Do you look around at other eligible singles in nightclubs and wonder if you will ever find a suitable partner? Does your group of friends seem to consist of more and more married friends and fewer and fewer singles? Are you worried that time is running out?
Internet dating may at first seem like a drastic (and perhaps risky) step to take. But there are things you can do to maximize your chances for success while minimizing the risks.
The first step when venturing into the online dating community is to get over the notion that what you are doing is an act of desperation.
In fact, millions have already made the leap into online dating as a way to find a relationship. According to a CBS News poll, six percent of unmarried Internet users have gone on a date with someone they met online and 42 percent know someone who has.
Among all internet users surveyed, 1 percent say they have actually gotten married due to an Internet meeting and 16 percent say they know a couple who has. A full 58 percent say they think that online dating is as safe or safer than meeting at bars or nightclubs.
Of course, not everyone who participates in an online matchmaking site is looking for a lifelong partner. Some are just looking to make life a little more fun. With online dating, you can find out a lot about a person (and their intentions) before you ever go on a date. It is an efficient way of weeding out those people whom you do not want to spend time with and finding more of those you do.
As our lives become increasingly dependent on technology in lieu of face to face contact, it makes perfect sense that more and more love connections are being made this way.
Women, in particular, may feel more empowered by choosing to venture into the online dating world. The Internet allows you to be in control before you make the first contact, and the reputable, established online sites have an entire system in place that allows you to get to know one another quite well before ever meeting face to face or even sharing any of your personal contact information.
The anonymity of online dating is one of its best features, but it can also be one of its worst. Because online dating is so anonymous, you may find that it encourages a degree of exaggeration (or outright lying.) When you meet someone online, take everything he or she says with a grain of salt, keeping in mind that the person may be hiding anything from a marriage to a criminal record. Use common sense and stay behind your own wall of anonymity until you are sure you are ready to meet face to face.
To increase your chances for success, try the large and most established internet dating sites first. These sites, such as eHarmony.com, Yahoo Personals, and PerfectMatch.com tend to have more complete systems in place to guard your identity. Plus, you are likely to find more members to choose from, as well as more member activity.
If you do a google search, you will find quite a few dating sites that advertise free membership. But you will want to exercise caution here. It can be difficult to find fully featured member services, some of which are put in place to keep you safe, at some of these smaller, free sites.
Instead of looking for free dating sites, you might want to try participating in a free trial in the top four or five sites (simultaneously). Then you can decide which, if any, of these sites is right for you, at least to the point at which you can justify spending the monthly membership fees.) Monthly fees vary, but the average is around $25 per month, so it is certainly not exorbitant, especially if you have found the site that is just right for you.
Often, you can get a discount by paying membership fees several months in advance. When you are first starting out, try the free trial and then move to a month by month fee until you are sure that you have chosen the right community.
Another great way to find the most suitable online matchmaking site is to ask your friends about the kind of experience they have with dating services or forums. You might be surprised to discover how many of your friends are active in the online dating community.
The most important thing is to have fun and to pay attention to anything that does not feel right. Even if you do not find a match made in heaven during your online dating adventures, you may just find some friendships that last a lifetime.
About the author: Jamie Jefferson – Get free trials for the top rated dating sites as well as other coupons and special offers at BestSelfHelp.c om. And visit Susies-C oupons.com for more coupon codes and special promotions.