The Basics of Online Dating

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Here's the Basics of Online Dating Services!
{{dating}}Millions of people have found success with online dating! Luckily, most online dating and internet matchmaking services operate very similarly. Once you understand the basics, you'll be able to browse thousands of personal ads anywhere you like! Here's the basics of how they work:

Open an Account
Only a few sites will allow you to search for potential partners without creating an account. And those that do allow it, only let you view the first page of your query. But don't worry about creating an account-- its fast, easy and free.

Use your imagination and create a catchy username that will draw attention to your profile. Try to express yourself with descriptive adjectives or references to particular interests that are important to you. For ideas, browse around and check out some other profiles.

Use the Search Tools
When you first start searching for someone online, use the search tools provided by the online dating or matchmaking service you've chosen. Typically, there are two ways to go about searching online profiles:

  1. The basic search will include anyone within a certain location or a specific age range you specify. In some cases, this may provide a HUGE number of results to consider.
  2. A more detailed search will narrow down the results to include only the specifics that matter to you. These queries can include details on religion, hobbies, drinking, smoking and a wide range of other options.

Whether you use the basic or the more advanced search, about one third of the responses will include photographs. This may help in determining an interest in a specific profile.

Writing your Personal Profile
A well-written profile that reflects the 'real you', will not only go a long way towards getting a flood of responses, but they'll be much more targeted to your personal interests. Be truthful and expressive in describing yourself and include all the things that make you tick, like; career, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. A touch of humor is always attractive. Edit your profile occasionally to keep your profile from being just one of the thousands that potential dates view repeatedly.

Making Contact with Potential Dates
The cost of using an online dating service only begins when you see the profile of someone you want to contact. Then, it's time to upgrade to a paid membership and open up a dialog through email or instant messenger.

Most online dating sites have one of the following payment structures:

1. Subscription Membership - Pay for full access for a specific period of time - 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. You can contact as many members as you'd like during this period. This is often the most cost effective type of membership.

2. Contact Me For FREE - Once you've paid for this type of membership, paid and free members have full contact information to initiate chats or emails with you.

3. Contact Credits or Points - The most expensive membership type allows you to purchase contact credits which you 'spend' to make contact with people on the site.

Online dating no longer has the negative connotation that it once had and it opens up a tremendous opportunity for you to find people in your area that were once impossible to meet. Take advantage of these services and you'll be able to meet lots of interesting people, and hopefully the love of your life. {{/dating}}

By Vanessa May 2007

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First Date Tips and Advice - The DOs and DON'Ts for a first date.
Creative First Date Ideas - Creativity could get you that second date!
Writing Better Personal Ads - Find out how to get more responses.
Replying to Personal Ads - Here's how to keep them coming back!



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