Online Dating is drawing more and more people to the Internet in search of love, but the abundance of dating sites can be confusing for many. Here are a few points to keep in mind when trying to decide what dating site to sign up to.
Know what you want
Different websites cater to different people and their needs.
In fact, there is probably a site out there catering to any possible part of the population. When coming to choose a site, it helps to know in advance what you want to get out of your online dating experience. You could be looking for new friends, casual relationships, marriage etc. Some sites cater to a specific requirement, while others are more generic in nature.
A few things to remember:
Free sites have an obvious advantage but are also often a haven for scammers and timewasters.
Good sites have moderating systems in place to keep the site safe.
Bigger sites have more members, but there is no guarantee the people on there will be into the same things as you.
Smaller “niche” sites are more likely to cater to your needs, but will have fewer members.
Similarly, sites catering to local people will allow you to meet only people who live in your area, but bigger sites will increase your chances of meeting suitable people.
It’s worth spending time checking out a few different sites before you commit yourself to spending time and money on a particular one. Recommendations from friends and family can help as a starting point, but if you don’t like what you see, try some other places and make up your own mind.
A good way to start searching is by typing a particular word (or words) followed by the word “dating” into a search engine (for example: Indian dating, single parent dating etc.) Most sites let you perform searches for free, so you can see what type of people use the site and whether there are any members from your area. Be wary of sites that require you to pay anything or put your credit card details in before allowing you to run a search.
Treat this research stage in the same way you would when planning to buy anything else.
Questions to ask yourself are:
Is the site easy to use?
Does a search produce enough profiles of people who could potentially be suitable?
Are the membership prices affordable?
Does it offer useful features such as a chat function etc.?
The look and feel of the site, while important, is never as important as the people who are on the site. Do not be put off immediately by a site you find unattractive. It’s worth running a search and seeing whether the site’s members make up for its lack of style. Similarly, a well-designed site is no guarantee that you will find what you are looking for.
Sign up for a trial
Many sites let you sign up for a trial, free or otherwise, before committing yourself to spending the full membership fee. When signing up for a trial, make sure you take the time to read the terms and conditions. This is particularly important if the free trial requires you to put your credit card details in, as many places would require you to actively cancel your trial membership by a certain point of be charged the full amount. Never agree to terms you haven’t fully read and understood.
Once signed up for the trial, make the most of it.
Some sites let you put up a profile for free, and it’s best to do that before you sign up for a trial, to save you time. In either case, make sure your profile is the best it can be and contact as many people as you can. This will help you see if you are getting any promising responses worth paying the extra money for.
Give it time
Keep in mind, that instant results are not very common. There are many factors that could influence the results you get and not all of them are to do with the quality of the site. Depending on the length of the trial you got, it may be too soon to know whether you could meet someone on a particular site or not. If you are getting no responses, though, or the wrong kind of responses, you may not want to keep spending money on the site.
Some sites will let you leave a profile up even without paying, so you can see if any responses are coming in and decide whether it’s worth spending the money in order to read them.
Don’t give up
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on one site: try another one. There is a site out there for anyone, you just need to keep looking and you will find the place where your kind of people hang out.
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