Internet Dating …. For Beginners

by on December 2, 2011

internet dating advice

In many ways, finding a good online dating site is like searching for someone to love. While searching, you look for features that you find appealing and are comfortable with. The only way you can find out if you connect with a internet dating site before paying, is if they offer a free trial. If a site does not offer a free trial,  move on. There are too many sites with free trials to settle on a site that requires you to pay up front to check it out.

If this is your first time looking for an online dating site, there are some common requirements that are consistent with all dating sites when you sign up. Most sites require you to upload a photo and fill out a profile as a bare minimum. Your photo should be as current as possible (over a year old is not considered current) and your profile is like your resume for finding love.

Normally photos are not a problem for most new members, but it is amazing how little effort some will put in their profile. You have to sale yourself and also let other members know what you are looking for. Your “Description,” or what you are selling, needs to reflect who you are and any information that would attract you to the opposite sex. Normally what you are “looking for” is a matter of  telling the online dating site the traits, both physically and personally, you are looking for in the opposite sex. You will see the “looking for” column normally labeled something like “Your Match.”

Too many new members will fill out the “Description” and “Your Match” fields with vague information. Remember, think of your profile like a  resume for love. You don’t have to disclose your most inner secrets but you have to provide enough information so other members get an idea of whom you are and  what you are looking for in a mate. Let me give you examples:

DESCRIPTION: “Hi, I’m Bob, 33 years old,  who lives in Lock Haven, Pa. I never married (put career before romance) but now feel ready to meet someone special to share my life with.  I grew up in a small town where supporting your local highschool football team is still popular. After I graduated from highschool, I went off to college to earn my degree in economics. Currently I work for a small company as their accountant. I enjoy eating out at a nice restaurant, relaxing with friends and I still support my local highschool football team. If you are interested, please send me a message and maybe we can get to know each other more.”

MY MATCH: “I’m looking for a lady between 25 and 30 years old, who wants to start a family and doesn’t mind keeping the house in order while I’m on the job. If she has an independent streak and wants to work, I have no objection. She should be in good physical condition, attractive and is comfortable dressing up or down for any event we may want to attend. I enjoy being with someone that can converse over dinner yet, she can kick up her heels on a dance floor. If you think you are someone I may connect with, please drop me a line.”

One of the biggest mistakes a new person makes is that they will describe what they look like in their description field.  That is what your picture is for. They can see what you look like so no need to describe your look.  If you think your weight and height is an issue, mention it in your description, but no need to tell them the color of your hair, your eyes, your skin tone, etc.

Most of the newer dating sites allow you to network your profile. Actually, I wouldn’t want to join a site that did not allow me to network. What is networking? Networking is when you can let members know you exists outside of your profile. For example, a lot of internet dating sites now provide members the ability to write a blog, to update their status, to comment on other member’s pictures, etc. In each networking instance, there is a link to your profile, plus you are letting other members know you are active on the site. Many online dating webmasters will say when you network your profile, you increase your chances of love finding you instead of you finding love. So if a site has networking features, take advantage of it and be active on the site.

The last thing I would like to point out if you are new to online dating sites, is scammers. They exist no matter how much effort a webmaster may try to stop them. They are on some of the most resource rich sites on the net – Facebook, Youtube, etc. – so if sites like Facebook with their deep pockets can’t stop them, than the chances for smaller dating sites to do so is nil. However, don’t let scammers stop you from searching for love. In most cases it is a matter of common sense and abiding by one simple rule “if asked  for money, don’t send it.” Of the two genders, men fall prey to scammers more often than the ladies. They meet up with a sexy lady on a site, she flirts, pushes all the right buttons and then comes up with some sob story hinting that if only she had the money she could get out of whatever predicament she is in.  Again, remember this simple rule:  if you never send money, you can’t be scammed.

What should you do if someone does ask for money? Two things: report it to the webmaster and move on. Forget him or her. I don’t care how much they confess their love. Move on. Anyone who is sincerely looking for love is more interested in getting to know you as a person, not how much money you make.

I would say the most prominent effect a beginner can have in their search for love is networking their profile. You may have an immediate advantage over some of the old timers on the site who rely solely on messaging as a means to meet other members. Basically they browse the profiles, find someone they like, than send them a message. With networking, you are keeping your profile active so other members can find you. Better yet, to optimize your search for love, do both. Network your profile and browse the profiles for a potential mate.

I didn’t even mention chatting, which is a common feature on most online dating sites. The same  rules apply and most chat features today provide a link back to your profile if a member you are chatting with wants to check out your profile.

So if you are in the market for love, jump in, check out the number of online dating sites on the net, use common sense and don’t give up. Best of luck.

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