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This is a re-posting of an article that I wrote for another blog last year.
Internet dating is not new. In fact, it’s been around for years, and is now a booming multi-million dollar business. But does it actually work? I guess that depends on your definition of success. If seeking a chat partner or quick hookup is your thing, then online dating sites might be perfect for you. If you’re interested in finding your illusive soul mate, chances are you’d better be prepared to put a little effort into the process.
There are many online dating sites available, such as eHarmony, LavaLife, and Plenty of Fish, Match.com, MatchMaker.com, PerfectMatch.com, Chemistry.com and others. I won’t get into the pros and cons of each of these today. I’ll leave that for another time.
But I did want to point out a couple of important things to remember if you’re serious about using these sites for something other than a quick pickup.
The first lesson you should learn is when you create your own online profile, resist the temptation to stretch the truth a little. It’s not an easy thing to do (resisting the urge, that is). But remember, if you’re interested in finding someone for more than a quick fling, starting your budding relationship off with a series of little white lies isn’t going to build the best foundation. So be honest about your likes and dislikes, what motivates you, and of course the almighty physical description. Best to leave those old pictures of you for the photo album.
The next thing to keep in mind is to actually READ the profiles of prospective soulmates. Too many times, people use a shotgun approach, whereby they write a standard initial message, and send it to as many people as they can, without actually taking time to read the other person’s profile. This approach is quick and pointless. It’s one thing to cast your net wide, but it’s quite another to be so incredibly lazy. You will find it much more rewarding to read through the prospective profiles, and select the ones you may find interesting. Then write a personalized greeting, based in part on what you read. Don’t be afraid to be unique! People who use these sites are generally used to getting solicited repeated in cookie-cutter fashion. If you don’t want your initial greeting to be ignored (or worse, unread) then break away from the pack and be creative. Positive comments on the person’s profile show that you’ve taken the time to read it, and go a long way to getting past the initial message block.
After that, anything can happen. But remember, always be true to yourself, play by the rules, and be safe.