You just got out of a relationship that you cherished in many respects. You have now accepted the fact that you are not getting your guy or girl back. You may even have gone through the 28 steps of The Breakup Cleanse. You are in some ways ready for a new relationship or even just a casual affair.
But lovers are not like imported cheeses. You can’t just go to the local supermarket, inspect the goodies, make your pick and enjoy yourself. Or can you?
Well, in this day and age, there is a sense in which you can. It’s called online dating. The idea of finding someone on a dating site scares some people away because of all the stigmas that used to be attached to “personal ads”. The younger generation grew up with texting, emailing, online dating. For them, it’s second nature. If you don’t feel that way, it’s time to change your attitude.
Which Kind of Online Dating Site?
If you are ready for online dating, the first thing you need to do is find the right site. I like to think of online dating sites as falling into three broad categories.
1. Regular relationship dating sites
These dating sites feature ordinary people who are looking for regular dating or a long-term relationship or friendship.
2. Special circumstances dating sites
This class of dating site are like the regular relationship dating sites but they focus on people in special or minority circumstances. Examples of dating sites in this class include millionaire dating sites, dating sites for disabled individuals, GLBTQ (Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) dating sites and STD (sexually transmitted diseases) dating sites, among many others.
3. Sex dating sites
Sex dating sites are for people who are looking for one-night stands, short-term sexual affairs or friends with benefits.
It is important to pick the right dating site for your purposes and needs. For example, if you are searching for a soul mate, you probably won’t be very successful if you sign up on a sex dating site. People in special circumstances may be better off on a special-circumstances dating site than on a regular dating site. But this needn’t be the case. Two people paralyzed from the neck down probably would have great difficulties having sex. So, don’t pick a dating site for, say, disabled people just because you are disabled. The same holds for other special circumstances.
How to create a strong profile
Upload a recent picture of yourself. You can pick the best shot ever taken of you but it has to be a shot of you, and a new one. There can be other people in the photo, if you ask their permission first. Being seen socializing with others can make you seem more attractive.
Whatever you do, don’t lie on your profiles. Most dating sites let you be in charge of what you say or don’t say on your profile. Leave out information if you want, but don’t lie.
Be specific about what you are looking for and add as many details about yourself as possible. Leave out irrelevant info that is going to turn people off, such as “I was once caught stealing a lollipop from a store. My mom grounded me for five weeks”. Just tell people what you are like as a person and what you are looking for.
Another tip: If you are looking for a lasting relationship, don’t come on too strong. You don’t need to say that you are searching for a soul mate, want to get married and have three kids. This will just scare people away. It is better to say that you are looking to meet new people. Anything less strong than “I want a commitment, and I want it right now” will do.
I created a strong profile on a site that fits my needs. But no one has contacted me yet
Don’t just sit back and wait. Dating sites have wink, poke, flirt or break-the-ice options. Search for people you like in your area. Wink, poke and flirt. If they wink, poke or flirt back, send them a message.
Some sites allow for upgrading to a premier account. More people view the upgraded accounts. If money is a problem, you could upgrade for a month and see what happens. A lot can happen in a month.
Things to watch out for
Even though online dating sites are becoming better at doing fact checking, there are still a lot of fake profiles out there. Men pretending to be women, people pretending to be a lot younger or older than they are, people with fake pictures or pictures that are 20 years old, serial killers looking for a new prey, detectives pretending to be little girls to catch pedophiles.
If you start chatting with someone, don’t give away your personal information right away. If you prefer to email with the person, create an email account on Gmail or Yahoo that does not contain your personal information. You don’t have to make up a fake name. HereIam@gmail.com will do (I am sure that’s already taken, but you get the idea).
When you meet a person from a site for the first time, meet at a public location, such as a restaurant, bar or cafe. Even if all you want to do is get laid, don’t meet at anyone’s home. Meet publicly. Inspect and talk to the person for a while and go from there.
I have purposely left out all mention of specific dating sites in this post. But feel free to post serious reviews of actual dating sites in the comment section.