For people in this generation, using online dating websites is just an integrated part of life – they’re available. Just like televisions, microwaves and home video game consoles, computers-the Internet-and things like dating websites are just how the world works. But like all things, dating websites have their roots.
The first version of “online dating” popped up decades ago via newsgroups. Think about personal ads in newspapers – Desperately Seeking Susan. While this brand of dating did experience minor success, and it is certainly credited with eventually becoming what we know of today as online dating, people back then were not overly accepting of the practice.
Without photos or a list of personal details, the craze quickly died out. It wasn’t until 1995 when FriendFinder.com and Match.com came along that online dating began.
These were the very first dating sites and they were, at least by today’s standards, pretty archaic. You filled out very few personal details, such as basic likes and dislikes, and you could add in a photo. Personality matching and other networking features are something that evolved later.
The evolution of these dating websites was out of pure necessity. Integrating sophisticated instant messaging, more photo options, video conferencing, more detailed questionnaires, and other dating site staples was a must due to the quick expansion.
Online Dating Magazine claims that well over 20 million people use dating websites today – an absolutely shocking number. With thousands of dating sites out there, the genre is something that’s integrated into our daily lives as well as anything else we encounter.
Why Use Dating Sites?
Even with their obviously immense popularity, some people still cite that dating websites are not of much use and that the more conventional ways of meeting are still the best. However, the statistics are rather clear and tell a completely different story about online dating. Not only are one in five relationships today born online, but couples meeting online are more than three-times more likely to stay together in a happy relationship.
Why are the relationships so successful? You can cite the “science” of dating as the foremost reason for success of the genre. Instead of matching on our animalistic urges, i.e. finding someone attractive at a bar and striking up a conversation, online profiles and matchmaking systems delve into the inner workings of people’s minds, their key personality traits.
By extrapolating personality traits and matching your key traits up with someone else’s, you can find a better fit based on shared goals and interests, common backgrounds and religions, shared political views and education, and much, much more.
Relationships born of lust or from spur-of-the-moment meetings or even out of a sense of obligation – read: your friends or family setting you up – are truly hit or miss. With online dating, however, you are in complete control to find someone who matches you perfectly before you attempt to strike up a real relationship.
Then there’s the most preferred factor of them all – the convenience of online dating. From a chair in your living room or from a mobile device on the bus, you can meet singles from a growing pool of millions around the world. The options available to you via dating websites outnumber conventional options by at least a million to one.
Of course, you will find a few disadvantages with dating websites as well. They can range from mild to severe, but just know that no system is without its flaws.
One of the biggest disadvantages to using a dating website is the dreaded “fake profile”. Unfortunately, the Internet is packed with spammers and scammers, people looking to take advantage of you whether it’s simply to get their kicks by fooling you or hacking into your personal information. This means that you may encounter fake profiles of people looking to pirate your password, sell you products, to goad you into sending sexually-explicit materials or looking to make a fool out of you.
Another disadvantage of dating websites is the “buyer beware” side of dating. Some people use fake photos in their profile or enhance their photos dramatically. So when you do finally meet up with the person, they do not look anything as advertised. The same holds true for other aspects of people, like their weight, height, ethnicity, hair and eye color, religion, etc.
Since there are disadvantages to this type of platform, it is always best to use common sense when attempting to find love via dating websites. This means you should always take things slow and steady. You should get to know the person and make sure they’re telling you the truth.
As relationships progress, you will most likely begin having phone conversations or video conferences with the other party. From here, you can get a better sense of how they are as people and deduce certain things about their personality. The slower you take it and the more thorough you are, the less likely it is that you will have a bad experience.
Which Dating Site Should You Sign up with?
With so many dating websites out there competing with one another, it is often very difficult to tell which you should sign up for. The most important question to ask yourself is simply “What do I need out of a dating site?” From there, you can check out the reviews to see which suits your needs in terms of pricing options, dating preferences, add-on features, and more.
This is a question no one can answer for you. It’s up to you to check out the sites to see which best suits your individual needs and please note here at Top20DatingWebsites we are only a dating comparison/review site. We review sites like chemistry.com, eharmony.com and adultfriendfinder.com to name just a few to help you make a better informed choice as to which site is more suitable to your needs.
Which Dating Websites are the Best?
The real answer to that question: Take your pick! Someone might say Chemistry is the best they’ve ever used, while someone else might bash their services entirely while stating that Perfect Match is far and away the best. And someone might come along with a little-known site and dismiss all the more “popular” sites out there.
Every dating site is a little bit different, whether we’re speaking out to whom they cater or even the intricacies of their interfaces. To find the best means to find the best for you in particular, and that means weighing out the pros and cons of each site you visit as they pertain to you. With so many types of dating websites out there, it becomes all about finding which among them best suits your particular needs.
How do you join a Dating Website?
Luckily, the vast majority of dating websites out there are really easy to understand. Since they are all basically social networking sites, they thrive on having as many members as possible. This means most dating websites will have a clean and easy to use interface, making the instructions rather obvious.
To join, you will simply click the “join” or “register” button and then begin filling out your profile. You will put in an original username, a tag line, and then fill in your personal details, as in what you want in a partner and also giving a little bit of information about yourself.
Once the basics are filled out, you will usually be prompted to purchase a package. You can choose to sign up for a deluxe package or you can use the site free of charge.
Tips for Using Dating Websites
With so many hundreds of sites and millions of online daters, the tips you can find are literally never-ended. We will go over a few useful tips that will help you to easily use any dating website you choose to sign up with.
• Choosing a popular site with many members is always preferred not only because of the ease of finding a potential mate but also because these sites have had ample feedback and have constructed their interface to be as easy to use as possible
• Always be straightforward and simple with whatever you’re attempting to do. Have a photo(s) ready to post, take an inventory of the things you want to get across in your profile, and never be afraid to be “picky” when setting the preferences for the partner you prefer
• Be thorough and honest if you are taking any type of personality test. A lot of people’s natural inclination is to breeze through this, treating it like an online survey, but by doing this they are not going to meet a mate living up to their standards. The science behind matchmaking with dating websites is sound; the more honest you are about who you are, the better your experience will be
• Be sure to read user reviews to find out exactly how to use the site’s features. Most sites have a few social networking aspects integrated into the interface, such as forums, chat rooms and video conferencing options. Knowing how to use these beforehand will be a lot easier on you than learning on the fly
• Remember to be respectful when using these sites. Most dating websites are community based and your profile is going to be searched a lot. This means a lot of people are going to see you and contact you. Be kind and respectful in your initial profile and in your replies thereafter
Safe Online Dating Advice
Like we pointed out in the “disadvantages” section, using dating websites is not always wine and roses. You may sometimes encounter bad people looking to inflict harm in some form or another. You may run across individuals who are nothing as advertised. It is always wise to play things safe, and here are a few tips you can use to protect yourself:
• Be careful not to list information that’s too personal in your profile, such as your email address, messenger handle, address, phone number, etc. If you want to give these out, make sure that you know the person before you do so. Thoroughly vet someone before letting go of your personal info
• Choose a reputable site scoring well in the security area. By reading user reviews and checking out various members of the site, you will be able to tell which dating websites take out the trash and which ones let the garbage fester until the whole place stinks
• Never meet someone on “feeling,” meaning you should never hook up with people for random encounters. Always be sure that you know who they are. You should take things slowly and progress through stages of online dating: initial contact, email/IM sharing, phone calls/video conferencing, then finally a planned meeting
• When meeting someone, an open and public place, preferably in the daytime, is always the safest route. You never want to go to someone’s house at night or meet them in a deserted location. Even if you think you know the other person, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Anyone wanting a real relationship will not only understand the cautionary steps, they themselves will be practicing them
• Don’t be a juggler. Sometimes, staying “safe” also includes guarding your feelings and even other’s feelings. If you wish to randomly hook up with partners, then choose an appropriate site. If you are looking for someone serious, then take your time and vet potential mates and find someone who is right for you. You do not want to be hurt and you do not want to go around hurting others. Wait until you find a relationship worth building before you put your heart into it.