Saturday, January 14, 2006

Show Your Best Face - photo tips for online dating services


A picture is worth 1,000 words - or so the saying goes. You probably know by now that if you are using an online dating service, you will get a lot more responses if you place a photo of yourself in the profile that if you do not.

In fact, when using some services, I'll search *first* for those with pics, and if the pickings are slim, I *might* check for those that do not.

I know, its' vain but trust me, in the beginning, I did not put my photo up and had wonderful email and phone conversations with folks, only to mutually exchange pics later on and well, let's just say the emails stopped!

So even if you are shy, feel insecure about your looks or feel that you are the embodiment of Adonis/Aphrodite, below are some general tips to help your first impression on line much more successful.

  1. Look like you normally do, only better. By this I mean don't choose a "bad hair day" photo, or one that was taken 10 years and 20 pounds ago. You don't want the other person to feel lied to if they ever meet you in person, and didn't know that you stopped exercising in your teens! Do choose the best photo of yourself that you have. Ask a friend to help you pick an attractive one.

  2. Close up! Try to be the center of the photograph. A face close up is best, but you can have the photographer "angle" the camera to shoot your best feature (actors do it all the time, I even heard that Barbara Streisand can only be photographed from one angle only!).

  3. Along the same vein, avoid group pictures. Hey, this happened to me in the beginning. I had a wonderful photo where I did look my best but also was surrounded by gorgeous pals. You can guess what happened next right?

  4. No nudity. Most online services (unless they are the "alternative" and "adult" sites) do not allow nudity in the profile pics (save those for later in private emails - you naughty thing you!). If you are a woman, no need to bare your breasts - but a tight sweater goes a long way. Ditto for men if you have nice upper arm development - a short sleeve close to the body can send a gals' blood racing too! Otherwise, whatever you wear to look your best, is probably the ideal thing to wear for this photo.

  5. No Photoshop. Technology can create bigger boobs, a smaller nose, brighter teeth all with the magic of a mouse and Adobe Photoshop - but resist the urge. Otherwise, your potential date will see right through your scam.

  6. Watch your posture. Unless you have severe back problems, sitting or standing up straight in a photo (and in real life) gives you the appearance of more confidence. Your mommy will be proud!

  7. Be true to thy self. Let your personality shine in the photo by showing you at your happiest/most relaxed - whether it be playing chess, holding a book (its' a great prop if the title gives a hint to your interests/personality), etc. Its' true that most people look great with a full smile, but do use caution. If you hate showing your teeth then don't. But don't have the crazy Jack Nicholson smile in (ala "Joker") - its' just looks crazy! I normally don't respond to too serious photo's where the person looks depressed or like a serial killer. So again, ask a friend to help you choose the nicest pic.

  8. Have a pro take the shot. I'm telling you this is the best advice. For my thirty (ahem) birth day, I went to a photo studio and told the photographer I wanted a nice online pic. They did a fantastic job! (I need to update it though, it was taken many pounds ago - oops!)

Another thing to keep in mind is that if your picture is too far away, has contact information such as your phone number written on it, doesn't show your face (i.e. just your rock-hard abs or great "ta-ta's", or is obviously digitally altered (the face is Tom Cruise on your body) most online services will reject it.

A funny story:

A friend of mine who is chubby but has a gorgeous face was afraid that she would be rejected if she showed her "real self" in her dating profile. She asked that I help her take a photo, and after a long afternoon, we were both tired and frustrated because she would reject all the nice pics I took.

She was eating some ice cream and it left a "milk mustache" on her face, and I was inspired... I quickly took a shot of her and the picture came out great!

She used it with a caption underneath her profile which said "Got Milk?" Oh boy! She received 100X more emails and "winks" than we ever expected! (Of course the double meaning didn't hurt).

Good luck!

Do Pheromones Work? My Experience



Pheromones are chemical secreted by animals to attract the opposite sex. But do they work on humans?

On ETOnline, I read that Paris Hilton (the biggest ham in the world) now has a perfume called "Just Me" (figures!) which contains pheromones. (see original article at the site: http://et.tv.yahoo.com/celebrities/12601/)

I had heard about insects using this chemical (which their bodies naturally secret) to sexually attract mates, and still remember the episode in Star Trek where one lovely lady shed a single tear which fell on Capt. Kirks' skin and he was unable to resist her charms (where they the Orions??? Fellow Star Trek enthusiasts, correct me if I'm wrong).

Fueling my imagination as a teen, I always wanted this "love potion #9" to work for me! So, years later, the subject becomes news all over again (CNN had an article, 20/20 did a special on it - see below for links).

By accident, I went into a perfume store and right on the display counter there was a perfume called "Realm" (1 for men, 1 for women). I purchased it, but unfortunately, there was no sample in the store and when I got home, I just did not like this perfume at all. (I used it to as a bathroom deodorizer!)

Still, the promise of being able to affect the opposite sex subconsciously and make them fall at my feet remained an enticing proposition.

Recently, 20/20, a television program in the USA, had a special entitled, "Are Pheromones a Secret Weapon For Dating? " which aired on Dec. 9, 2005. Here's a few lines from their blog

"Odorless pheromones are secreted by many animals to attract mates. But they're also synthesized and marketed to consumers as potions to increase sexual attractiveness.
They've been sold for years, but new studies and claims are making these items hotter than ever. Paris Hilton knows. She added them to her latest perfume. But the debate remains: Do pheromones really work or is this just all hype?

'I think our product is the only product that has any proof behind its claims,' said biologist Winifred Cutler, a leading pheromone champion and owner of the Athena Institute, which manufactures and sells pheromone products."

CNN in 1999 had an article titled: "Study finds proof that humans react to pheromones"(read entire article here: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9803/11/pheromones/)

So I couldn't help myself - off I went to buy two of these: one from the same company that 20/20 used to test on a couple of sets of identical twins, and the twins wearing the pheromones got more dates than the other one wearing the placebo).

The first product I purchased was from Athena Institute a biomedical research facility founded in 1986 by Dr. Winnifred Cutler, President, and co-discoverer of pheromones in humans.

The product is called "Athena Pheromone" and is available for men and women. (Note: according to the website, the women's version is intended to attract men, and the men's' to attract women - not for same sex attraction I think).

It cost me $98.50 for a 1/6 oz (5ml) bottle - and of course I had to buy the other paraphernalia such as an empty blue bottle to "mix" my own regular cologne with the pheromone. (An addition $5 bucks). Add to that shipping and handling and I was determined to make it work.

Well, I had mixed results. It seems that homeless people were begging me for more money than usual. They followed me around - seriously!

I had a couple of bees that followed me into a McDonald's. Other than that, to me, it was a waste of money.

[Note: in the 20/20 special which aired in 2005, aside from the twins, there were a couple of female volunteers who also got mixed results]. I guess it works for some people and not others.

You can check out Athena's web page for further information here (http://www.athenainstitute.com/) for more information on the subject itself, and to try the products out yourself.

I then tried a product called "Love Scent". This time I was wiser and purchased the unscented version, just in case I did not like the scented one. However, I did detect a slight "musky" odor (which I thought was odd, but after checking their FAQ page, this is normal) but when combined with my cologne/perfume it went away.

The cost was $$59.95 for the Primal "Unscented" (they have several ones to choose from, depending on what your goals are). [Note: they claim anyone can use them, both heteros' and homosexuals alike - just read the various descriptions to match what your ultimate goal is.]

This particular brand stated the following:

"Guaranteed 11 mg androstenol plus copulins. Primal Instinct was featured on a Dateline special as the most potent pheromone product on the market." [Note: I could not find the Dateline special stating this - all I found on their site referring to pheromones is Sexy ‘perfume’ lures cockroaches to their doom!"]

But what the heck is "androstenol plus copulins"? (horny andrognes?) Would it make others horny around me? Why androgens anyway?

I found out that copulins create chemical bonds between mates causing that "love at first sight" feeling which causes each person to desire the other more.

Androstenol is the primary female pheromone women secrete that attract men. Men secrete Androstenone . We all secrete these but only when they sweat. Ironically, we mask this natural pheromone with the use of soaps and deodorants (no wonder I had a tough time in high school finding dates) So now, you can buy a synthetic version to help Mother Nature out.

[Interesting side note: "Pheromone" is Greek from the word Pheran-to transfer and Horman- to excite.]

My results? Better. 2 dates from attractive strangers which I met at two different Starbucks. Not many looks my at a local bar though (maybe it was too crowded or alcohol plus dim lights... I'm reaching!)

So, will you meet the love of your life using a pheromone and live "happily ever after"? Nah, but its' good for "quickies" though! ;-)

[I'm now looking into their chemistry set which allows me to create my own personalized pheromone!]

Visit their site at: Love-Scent.com

P.S. If you have tried these or other pheromones in the past, please share your experiences!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Yahoo Personals - online review.



About Yahoo Personals: This happens to be my personal online dating site. It has tons of features, the price is right (they offer free trials), and generally, I simply happen to meet lots of people (fun, cute, sexy) who are interested in me!

Backed by the powerful Yahoo! company, Yahoo Personals has many cool features, and in my opinion, the largest database of potential mates for you. (Plus the cost is really inexpensive when compared to other online dating services)

I think the key is that since this is a huge corporation, they have the money to advertise Yahoo Personals and therefore, are able to attract millions of people around the globe.

The neat thing is that while you are searching for others, others are searching for you - via your profile. Just add a picture, you'll be more popular! (I'm about to write an article on photos, remember a picture is worth 1,000 words, so try to make yours as nice as possible).

When you find someone you like on Yahoo Personals, you can communicate via email and instant messages - while you get to know the person.

There are the standard tests to measure your interest and stuff, and it enables you to find others of similar interests.

They offer a Free 7 day trial, so you can use most of the features of costlier services on the internet and cancel if you are not satisfied with their online options.

I give these guys 3 thumbs up (if I had 3 thumbs), they offer a wide range of choices, interesting tools and articles to help your online experience, and have decent customer service. Definitely worth the look!

Cost: Several depending on whether you want to try them out, join only for 1 month, or do 12 months (the most economical).

- Free (see features below);
- Free 7 day trial;
- $8.33 (Yahoo Personals) or $16.99 (Yahoo Personals Premier) per month for 12 months;
- 1 month only (Yahoo Personals Subscription) $24.95;
- 1 month only (Yahoo Personals Premier Subscription) $39.95.

Features: Yahoo Personals' states on its' site that it has 2 different membership levels, but in reality they have 3:

1. FREE (Searching for free is really easy, can be done by your specific search criteria - i.e. zip code, gender, etc..):

  • Flirt with a free Icebreaker message
  • Take the Relationship Test
  • Take the Personality & Love Style Test
  • Voice/Video Greetings
  • Create a Profile
  • Search for great people

2. Yahoo Personals (for those looking for casual dating):

  • Send emails
  • Send instant messages
  • Flirt with a free Icebreaker message
  • Take the Relationship Test
  • Take the Personality & Love Style Test
  • Voice/Video Greetings
  • Create a Profile
  • Search for great people

3. Yahoo Personals' Premier (for those searching for long lasting relationships):

  • Relationship Fit Rating
  • Rate your matches to improve search results
  • Option to search Premier Subscribers
  • Send emails
  • Send instant messages
  • Flirt with a free Icebreaker message
  • Take the Relationship Test
  • Take the Personality & Love Style Test
  • Voice/Video Greetings
  • Create a Profile
  • Search for great people

Regions Served: Global (Specifically: Europe: UK & Ireland - France - Germany - Italy - Spain, Asia Pacific: Australia & New Zealand - China - Hong Kong - Taiwan, Americas: US - Brazil - Canada - US in Spanish)

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual, Gay, Lesbian

Age Group: 18-120 (I'd love to know who's 120 years old and looking for love! :-)

Notes/Comments:

visit: Yahoo Personals

Review of Match.com - online dating site.



About Match.com: They claim to be the largest internet dating service, and they probably are! Based in the UK, they have a global presence, have been online serving the dating community since the 1990's and even have a unique 6 month "Make Love Happen" guarantee: "Find someone special in 6 months, or the next 6 months are FREE". Hmmm, there's a challenge if I ever found one!

Cost: $29.95 p/month membership - *but you can search for FREE.

Features: They have two membership levels, "free" and "paid". Of course, the paid members have tons more options to them, (the free membership does offer you a "taste" only). Here is a list of what the monthly members get:
  • 2 Way Matching
  • Read online success stories
  • See if another member matches what you're seeking
  • Read emails sent to you for FREE
  • Search through millions of profiles
  • Save searches and have them sent to your personal Email inbox
  • Sort your search results
  • One click searches - mutual matches and who's looking for you
  • Manage where you show up on search results
  • View profiles similar to the ones you like
  • Show someone you're interested for FREE
  • Create an online profile in about an hour
  • Post up to 25 photos to your profile
  • Save and manage your favorite profiles
  • See who's viewed your profile
  • Online magazine with dating tips and advice
  • Recieve your messages and reply from your personal email inbox
  • Cell phone communications available
  • Full Membership price per month

Regions Served: Based in the UK, they service the entire world!

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual, Gay, Lesbian

Age Group: 18 - 99

Notes/Comments: You get a lot for your money. They are one of the oldest (if not "the" oldest) sites online serving those looking for love, friendship, pen-pals (or e-pals). You don't have to be alone, this is as good as it gets!

Vist: Match.com

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Online Dating Tips for 2006


Make the most of online dating sites this year, here are some tips to find "the one" for you!

If you are tired of the dating game, and would like to meet quality partners, you don't have to rely on psychics or love spells. Try these tips, and you will greatly improve your online dating experiences:

  1. Check out several online services. The more the better! Sometimes sticking only to the larger ones like Yahoo Personals or Match.com is a mistake because when that well runs dry --- you will need to find new.

  2. Try several online services free membership profiles or temporary memberships to get a "feel" for the member database of that service. This way, you do not have to commit to to a long term membership with them if you later realize you dislike the service.

  3. Peruse all the photos of members, even those that don't necessarily fit your criteria. For example, if you are seeking someone from age 25 to 30, try searching from 21 to 35 - you may be pleasantly surprised.

  4. Make your own "stick-out" by introducing humor, quoting your favorite poem, etc... This will bring out your uniqueness and help you more approachable.

  5. Men - don't give up! 90% of the time men do the initial contact, but realize that women tend to be overwhelmed by the many men who contact them. Keep trying - someone will eventually respond!

  6. Ladies - not getting replies? Perhaps you need a better photo of yourself. Invest in a professional photographer. You will look and feel better and increase your responses (this is a good tip for men as well).

  7. Get a pre-paid cell phone. Sometimes, after you have corresponded for awhile online, you will want to hear that persons' voice. A pre-paid cell phone works like a phone card, you purchase minutes, they usually include a free phone, and has voice mail, games, text messaging and more - without any monthly commitment fees. The best part is that you can use this phone exclusively for your online dating hook-ups and can dispose of the phone anytime you want. You protect your personal telephone number this way too! (Tracfone gives you a free phone - check them out)

I love online dating! It has helped me practice relationship skills, making me more confident and relieving the social awkwardness of meeting someone in a bar for example.

May your online dating experience be fun and safe this year!

Jess

Monday, January 02, 2006

Great Expectations - Online Dating Site Reviewed


Expect more - Great Expectations



About Great Expectations: This more of a traditional matchmaking service than online dating provider. They do screen online members to ensure that the information they provide is accurate (photos, details, etc..). I haven't found this level of research in online dating services anywhere else.

Cost: The maintain their membership fees undisclosed online and even by phone. Don't worry though, they are competitively priced and allow you a FREE profile.

Features:

  • Screen and validate vital information.
  • Meet every member face to face.
  • Maintain current photographs and videos that accurately represent your potential dates.
Regions Served: USA

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

Age Group: Men over 25, Women over 21

Notes/Comments: Nice site, fast loading, definetly worth checking out. My favorite thing about them is that they verify information of all members. That's a nice touch!

Visit: Great Expectations

Online-Dating Site: eHarmony Review



About eHarmony: This site is for those tired of the online dating b.s. you find at most site. It is for men and women seeking long-lasting relationships. But you could still meet some great friends here too.
Cost: Free personality profile. You can try them out for one full month and have 100% access to their growing (in thousands) member list. 1 month $49.95, longer memberships provide greater savings - upto 45% discount.
Features:
  • In-depth personality matchmaking questionnaire which uses scientific data to match you with potential mates.

  • Focuses on long-term relationships, with goals of marriage.

  • Boasts a higher percentage of marriages through their matchmaking than any other online dating service.

  • Guidance. Lots of tips and coaching to help you find and enhance love in your life.
Regions Served: Global
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Age Group: 20 - 100
Notes/Comments: I honestly can say that if you are seeking a committed relationship or to get married, this is the best site to join. It seems to attract quality men and women who are not "players" and are looking for true love.

Take some time in filling out the personality profile. It is the basis of the matchmaking service, and is important for you to be honest. That way, you will meet someone which truly matches your needs, wants, goals, etc...
Visit: eHarmony

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Review of Online Dating Site - American Singles


About American Singles: Good site to find new friends, lovers and even marriage.

Cost: free basic members and premium membership.

Features:

(Free Membership Features)

  • Click!tm - Click! is a simple way for us to introduce you to members you think you'd click with and who feel the same about you. It's fun and easy, and everyone can participate.
    Just look for Click! in members' profiles and tell us what you think by picking yes, maybe or no. When two of you click y, they will introduce you with a click! Alert.

  • Create a profile - It's simple to get started and be fabulous in your profile. Just answer a few questions, write something wonderful about yourself, and post up to 4 gorgeous photos. Within minutes and at no cost, you've joined the scene!

  • Search - It's easy to find what you are looking for. Just enter the characteristics and desired location of the person you want and get ready to be wowed.

  • Members Online - See photos and profiles of everyone who's online. Add people that you're interested in to your "favorites" list.

(Additional Premium Membership Features)

  • Email - Once you have created your own profile, other members can start contacting you. American Singles will let you know you have messages waiting for you by sending a notice to your personal email address. (Thereby protecting your email address from others)

    If you are already a Premium Member, then login and pick up the messages at your personal onsite Inbox. The message Inbox is available exclusively to Premium Members. Once you are a Premium Member, you can read all incoming messages, respond to the members who contacted you and initiate contact with whomever you like. With your personal onsite email, you'll always remain anonymous and in control.

  • Instant messaging - See someone's profile that you're just dying to meet? If they're online, send them an instant message and see if sparks fly. Video chat, audio chat and good old-fashioned text chat are ready and waiting for you to make a connection.

  • Real-time chat - Check out the scene from home or office. In your business or birthday suit, make yourself at home. They're open 24/7.

Regions Served: Global

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual, Gay, Lesbian

Age Group: 18 to 100

Notes/Comments: Fast loading site, lets' you know upfront how many members are searching, good feature available even for "free" members. Thumbs up!

Vist: American Singles

Online Dating Sites - All Listings

Online Dating Services
Top sites, new sites reviewed.



Below is a quick list of the sites reviewed. Clicking on their names will open up a new window where you can visit the sites directly. If you click on the "review" link, it will lead you to my review of each individual site.

While most online dating sites are global, some do target specific regions and countries. Listings with a country in brackets denote a regional online dating site.

Popular, well-respected sites (often with huge member lists):

* AmericanSingles - review
* eHarmony - review
* Great Expectations - Dating Service - review
* Match - review
* Yahoo Personals - review

Other Top Online Dating Services:

BeanDate - review
Billboard Dating - review [UK]
Cupid - review
Date.ca - review [Canada]
Date - review
DatingDirect - review
FriendFinder Network - review
GAY - review
Gay.Date - review
HIT Dating - review [UK]
JDate - review
MatchNet - review [UK]
Meetic - review [Global]
Metrodate - review
MingleMatch - review
Mingles - Online Matchmaking - review
PerfectMatch - review
PlanetOut - review
PlatinumRomance - review
SoulmatchTrue - review
True - review
YouCanGetMe - review [UK]

Each site has strengths and weaknesses. I will be adding more sites as I find them and will list them and add reviews.

Jesse

Resource Links Page


Helpful Online Resources Links Page

[Note: this page is often updated]


Here are some helpful tools and resources to make your online dating more enjoyable:


Dating-Related:

Astrology/Compatibility Reports


Want to know if you and a potential mate are compatible? Why not try out your love horoscope from the following sites ~



  • Love Horoscopes at HeavenlyGuide.com - this site offers unique love horoscopes that will see the potential of any relationship. Learn if the person is your soul mate, or just a friend, who will be more emotionally/sexually involved in the relationship and lots more.

  • Astrology.com - get a free personality report or potential online dates, they also offer many cool and free tools and tons of different types of astrological reports and daily horoscopes.

Psychic Readings and Love Magick

I know, you might be laughing to yourself right now, but some people swear by their psychics' ability to discern the future regarding potential dates and influence suitors through love spells. (Hey, ya never know!)


  • Keen.com - free psychic readings, tons of psychics to choose from, get your readings either by phone or by email.

  • Psychic Realm - this sites offers "live" online psychic readings. You choose the psychic you want (you can see their pictures and bios) then using a web cam, the psychic performs the reading for you in "real time", viewed on your computer screen. They also offer email readings, numerology, astrology and more.

  • Love Spells That Work.com - this site offers to cast a love spell for you custom-tailored to your individual needs. They also offer a complimentary subscription to their online clients' only site (featuring articles, daily horoscopes, games, and more).

Tools:


1. Cool tip: get a pre-paid cell phone to give the numbers to and talk to online dates! This way, you protect your home/work telephone number until you get to know the person better.




Books and E-Books

  • How To Attract Men/Women - we all need a little help at times to increase our sex appeal. This ebook shows you proven strategies to attract the sexes.

Online Dating Safety Tips


Safety Tips For Using Online Dating Services


Online dating is safe, if you use common sense. You are dealing with people who may be misrepresenting themselves, and you need to take measures to ensure your safety.

The following tips are good to follow to maintain safety when meeting someone new online:

  1. Don't give out personal information (name, phone number, address, social security number, place of work) when you just meet people online.

  2. Ask for a current photo. This way, you can get a "gut" feeling about the person and when you make the date to meet in person, they should look like the picture. If they give you excuses, then its' a bad sign - they might have something to hide.

  3. Talk on the phone. Talking on the phone is a good way to gage someone's' communication skills. Also, do not give out your phone number!

    There are plenty of "throw-away" cell phones that you can get (see the resources links page) which you can purchase and use only for this type of dating. (It works like phone card, where you pay affront for minutes, they give you a cell phone number, and you can pay for additional minutes later on without any further obligation). Your number is unlisted because it does not show up in any regular phone directory.

  4. If you decide to go out on a date with someone, never give out your address or surname. It is best to arrange to meet with them during the day, and in a public place such as a coffee house for example.

  5. You can ask a friend to be at the place and work out a signal should things go wrong. Example, your friend can come in 15 minutes after you and your date are there, and sit elsewhere to make sure you are safe. You can give them a "signal" if things are not working well, and they can come over to your table (or call you on your cell phone) giving you an "excuse" to leave on a fake emergency.

  6. If a friend can't come, make sure to tell someone who you will be with (name, phone number, address if known) and the time you should be back by. Ask them to call you that evening if they don't hear from you.

  7. Initially, don't go home with your date nor accept a ride home. You need to get to know this person first, before leaving. Best to make another date with them instead.

  8. You can do background checks on people these days from the comfort of your home. Ask lots of questions and jot down names of places of work, etc... (see resources links page)

  9. If you are traveling out of town to meet this person, make sure to arrange your own hotel and car rental or other transportation.

  10. If you and your date decide to go elsewhere afterwards, make sure to call someone and let them know the name of the place you are going and if possible, its' location. Also, take your own car to the place.

  11. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or are afraid, or get a "feeling" that something is not right, use common sense to diffuse the situation, excuse yourself (example: to the bathroom) and ask someone for help or call a friend.

Happy Online Dating!

Jesse

Online Dating Tops Sites - pros and cons



Looking to find love or friendship? Try an online dating website.

Everyday, there are tons of great (and not so great) online dating services popping up. But how do you find them? Which ones are great for meeting new people? This site hopes to present you with quality sites (both free and for less than a haircut) that you could check out and join today.

General Information

Online dating or internet dating allows you to meet online and possibly develop a romantic or sexual relationship with others whom you are attracted to.

In our modern world, it is sometimes difficult meeting new friends and lovers. But now, with a personal computer, an internet connection, you could meet your "soulmate" or just a "playmate" using online dating services.

How They Work

Most dating sites online allow you to provide personal information, then search for others using criteria such as age range, gender and location.

Most sites allow members to upload photos of themselves and browse the photos of others. Sometimes, they may offer additional services, such as online chat rooms, web cams and webcasts and message boards.

The best part of online dating is that you can "preview" who you want to connect with. They can in turn "preview" you too! So, it is the modern version of "matchmaking" with the added bonus of being able to contact the person without any obligations. Definitely a time and money saver!

Some cool online dating features include the ability to track how many times your ad has been seen, if a user is "active", quickly search for a member by zip code and similar interest, and much more.

Cost

Some sites allow you to register for free, but most sites require a monthly fee, usually around $20. Depending on the features, you might pay more.

Types of Online-Dating Sites

Online dating services come in all flavors for every taste. You can use general sites, which contain all types of members, or go for special target groups depending on your preference. There are:

- religious and faith based sites (example: Christian online dating provider)
- Sexual preference sites (gay, lesbian, alternative lifestyles, S&M, adult personals, etc...)
- Age and location preferences and more.-*

Pros & Cons of Online Dating

Online dating sites in general offer an opportunity to connect with people who you find interesting, attractive and want to know further. However, as with everything else in life, there are positive and negatives to the experience. For example:

Positive factors:
  • Dating sites allow members to meet more people than they would without such sites.
  • People can easily browse other member's profiles before deciding to contact them.
  • You can communicate anonymously and reduce shyness.
  • You can meet as many people as you like (there is no minimum or maximum)
  • Its' affordable. (Some sites are free, others are only a few dollars per month)
  • By corresponding and communicating in the safety of your home, you can pre-determine if there is any "heat" or "chemistry" with a person before meeting them in real life.

Negative factors:

  • Members may misrepresent themselves, including whether they are truly married or single, age, gender, physical attributes, etc.
  • Men often outnumber women. Men usually contact women first, so women are overwhelmed with responses, while men have to continue to contact women.
  • Some dating sites sometimes are slow to remove expired member listings, so the actually number of members might be misleading. Safety is very important. Remember, you will be communicating with a total stranger, in future articles, I will be writing tips to help you stay away from trouble.


Safety

In my opinion, online dating, when done correctly can be very safe. In fact, for every "bad" experience, there are thousands of good ones.

Online dating can be safe. I will be posting articles on how to protect yourself and thoroughly enjoy your dating online experiences.


Bottomline

All in all, the benefits to my mind outweigh the negatives - if you are careful and know where to look and what to look for.

You can meet new friends, go out on dates with new people (better than going to a bar or club and "waiting" for someone to talk to you or accept your invitation), and generally practice relationship skills all in the privacy of your own home - wearing pajamas! (Unless of course the online dating service you are using allows you to have a web cam)

It is the goal of this site to offer you some tips and tricks to make your online dating experience fun and successful!

Jesse


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