Online dating has gone a long way. During the early and mid-1990s, there are already 16 dating websites listed in Yahoo!. There were already web sites dedicated to sad people to meet and talk. In fact, meeting on the internet became an important factor in the 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail. Some would say that social networking sites were products of early dating sites.
But it was not always smooth sailing for this service. Online dating sites experienced slow growth during 2001 and 2002 but is now fully recovered. It has become one of the most lucrative online businesses, nowadays. According to web measurement firm comScore Media Metrix, about 39 million Americans or 26% of web users have visited dating websites in December 2003. Online dating and relationship are attracting more people since they are less intimidating compared with the normal dates. In fact, in a survey conducted by The Sunday Times, 72 % of women and 52% of men have had online romance.
With a huge following, the revenues are also increasing. In 2001, web users spent a total of $72 million on dating services, according to the Online Publishers Association. In 2002, the figures increased three times, people spent $302 million on personal paid advertising and dating services. Online dating services welcomed the first half of 2003 with a bang. Revenues were already $214.3 million in just six months of that year.
Online dating sites would allow users to search their database for possible love matches. The sites may recommend matches, but the users are still given the choice to communicate with them or look for other possible matches. These sites offer different ways to connect with other users like online chats, internet calls (voice over internet protocol), games, webcasts, and message boards. Sites may be free or may require members to pay monthly fees.
The increase in online dating followers can be attributed to different factors.
- Potential choices. There are a lot of members of dating sites and a lot of possible matches. This would give you a bigger opportunity in finding true love.
- Compared with going out on “real” dates, online dating is relatively more inexpensive.
- In a way, online dating sites provide you a great way of learning about other people more intensively without fear of embarrassment or rejection. For shy people, this would help them learn about the other person without fear of being humiliated.
If others consider online dating a great opportunity, others may regard this risky. There are some free sites who would claim their success in online dating, however, these sites would also attract huge numbers of scammers and prevents since they are free. In a study by the University of Texas Health Science Center, women who are up to online dating are vulnerable to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence. There are also users who would fall victim to people who would assume a different kind of personality just to attract other people or any response.
Online dating sites are not perfect since they may also encounter some problems. For example, some sites would fail to update their database. They would claim a large number of members when the majority are inactive. Others would complain because some profiles are just used as “baits” that are used to attract more members. There are also some sites that use their member’s email address to send spam.
Online dating is all about a chance of getting love and relationship. Some would get lucky, while others may be unsuccessful. After all, the game of love is a risky game whether it is online or offline.
Online Dating Etiquette
More and more people are becoming interested in online dating. It is one of the fastest-growing services offered on the internet. In 2008, the industry has reached a financial growth of $642 million, according to Jupiter Research. Emerging as one of the major influences in building relationships, online dating has social manners different from “regular” or “tradition” dating attitudes.
Conducting yourself properly while communicating online will earn you good friends and even the love of your life. But what are these online dating manners?
• Honesty is important. Truthfully answer the questions asked by the site administrator when setting up your profile. Don’t make up things about yourself. What if you met a person online that could possibly lead to a relationship? They would surely learn about the things you’ve made up.
• Online dating allows you to connect with other people by sending emails. The main problem is when nobody responds to those emails. Is it okay to send messages to several people at once? YES, it is okay. According to surveys, in every three to five messages sent, you will be assured of one response.
• It is polite to reply to messages sent to you. But how do you respond to somebody you are not interested in? For some people not responding is rude, but actually it is a better way than telling people you do not like them. Just keep in mind that you do not have to take it personally if you did not receive any reply, either. However, being uninterested does not mean you would have to be rude. If a person has sent you a very nice letter, then reply and at least let them know that you are not interested.
• When sending replies, make sure that they are personalized and not a standard letter you send to everybody. Even if you have too much on your hands, respond appropriately. After all, you are dealing with people who have real emotions.
• Avoid asking personal questions like employment or personal address, especially if it is just the first time you have talked online. If someone persists on asking you this information you could always say that you do not share personal info with people you’ve just met.
• Don’t be pushy. Let things take their course. In short, take it slowly, give your friendship enough time to develop. You do not have to force somebody to meet you.
• When meeting face to face, for the first time, follow the safety and security rules. For example, meet in a public crowded place. To protect privacy, it is better to get there at the meeting place on your own rather than picking up and dropping off your date.
• After meeting face-to-face, send or say thank you even if there are no sparks during the date.
• If you and your date feel that there seems to be no spark in the date, then it is okay to gradually stop communicating or fade away. But if one party contacts the other, always acknowledge the person and explain that there seems to be something missing from the date and say that you are not a good match. Always say thank you.
• If you are already dating somebody you’ve met online, then take your profile down. Online dating sites would allow you to change your status, without canceling your membership. Also, avoid corresponding with other people.
• Breaking up is another issue. Online dating experts would recommend that for those people who have only met the person once or twice, you could break up the relationship or date through email. But if you have been going out on dates more than that, then you would have to break the news face-to-face.
What You Can Get From Online Dating
Online dating is becoming one of the most popular services offered on the world wide web. According to Online Dating Magazine (2007), there 20 million people who would visit an online dating service or a site in a month. About 31% of American adults are paying for an online dating service as stated in a project report released last March 2006 by Pew Internet and American Life. It’s no wonder that online dating has reached a financial growth of $642 million in 2008, according to Jupiter Research.
Why is it so popular? Some would say that they are able to build and meet relationship partners. But that is not the only reason why people are interested in visiting and becoming a member of different online dating sites and services. There may be risks, but there are still reasons why signing up for internet dating is a good idea for some.
People tend to show how they really feel.
There are indeed some people who would make up things about themselves, post a magazine photo in their profile, lie about their identity but there are still some honest people on the net. Most people would easily and freely converse online, sharing their emotions and thoughts because they are not afraid of getting embarrassed. You get to know the “real” person.
Aside from that, it is also easier for you since you do not have to impress the person. You can be yourself. If they don’t like it and rejected you, then it is not outright embarrassing. Some users would say that fear of rejection is no longer a huge factor with online dating.
Let’s start with the fact that there are free online dating sites, although some would recommend that it may be better to get a paid service, security-wise. But it does not mean that free sites should be avoided, just be extra cautious with the amount of personal information you give online. It is more inexpensive compared with going out on dates.
Safety and Security
Now, some people may raise an eyebrow. After all internet fraud and scams are prevalent. However, what’s great (also one of its risks) about the internet is anonymity. Giving away or providing your personal information like contact details, is, of course, your own discretion. There are also some online dating sites that would perform background checks on their members.
If the person you are talking to showed inconsistencies with language and attitude and eventually finding out that they are not what you expect, you could stop chatting with them. If there are some suspicious people online, then you could always inform the site administrator or flag them.
Meeting in Person
You do not have to rush and meet personally. You could take your time, getting to know each other more. This would make you feel more comfortable when you finally meet. Think about the awkward first dates and meetings. This is a perfect solution since you have already established a relationship or communication online. But never be too complacent, forgetting your safety and security. When dating people you have met online, it is better to meet them in the meeting area instead of asking them to pick you up or drop you off to avoid letting them know where you live.
Although I have mentioned that honesty is important, it is still essential to protect yourself. Online dating could certainly provide you the opportunity to meet your soulmate, but it could also be a venue for scammers and frauds. You just have to play smart.
Online Dating Secrets
Online dating sites would oftentimes boast about their success in connecting people and helping them build relationships. This claim could actually be true, since 120,000 marriages every year happen because of online dating, according to Online Dating Magazine (2007). But not everyone is successful in online dating. There are some users who, after more than a month of posting their profiles, would still not solicit any kind of response. What are the secrets of these 120,000 happy couples?
There are different tips on how you can make yourself noticeable in online dating sites. The most important is the opening line or headline. Whenever people are searching for matches and your profile is a suitable match, the first thing they would notice is the picture and the headline. This would make the first impression, and you want to give them a headline that would pique their interest.
Proper profile writing would even boost the number of people checking your profile. Your profile should be written creatively without fabricating any kind of information. For example, if you’re an outdoorsy person, you do not say that straight-away, you let them know how great you are in the outdoors. Tell something about the most memorable outdoor event you have done.
Avoid negativity when writing your profile. Exhibit confidence, but don’t sound too overconfident or perfect. Crazy as it sounds, nobody wants to connect with somebody who is too perfect. Some would say that this is a sign of scam or fraud, while others say that they are shy to contact “perfect” people.
Your profile should express your characteristics and what kind of relationship you are after. Indicate good characteristics, but also show that you have quirkiness in your personality, too. Don’t try to be somebody you are not. To encourage them to reply or respond, in your profile invite them to send you a message or chat with you.
Building relationships does not only rely on how your profile is written. Whenever you received an email from a person that does not attract you (based on the photo), do not disregard the person immediately. Read the person’s profile, first. When responding to their messages, be polite. Being uninterested does not give you any excuse to be hurtful and insensitive to other people’s feelings.
If you have sent a message and the person does not reply, be patient. It’s possible that he or she has received a lot of messages and it’s taking him a while to answer them all. Actually, you could send messages to several people at once. Normally, you would be able to get one reply out of five messages sent.
When communicating, avoid talking about personal things like health problems, family issues, and financial problems. After all, who would like to talk about these stories when you have just known each other. As the relationship progress, it is your choice to open up without giving away too much personal identification or information.
If you have met the person that you think is suitable for you, then you could start meeting online. The biggest problem of some online dating users is that they think that online dating means online/ virtual affairs. Some members would often say that their online relationship is good, meeting face to face will just make the good things bad. That is not true. Remember your objective which is building relationships. You can never reach that and become successful if you’re always stuck on the idea that everything is virtual/ make-believe. Because they are not and more than 120,000 people every year agree with you.