What is Online Dating – A Beginners Guide to dating online

What is Online Dating – A Beginners Guide to dating online

The first question in the beginners guide to online dating has to be “what is online dating?” Online dating comes in various forms but are all essentially a system for singles to meet others they may not come across in ‘real life’.

There are now various forms of online dating services but they all tend to boil down to two types of service:

1. Database Searches

The dating website you join will have a database of members that have all uploaded a profile (answers to a set of questions about their lifestyle and personality). Once you register with the site you will be required to complete a profile and are then free to search the database of members to find people you find interesting and wish to communicate with.

You then send out an intial private message or flirt (flirts are not taken seriously, they are simply a way of showing interest in another member) and wait to see if they respond. Once you are communicating on a regular basis and feel comfortable doing so, you can swap telephone numbers and arrange to meet offline.

You will also hear about social networking sites like facebook and twitter but they are exactly the same principle as online dating websites. They are a database of members and you can search for people you either know or would like to get to know, based on the information they provide in their profile.

2. Private Introduction Agencies

The database works in the same way as above but members are not free to search the profiles. Each member will be required to complete a profile and then agency staff will search for suitable members they feel will be compatable with you.

You are then sent basic details and a photo of the people the agency feel you would be suited to and you can choose who to contact. Agencies differ at this stage, with some allowing you to contact members directly and others requiring you to make initial contact through the agency.

There is also speed dating but that comes in two forms online, either a database search as above or a place to register to meet at speed dating events offline.

If you haven’t yet tried online dating then here are some things to consider when asking yourself does online dating work and of course, like anything, if you believe it won’t then it won’t.

There are four distinct advantages to online dating rather than offline:

1. Available people.

Even if you go out every night of the week, all year long, it will take you a long time to meet hundreds or even thousands of new people and how many will be actively looking for a partner? With online dating hundreds or thousands prospective dates are at your fingertips within minutes.

2. Rejection

None of us like rejection and the fear of being rejected can often mean that the “eyes across a crowded room” remain just that, a flirtatious look and nothing more. Receiving a private message that says “thanks but you’re not what I am looking for” or no reply at all, is much easier to accept and less humiliating than a public rejection.

Never get depressed about online rejection, just remember that we now live in a world where we demand so many choices and when you receive a rejection simply look through profiles you would reject (perhaps based on height, weight, interests, etc) and remind yourself that nobody is perfect for everyone.

3. Cost

The cost of going out every weekend (clothes, smellies, hair, etc as well as the cost of drinks, food, taxi’s etc) can seriously mount up and if you don’t meet anyone new it can be a let down when you get home. With online dating you simply switch on the computer. Dating websites range from free to a few hundred pounds a year, so you can choose a site that suits your budget, log in every evening and dress any way you feel comfortable.

4. Geography

With online dating you can meet people in a 50 mile radius to the other side of the world, the choice is yours and you don’t even have to leave your armchair. Most people like to date within or near to their home town but with online dating you can meet someone from the next street that you have never seen because they don’t go out to the same places you do.

The next issue is to search for a dating website that will suit you and your expectations. Here are some tips on how to choose a good online dating service and I cannot stress enough how important this step is, particularly if you are seriously looking for a long term relationship.

There used to be a stigma attached to online dating but that is no more, there is no longer a need to make up a story of how you met rather than admit you met online. People of all ages are dating online, some more successfully than others but we will discuss why that may be in future posts.

The next post in the beginners guide will take an in depth look at how to search for dating sites that will suit you, including some of the advertising ploys used to get you to join up but for now at least we know what online dating is.

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