Considering online dating? You aren’t alone. Online dating sites are quite popular nowadays. According to news-record.com, based on a survey done by the Pew Research Center’s “Internet and American Life” study project, 15% of Americans (approximately 30 million people) know someone (or they themselves) who has been in a long-term relationship or even married someone they married online. The same study claims that the average online dater belongs to not one, not two, but THREE online dating sites, spending an average of $239 a year to find online romance.
So the online dating phenomenon is gaining in both acceptance and credibility as a great way to meet your potential mate. The most popular dating sites are Match.com and eHarmony.com for both reputability and for finding a mate, rather than just someone to hang out with. Joe Tracy, the publisher of Online Dating Magazine, claims that people who are willing to pay to join a dating site are more serious about finding a serious relationship as opposed to those who join sites for free (like mate1.com). eHarmony, he says, is a more relationship-minded site than Match because at eHarmony you have to fill out a questionnaire that is extensive in personal lifestyle and eHarmony sends like matches, where at Match.com you can post a profile that is more readily available for anyone to view and respond to.
So if online dating is something you would like to consider, do your homework about the types of sites that you would like to join. For something serious, perhaps eHarmony is for you, so you can have a higher likelihood in finding a mate who shares your interests. eHarmony claims that 542 couples get married every single day via meeting at the site, according to a 2009 study conducted by Harris Interactive. (eHarmony.com). Those sound like fairly high odds, but even if you decide online dating is for you, Online Dating Magazine has some safety guidelines they recommend to follow if you choose to meet someone you’ve met online.
Request a current photo. This way you know what your potential mate actually looks like. You’d be surprised at the photos people post online trying to pass them off as recent, and they may be balder, heavier, or just plain older than you think. Get updated.
Don’t give out too much personal information too soon. If emailing, use a free account, and pay attention if the person you are interested in only calls at odd hours, won’t let you call them, or avoids questions you ask them. It may be a red flag they are already married. Do your homework, but watch for state laws regarding background checks, and even then, listen to your gut instincts about the person you are getting to know. If something sounds fishy, it likely is.
Let your family know when and where you are going to meet your potential date online if you are meeting them for the first time. This way, your family is aware you are meeting a potential stranger and know something about them. Don’t keep your date a secret, and make sure you meet for the first time in a public place.
If you are going to try online dating, don’t be afraid to face public judgment. The Internet provides many ways to help people, including meeting a potential soul mate, just be careful if this is the route you choose, and do your homework about the type of sites you want to use. Choosing a dating site alone is half the battle to finding a real relationship.
Online Dating Magazine