When Online Dating first came about in the 1990’s it carried some form of stigma of desperation and possibly even danger. But in the 21 century, more and more people are finding their true love online.
Want to try some online dating websites?
Here are some tips to consider if you want to try online dating.
Online dating websites
There are numerous dating apps and sites online. Some are free; some cost money. With each of them, you will get out of it what you put into it. So, if you’re serious about online dating, pick at least one paid option so that you can judge the difference and quality of the people you meet versus the freebies.
Match.com Match is considered one of the leading online dating sites. It costs under $25.00 per month but you can join free. Their personality test is free, and getting signed up is free. You can even browse profiles, send “winks” and communicate to a point – all without spending any money. You can choose different membership types to save money too.
EHarmony.com EHarmony does some things a little differently. For less than 60 dollars a month, you will get an extensive personality profile and be matched with others based on your preferences. This site is different in that it’s exclusively for people searching for long-term marriage relationships. If you’re serious, join the “total connect plan” so that your communications are unlimited – as are your match potentials, including ID verification of members and a secure way to talk on the phone without giving too much information.
ChristianMingle.com Christian Mingle is a good option for Christians to find like-minded people who value their Christian beliefs. Before you can find out the price you must fill out a profile. But you’ll pay less than 50 dollars a month for a membership. The longer your contract, the cheaper the monthly fee is – going down to less than 15 dollars a month in some cases. This site is for, obviously, Christians. You’ll answer questions about church attendance and more to join.
POF.com Plenty of Fish is one of the first online dating sites. They claim to have over 50 thousand new singles a day signing up. This is one of the cheaper options. If you get their highest tier plan, it can be under 10 dollars a month. Here you can meet all kinds of people of all types from around the world. You can also use a limited version free.
GreenSingles.com Green Singles is a site just like the others, but you can meet people who care about the earth and like to do things to improve the environment. They are straight, gay, bi, vegan, meat eaters and everything under the sun, but they all care about the earth in some way. You can join free and membership can cost as much as $10 to $19 monthly.
OurTime.com Our Time is a website that is geared toward people over 50. While a lot of sites are geared toward young people, this site does a good job helping you meet people your age so that you have something in common with them. Our Time is free to join but if you want to do more than browsing, you’ll need a membership; this will set you back about $13 to $21 dollars a month, payable in one payment depending upon the plan you choose.
Do a search for dating websites and you’ll find a plethora of choices that all cater to individual desires, needs, and wants. There is no shortage of dating sites. Most have apps that you can download to your mobile device too, so you can browse and communicate on the go.
Tips for writing your online dating profile
Each dating app or website has their own method for creating an online profile. But they all have them. Your profile should display the best of you, but also the truth of you, what you’re looking for and what you’re like. Here are some tips to help make your profile stand out.
- Get Help— Find a friend who knows you well and ask them to create a profile for you. You, of course, get final approval of the profile. You may be surprised at what your friend knows about you and the type of insight that they may have into your personality that you’re not aware of.
- Avoid Being Common–You don’t want to say things that make you sound like a romance novel. That isn’t realistic. Everyone likes walks on the beach and strolls in the moonlight. Try to think about things that are interesting about you that will make someone want to know you more and ask you questions.
- Talk about Your Hobbies–Everyone has things they like to do, whether it’s cooking, hiking, collecting pet rocks or something else. If you like to do it and do it on a regular basis, you should say so in your profile. This way if they don’t like playing Dungeons and Dragons and would not want you to play, they won’t contact you. But, if you like camping and they do too, they probably will.
- Choose the Right Picture–Don’t choose a picture that is just head-on like a professional headshot. Choose a recent picture of you doing something you love doing that is fun. Update it often. Avoid pictures that include children, but pick one that shows the joy on your face doing something you love, dressed in a way that is normal for your lifestyle.
- Be Positive–Leave out words like “no game players” or things like that. You’re making assumptions about people the moment you do that. Plus, it makes you look dishonest and people will automatically think you are a game player. Instead, talk about what you do like over what you do not like.
- Be Honest–Whatever your reasons for wanting to date online, you should be honest about them. If you’re not interested in ever marrying, having kids, or having a long-term relationship, say so. It doesn’t make you a bad person for not wanting those things yet. But it will make you a bad person if you use people’s hope so that you can play the field and have fun with no intention of following through.
- Double check your spelling and grammar–You want to make a good impression, so give it all you’ve got by double checking. It doesn’t have to be perfect like your English teacher would want it, but it should be intelligible.
If you decide to participate in an online speed-dating event, you should be prepared so that you can ask the right questions. You can learn more about online speed dating at the Speed Date website.
Before you start your speed date, think about the type of things you want to know about them. Usually, the way a speed date works is that you have just a few minutes to ask questions and connect with the person before the organizer rings a bell, or stops the music, and you must switch seats. Typically, the women stay seated and the men move from table to table.
DON’T STRIKE OUT ON YOUR FIRST DATE
The best way to proceed is to choose one question from each subsection so that you don’t bore your date to death. The only way to make a connection and get information about the person is if you both turn in cards showing interest in the other. So, the connection has to be two-way before the information is exchanged.
TIPS FOR SPEED DATING FIRST DATE (Good for Any First Date!)
- General Knowledge Questions Don’t ask about names and that type of thing. Names are on name tags so you already have that out of the way. Greet the person and shake their hand or hug them depending on your and their preference, then get started the right way. A good question to ask in this case is something about what others think of them. For example, “How would your last girlfriend describe you?”
- Serious Deal Breaker Question You might have something in your mind that would make you not want to date a person, such as them being a smoker or not a smoker, meat eater or vegan, a parent or not a parent, wanting kids or not wanting kids, wanting hook-ups or not hook-ups and so forth. If so, try to slip that question in between some other lighter questions. You can phrase these questions in a way that doesn’t seem like a harsh thing to ask. For example, “What is your favorite meal?” can reveal a lot about a person.
- Learning about Hobbies and Interests Instead of asking, “What are your hobbies?” ask, “What did you do last weekend?” or, “What was your best day of the year last year?” These types of questions can show you what they really like doing, rather than having them just list hobbies and interests without a story to back it up.
- Silly Questions Sometimes it’s fun to ask questions that are silly. How they answer them will tell you something about them that a normal question might not. A good question is something that gives you information about the person. “When was the last time you laughed so hard you thought you might pee in your pants?” is a good choice. Much better than the “lottery winning” or “deserted island” questions.
- Icebreaker Questions Everyone feels nervous on a date, especially a speed date. The entire construct is awkward, but you’re all there for the same reasons: to meet new and interesting people and potentially make a connection. That’s why icebreaker questions were invented. The question usually involves humor to make people laugh so that feel-good hormones are relaxed and people relax. A good one is, “Tell me the funniest joke you know.” Or “How do you feel about snoring?”
Whatever questions you ask, make sure they are not yes/no questions. They need to be questions that require the person to answer. And don’t forget to let them ask questions too during the time limit.
Most of all, relax, be yourself, and have fun.
Dating tips for your first date
The best thing to do when you’re dating online is not to go out on a proper date for a first meeting. Make the first meeting a casual meeting rather than a date. That way your first date will be special, feel safer, and more than likely go more smoothly.
- Think Outside the Box We’ve mentioned this before, but don’t do the traditional movie and a dinner. If you’re the one planning the date, look at their profile again. Think about the conversations you’ve had about the things they like to do. Find something you would both enjoy doing and plan that date. For example, golfing, an amusement park, a Segway tour in your city – something that enables you to talk while also enjoying something fun.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions When you ask other people questions, they tend to like you better. Therefore, seek to get to know the person more by asking open-ended questions that expand on what you already know about them. Don’t make the mistake of asking them a question that was answered already. A good question could be something like, “I know you mentioned that you like painting; what type of painting do you like?”
- Don’t Turn It into a Booty Call Even if you’re into casual hook-ups, the first date is not the right time. You want to get to know the person better. This is a tip for men especially; even when women have sex with you on a first date, they usually regret it and wish they didn’t. You don’t want your first encounter to be that way. It’s not right but it’s due to how things are in society. Respect that and keep your hands to yourself on the first date
- Say What You Feel If you’re loving the date and enjoying the conversation, say so. If you think your date looks great, tell them. If you sit there silently while the other person does all the talking, you’re not going to get to know them and they’re not going to get to know you. They might even start wondering if you like them at all. Speak up.
- Don’t Be a Cheapskate Whether you’re the man or the woman, if you’re the one who asked for the date and planned the date, expect to pay for it. Plan a date you can afford to pay for and then pay for it happily. If the other person offers to pay and you feel it’s a genuine offer, let them.
- Don’t Drink Too Much If alcohol is involved in your first date, don’t get drunk. The first date is not a good time to over drink and make a fool of yourself. It’s time to get to know each other, and you need all your faculties to do that well.
- Avoid Negative Talk Don’t tell your first date all your deep dark secrets. Don’t talk about your ex; don’t talk about anything negative if you can avoid it. You don’t want to bring down the mood of the date. You want your date to go home feeling uplifted by the first date. Additionally, you want to watch your language and be respectful. Get to know the person before you start dropping F-bombs all over the place. Now let’s be clear – you should be yourself too, so if you do normally talk like that, don’t stop now. But if you don’t normally talk like that, don’t do it now.
Some final advice…
Online dating may seem scary to you at first if you’ve been away from the dating game for a while. But if you’re mentally prepared and your heart is open to finding true love, I recommend that you give online dating a chance. Yes, you may be cautious at first, and you should be, but the only way of increasing your odds of finding your soulmate is to put yourself out there and show the world just how fabulous you are and how much love you have to give to a new healthy relationship.
And don’t forget to read our blog article about online dating for single parents, widows, widowers, and divorcees.