Sex and the Site(y)
By Talia Ran
There was a time when there was an odd stigma surrounding online dating. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason for the snobbery about finding love via the internet, but there was a misconception that using internet sites to start relationships was somehow trivial. Dating sites, both free and paid, around the web have really stepped up their game. Even the most hard-nosed skeptics are starting to view online dating as a legitimate tool to make a connection.
If you’re ready to dip a cautious toe into the waters of online dating, you’ll be joining ranks of women who feel more comfortable meeting singles online than in bars or meet-ups. The great thing about dating sites is there’s no pressure, and plenty of women find that they feel more in control than ever before from the safety of their own computers. Think of it as being shielded from all those weird guys you felt compelled to talk to, while being able to compare/choose the guys that interest you.
The Advantages of Internet Dating
A huge advantage of online dating is that there’s little danger of going out with a guy because you couldn’t say no! How many times have you given out your number simply because you couldn’t find the right words to decline? Many women feel uncomfortable with being firm in their refusal, sure a soft heart has its place, but never feel pressured to go out with someone out of pity. Opt for online dating, and a firm “no” is simply two keystrokes. No pressure, no guilt.
Another advantage to online dating is the relative anonymity. It allows people to be honest about themselves and straightforward about what they want; whether it’s true love, casual dating, and or a hook up. When meeting people face-to-face it can be difficult to state your own intentions without feeling judged. But by starting with online dating, there’s little judgment involved, because whatever you’re looking for, there are others looking for the same thing.
Choosing an Online Dating Venue
At one time or another we all may have made a wish for a supermarket of men. Simply walk down the specialized aisles and find the one that’s just right for your taste. We may have to keep waiting for that in the real world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t exist in the virtual world!
With what seems like an endless amount of possible dating sites, where’s a girl to go? Sure you can ask your friends, but this is where the help of that virtual man market comes into play. Walk (or search) through the top 10 (and more) best dating sites all from the comfort of one site, read the different reviews and find what best fits your desires.
Seriously, it’s a big online world, filled with lonely people with highly specific parameters for their potential paramours. If you’re looking for a specialty item and not just a name brand item, why not check out Farmers Only. It’s the perfect site to feed your love. If you’re not sure what you want, stick to the oldie, but goodie: bigger’s better. Sites like Zoosk or Match.com may be better fits.
One major difference in the variety of dating sites is whether the service is free or with a fee. Many people believe that sites you have to pay for offer a more streamlined service, better site management, and use more accurate algorithms for finding people you have the most in common with. The problem with paying for online dating services is that most people who use them are members of multiple sites, so you’re just paying to view members’ profiles that are probably available on other sites for free.
For first time users, free is the best way to go. Free doesn’t mean sleazy, and it doesn’t mean you’ll be bombarded with spam or ads.
For women looking for Christian suitors specifically, there’s ChristianMingle.com, a highly reputable site offering free membership. There are also many free options for mature dating available to women who don’t want to wade through profiles of men half their age. In fact, senior dating websites, like OurTime.com, have rapidly risen in popularity in membership in the last two years, proving that internet romance isn’t just a tool for millennials.
All of the best online dating sites use the same methods for pairing people, so if you’re worried about the quality of matches you’ll see with free sites, don’t be. On most sites, you’ll be asked to answer a multitude of questions about yourself. These questions range from general to extremely intimate. The more you choose to answer, the better the sites’ computers will be at showing you people who answered similarly to you. The best way to ease into online dating is to search and choose a site to join, give it a whirl, and branch out if you feel it doesn’t fit you.
Tips for Dating Online
If you’re completely new to dating on the web, there are a few tips you should follow to help make your experience a successful one.
- Put some effort into your profile: You’ll see many people don’t think that the profiles and personal essays are worth filling out, but remember this is your digital first impression. Be yourself, completely: Be heartfelt, be thorough, or just let your freak flag fly.
- Be outgoing in your first contact: It’s so common for people to message each other with “hey,” or “what’s up.” There’s no motivation for anyone to respond to this nonsense. Instead, introduce yourself to users you like with something about yourself or a question about them. If there was something in their profile that grabbed you, don’t be afraid to let them know.
- Google’s your friend: Don’t be afraid to Google someone right off the bat. People on dating sites should be forthcoming about their names and sharing links to their social media profiles. You should absolutely do a quick search about them before a meet-up.