- DO DATING SITES WORK?
The short answer is "yes". The long answer is that
you need to be smart in your approach to using dating sites.
You have to be selective in just the same way you would offline.
If your chances of finding a down home spouse in a lap dancing
club are slim, they'll also be pretty slight if you go looking
for your true love on a site with a strong "adult"
flavor. Tailor your search to what you want
of all, be patient - there are thousands of people online,
but it may take a little time to find the one who's just for
- ARE THE ADS AND PROFILES GENUINE?
Visit the average site on the internet. Even the smallest
will have tens of profiles, the most successful like Friendfinder
or Udate have several hundreds of thousands. Site owners don't
need to invent profiles, there are people just queuing up
to meet others, so it's very easy for owners to build a client
While the individuals may exist, what they actually write
is beyond the control of dating sites. Sites like Kiss, Udate
and Match.com are very hot on prohibiting the use of profanity
or offensive language in ads, but they can't check on the
veracity of what people say about themselves. That's down
to you (see our upcoming article in "Dating Tips"
on the site).
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- WHAT SHOULD I JOIN - A DATING AGENCY OR A DATING SITE?
Offline dating agencies have the edge over online dating sites
in several areas;
- They usually attract a local clientele;
- They may undertake to "match" you with suitable
dates based on their knowledge of the individuals;
- They may organise social events which you can attend without
the pressure of a formal date with a stranger;
- They may undertake a degree of checking of personal credentials
to ensure people are who they say they are.
Online dating sites steal the light from offline agencies
in the following areas;
- They are usually far cheaper to join - the most expensive
agencies can cost several thousand dollars.
- They usually win hands down when it comes to membership
numbers and therefore choice - the biggest sites often have
membership lists which are in the hundreds of thousands.
- The best sites appeal to our desire for immediacy and encourage
high participation because they are such fun - it might take
a couple of weeks to arrange a date via a traditional dating
agency - you can be chatting to someone you're interested
in within five minutes on a site with chat facilities.
- If you're reticient about "exposing" yourself
in a phone call or meeting, you can hide behind the relative
anonymity of chat or e-mail.
ALL THE SITES ASK MEMBERS TO WRITE A PROFILE. DO I REALLY
NEED TO BOTHER WITH THIS?
- Our answer would be yes, yes and YES! Time and time again,
the reports we receive from users of dating sites suggest
that it's the profile that separates the wheat from the chaff.
In other words, users look to your profile to find things
that set you apart from the crowd. Remember, there are probably
many thousands of people with your age, height, geographical
and other characteristics. You need to give the reader something
that will make the reader think you're a cut above the rest.
OK, OK, SO I NEED TO WRITE A PROFILE! WHAT ON EARTH DO I WRITE?
- That's up to you of course. If you're stuck, take time out
and go look at the other ads written by people of the same
gender as you. Find the ones you loathe and love and consider
why - are they inventive, funny, searching or are they dull,
bland and desperate? Decide on the image you'd like to project
and go for it. Tell your reader what you're really like and
what you're looking for in a partner. Be truthful. Try to
avoid using abbreviations - not only do they suggest you've
been on the dating scene so long you've acquired a new language,
there will also be people who have no idea what gsoh wlm swf
DO I NEED A PHOTO?
- We'd strongly advise you to. Like a profile, it's what sets
you apart, and it's true what the dating sites say - ads with
photos attract 5-7 times more responses than those without.
Let's face it; YOU prefer to see you you're responding to,
Use a snap that looks like you today - we've come across more
than one user who established a correspondence with someone
whose phot attracted them, only to discover they were 15 years
older and 50 pounds heavier when they actually met! Even if
they like you, people are often annoyed by these seemingly
innocent deceptions, and will terminate a relationship
you that gets hurt in the end....
I'VE CONTACTED LOADS OF PEOPLE, AND NO-ONE EVER RESPONDS -
- Have you written comprehensive profile? Got a decent photo?
If you've answered yes to these questions, you need to consider
a number of other factors, like your geographical location,
age, and who you're seeking. If you're a fifty year-old male
living in a remote location seeking a woman who lives nearby,
you're probably going to find it rough. Broaden your horizons
Write a compelling initial e-mail or instant message. Remember
that the person you're sending to may receive many such messages
- yours needs to stand out. Make it original - it's easy to
spot a cut-and-paste job - no-one wants to be spun a line.
If you're looking to form a relationship, try to avoid messages
which are overly sexually overt in the first instance - you
may offend. If things take off, you can get as suggestive
as you like!
For more information and tips about dating and dating sites,
including links to the top sites, visit http://www.theonlinedatingshop.com
For up-to-the-minute about what's happening on the dating
scene, subscribe to SHOPTALK, the monthly newsletter of TheOnlineDatingShop.com,
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About the Author
Erika Lawal runs TheOnlineDatingShop.com and describes it
as "like having a know-it-all best friend to hold your
hand through the dating minefield", with reviews, dating
site links, tips and individualised relationship counselling.
A straight talking and qualified psychotherapist, she decided
to take her skills onto the Internet after realizing that
singles need solid information more often than they need therapy!