An Intro to Online Dating
Online dating is growing with every passing day. In 2009, Forbes.com published an article about the boom in online dating. The article states that in 2008, 8 million active singles went on a collective 24 million first dates, and 69% of those dates were arranged online!
Online dating isn't for everyone as it is quite a bit different than hunting for a date in the more traditional ways (stalking the supermarket, going to the bar, church, etc.). When it comes to online dating, the etiquette is different, and you can see more about people that are seriously looking than just their appearance.
In the physical world, you may see Jane Doe in the produce aisle, an attractive 30 year old single mother...and that's all you have to start a conversation. This takes skill, charm, and a helping of attractiveness never hurts. In the digital world, you find Jane Doe, a 32 year old accountant with a passion for photography and knitting. She has one kid, two big dogs, drives a Prius and doesn't eat meat. That's a lot of information to be able to start a conversation with, but if you didn't put the effort into your profile that Jane did, you may never hear back from her.
It takes more effort than one would expect. You need pictures of you being you, not the cheesy office headshot from 5 years ago. You need a catchy headline. You are also going to want to type out a serious profile that gives a real taste of yourself, because online dating is really about selling yourself to someone. A profile that says "I don't know what to say about myself" also implies that you don't know what you want or that you don't care enough about finding a potential lover to put more thought into things then the thought it takes to pull out the lube and a skin flick.
Types of Online Dating Sites
It isn't just as clear cut as "Hey, I'm online and looking for love" either. There are several different kinds of dating sites and chances are you can find one that will fit your needs.
General dating sites- Everyone is welcome, just be yourself and give it a shot. Chances are you'll meet some cool people, and there is always someone looking for a date!
Faith Based sites- You are religion x and would like someone with similar faith values. You are covered too, as there are sites for nearly every major religion, and even some of the oddball religions!
Ethnic Sites- Exactly what it implies. You are of one ethnicity and would prefer someone of the same ethnicity...or you aren't of a specific ethnicity but want to date someone who is. This may be for you!
Sex Sites- Need I say more? You are looking for some booty and so are hundreds of other people near you!
Military dating sites- If you prefer men or women in uniform, or just the military lifestyle, you are covered too.
And last, but certainly not least: STD sites- You want to find someone to date, but you have an STD and either don't want to risk rejection over it, or don't want to potentially pass it on to someone unsuspecting...this is for you. There is no shame in being health conscious while searching for a new relationship!
Of course, there are other niche dating sites, but I chose to cover the bigger ones. If you are looking for a certain niche, Google it!
You should consider online dating if you don't have time for "hunting" for a new lover, or if you are just looking to try something new. Don't ever be afraid to look for love (or sex, if that's all you are after) in new places. Try a few sites as they are all different...and you too could be half of a happy relationship (or a smaller fraction, if you try a polyamory site!) in no time at all!
Remember: Sex isn't nasty, and neither is a desire to be loved or to share yourself with others. Put yourself out there!