Getting Into The Online Dating Game Is Easier Than You Think


Are you divorced, widowed, newly single, or just haven’t met “the one” yet? Sure, you’ve heard about Internet dating, but that’s not for you right? Think again.

There are now over 800 dating sites and more than 60 million Americans date online. It is the easiest way to meet people interested in going out, creating new friendships, and starting relationships. This is perhaps the one place where you know someone is available and looking — instead of wondering whether the guy or gal you pass weekly in the supermarket or Starbucks is single or involved in a relationship. And you can “meet” people from the comfort of your own home!

There was a time when Internet dating was considered just for losers and weirdoes. But with such a proliferation of sites, Internet dating has become mainstream and it was recently reported that one out of every 8 marriages in 2008 will have begun as an Internet date. If you are tired of sitting home watching TV alone or waiting for someone to ask you out, consider dating online

Get Clear About What You Want

Before you begin your foray into the online dating arena, it is important to decide what you want.

·      Do you want to just meet people and find casual companionship?

·      Are you looking to get into a long-term relationship and ultimately get married?

·      Or do you just want to date around without any serious commitment?

·      You’re also going to need to decide within how far a radius you are open to meeting people, what are your age limit parameters, income level, kids, etc.

Choose The Right Website

 With so many dating sites out there, how do you know which one to try?

· is perhaps the most popular dating site out there which offers a “Six-Month Guarantee” meaning that if you don’t find someone special in six months (and you have a photo posted and contact a minimum of five people each month), they will give you six months free.

·      Stay away from completely free sites like You really do get what you pay for.

·      There are a number of other specialized sites out there depending on what you are looking for like (for Jewish people),, (for those who are into being green) and many others.

·      Another popular site is The disadvantages of this site is that it is more expensive than the other sites — although that could deter people who aren’t really interested in building a relationship; you have to “get approved” to be on the site; you have to participate in a lengthy online personality profile; and ultimately, you don’t get to surf their site and see who is on there. They “match” you with people whom they think are a good match for you. And how do they really know who is right for you?

Create An Honest Profile

Okay, so it’s time to put yourself out there — where do you start?

·      First, have a friend take a photo of you — or actually a few of them — that depict how you look today in a very honest light. Have a close-up of your face as well as a full-length shot. People tend to want to post photos that are from 10 years ago when they were younger, had more hair, or were 20 lbs. lighter, but that is a bad idea, because ultimately when you meet someone you like, they are going to see that you’re not the same person in that photo from a decade ago and will not appreciate being misled. Be happy and proud of whom you are and just put it out there. And yes, you must post a photo — if you don’t, you will not get many people contacting you. And would you want to meet someone who you haven’t seen?

·      Be honest about your age, marital status, children, and other important details. There is no point in misrepresenting yourself because sooner or later the truth will come out.

·      Your profile is a place for you to introduce yourself to the world and show a bit of your personality if you can. Talk about what you like and dislike, what your passions are, favorite hobbies, job, family, etc. And be very clear about what you are looking for in a potential mate. The more honest, upfront, and direct you are, the better chance you have of finding the person you will really click with. 

Interacting With Other Cyberdaters

Once you have your photo and profile posted it is time to get out there in the game! Sure, you can wait for people to contact you, but this is the perfect opportunity to be gutsy and send a wink or an email to someone online that you find attractive. And remember the old adage — “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

·      When someone contacts you, check out their profile and then respond yeah or nay. There are people who believe that if you don’t respond, that’s a great way of communicating you are not interested. I believe that a polite, “I don’t think we are a match, but best of luck to you” is a better way to go.

Getting Ready To Meet Someone

After some initial hellos, you might find a few people that you are interested in getting to know better. Usually the format is simple. You e-mail back and forth a bit to get to know one another and can then move on to phone chats. This is usually a good way to decide if this person is someone you want to actually meet in person or if there is something about him or her that maybe you don’t like after some ongoing interaction. If someone wants to meet immediately, view that as a red flag — they might be looking for a quickie one-night stand (yes, there are people dating online who do this quite frequently).

·      When it is time to meet, plan on a brief get-together of an hour or so in a coffee shop or quiet bar. If you have to sit through lunch or dinner with someone you don’t find yourself attracted to, it can be quite a long, painful affair.

·      If you click, and then make plans for another date that includes a meal.

·      And speaking of dining out, there is always the question of who pays for the date. I believe the guy should pay; however, gals, it is always nice to offer anyway.

Some Cautionary Advice

While Internet dating is a relatively safe and common venture these days, keep in mind that being safe should be your number one priority.

·      Always meet in a public place and let someone know where you are going.

·      Don’t give out your home address and drive your own car to the venue. Actually, you might want to meet at the appointed date site for the first few dates until you are sure the person you are meeting is on the level.

·      Ask questions. Ask a lot of questions. You have the right to know. It’s also a pretty telling sign if someone doesn’t post their photo, but decides to e-mail it to you instead, always calls you from their cell phone, or doesn’t want to talk after hours that they are married or doing something they shouldn’t be.

·      You also need to be prepared that people will mislead you with old photos that show a person who is completely different then who they are today. If that happens and you show up to find someone who looks nothing like what you expected, it’s your call as to how to handle it. If you are not attracted, you might want to brave it through a cup of coffee and then move on.

Approach Dating With The Right Mindset

The most important part of Internet dating is approaching it with the right mindset.

·      Don’t take it quite so seriously.

·      Don’t be mortally offended if someone chooses not to go out with you or doesn’t want to see you again after a first date.

·      Believe in yourself, relax, and have fun!

·      Give yourself the freedom and fun of meeting a lot of people, because through the dating experience, you might not only find someone you like, but you may learn to like yourself better and have more confidence in how great you are as well.

·      Don’t sit across the table and worry about if this guy or that gal likes you. Sit there and decide if this guy or gal is good enough for you. You be the chooser and you’ll discover how much more powerful and less nervous that makes you feel.


Online dating is a fun adventure! It will have its ups and downs, hits and misses, and tedious and exciting moments. Just keep your eye on the prize and remember that you deserve to have a great relationship!