“Computer dating is fine…if you are a computer.” This flippant quote from Rita May Brown, posted on an Online Dating Blog, doesn’t have to be the descriptive norm for the typical online dating experience.
For those who may get discouraged trying to find Mr. or Ms Right the traditional way, and if they are tech savvy, matchmaking sites are an increasingly popular way to go. Many of these sites are convenient and effective because they match couples according to location, interests, and the type of relationship desired. It is important, however, that people intending to try a matchmaking site learn how to find the matchmaking service that best fits their needs. There are a plethora of sites available adding to the confusion as to which is the best to choose.
It is equally important that those using matchmaking or online dating services learn to do so safely. None of the sites are completely safe, but if people using online dating services follow certain cautions and safety guidelines, they can greatly lessen the risks of meeting someone who could be a potential threat to their privacy and perhaps even their physical safety.
Finding the Best Online Matchmaking Sites
There is a broad spectrum of matchmaking sites from which to choose. Popular ones are Match.com and eHarmony.com. There are even sites for seniors and some specifically for Christians.
Since there are so many online matchmaking sites available, it may be difficult for people to choose one that best suits their needs and finances. One of the first things that can be done to narrow down choices is to ask friends who have tried such sites to see which ones they recommend.
There are certain things that need to be considered in order to choose a good matchmaking site.. One thing to consider is the cost. Some sites charge an annual or monthly fee and additional fees for additional services. If finances are a problem, there are free sites available.
Another consideration is the type of profiles offered with a service. Some offer very general profiles. The profiles on such sites down offer many specifics that may be desired. Others offer more detailed profiles. More detail will better ensure a better match.
In searching for a site, consider the features offered. Some sites offer instant messaging and chat rooms. Some sites offer magazines with helpful information about dating.
Online Dating Safety Tips
- Users of online dating services should trust their instincts when reading profiles or when communicating with anyone on dating sites. If something or someone appears to be too good to be true, or if instincts shout, “something doesn’t seem right here” it is wise to trust that instinct and be cautious.
- Users of matchmaking sites should not provide personal information, such as telephone number and full name too prematurely. Revealing personal information can lead to victimization. With even just that bit of information, an ill-intentioned person can determine other personal information that would be better kept private.
- Once users start to feel comfortable with a connection and decide to provide their personal email address rather than depending on the anonymous email messaging service of the dating site, they should provide an alternate or second email account, rather than their main or regular account. Numerous free email account services available through Yahoo and Gmail,as well as others. These free email accounts can be used for safer online communication with others on the dating site. Anyone choosing to use a secondary free email account should use first name only on the application. Doing so will provide better protection and privacy.
- Once online daters feel comfortable enough to provide a potential match with a telephone number, they should provide only the cell phone number and not a home phone number. Another option would be to use an anonymous phone service.
- Unfortunately, many married people use online dating services to try to hook up with others to possibly have an affair. Avoid married people online.
- Online daters should be wary of undesirable characteristics in their communication with a potential date. If the person seems to be overly-controlling, quick-tempered, or is not forthcoming in regard to certain questions, these are red caution flags.
- People using online dating services should always ask a potential date for a recent photo. Anyone who lies about his or her photo or profile is someone to avoid.
- It is wiser to use paid online matchmaking sites. Though the free sites provide a more affordable service for most people, the free sites put users at an increased risk for coming in contact with someone who is ill-intentioned and perhaps even dangerous.
- Online daters should avoid feeling too secure by sites offering background checks. That can be a false sense of security because laws for background checks differ in various states across the nation. Criminals can even get into sites that do background checks. Proceed with caution.
- When two contacts decide to meet face-to-face, caution should be the operative word. Always meet in a public place, and let friends and family know when, where, and with whom the meeting will take place.
Some believe that everyone has a soul mate. For some, the search seems difficult, endless and fruitless. Matchmaking sites have been known to help people find good matches, but those seeking a soul mate through them should always exercise common sense and caution.