The number of people participating in online dating sites is increasing over the years. In 2005, Americans have spent about $500 million on personal advertising according to the Online Publishers Association (OPA). Hitwise Inc. said that in November 2004, there are about 844 lifestyle and dating sites. With a lot of choices how do we determine what service we want?
You will start by determining your reasons for joining a dating site. The type of online dating site would depend on your needs. There are some people who would register because they are looking for long-term relationships, while others are looking for friends and people who have the same interests.
Another looming question is whether you prefer paid or free online dating. Of course, who does not want any service for free? Free sites are great when searching for friends, but they also pose more risks compared with paid sites. Scams and fraudulent activities usually happen in free sites. Aside from that, they could also enlist perverts and dangerous people for free. Users who are seriously looking for relationships are usually found in paid sites. But it does not mean that paid online dating sites are risk-free. Safety and security should always be kept in mind, regardless if it is free or paid site.
Here are some types of social and dating sites that you could choose from.
• General online dating site. This site would require you to provide a profile which would be used to match you up with other users. Members are allowed to look for other user profiles in the database aside from those recommended by the site administrator.
• Niche online dating site. Niche sites do not have a lot members compared with other online dating sites. The good thing about this site is that members share common interests. It is easy for members to start connecting with each other since they have a common ground.
• Social networking site. They are not specifically meant for dating or relationship building. But this would allow you to gain and maintain friends and contacts on the net. It is also a great way of connecting with former classmates, friends and even with an old flame. Although they are not really dating sites, there are a lot of people who have met and dated thanks to different social networking websites.
• Relationship sites. Unlike the general online dating sites, relationship sites dig deeper. They would require the member to complete a thorough personal information form. Answers would be calculated and the site would be sending you possible matches. The user is not able to open other profiles aside from the matches provided by the website.
Before joining any site, it is recommended to check it first. Paid online dating sites usually have free trials. If safety is your number one priority, then check for sites that would conduct background checks on their members. However, still keep in mind, that each state would usually have its own law covering background checks.
Online dating could bring you good fortune or bad luck. Relationship is just a few hits from your keyboard. Signing-up may either make or break your heart. Love and relationships, anyway, are risky enough, even if it is not online.