National studies show that 25% of all single adults have paid for the use of Online Dating Services and that number is expected to increase to 50% over the next five to seven years!
Will you be one of those who come aboard?
Because of the explosive growth of Online Dating – and especially if you yourself are single and looking for a partner online – it may be helpful to learn the best ways to use Online Dating Sites before actually joining one of them! As an Online Dating Coach, I want to help you make the best use of your time and money in your quest to find your Soulmate.
First and foremost, as in any relationship, honesty will be the most important factor in your finding a partner who shares your values and personal interests.
What type of relationship are you looking for? If you’d like to find someone who’s fun to be with so you can have some play time on the weekends, by stating your goal honestly right at the beginning, there will be a much greater likelihood of meeting someone who has the same vision.
One of the obvious side-benefits of this is your avoiding a series of uncomfortable conversations later about why you won’t commit to the relationship, or why you’re not willing to spend more time together, etc.
Another useful tip when entering the world of Online Dating is to match your choice of dating sites with the type of relationship you’re seeking. If you’re looking for a weekend companion “without any strings attached,” there are dating sites you can join whose members feel the same way. On the other hand, if your goal is to meet someone for marriage, you’d be better off starting with an online dating site whose members have the same intentions. As a Dating Coach, one of the first steps in working with new clients is my assessing their innermost values. By starting with this step, I can better recommend the dating sites that will deliver appropriate matches.
If you’re tired of random dating and not finding someone compatible, then my advice is to join the better known online dating sites which charge for their matchmaking services. Most of these companies use sophisticated compatibility software which match the subtleties of your unique personality. They will also match the basics like your marital status, religion, and education. By asking in-depth questions, and having you rate their importance, many online dating sites produce high success rates for meetings between the same clients. In other words, the match made through the dating service was pleasant enough so both parties wanted to see each other again after their first date.
Finally, to be safe in your quest to find your Soulmate, consider using an anonymous email address (through Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or something similar) without assigning your true name (and certainly not your last name) to your account, nor should you include your home telephone number. It’s best to get to know someone through the dating site first, before providing this information.
After your initial online email exchange and perhaps one or two IM chat sessions, you should be ready (assuming all goes well) to make plans for a telephone conversation. The proper online dating etiquette would be for the woman to call the man first, blocking her telephone number from Caller ID. Only after one or two successful telephone calls should a face-to-face meeting at a coffee shop be scheduled.
In the interest of safety, always plan your first couple dates in a public place, and even better if it’s during the day. Do not pick up or ask to be picked up for the date. Meet each other at a mutually agreed upon location, and also agree ahead of time to leave each other from a public place so you can drive home in your own cars. If your potential date balks at the suggestion to not be in a vehicle together, look elsewhere for sure. It’s not worth your safety to try to figure out if the person you met online may just be over-sensitive or unaware of the “rules.”