>> Feb 19, 2012
The old saying about too much choice being a bad thing can seem to have a ring of truth to it when you first enter the online dating arena. But while there certainly are a lot of profiles and possibilities to wade through on dating sites, figures cited by the website Online Dating Statistics claim that 17% of marriages today are between couples who met online. Clearly, if you're looking for a partner, searching online makes sense.
Many dating sites charge a fee for the privilege of joining their communities, but elsewhere you'll find absolutely free online dating opportunities. Whichever route you take, making online dating successful depends largely on how you approach it.
Keep your profile fresh, update your picture on a regular basis and tell the truth about yourself without revealing too much personal information. If you're looking for an honest, open relationship, being less than straight about the kind of person you really are is not the way to go. There's no need to reveal everything, warts and all, but remember that real people will read your profile and they too are looking for a person they can relate to.
Use caution when you first interact with strangers online. Because the internet allows for quick and easy communication between users, it's easy to be a little too upfront with personal information. The same common sense needed for real, face-to-face encounters applies doubly online.
Don't give out information such as your phone number, address or any other sensitive details. And don't reveal too much about your life or your hopes and desires either until you're much more certain about the person you're communicating with. While face-to-face meetings give a solid view of the person you're speaking to, people online can and do hide behind made-up personas. In short, people are not always who they claim to be. Fake photos and fake names and interests can all deceive you and can sometimes lead to dangerous situations.
Play it safe and always exercise caution, especially if you arrange to meet up in person with someone. Simple precautions such as telling a friend where you're going and arranging the meeting in a public place are common sense tactics that sometimes get overlooked.
Have plenty of online conversations with prospective dating partners and get to know each other as far as possible before deciding to meet. E-conversations often make it easier to break down barriers and overcome shyness while reducing the risk of feeling rejected if things don't work out. Whether you choose to email, use online chat or instant messaging, finding out how compatible you both are through written words is a safe yet familiar medium in which to share jokes or discuss more serious matters.
When you feel comfortable with meeting someone in person, you'll hopefully already be familiar enough with their tastes and preferences to know what kind of date to expect.
Discuss the meeting beforehand. Decide together what you will do and where you will go. If one of you hates museums, then obviously such a trip will be a disaster. Likewise, if you plan on dining together for your first live date, choose a restaurant that serves food both of you will enjoy.
Online dating is becoming more mainstream. The internet offers much wider dating possibilities than your home town. With a whole world of possible partners, even if you don't find Mr or Mrs Right the first time, you're sure to make some friends and have fun.
About the Author:
Shirley Jones is a freelance content writer and she writes articles and blogs on free dating website and other dating related services.