link to the top 5 on-line dating sites and more: