So You Think You Want To Online Date Step 1

Online Dating

So You Think You Want to Online Date? Step 1

Gina Stewart
Gina Stewart Updated:
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The first question to ask yourself is, “What kind of relationship am I looking for?” Answering this helps determine which site you should use.

Different dating sites.

Different dating sites are better suited for different relationships. And while you can find a relationship of every kind on every site, this is the “people’s” version of what you should know.

There are different reasons for why each of these sites has their street reputation.

There is a correlation between free sites having more people who are less than serious about online dating.

It makes sense because they aren’t paying, they can be less invested, and they can make a profile and never go back to check it or follow up with matches.

Conversely, paid sites have members who have literally invested money in finding someone.

As such, you’ll find more members who are more serious about finding someone and getting offline. That way they can stop paying money!

Free sites.

If you’re brand new to online dating, you may think, “I’ll try a free site just to get a feel for the water.”

It is very possible for you to find someone great without having to pay a dime. However, don’t be surprised if on that free site you get flaky people or scammers.

Just keep in mind different sites are going to give you different experiences, and don’t let one site skew your thoughts on what online dating can be.

Many sites claim to be “free to join.” What this means is you can create your profile but you are going to be required to pay if you want to do things such as see pictures of your matches or communicate with them.

When I say a site is “free,” that means you can communicate and see pictures and profiles of other matches without having to pay.


“There are so many specialty

dating sites out there.”

A site’s design.

Other reasons for these different reputations have to do with the site’s design.

eHarmony has famously long, intricate personality profile you must fill out before you even see a match. The members on eHarmony have not only invested their money, but a significant amount of thought and time to finding someone.

They are less likely to be just looking for a hookup with 29 dimensions of compatibility.

Other sites have no qualifications for seeing a match. Their matching mechanisms are no more than a paragraph your write about yourself alongside a picture.

Relationship spectrum.

Here is what the spectrum looks like based on the seriousness of the relationship you are looking for:

While there are hundreds of dating sites out there, I have focused on the most searched for on Google in 2012: Adult Friend Finder, Plenty of Fish, Zoosk, OkCupid, Match, eHarmony, ChristianMingle/JDate.

If you’re looking for a hookup or casual dating:

Adult Friend Finder is blatant choice. Less obvious is Plenty of Plenty of Fish is free.

If you’re looking for casual to serious consider:

Zoosk, OkCupid and Match. OkCupid is free.

For the serious-minded and marriage-minded: 

Match, eHarmony and the religious sites like Christian Mingle and JDate. All are paid sites.

Disclaimer: I am not paid to endorse any particular dating site. If you have a question about a particular site, feel free to ask.

There are so many specialty dating sites out there. If you have a unique interest, a Google search of your own may yield the perfect site for you. For example, are you disabled? Try “disabled dating.”

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