With our busy American schedules, who has time to date these days, let alone meet
someone worthy enough to date? Sure, you can hit the bar scene on the weekends and attempt to meet new people out on the town or head to a local Starbucks and hope to catch a cutie, but sometimes these methods are simply not enough. In fact, a very small percentage of Americans (less than 10%) have met their one and only in a bar.
Unless you're living in New York — the best place for singles — you're a bit out of luck. According to U.S. census reports, about 44% of Americans are single. Now, although all this sounds gloomy, there is a glimmer of mating hope. Many singletons have opted for the online dating scene, which seems to be thriving more than ever.
Thanks to numerous dating-site options, such as eHarmony.com, Match.com, and OKCupid.com, among others, many people are flocking to meet their mates on the Net. Instead of hearing the "Can I get your number?" line, you may be reading a more modern line like "Can I have your email?"
Studies have shown that about 40 million Americans currently use online dating services. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 31% of Americans know of someone who has used an online dating site. On top of that, the project's site says, 30 million people know of someone who has either married or been in a serious relationship with someone he or she met over the Internet.
Match.com claims to have helped "more than 500,000 singles [find] meaningful relationships through Match.com's online personals and singles ads." If this is the case, why not take the plunge into the online dating world? How much worse than the bar scene can it really be? (Okay, maybe we shouldn't go there.)
Here are a few tips for meeting Mr. or Ms. Right on the Internet:
- Put up a picture. Sure, you may be a bit shy, but that is no reason to keep your face hidden. Your profile will get a lot more hits, and people will get an honest glimpse of what you look like. It's like meeting someone at a bar; you look at the person's face first. So put your best picture forward!
- Be truthful. Of course we all tend to want to fidget with certain small details about our appearance (e.g., brown eyes suddenly become "dark hazel eyes"), but have some self-control and don't do it! Would you want the person you're searching for to be a liar? Steer clear of the temptation to hide important details.
- Open up! People are on the site to find others who are right for them, so the more information you give about yourself, the better your chances are of finding someone who matches your characteristics. This doesn't mean you should divulge everything, but it does allow you to show your true personality over the Internet.
- Have fun. Creating your dating profile and searching online should not seem like a tedious chore. Your experience should be an exciting one, or at least carefree enough that you somewhat enjoy it. Dating is supposed to be fun, so don't make it otherwise!
Now that you know the basics of joining a dating site, turn on that laptop and get started. If you have honestly reached a dating block, you have nothing to lose, right? Some sites also offer incentives, like Match.com, which sometimes offers specials that allow you to check out their service for free, so research which site is best for you and start clicking — and dating — away!
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