What Is Internet Dating?
People have used mass media as a dating resource since well before the days of the Personal ads in the newspaper. There are reports of grafitti on the walls of ancient Greek cities advertising a lover’s prowess or particular romantic style. It is no surprise that the Internet is full of ways to make “new friends” and create potential romantic hookups.
Internet dating is what it sounds like — a way to meet people using the Internet.
Why Try Internet Dating? How to Start Dating Online
With Internet dating you can “meet” people before you make a commitment to see them in person. People who use Internet dating often “talk” using email or chat long before they meet each other in person. This way, you can decide how long you want to talk to someone and how well you want to get to know them. This makes it easy to weed out creeps or people you know you won’t get along with.
People who are hesitant to meet strangers, or people that are on the shy side, swear by Internet dating as a way of avoiding the pitfalls of early dating that usually make them afraid. Unlike the bar scene, Internet dating moves at your own pace, and you control all of the unknown factors, like your outward appearance (your “dating profile”) and the time that you meet someone.
Another advantage is that you can meet people from all over the country (or all over the world) and from all walks of life using Internet dating. If you are interested in meeting people from a specific religion or people who have a specific job or interest, an Internet dating site already exists for that purpose.
How Do I Start Internet Dating?
The first thing to do is to come up with an idea for your dating profile.
A typical dating profile will showcase your hobbies and interests, your hopes for your future, basic facts about your life, and (most importantly) what you are looking for in a date. The choices you make about your profile beyond those basic categories are your own. If you’re rich and want to show off, you can include how much money you make. If you are drop-dead gorgeous and know that’s your best quality, you can include pictures of yourself. Whatever you think it will take to hook a hot date, go for it.
About the photographs — understand that most people engaging in Internet dating will want to see a photo of you before they agree to a date. It is a fact of life — people are shallow. You don’t have to add a photograph to your profile, but most dating sites will tell you that profiles that include a photo are exponentially more popular, and more likely to lead to successful dates.
In case you’re worried about money — don’t fret. Most Internet dating sites are affordable (they can cost anywhere from a few bucks to an amount similar to your monthly power bill) and most of the time you’ll just pay a one-time registration fee. One way these sites “hook you” is allowing you to see other user’s profiles for free but charging a fee if you want to contact them for a potential date. Be prepared to pay with a credit card, check card, or some other online payment method.
Internet Dating Dangers and Scams
You could say that all dating includes dangers–creeps are everywhere looking to exploit other people. And just like with traditional dating, there are a few things to be wary of when considering Internet dating. Obviously, the person you have been talking to may not turn out like advertised. Some people will change their appearance, lie about their personal details, or go to any length to secure a date. There’s plenty of cheating going on at dating sites, and the single surgeon with a new Porsche you’ve been chatting to could turn out to be a married dockworker with a bus pass.
The best way to avoid Internet dating scams is to keep your head on your shoulders. Avoid giving out your home phone or cellphone number to a person that you don’t trust, and certainly don’t tell anyone your address unless you’re willing for that person to show up unannounced. If you do decide to meet someone you met through Internet dating, try to schedule a first date in a public place. These simple tips could keep you from being scammed, lied to, or harmed. Just as with regular life, Internet dating requires some common sense.
Internet dating is no fad — there are thousands of websites designed to help you meet your new partner. The popularity of Internet dating confirms the fact that some people are building solid relationships based on friendships they’ve formed on the Internet. You never know where your next online chat could lead.