We Know: How Online Dating Services Work

What Are Online Dating Services?

An online dating service uses the power of the Internet to bring people together. They can be as simple as bulletin board services designed to help people meet others online, or as complex as asking you to fill out a questionnaire and a profile so that you can be matched with appropriate partners.

Are All Online Dating Services Costly?

While some of the more popular online dating services are fairly costly, there are a number of excellent ones that are free.

But free, in the online dating world, is a deceptive term. Because so many more young men than young women use the service, many of them offer free registration to women, or they may offer free registration for everyone but charge you if you want to contact a match. Read all the fine print carefully. There really are several good services that don't charge anything for registration, for profiling and matching you, or for contacting your match. There is also no rule that you must use only one site.

What Should I Be Wary Of?

Just like any other online community, you're going to find mostly good people, but interspersed with some rotten apples. This is unpleasant in any online community, but in a dating community you're leaving yourself much more vulnerable than usual. Protect yourself.

  • As many as thirty percent of the singles on some sites are married or in a committed relationship; watch out for these if you don't want to be involved in a very complicated situation.
  • Lies and fake pictures are not uncommon; if your online fling seems unwilling to meet, this may be the reason. It's polite to just drop it and remain friends online.
  • It's rare, but sexual predators do lurk online in dating communities. Always meet your online friends for the first time in public, daylight locations, and make sure others know where you're going to be. Don't leave yourself vulnerable until you know this person well, and preferably not until friends and family know a good deal about him as well.

What Else Should I Know?

  1. Honesty is the best policy, but a well-done glamour shot doesn't hurt.
  2. You can find specialty dating services that match, for instance, Muslims or Indian nationals, or that focus only on those with Liberal beliefs, men who want to marry Russian or Asian Women, etc.
  3. Being active in an online community is a great way to meet people, even if your face isn't that of an Adonis.

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