In Dating

“40 Million American adults dates online. “

It’s a brave new world. We stream movies online, use it to keep in touch with old friends, and to make new ones on discussion boards. In addition, we use the internet to decide whether to go to a concert and scope out new bands halfway across the world. Even working over the internet is now normal.

Should we use it to meet potential partners? Like that is even a question! Consciously or otherwise, single people are constantly evaluating and selecting potentials from the pool they meet every day. How does the internet help there? Think about it. Where do you really meet new people anymore? You have the same routine day in and day out. As your friends get married, it seems as if the only new people you meet are their shy cousins. As if that isn’t enough, in the everyday world, people first look hard at you and then unfavorably compare you with TV stars. A dating service sounds pretty good, in this context, right? Online dating service sounds even better.

Why It Works

Here is why people use the internet. It allows you to put yourself out there, but on your terms. You can communicate and get responses based on your interests and personality, rather than just your face or body. Because you are making your preferences and criteria clear right from the start, you will meet people who are a good fit.” You can do your selection in private, and you can often ask deep questions and raise issues that take months to bring up in “regular” relationships. Such a question of a Big Talk in conventional relationships, the kind of talk we all hate. Online it is not a problem. You can put it all out there before you have to spend any time, money, or become emotionally invested with someone.

Where Do You Want to Be?

How do you start? First, do some research. Ask friends with similar tastes and values for an advice. Also, look around on your own. There is something for everyone. You just need to find your niche.

Build a Good Profile

Play up your best qualities. Do resist the temptation to blow things out of proportion, though. Loving food books and the food channel on TV is not the same as actually being a gourmet cook. Liking to walk through the park is not the same as loving the outdoors. With one caveat – you can and should mention these ideal extremes if you are just dying to try them. They might make a great date idea!

Give your profile the consideration you would give a telephone conversation. That means you should check for grammar and spelling and there should be no typos. Decide if you want to put a picture on your profile and if so, what kind. Be sensible and do not circulate pictures from your high school yearbook. Remember the closer your profile is to who you really are, the less the chances of rejection you will receive when you actually meet in person.

Be Careful

Meet sooner, rather than later, to make sure that the closeness you feel is real and sustainable. Besides, the physical foibles and ticks of people can make a huge difference to how you feel about them. Be very careful about putting too much personal information or explicit pictures on your profile. You never know who might be checking your profile, be selective. Protect your privacy and that of your children, if you have any. Learn to trust your instincts.

What Can Go Wrong?

There are pitfalls, of course, but then what is any kind of dating if not an obstacle course? The biggest issues to watch out for are people who grossly misrepresent their interests and characteristics, or who turn out to not be as nearly as nice as they seem online in real life. There are the occasional freaks and, frankly, perverts, but it is up to you how much, if at all, you want to interact with them. It is not as if this never happens offline, but the chances are greater on the internet. You just need to use basic caution. Don’t let this put you off. Even on the internet, far more people are decent, polite and honest, among them might be the Ms. Perfect you are looking for.

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