FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Online Dating is really just … Dating! Over the last couple of decades, it has exploded as both a business opportunity for companies and a social outlet for users. Accessibility to the internet, mobile devices, instant pic, and video capability right on your phone and ease of payment and use have all made online dating easy and fun. Certainly, it’s become much easier to find a date or love online than it is to find it in a crowded bar or club.
With the rise in popularity also comes sham sites, fake profiles, internet trolls, and sites that want a lot of money for a bad experience. That’s where we come in. We join the sites, try to find dates or love, and try out all their bells and whistles. Some of the sites are so bad they aren’t even worth a blog post. Some are so great, we wish we could make it mandatory to read that review first! Either way, we have you covered. If you have been hesitant to get into online dating, or if you have been burned in the past, read on for some helpful info and tips, and then be sure to hop over to our blog posts to read about the sites we’ve been reviewing!
Is online dating for everyone? Or only the lonely and desperate?
We get it. There used to be such a stigma surrounding online dating. It seemed like match sites were only for perverts and people who couldn’t find anyone elsewhere. That wasn’t true then, and it definitely isn’t true now. Everyone from college kids to widowers and retirees are hopping on the internet to find a chat or a date. Consider this- we do literally everything else online, from shopping to bill pay to gaming to business to college courses. Why wouldn’t we find love here, too?
Is my privacy protected? What if I see someone I know?
Your privacy is protected on dating sites, so the only people who can see if you are on the site are other members. If you do happen to see someone you know, many sites have a block feature. Otherwise, embrace it… You are both on the site, which means you’re both looking for a date. It’s really no different than if you were both out for the night with friends.
Is Online Dating Safe?
Online dating is probably as safe as dating in real life. Maybe even safer, to some extent. Of course, any time you are online you should be careful with your personal information. Until you feel like you know and trust someone, don’t give out your info. Meet in a public place for the first time, and make sure that someone else knows where you are going and who you are meeting. Have your phone on you, and practice good common sense and situational awareness. These are all things you would also want to do if meeting someone from an online garage sale site, or even meeting someone new out at a club or the grocery store.
If you wouldn’t walk up to someone in the produce aisle and hand out your address and birthdate, you shouldn’t do it online either.
The advantage to online dating is that you can take your time and really get to know someone before you ever meet in person. It is much easier than going on date after date, only to realize the person is a creep. Just use your best judgment and follow your gut.
Are people honest online or am I going to get Catfished?
It sometimes happens that people… ahem… embellish… online. Perhaps they use a younger picture or a filter or say they are a teacher when they are really a bus driver. It happens. However, it is often easy to weed out the people who are all talk. Get to know someone for a while. Ask for natural, recent pics. Get details that might confirm that they really are who they say they are or do what they say they do. Maybe do a bit of search engine investigation and check out their stories. Of course, this means that you should also make sure to tell the truth when you are meeting people online. Use pics that show what you really look like. Be honest about who you are and what you want.
Are people really looking for love or are they just out to get laid?
People are online for lots of different reasons. Whether you are dating online or in real life, you are always going to find some people looking for a casual hookup, and some who are looking for a life partner(or something in between). Be upfront and honest about what you are looking for and look for others on the websites who say they are looking for the same things. This is not foolproof, and you will still find people who say one thing but want another, but you will find those people in real life, too. The great thing with online dating is that many people post right in their profile if they are looking for a boyfriend or a booty call.
Are any sites really free? And are they even worth it?
Unfortunately, on the internet, as in life, you get what you pay for. Are there free sites? Sure. Can you do much on them? Not usually. So why have them? Why even advertise that they are free? Well, even if they are not completely free, free dating sites do have their purposes and advantages. The biggest perk with these sites is that you can get onto the site, navigate it, see pics of the members, see if the site is glitchy or low-quality and then decide from there whether to pay for a full membership to the service. In our opinion, it’s worth it to pay for the sites, even if they are advertised as free to get you in the door.
Think about it this way – if you were sticking with a traditional dating arrangement, you would spend money on new clothes, transportation, nights out at bars and social gatherings, and then once you meet someone, spend money on dinner, movies, and other dates without even knowing if you are remotely compatible. It can take weeks or months of time and money to find out that someone is not for you. Instead, you can put that money into a few different dating site memberships and get to know people without the hassle.That way, you never pay for a dinner with someone you know nothing about!
How Can I Make Sure People Like My Profile?
Start with a great picture, or better yet, several. Choose pictures that are flattering, but real. If you have cartoon bunny ears and impossibly large eyes, people will probably wonder what you look like without all the filters. Pick a photo that is recent- not your favorite pic from your glory days or back at your ideal weight. Choose photos that represent who you really are.
Be open and engaging with your info. Tell people what they really want to know – what you are looking for in a relationship, what you like to do, what your interests and ambitions are. People are drawn to people who are real, witty, and personable.
Don’t go on and on about what you hate. No long diatribes about your ex or your mom or politics. Keep it light and save the heavy stuff for later, when you get to know someone a little bit better.