Online dating sites
Intelligent way for single women and men to find compatible matches and possibly true love.
Ever since its creation, the internet has been used by people looking to meet and communicate with like-minded people. The internet made it easy to locate potential friends based on common interests, to converse first online, and then, sometimes, offline. The internet held benefits for the gregarious people-person as well as the shy wall flower, engendering and creating relationships that could span age, physical location, and prejudices.
Online dating sites were quick to capitalize on the potential of the internet. The first major dating site, match.com, was created in 1995. Demand for online dating sites drove the creation of subsequent sites offering different approaches or catering to different subgroups. Since 1995, online dating has become much more visible as it gained notice in popular culture, becoming a plot device in movies and sitcoms. Once maligned as a method of last resort for the lonely hearts club, today people are deciding that online dating sites are an intelligent way for single women and men to find compatible matches and possibly true love.
The online single has a long list of sites to browse. Here are some of the most popular and trusted online dating sites:
1. Match.com: One of the originals, and one of the largest online dating sites. Users can sign up for a free membership to browse profiles, but will need a paid subscription to receive and send messages to other users, as well as connect via instant message. Match.com has services in 24 countries and in 15 languages.
2. Chemistry.com: Match.com's intelligent cousin. Run by the same company, chemistry.com uses a Personality Profile that generates a matching algorithm developed by anthropologist Dr. Helen Fischer. The registration is thorough, and the site is not free, but it is definitely an option for the more cerebral online dating service user.
3. eHarmony: eHarmony was launched in 2000 by psychologist Neil Clark Warren, who created a compatibility model that forms the basis of the website's matching algorhythm. All members fill out a questionnaire that seeks to reveal their core traits and values, which are then used to guide them to potential matches. eHarmony also requires a subscription to contact other members.
4. OkCupid: Another of the internet's free dating sites, useful for social networking as well as finding a relationship. Users can create blogs, opine in public forums, and send emails or instant messages to online members. OkCupid also features an official blog known as OkTrends, analyzing the statistics of online dating using data mined from their websites, and worthy reading, regardless of relationship status.
5. Perfect Match: Founded in 2003, Perfect Match also uses a personality test to help make potential long-lasting connections between people. Developed by Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a relationship expert, the personality test questions are based on 30 years of research, and the principals behind the Myers-Briggs test. Dr. Schwartz is a frequent guest on CNN, Oprah, The Dr. Phil Show. The site seeks to screen out casual relationship seekers and does require a fee.
6. Zoosk: Zoosk is an online dating site created in 2007 that seeks to integrate online dating and social networking, offering third-party applications for sites such as Facebook and Myspace. It is free to create a profile and browse profiles, but members will need a subscription to contact other users.
7. JDate: Founded in 1997, JDate is an online dating site that caters to Jewish singles as well as those outside of the faith that would like to date them.
8. Plenty of Fish: Plenty of Fish is one of the pioneer free dating sites on the internet. Popular in multiple countries, notably the U.S. and the U.K., the site features popular forums, questionnaires, and other features that create the ability for users to meet and get to know one another.
9. True.com: True.com, another division of Match.com, caters to an interesting niche in the dating world—those who fear being duped. All members undergo a background check to ensure that they are neither married nor felons.
These nine internet dating sites are the most popular and a great starting point for looking for local singles. For those looking for dating sites that cater exclusively to a particular population, for example, only black singles, Asian singles, Hispanic singles, or Christian singles, there are smaller dating services online that only list profiles that fit a certain specification. However, it is very easy to filter results on any of the above dating sites and find a number of potential members looking for love who possess specific characteristics.
The next step is to create a profile to post on one or various dating sites. Here a few steps to start an alluring profile:
1. Think about your positive qualities. Singles with a case of writer's block may find it helpful to ask their friends about the characteristics that make them unique and a great person to get to know. Remember that sometimes it is better to “Show, not tell,” for example, if you say you are a friendly person, you could write something that demonstrates your friendliness.
2. Take some great pictures. You may also wish to enlist a friend to take some flattering pictures for your profile. It is even better if the pictures help show your personality. Do you like to play the guitar? Spend time in the park? Cook at home? You can show all of these activities in pictures as well as words!
3. Think about what you want. Are you looking for a woman who likes the outdoors as much as you do? Are you looking for a man who has a good relationship with his family? These are important questions to answer as much for your profile as for your dating life in general.
4. Be careful with any personal information such as your address, phone number, or birthday.
These three tips are just to get you started. Good luck in the world of internet dating, and may you find your soul mate!