Now this is a topic I could talk about for hours. Not because I’ve dated a lot but because it’s FUN!
How do you think we should be dating in this new world of ours?
To understand that question, we need to look at ‘oldskool’ dating. My father advised me to go to our local church so that I could be assured of a ‘gentleman’, whom the other churchgoers could verify. Slight problem with that – I’m not a believer nor do I believe that going to church makes you a ‘good catch’. So let’s move on from that option.
My dad, indeed, met my mum through his local church. After chatting to friends, he established that she was a ‘good sort’ and approached her. A year later, they were married. Oh, how times have changed…..
Do you remember the UK programme ‘Blind date’. A panel of three women with a man asking questions, then selecting his date based on the answers. All without seeing her. It was very entertaining but also controversial at the time. Now, we have programmes such as ‘Naked attraction’, where a date is chosen by gradually having their naked body revealed. Without first seeing their face or talking to them. I don’t think I would want to select a date based on either of these methods.
How do you meet your partners?
I have met my previous boyfriends a variety of ways. One was the brother of my sister’s friend. One was from college, one I met on a boat in Australia and one was from work. They were all pre children. After I became single with a child in tow, I had to re-evaluate and think outside the box. Enter ‘Internet dating’, which is the subject of this post.
I find that there are many strong opinions on internet dating, whether the person gurning the opinion has actually tried it or not! Opinions vary from ‘its only for hook-ups’, ‘it’s embarrassing’, ‘its too cold and methodical’ right the way to ‘it’s a great, modern way of meeting people’. I, on the whole thought it was fun.
I dipped my virgin toe into the extensive pool of ‘Tinder’. I realized quickly from numerous comments that there are two general opinions about this site. Firstly, that it is for ‘hook-ups’. Secondly, that it is shallow and based on appearance only. From my experience, I would conclude that the first reputation is out-dated. Sure, there were some men whose profile suggested they were only after sex but these guys you can also meet in a bar or at work…. It’s second reputation is also misinformed as you are asked to upload a selection of photos but to also create a written profile about yourself. I chose to upload about four pictures of myself. One facial picture, one on an evening out with friends and two full-length shots. After all, you wanna see who you’re going to meet, don’t you???
Pictures can also be a good way of weeding out the chaff. For example, I had no interest in someone who posts pictures of themselves drunk or with their hands all over a girl. Why would I? Nor did I want to meet someone who is hugging their dog in all their pictures or who seems to go fishing every other day. Pictures definitely tell a story and can be more revealing than the written profile. I once went on a date with a guy who said he was 5’ 9. Which in that case also makes me 5’ 9 and I can tell you right now that I am 5’ 5! See my point?
Internet Dating Sites
So lets take a look at the options available to the lovely singletons out there but before you sign up for the first site you find, ask yourself some questions. The answers to these can help determine which is the site for you as there is an option out there for everyone!
Does it matter which site you choose?
What it is you are looking for? Each site is aimed at different demographics so you need to choose carefully. For example, Elite Singles only caters for the over 30’s with a certain income whereas Zoosk draws from a far wider pool. These two are widely thought to be the highest quality online dating sites. However, bear in mind that this will depend on the criteria you are looking for.
Are you looking for an audience that is slightly older? Or are your preferences more singular? In that case, these may not be the best sites for you and you would be best at looking at a site such as Just Senior Singles or Be Naughty. Whether or not a site is rated highly, always be mindful of your particular requirements and desires before you sign up for one.
Tinder is the site that I went onto when I decided I wanted to date again. The site is very easy to navigate, works off location (you put in a maximum distance) and once you’ve completed your profile you ‘swipe left or right’ on the potential date. Easy! If you ‘like’ someone and they, at some point ‘like’ you, you can start messaging. Moving on from that is up to you. Its also free, which is a great benefit if this is the first time you have internet dated and want to see what you think of it before you start paying for a site.
Most sites feature an algorithm. This is used to connect a potential match. How does it do this? By examining the applicants preferences and habits that they have listed. This is why you should be completely honest when answering the sign up questions. If you list that you love fishing when you’ve only tried it once and really don’t want to go again, then you are not going to be happy when the algorithm says ‘snap’ – here’s a date for you and he loves to fish!
Likewise if you want to be in control over who you are matched with, you need to choose your site carefully. Some are limited in their keywords whereas Match.com has a detailed list and features categories such as ‘faith’ and ‘astrology’.
What are you looking for?
Before you start, decide whether you are looking for a serious relationship. If so, you will probably want try a site that requires detailed information and matches for you. Elite Singles sign up is a lengthy process as they require a lot of information but you can be assured that your potential matches will have a lot in common with you.
Why are you waiting?
I have some single friends who won’t try online dating. But they are also not going out and giving themselves the opportunity to meet people. They have not been asked to a ball, have no glass slipper to leave like Cinderella and do not live in a tower like Rapunzal who can let down her extremely long tresses to let her Prince rescue her. From my experience, it is easy enough to attract a man but hard to attract a prince. Not a real prince but a man worthy of the title. Forget the dated fairy tales, believe in yourself, flex your fingers and type up that profile. Whether or not your potential partner is waiting for you, there are lots of interesting people to meet and new places to visit with them. I didn’t know if I would find love on Tinder but I had fun looking and was lucky enough to meet an amazing man.
As there are a daunting amount of internet dating sites out there, I’ve included links to some comparison sites. These use a web crawler which gather the most up to date information on each site. From this, the user can compare prices and features to get you started.
I wish you the best of luck and happy dating!